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By caregivermary On 2008.12.15 10:43
My husband has been having scary dreams at night. They are not hallucinations. Apparently, he is lost somewhere(different each time) and is going to die. Taking 200mg of seroquel, is completely off of the mirapex, sinemet has been increased and taking stalevo. What is the significance of the dreaming?

By annwood On 2008.12.15 12:32
I don't know the significance but I do know that vivid dreams are very common. I would imagine it has something to do with the brain's wiring as well as the medications. The neurologist had no explanation. My husband would awaken terrified and it was always about a threat to him personally. It can be dangerous for the person in the bed with them because they sometimes strike out before they awaken. There is no treatment for it.

By bandido1 On 2008.12.15 20:43
Mary: I have had those "lost" themed dreams ever since I was DX'd two + yrs ago. Annwood will recall a prior post in which I tried to choke my caregiver spouse. I cannot trace to the brain or meds as a cause. Since switching from Mirapex to RequipXL a few weeks ago I seem to have stopped that type of vivid dream but others persist. I would prefer dreaming about the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl but alas, there seems to be little hope of that. Bob C

By packerman On 2008.12.16 09:35
Tom was fighting Nazi's last week...and punched me in the face during the night! fortunately, he woke up easily and was ok. (I was a little bruised.)
he had taken only half of his usual Seroquel, so I thought that might have caused it. he's back to his regular dose and we've had no problems since. I can't remember his dosage...does that matter and/or increase the incidences?

the only other time he's had vivid dreams was when he was totally off all meds so that his DBS could be calibrated. he kept trying to crawl out of bed all night.

is all this coincidental?

By caregivermary On 2008.12.16 12:01
Thanks everyone for the replies. My husb has always had vivid dreams but these are scary because he is lost and believes he is going to die. I also think this type of dream causes him to get out of bed and wonder. Not sure about this but I'm observing. He doesn't remember getting out of bed and WALKING without walker and generally he is very upset and scared because he thinks he is lost. Anyway, I'm just trying to understand this behavior and put stops in place to avoid falls, trama, etc. I need my sleep so I'm in another bedroom just down the hall with a monitor.

Bob, dreaming about the cowboys in the super bowl works for us Texans but not for my husb. He is usually in a museum.

By Noteasy2beehear On 2008.12.16 13:52

I have noticed that my husband too is very very susceptible to very very vivid dreams. He goes from wimpering, crying, talking, punching, yelling, etc. to full scale shouting which is very scary to me. He starts fighting also sometimes in his sleep. It has gotten very very disturbing at times. I have had to wake him up and ask him to roll on his side. I notice that the dreaming is worse when he is on his is the snoring.

I have often wondered about moving into the spare room myself because I am a 43 year old mom and working more than full time to financially keep going. So I really need my rest at night as well. I find this one of the most difficult things to deal with in the PD cycle of things.

My husband is on amantadine and requip (can't remember the dosages at this time) so I don't know if it is common with different dosages as well??

I have also tried a few "home" remedies for sleeping have found the "lavender" spray/oil placed on his neck (pulse points) as well as some on his pillow seems to be helping quite a bit. Lavender is know to help and resolve some sleep "issues". It does seem to help some. I find he does not appear to be quite so restless at night. You may want to see if that would help.

I wish it weren't so difficult.............less sleep for either of us makes it even more difficult to cope.

Take care,

By caregivermary On 2008.12.16 22:57

Thanks for the tip on lavender. I use it myself and have used in the car to keep us both calm. I'll try it on him at night.

My husband had the type of dreams you described previously but now he is having the I'm lost and going to die type dreams. The decision to move to the spare room took me a long time to make. I guess I kept hearing the advice from too many concern friends not to finally do it. It has paid off. I'm much more rested and can cope better. I still wake up and hear him and often go in and help him change his position in bed.

Thanks for your comments.

By Noteasy2beehear On 2008.12.23 17:14
Mary, I never thought to use lavender in the car but us having a tough time in the vehicle has not yet occurred. He will drive some; however, I have noticed that I am driving more and more often. Which I am thankful for and has yet to put up a really big fight.

I know that I have to make a decision about moving soon but just haven't gotten there. Whenever I mention in whether in desperation or sincerity, I get a very "hurt" look back and it just about kills me.....I know that eventually he'd get used to it but I don't know if he would be angry about that too??? Still exploring my emotions around it. We have lost so much of our relationship already, it makes me cry sometimes at all that we have lost. It really is difficult because it seems like the final straw where you go from being a husband and wife to a patient and caregiver. So what a d*mn struggle; disease really does rob a person of so so much physically, mentally and emotionally.

Have a great holiday season!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

By caregivermary On 2008.12.23 17:59
I know the feeling. I still get questioned as to why I have to sleep in the guest room. Guilt is hidden in the question but I know that having my sleep will get us both through the next day. My husband has had Park for 18 yrs and the last two have resulted in many changes in our relationship. I understand why but he doesn't. Also, the coming year/s will bring greater change and I often think I'm not prepared for it. Reading the posts here has helped me but I guess I'm hoping it still won't happen. It is strange how we don't have the disease but we experience some of the affects of it anyway. BTW, my husb hasn't driven in over 3 years.

We are trying very hard to have a good holiday.

Merry Christmas!

By Mary On 2009.01.19 16:32
My father has awful nightmares every single night. Sometimes they cause him to get out of bed. He says he doesn't remember what they are about but remembers feeling scared. It is difficult to wake him up during these nightmares. I am also concerned he'll fall when he is scrambling about in his bedroom with his walker. He insists he doesn't get out of bed, but he does.

noteasy2beehear, you mention how this disease changed your relationship. It has mine as well with my father. It is like taking care of an entirely different person that is not the father I remember. In some ways I wish I'd never experienced being a caregiver for my Dad because of that but in other ways, we do have some great quality time together.

On the sleep issue, I feel it is very, very important for a caregiver to get a good night's sleep. It makes me a better caregiver and if we have a rough day, after a good night sleep, it is much easier to take a deep breath and get through the next day.

Best wishes to all, Mary

By annwood On 2009.01.19 19:52
This seems to be a common occurence with PD pts. Early on in the disease my husband started having the "scary" dreams and they continued for several years. Someone was always attacking him and he would jump out of bed and strike a fighter's stance. Twice he struck me so stay out of the way! We tried several medications but nothing really helped. When the dementia set in he was unable to sleep at night because of his fears and hallucinations. It is hard because they are obviously in a great deal of distress.

By lynn On 2009.01.19 22:01
Noteasy2beehere-I know the decision to move to another bedroom may be hard. I made the decision 2 years ago because of the numerous times my husband would awaken during the night. It has been wonderful for both of us. He can watch TV in the middle of the night if he wants and I'm able to get a good nights rest-most of the time unless he needs me. Of most importance and a surprise to both of us, we became more active sexually.

By deflo On 2009.01.20 09:49
My husband was diagnosed with REM sleep disorder about 10 yrs before the PD, I can relate to all your posts. From what I have read about PD, it seems to be a precursor to PD, or Lewy Body Dementia. When he first started having the dreams, I told my kids that it was like sleeping with Indiana Jones, but not as fun. He would scream there were snakes in the bed, push me out, and start jumping up and down on the bed. He would also punch, kick, scream etc. I was getting no sleep since I was always on high alert. Every time he would move, I would wake up because I thought, here it comes, I'm going to get hit!! Well, it's been years since we slept in the same bed, I was useless to him or me since I wasn't getting sleep. He is very understanding about this and doesn't complain at all. I don't care what others think about this arrangement, I'm at least getting some much needed sleep. Don't every feel guilty about taking care of yourself, you HAVE to or you are no good to anyone.

By susger8 On 2009.01.20 10:43
Deflo, that's interesting about the snakes. Most of my father's hallucinations are harmless and don't trouble him, but he goes through phases of seeing snakes, which is very frightening to him. One night he cut the control wire off his hospital bed because he thought it was a big snake. (We had to hide all the scissors and sharp instruments.)

Are snakes a common hallucination with anyone else?

By annwood On 2009.01.20 11:11
For many people snakes are the most frightening thing they can imagine so I wonder if that is not the basis. I believe that our nightmares are composed of our most dreaded fears. My husband's family was very poor when he was a child. I often wondered if that was why some of his dreams involved not having any food and his belief that he had to go shoot something so we would have food. When he developed dementia he began hiding food in the house.

I think sleeping in seperate rooms at this point is a good idea. Sleep is the most important thing a caregiver can get!

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