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Topic Appetite? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By dkleinert On 2009.11.27 10:34
As I see my dear husband go thru the stages of PD, I see him shrinking smaller and smaller before my eyes - it is scary to me. Is this normal? He used to be 5'7" tall, and about 185 - all muscle - very little fat on him. Now, as of the bone density test we had last week because of his osteoporosis, he is 5'3" and 150lbs. He has lost the weight over the last 3 months or so. I prepare food for him to eat while I am gone, but he many times won't eat it, even if the Home Health aide is here or eat only a little. I watch him like a hawk when I am with him for meals, and he seems to be swallowing OK. Don't think his digestion is good, however, 'cause he has bowel accidents at the drop of a hat. Is there anything I should be doing?

Going into this knee replacement surgery, I am concerned...I have heard from so many of you that your PD loved one had trouble swallowing, but I don't think at this time anyway, that is the problem - maybe it is and he masks it well. Joe is really skinny now.....have taken in his pants so many times now that the pockets almost touch in the back and he can't use the side pockets because they are too far back.....guess new pants? Is it better to feed him sweets than nutritional food that he might now eat? He loves sweets....if I buy a pie, he will eat the entire thing in one day...he loves cream pies - maybe the ease of eating it is why? Appreciate any insight.

By karolinakitty On 2009.11.27 12:54
I don't know if it's typical but Jim too has lost wait and "shrunk". He was 260 lbs back in may when we saw the doc he is now about 190. He was 6'1" and now is as tall as me 5'7". I see most in him the "hunchback", my belief as to the "shortness". He went from a size 48 to currently a 40, but maybe a 38 very soon. He has leveled off lately with the diet i came up with(protein/no protein). He actually is eating better with little to no nausea. Of course, i have to be the one to make sure he eats. I don't know if yours is the same but mine actually forgets if he ate or not. As long a i put food out he will eat. The portions are smaller then what he used to eat, but it's better than not eating at all. Also, i remember somewhere on here someone saying that pdrs lose their smell and i believe taste goes with that so food may actually taste like nothing or bitter so its no good to them. Mine has no smell but still knows the taste of things. Never complains about food not tasting good and he was a chef, so i guess i'm ok there so far.
Mine loves his sweets too. But any sweets. Cookies, cakes, candy whatever. He gets up in the middle of the night and has his stash of sweets to pick at. So far blood sugar seems to be stable.
As far the pants, what i've been doing is buying 2 pairs at the flea market as his size went down. i only pay $3 a pair and there's a guy there that has every size imaginable, so that keeps the expense down too.
Bowel accidents from what i've read are "normal" too. Can't remember if its meds or what. Mine goes to both extremes, but haven't had to plunge or clean up yet.

By hubb On 2009.11.27 14:17
My PD husband also has gone from 6'1" to about 5'8" and from 225# to 170#. I try to feed him as much nutritious food as possible but he still likes sweets and since he's almost 80 and had PD for so long, I figure he might as well eat what he wants when he wants at this stage of the game. He drinks a lot of Ensure. Hasn't had a lot of problems swallowing, but I do cut up his food before serving and usually give him a spoon and as much finger food as I can, so that he can continue to feed himself as long as possible. He too has spasmotic bm...seems like from one extreme to the other. But the thing I notice most, is the change in personality. He has become so selfish and thinks only of himself and demands his needs be met instantly if not sooner, and this is completely opposite of what he used to be, and that's part of the PD that is so hard to take and adjust to. It's very difficult sometimes to bite your tongue and keep from saying something that you'd regret later but it sure doesn't help the caretaker's physical and mental situation either. It's really a difficult road to travel and you just have to figure out each day as it comes. I hope you get thru the knee replacement surgery in good shape because just that surgery in a physically fit person is a painful one, so really wish you the best of luck and all the blessings as you will need them all.

By susger8 On 2009.11.27 18:07
My dad has lost both height (due to stooping over) and weight. He seems to get full easily. Also, he has vision problems and doesn't see what is on his plate sometimes. As with everyone else, he still has an appetite for sweets -- he ate quite a large piece of apple pie on Thanksgiving, and managed to get it on the fork and to his mouth even though he was having problems with his other food!

I sometimes tell him that the day I worry about him will be the day he refuses ice cream.

By bandido1 On 2009.11.27 19:36
dkleinert and all: Patient Bob's response: first, let me repeat when you have often seen written in this forum. There are no two parkinson's patients who are exactly alike. For example, in other patient forums I matched with only 275 other patients in the total database of over 3000.

Dealing with the issues in no particular order(sounds like dancing with the stars), before being diagnosed, I weighed 230, and now average 210 -215. And one time I was 6 foot 4 inches and am now down to 6 feet even. Some of my loss can be attributed to general aging, some to degenerative disc disease and some to muscle loss. I lost my sense of smell and taste well before actual diagnosis for PD. That loss is common among parkinson's patients. So too, is a sweet craving including ice cream, candy, pies, milkshakes, bubblegum, and a partridge in a pear tree if one is available and looks sweet!

On the negative side swallowing has been an escalating problem with me for the past several months. All my food is cut up and eatan with a spoon or with my fingers. On occasion, the flap ib my esophagus misbehaves and I have rather severe coughing spells, especially after falling asleep.

Not to be outdone by one of your husband's accidents, I have "pooped"]l my pants twice during the past two months. I wear men's depends to save my caretaker most of the unpleasant aspects of that activity. I believe this to be a byproduct of the muscle deterioration and my Dr. confirms that.

Depending upon your patient's age and disposition of his ego, may I suggest sweat clothing to replace ordinary menswear. I attended the thanksgiving family dinner so dressed.

As to all other matters not discussed, has my friend Al would say good luck, and hang in there. Bob C

By annwood On 2009.11.27 20:20
I think that as pople age they do shrink for all of the reasons that Bob noted. With any chronic disease there is a loss of weight and in PD you are dealing with so many extra calories being spent as a result of the disease. PD pts are always exercising. It is exhausting and contributes to the fatigue. My personal opinion is that they should be allowed to eat whatever they want - most of the time it is sweets. The carbohydrates found in sweets have the benefit of rapid utilzation into energy and easy digestion. It is true comfort food and face it there is very little that makes them comfortable. As caregivers we become so fixated on balance diets and eating right. It just isn't going to work as this disease progresses.

The personality changes are often the result of chronic disease. The patient becomes totally consumed with their body and what it is going to take to keep going. There just isn't enough energy left to take care of the needs of others. As caregivers we bear the brunt of that because we are "safe" and always there. It is not unusual for the patient to project the frustration, fear and anger onto the caregiver. Then if you are dealing with a decline in cognitive function it is even worse as the patient becomes more like a demanding child. Try to remember it is the disease and not your loved one. This is very hard to do, I know.

By lynn On 2009.11.27 21:27
I agree with annwood. I'm at a point in the disease that my husband can eat what ever he will it. He's lost about 30 lbs in the last 4 months and I'm sure this will continue. I expect before long he will refuse to eat as that seems to happen in the course of PD. My goal now is to make him comfortable.

By dkleinert On 2009.11.28 01:52
Such great posts - thanks to all of you. I feel better after reading all of the posts. Tonight I made my husband Banana Pudding. It was really funny - you will laugh at this. Thanksgiving morning when I was cooking, I told him I was not sure I would have the time to make the Banana Pudding he had requested, but we would have 2 pies that he loves.....he looked at me with that old gleam in his eyes and whispered....."you can make the Banana Pudding for me in a day or two and then I will get to eat the whole thing myself"!! And he really smiled large and laughed. So, indeed, tonight I made a double batch of Banana Pudding from scratch. He checked the refrigerator before he went to bed to make sure it was in there. Like one of you mentioned about your husband, my husband gets up at night to eat his treats....thanks for keeping me straight and helping me see the big picture and for helping me see where the priorities are. Hugs to all.
P. S. Bob - you are a hoot! :))

By Maggie On 2009.11.28 15:59
I cannot speak to the combination of PD and knee replacement, but my Dad had both knees replaced about two years ago at 80+. The process is much better than when my Mom had one done 20 years ago. The normal patients having just one knee done had surgery on Monday and were able to go home by Wednesday. Since my Dad had both done and because of his age, he went to rehab for about a week after four days in the hospital. He has moderate Alzheimers, and it was six days before he started regaining his previous mental functioning. He did not seem to have near as much pain as my Mom did, but there is no way to say the first week wasn't difficult.

I hope things go as well as they can for you.

By Mary On 2009.11.30 15:51
My Dad had no appetite and said that foods do not taste good toward the last months of his life. Things that he used to love had no appeal to him and believe me I tried everything. At first I was very concerned that he maintain a proper diet but in time, I was just happy he ate anything at all. Hugs and blessings to all, Mary

By Emma On 2009.12.01 04:09
My husband doesn't want to eat much anymore either, he says food doesn't taste good. He too has lost a lot of weight and has shrunk several inches in height. That seems to be pretty common.

Good luck with the surgery. I'll be thinking of you!

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