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By worriedaboutdad On 2010.04.04 22:02
My dad falls asleep while eating. I mean he will fall asleep in the middle of chewing a bite. It is so heartbreaking. I am also worried that he will choke. Anyone else experienced this? He is getting worse so quickly it seems. He said today that he may stop taking his meds. I think he is so depressed and rightfully so. I just don't know how to help and it kills me.

By Emma On 2010.04.05 09:52
My husband has from time to time fallen asleep while eating. He falls asleep at the drop of a hat anyway so I don't think it's specific to eating. He also leans way over so that his head is almost on the table during meal times. You're right, it's scary and heartbreaking. It's interesting that you bring this up because I have just recently decided (with my husband's permission) to start videotaping him when he does things like this. The doctor never sees this stuff because my husband is "on" when we're at the doctors office. I don't think that my trying to explain it to the doctor has as much of an impact as seeing it would.

Not knowing how to help is so hard. I hear you on that one.

By hubb On 2010.04.05 14:45
My husband also falls asleep while eating, while talking to me, or if we have company, he will go to sleep while others are talking. I think it's because he has no strength or stamina due to the tremors - just burns up all the calories and wears him out. He also leans as Emma say her husband does. When I have mentioned these things to neuro, he makes a note of postural instability, or proverty of movement. No hints on how to handle - I learn more from the forum for problems like this. We have gotten where we don't go to friends for dinner anymore or have anyone in because he goes to sleep and it embarrasses him. You hate to close down your social life but it's so much easier on him just to stay home. He says he feels like his mind is in cotton and his body in cement. Think it's just part of the PD cycle and there's not much we can do to help them out. Just knowing you're not the only one going thru this helps a little.

By karolinakitty On 2010.04.05 16:04
my pdr also falls asleep while eating in bed actually ..... he gets the hungries in the middle of the night. If i may be so bold as to a funny thing that happened:
One night he was having his cookies at 3am as usual.... i keep a coffee can on a night stand with cookies as he gets these sweet urges. Well, he was sitting up in bed munching on the cookies and fell asleep. I woke to have the coffee can spill out over my head and cookies everywhere, in my hair, in my pillow on the sheets.... I laughed so hard i almost cried....... i was shocked at first, but, couldn't help myself.... the dogs jumped up on the bed and started devouring the cookies, i tried to get them off, but they were enjoying themselves too much....
According to our neuro it is a side effect of his Requip.....narclepsy is an issue with requip, however, if he is focused on something he usually does well. That is another reason why he doesn't just sit around. He hates the fact that we'll be sitting with folks relaxing and having a conversation then, out he goes, sometimes mid sentence......he doesn't do it while eating lunch or dinner though, nor driving...It seems it's just when he is relaxing and not focused on a particular "project".

By LOHENGR1N On 2010.04.05 19:28
Yes it's funny (ironic really) We can fall asleep anytime it seems except when it's time for bed. I've fallen asleep talking to My Daughter while the Grandchildren were running around! We were talking about this subject in a thread awhile ago and Someone posted Her Husband fell asleep in the dentist chair.

This is also a good time to remind everyone that with warmer weather coming to watch out for dehydration! Having Parkinson's is likened to moderate exercise just going about daily tasks (tremors and poverty of movement). So We have to keep an eye on hydration...................Remember when in hot weather We hear to keep exercise to cooler morning or evening times? Well with P.D. just living is moderate exercise and how do we limit that to morning or evening times? Just a reminder and for those new to all this a heads up. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By worriedaboutdad On 2010.04.05 22:00
Thanks for all the replies. It helps so much to know others do the same. As you said, he also falls asleep at other times as well....not just while eating. It just bothers me more when he is eating because I fear he will choke. I was thinking that maybe if I could fall asleep while eating, I might could shed some of these pounds!! Sorry.....my grandmother used to say.....sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying! Anyway, he also puts hi head nearly in his plate. I'm not real impressed with our neuro. However, I try and tell myself that maybe he is doing the best he can because after all he can't make it go away. He just always says the same thing " you seem to be doing about the same." Another thing i have noticed is that Daddy has started calling me at work 3 or 4 times a day. I can't answer my cell because I am a teacher and I know he probably really is just going to ask me something that can wait. However, it always scares me thinking maybe this time it really is important. He knows I am at work.....or does he forget?

By LOHENGR1N On 2010.04.05 23:54
worried, We can't tell you if your Dad forgets (the calls while you are working). It might be worth noting down the time of the calls though. Then you can compare and see if they happen around the same time each day. My thinking on this, it might be medicine related. Our medicine is used to try to regulate the levels of neural-transmitters in the brain. Check the time to dosage schedule either when levels are very low or highest, there can be unease experienced at either. A feeling of something not quite right which can cause anxiety or panic or like I said just unease. With these feelings one might tend to try a call just to "touch base" or hear a reassuring voice? If you have family near and work different hours or their job allows for easier answering of calls you might try to ease guilt feelings of not being able to answer those calls, perhaps set up a voice message something like Dad, I'm at work right now and can't answer the call, Dad, try calling ....... if you can't get them then call me back? You can come up with something better I'm sure but you get my drift. Maybe along these lines will help? Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By overwhelmedinFL On 2010.04.05 23:54
My mom started doing this around Thanksgiving. It was really starting to bother her...it happened mostly at breakfast and she would wake up with coffee on her lap.

I have seen it many times and often she is talking .... then she starts mumbling and talking about stuff that makes no sense. When she snaps out of it she totally knows it happened...she will not remember what she said but she could feel these spells coming on. She could not realize it enough to set down a hot drink or put her fork down...but she coudl feel it.

While trying to figure it out for weeks...mom fell again (prettty often occurence for us)....and she hurt her knee and got banged up. We sent her to the hosptial and they kept her for 5 days. They ran EEG (cannot remember the names of the test but it is the one for siezures).... my mom also has epilepsy.

What we did was back into when the sleeping spells started and it happens that is when she started taking Azilect. She never saw any benefit from the drug and it was 300.00 a month. The neuro finally took her off and the spells have stoppped 95% of the time.

Mom is very thankful. She lives in an ALF and they were embarassing..they almost always happened at breakfast after she had slept all night which was odd

By susger8 On 2010.04.06 09:01
My father does this -- it was worse when he was on Requip. The carpet around his lift chair and around his spot at the dining table is seriously stained. I got him some adult-type sippy cups to decrease the liquid spills. He finds them easier to drink out of anyway.

Sue

By Emma On 2010.04.06 10:10
The sippy cup is a great idea, I hadn't thought of that. I also replaced our expensive area rugs - we have hardwood floors - with indoor/outdoor rugs. They actually look OK and are a snap to clean.

By Reflection On 2010.04.06 12:24
my husband fell asleep while eating reguarly - several times a meal - when he was on Requip. Since he's been off Requip, he no longer does it. I thought at the time it was the inevitable progression of PD - but not so.
He's now on comptan, amantadine, carbidopa/levodopa, but no dopamine agonist (= requip) - and both his life and our family is the better for it.
If your father is on a dopamine agonist, you might see how he does without it (consulting his neurologist, of course.) I think the side effects of requip stole years of "good" time from my husband with side effects that we all thought we had to suffer through because it was the PD.

By worriedaboutdad On 2010.04.06 18:21
Thanks so much for the advice and stories. Daddy took a nap today which may not sound unusual but it is very unusual for him. I know he isn't sleeping. Sigh.


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