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Topic New, caregiver for MIL just found out Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By kacilusk On 2011.04.27 15:11
Hi, I am Kaci. My MIL is 85 and I am primary caregiver. We been battling COPD, CHF and DMII for years. She has had two TIA's as well. The tremors began a while back and I suggested to her GP that I suspected PD. He blew it off over and over again. She was placed on Home Hospice last week. We haven't seen the doc yet, he's on vacation. I called her only living relative with info to tell her and she informed me that every single one of her 15 siblings had PD. I called the nurse and she said that she had suspected it in just her 2 visits with mom. She said she would speak with doc about meds to control the tremor. We have severe tremor, weakness, muscle pain, fatigue, occasional dizziness, constipation, and more. What can I expect to happen? Will she deteriorate rapidly? Do ALL PD patients suffer dementia? The thought of her trapped in her own mind terrifies me. She's beginning to have difficulty swallowing her larger pills, will this get worse?

I'm sorry, so many questions, this is all just very new to me.

By LOHENGR1N On 2011.04.27 15:19
Kaci, Hi and welcome to the forum. We all seem to progress at different rates and develop symptoms that differ from case to case. Dementia is about a 50/50 chance I'd guess. You've form a gold mine of info here the best advice I can give you is read, read, read. Browse through the topic's here in the forum many of your questions might be discussed in them. However don't think just because one is discussed you shouldn't ask anyway as our knowledge is always improving dealing with this disease. I'm sure many will weigh in and help with your concerns and questions. Again welcome to the forum. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By susger8 On 2011.04.28 08:42
Addressing your worry about dementia -- my dad has a pretty large amount of impairment in his memory and thought processes. I don't look at it as being trapped in his own mind. In some ways it is not a bad thing. He doesn't recognize how bad his physical condition has gotten. To him, he is in his prime of life. He doesn't seem unhappy, and I think he would be if he had all his faculties.

Not all PD patients get dementia or delerium, although many do, especially those in the late stages or who are older. It's good to be prepared for the possibility, but it may not happen.


Edited to add: Swallowing is often a problem with people with PD. You can try giving the pills in a spoon of applesauce. Or ask the doctor if they can be crushed, or if a liquid preparation is available. Be aware that liquids (juice, water, soups) might need to be thickened to avoid choking.

By parkinit On 2011.04.29 23:43
Welcome, Kaci -

Once your MIL is confirmed with PD, perhaps she will be started on meds that will make some of her symptoms disappear. Won't this be nice!? My spouse has some dementia, and it is as said above that it is not a "trapped in my own mind" as you are probably understanding Alzheimer's to be, but more of a "I talked to them on the phone yesterday? Really?" My spouse forgets things, but doesn't seem overly concerned or worried about this forgetfulness. The doctor explained that at some point things would get very difficult for me as the caregiver, but as the PWP, it would become easier, because he wouldn't remember much. We're starting in that area and was diagnosed, just this week, by a doctor as in the throes of stage 4 (of 5 stages).

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