Questions about memory

realitykraftAugust 8, 2006

My mother in law, she is around 84- although we just celebrated her 82 birthday is living with us. She has been with us since Christmas- so we know her routines. We went to the Dr a few days ago and everything checked out okay. Here's the question.

Sunday- two days a go she had a blood sugar reading of 567- very, very high. After many questions we figured out that she had not taken her insulin that morning. At four in the morning she woke up and went into the living room to watch TV- she has never done before- and besides she has a TV in her room. My husband said she was just a little confused- that's all go back to sleep. This morning- it turned out that she had been padding around for some time- I asked her if she did her blood sugar and insulin. No she hadn't. She then told me that she doesn't take insulin in the morning- only at night. I guess it frightened me because she has been taking insulin in the morning for fifteen years- and all of a sudden forgetting seems, well- scary. She has been largely responsible for her own diabetes care- and now it seems like she can no longer do it.

Do you think that this cause for alarm or is it just a the beginning of what's come.

I should be at work but I am waiting for the aide to come so I can fill her in.

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Yes, this is cause for alarm. Talk to her aide and the doctor, and plan to take over her care in this regard. But also be prepared for more changes. Better to be educated than caught by surprise, I think. Talk to the doc ASAP, becaus ethere are medications that can help, at least in the early stages.

Best of luck--

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 11:41AM
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Get a check for a urinary track infection. I can't tell you how many times I have seen this subject come up on this care giving site and the end results--urinary infection- and most times they are not aware of it like when they were younger.
For some reason it causes them to have confusion.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 6:06PM
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the problem as to whether or not she is taking her insulin as she should is bothersome. She could even be taking too much. This is really something that should be investigated. Perhaps it's time to start giving her the insulin yourself. Don't rely on just reminding her.

I say this because my mother was calling my aunt everyday to remind her to take her medicine. After I put the aunt into a NH, THREE women called, all of whom said that they had called her everyday to remind her to take her medicine. I am sure that the druggest wouldn't have filled the prescription if she had been taking that much, but there was the big chance that she was taking more than she should some days and skipping other days.

I agree, it could something as simple as a urinary tract infection. But, at her age, other things could be causing the confusion.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 6:35PM
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How to you check for UTI? Wouldn't she notice if there was searing pain while she peed? She is back to her usual self. We had a death in the family and and taken her out for a big day a few days before. I think her stress about dying and loosing a younger relative made her very sad.So it could also be a factor. I am always calling the doctor- I don't want him to think we are overly anxious and paranoid. But thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 11:37AM
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A UTI may not cause pain with urination; my mother's UTIs did not have symptoms. You need to have a urine sample tested. Call her doctor and ask that they do a test.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 11:59AM
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The death of a younger relative may well have caused the stress that she couldn't sleep. Then if she was up who knows what she ate. (could certainly cause a hi BS esp. if she neglected her am insulin.) I am sure she can't even remember. Good advice to at least monitor her drawing up & giving her insulin. Or I believe you can also draw up at least a few days in advance the correct dose, keep refrig. then keep tract of her giving it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 7:12PM
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I definitely agree with fairgold, agnes & Connie.
The first time I even heard the word dementia was when when my Mother had to be hospitalized with a bladder infection & very high fever. I hear this is a very common way that people find out that their LO may be in the early AD stages.

If it is the start of Alzheimer's I would also agree that getting her started on medications to help like Aricept, or Exelon, plus Namenda. In my mom's case they helped her to stablize and plateau for a very long time. Eventually the effectivenes decreases, but it is time well worth spent to keep them from advancing faster, than without these meds. jmho & experience

I would definitely oversee her monitoring & insulin injections. You may have to take over for her if her memory is starting to be affected.

Before we realized my mom was in the early stages of AD, she nearly overdosed herself on a medication that we believe she took twice because she forgot that she had already taken it. By the time my Dad got her to the ER, she was only minutes from having to have a traceotomy (sp?) because her throat & tongue swelled up. Best of Luck!

Blessings ~~ katclaws

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 12:31AM
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