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Old 03-23-2016, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,289 posts, read 35,830,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnirene View Post
Butter, peanut butter, eggs prepared in oil or butter.

Note that the common denominator is grease. She doesn't find grease appealing right now.

Blender drinks might appeal (milk, fruit such as frozen strawberries, and a banana for sweetness).
It's not just now - she has steadily been cutting fats and sugars and other things out of her diet for over a year. When she first started losing weight, she was clearly pleased with her new "slim" figure. She was proud when she went from a size 12 and medium, to a size 8 and small. (At 5'10"! Sheeze!) It was like she truly couldn't see the problems, the sagging skin, the aging effect, the weakness she began experiencing.

She has developed that odd fixation with all things organic and natural vs processed. She reads every label. She is paranoid about all sorts of food "additives," but is clearly not REALLY concerned with actual health, because if she was, she would eat a more balanced, healthy diet and she would realize that she's starving herself.

She read somewhere that there was some sort of additive she didn't agree with in one type of Nature's Own bread a few months ago. So she printed out this article, and then walked her entire neighborhood handing it out, telling everyone not to buy ANY Nature's Own bread. That's typical behavior. She came over for Thanksgiving and brought over a carrot cake she had bought. The only problem was - she scraped off a bunch of the icing before she let anyone eat any of it!!! Come on - scrape your own icing off if you want, but leave everyone else's alone. But no. Everyone's had to come off - because the icing had food coloring in it. Never mind that it was a bought cake and had God knows what else in it.

Her doctor has been telling her for MONTHS now that her weight loss is unhealthy and that she needs to eat a more balanced diet.

When she got to the hospital with her broken hip, her bloodwork showed all sorts of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. They began pumping her full of all kinds of vitamins and minerals and her prescription list when she left was nearly all nutritional supplements. She was actually having to have shots of vitamins in the hospital! They told her "You are starving yourself. You have GOT to eat more proteins and more healthy fats, not to mention more green leafy vegetables." She just absolutely will not do it. She pretends to do it - she will order a meal but then she just moves the food around on her plate. She refuses to actually fix anything with any fat at home.

She won't even eat mayo anymore, and certainly not cheese. And most proteins have fats in them as well - she will not eat those. My dad offered to make her some bacon this morning and you would have thought he had asked if she wanted fried baby.

I have been researching this and am going to ask her doctor about putting her on Prozac.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:24 AM
 
9,173 posts, read 7,031,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Update:

Mom came home yesterday. In some ways she seems to be doing great, and in other ways not so good.

She seems to have a pretty decent energy level, and she seemed very happy to get home. Her mood was upbeat and pleasant and while she was a bit hesitant in every situation and every move, even speaking, she seemed only mildly confused (but definitely easily confused the entire day). She knew where she was, who she is, who everyone is, that sort of thing, but stuff like picking up something, or turning left or right (in familiar situations) or following simple instructions such as "Stand up," or "Turn around," confused the heck out of her.

She had her staples removed and the wound looked at, and all that looked great. However, here is the really alarming thing:

She lost ten pounds in two weeks in the hospital. Her weight is now down to 120. Her BP is 88/51. She has very little appetite and is very deceitful and in denial about how much food she eats - but you can't hide that weight loss. (She is 5'10" and her ideal weight - to maintain her naturally slim build - is between 155 and 160 - she is medium frame.)

She honestly looks like a concentration camp survivor.

After we got her home and settled, I gently asked her, "Mom, do you think that 120 is a healthy weight for your height and build?" There was a long pause and then she said softly, "No." But she is EXTREMELY resistant to eating anything that might be fattening. For instance, she eats a piece of dry whole wheat toast in the morning. I said, "Mom, add butter or peanut butter to that toast!" She said OK but then she just didn't do it. She will eat an egg - one egg - but it is boiled, not fried or scrambled.

She just won't eat worth a flip. I don't get this!

Anyway, she has a doctor's appointment this afternoon with her primary care physician. He has been monitoring her weight loss and I am sure he is going to be alarmed by this (he was already alarmed when she dropped 30 pounds this past year for no apparent reason other than her sudden, voluntary diet change aka an eating disorder).

It is going to be a tense visit because my dad and I are going to discuss this in conjunction with her ongoing and untreated (due to her insistence that it's non existent) mental illness issues. She was already diagnosed with bipolar disorder and some vascular dementia but of course she refused to believe this and refused treatment, so we are going to bring that back up and insist she get on some sort of meds and we are going to insist on her anorexia being treated. I don't even know how they treat that but it MUST be addressed.

Otherwise, it will not be her broken hip that kills her - it will ironically be starvation - in an affluent household in 21st century America. Unbelievable.
It would appear from your previous posts that she doesn't respond well to help from you, unfortunately.

You say your dad is still mentally sharp, is it possible that he solely attends meetings with doctors and your mother and encourages your mother to do what they suggest? It could be that she is more reluctant to eat because the imperative to do so is coming from you. Or she feels ganged up on. Maybe you need to back off a bit. If she's not listening to you as it is it can't hurt.

Your daughter has a good relationship with her, can she attend doctor's meetings if your dad needs support?

I'm gently suggesting that given the two of you have such a tumultuous relationship you find a way to bow out of the major role you find yourself in.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,874 posts, read 17,184,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Update:

Mom came home yesterday. In some ways she seems to be doing great, and in other ways not so good.

She seems to have a pretty decent energy level, and she seemed very happy to get home. Her mood was upbeat and pleasant and while she was a bit hesitant in every situation and every move, even speaking, she seemed only mildly confused (but definitely easily confused the entire day). She knew where she was, who she is, who everyone is, that sort of thing, but stuff like picking up something, or turning left or right (in familiar situations) or following simple instructions such as "Stand up," or "Turn around," confused the heck out of her.

She had her staples removed and the wound looked at, and all that looked great. However, here is the really alarming thing:

She lost ten pounds in two weeks in the hospital. Her weight is now down to 120. Her BP is 88/51. She has very little appetite and is very deceitful and in denial about how much food she eats - but you can't hide that weight loss. (She is 5'10" and her ideal weight - to maintain her naturally slim build - is between 155 and 160 - she is medium frame.)

She honestly looks like a concentration camp survivor.

After we got her home and settled, I gently asked her, "Mom, do you think that 120 is a healthy weight for your height and build?" There was a long pause and then she said softly, "No." But she is EXTREMELY resistant to eating anything that might be fattening. For instance, she eats a piece of dry whole wheat toast in the morning. I said, "Mom, add butter or peanut butter to that toast!" She said OK but then she just didn't do it. She will eat an egg - one egg - but it is boiled, not fried or scrambled.

She just won't eat worth a flip. I don't get this!

Anyway, she has a doctor's appointment this afternoon with her primary care physician. He has been monitoring her weight loss and I am sure he is going to be alarmed by this (he was already alarmed when she dropped 30 pounds this past year for no apparent reason other than her sudden, voluntary diet change aka an eating disorder).

It is going to be a tense visit because my dad and I are going to discuss this in conjunction with her ongoing and untreated (due to her insistence that it's non existent) mental illness issues. She was already diagnosed with bipolar disorder and some vascular dementia but of course she refused to believe this and refused treatment, so we are going to bring that back up and insist she get on some sort of meds and we are going to insist on her anorexia being treated. I don't even know how they treat that but it MUST be addressed.

Otherwise, it will not be her broken hip that kills her - it will ironically be starvation - in an affluent household in 21st century America. Unbelievable.
I am glad that your mom is home.

However, I am very surprised that they did not address her weight loss in the hospital. When my husband was in the hospital, for six weeks this fall, I was told that it was a requirement that he be weighed each and every day. And they noticed immediately if there was a fluctuation of even a pound or two and addressed it by discussing it with me, the doctor and/or the nutritionist

When my elderly aunt broke her hip, two years ago, she was also weighed every day in the hospital and the doctor was immediately concerned when she only lost, I believe, only two pounds in several weeks and put her on Ensure twice a day, extra calories, extra desserts.

These are the only two cases that I was involved with recently and in both cases, I believe, the doctors & hospitals would never, ever, ever have allowed the patient to lose ten pounds in two weeks.

Kathryn, did they not weigh your mom in the hospital or did they ignore her weight loss or did she just refuse to eat even in the hospital? Something is strange.


BTW, were her mental heath issues ever addressed in the hospital?


PS. We must have been typing at the same time, as I just saw your additional post that stated that the hospital & doctors were concerned about her weight loss and were trying to fix it.

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-23-2016 at 09:25 AM.. Reason: Added PS.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,874 posts, read 17,184,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
It would appear from your previous posts that she doesn't respond well to help from you, unfortunately.

You say your dad is still mentally sharp, is it possible that he solely attends meetings with doctors and your mother and encourages your mother to do what they suggest?
It could be that she is more reluctant to eat because the imperative to do so is coming from you. Or she feels ganged up on. Maybe you need to back off a bit. If she's not listening to you as it is it can't hurt.

Your daughter has a good relationship with her, can she attend doctor's meetings if your dad needs support?

I'm gently suggesting that given the two of you have such a tumultuous relationship you find a way to bow out of the major role you find yourself in.
These are good points.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:52 AM
 
5,360 posts, read 6,489,370 times
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FWIW know that you want to help but
It is Dads job to take care of his wife if he is mentally and physically able to do so.

Given everything you have said on this, suggest you let Dad take over and let your role be to simply enjoy whatever, Easter, your Mom, your Dad, your family etc. Really you have earned a step back role after all you have taken care of through the years

Not saying this in a vindictive angry way toward your mother or anyone. Just the cycle of life and where we stand in it at the moment. Know you love and care for Mom and want to help her but sometimes help can be different than the old paradigm. A new role is waiting for you KofA. Enjoy the ride, it may get bumpy but you can do

Good luck. And I like the idea of introducing your Dad to a blender and nutritional smoothies. Imagine if he made one for your Mom extolling all the natural health benefits...
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:02 AM
 
5,360 posts, read 6,489,370 times
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BTW, I am speaking from experience on this. My mom and I always had a rocky relationship but we loved each other. When I tried to help my widowed frail Mom she was oppositional to anything coming from me. Sometimes I think her life force was in saying no and doing the opposite of my suggestions.

I finally let others take the lead while she and I did games and spelling bees etc together. That was more what she wanted from me. And in time she came to me for advice saying that I was always truthful in what I said. Then she made the changes she chose to make.

Just saying it was hard for me to change me and our interaction but it was better in the long run.

Now if I could figure out the roles with my 29 year old daughter I would be a happy camper

Good luck
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:38 PM
 
Location: FL
291 posts, read 449,092 times
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Kathryn, please re-read what you wrote in another thread, which is GREAT advice.

Quote:

Anyway, my brother told me something the other day that really made sense ... and it was like a lightbulb went off above my head:

"Don't wear the Physical Therapist hat or the Nutritionist hat or the Psychologist hat or the Maid Service hat or the CNA hat. Just wear the Daughter hat. Ask yourself what a good daughter would do."

And I said, "Well, I guess a good daughter who wasn't assuming those other roles would simply visit her mom regularly, bring her little presents and thoughtful things that interest her, sit and talk about cheerful things with her, and when she gets home I guess a good daughter would bring over a casserole (mostly for Dad since I'm sure she won't eat it) or a dessert or something a few times a week, and maybe take her out of the house to the hairdresser or something like that." See, when I subtracted all the other stuff that fell into other categories, there really wasn't all that much stuff left for me to do other than be kind and loving.

WOW, WHAT A RELIEF. Now when I catch myself doing something that falls into one of those other categories, I am more able to quickly think, "Wait - wrong hat," and change direction.

Another thing my wise brother said was this:

"Don't do anything they don't ask you to do."
See, I'm a Fixer. I'm a Solutions Oriented Leader. I see something that I think needs to be addressed and I immediately think (and often say), "Hey, I have an idea," and then I just take charge. Some might call me Bossy. My heart is in the right place, and these traits have served me well professionally and even personally throughout my life - but guess what. I haven't been hired to be the captain of this particular ship. No one has asked me to take charge of my mother's life - least of all my mother. Now - some people, like my Dad especially, may EXPECT me to do so...and I may feel that familiar urge to do so...but that doesn't mean I'm under any obligation to do so, and in fact, I'm really NOT obligated to do so.
My mother was very much like yours. Untreated mental illness, dementia, denial, fixated on the ridiculous. And my sister is very much like you.

My mother did not respond to my sister at all. In fact, my sister just made things worse when she told my mother what to do. My sister couldn't even suggest something without my mother becoming oppositional.

I didn't have a good relationship with my mother either, but I was able to subtly influence her now and then. Telling her what to do simply wouldn't work, even if it came from me. I accepted that it was my mother's life, and she never asked me to be in charge of it - although I was, as a caregiver, and my mother hated that.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,837 posts, read 25,215,602 times
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It might change things if she is told that part of her confusion may be related to her poor nutrition. And it might be! The doctor needs to tell her this...not you! And maybe she needs to hear the plain unvarnished truth. If she doesn't change and start taking care of herself properly, she is headed towards the nursing home.

A psychiatric social worker gave me this idea for my mom and it worked amazingly well. We made up a contract stating what mom had to do to come home. We sat down and discussed every point and got her agreement. I signed it, the SW signed it and my mom signed too. Then we posted copies of the contract all over mom's room and we kept copies too. I made sure she read it every day and the SW went over it with her often too. It was just simple stuff but somehow it helped to have it written down so mom knew exactly what she had to do. Here's what I remember.
1) Gain 1/2 pound a week. Eat more!
2) Shower/bathe at least 3 times a week.
3) Eat in the dining room at least once a day.
4) Attend group therapy at least 4 times a week.
5) Attend all private therapy sessions as scheduled.
6) Take all medications and vitamins.
7) Fresh underwear every day.
8) Walk outside for 20 minutes every day or inside if the weather is bad.
9) Spend no more than 12 hours a day in bed. Up and dressed for the other 12 hours.
10) Read something every day.
11) Go to occupational therapy, arts and crafts, at least 3 times a week.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:21 PM
 
Location: SW US
2,202 posts, read 2,017,673 times
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It seems like you don't have much respect for those of us who feel that eating organic, unprocessed food is healthier. If your mother senses that, it may make her more obstinate about this. May I suggest that you find nutritional advice for her from people who do respect this way of eating? You will probably not find that in a hospital or in the office of most M.D.'s. A starting point might be a visit to a good naturopathic physician. A functional medicine M.D. could also be helpful, but there aren't a lot of them around.

I understand that your mother needs to eat a more balanced diet and a larger quantity of healthy food. If someone wanted me to take Ensure or eat bacon, I would refuse it too. I don't think all of us who want to eat a healthier, lower toxin, diet are mentally ill. A naturopathic physician might be able to address whatever mental health issues your mother has via diet and supplements. She might be more willing to listen to someone who shares at least some of her dietary concerns. Maybe don't go with her, or just listen.
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,289 posts, read 35,830,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
It would appear from your previous posts that she doesn't respond well to help from you, unfortunately.

You say your dad is still mentally sharp, is it possible that he solely attends meetings with doctors and your mother and encourages your mother to do what they suggest? It could be that she is more reluctant to eat because the imperative to do so is coming from you. Or she feels ganged up on. Maybe you need to back off a bit. If she's not listening to you as it is it can't hurt.

Your daughter has a good relationship with her, can she attend doctor's meetings if your dad needs support?

I'm gently suggesting that given the two of you have such a tumultuous relationship you find a way to bow out of the major role you find yourself in.
My daughter will not do anything more than gently say, "Oh _______, you should eat more!"

My mom has asked that I go to doctor meetings with them. That surprises me but I'll gladly go. And my dad is even more insistent that I go with them to any sort of doctor appt that may be the slightest bit uncomfortable or confrontational or where we may have to discuss my mother's mental state. It's like he needs backup or he gets flustered and can't stand up to her, but if I'm there and if I bring things up then he will back up what I'm saying.

And it is a good thing I was there today because if I hadn't said anything about getting a prescription for a mood stabilizer (Paxil, Prozac, that sort of thing) my dad simply would not have pressed the issue, even though the RN checking my mom in had already brought it up prior to the meeting with the doctor and my dad had said, "Yes, that's one of the things we're here for." At the end of the meeting with the doctor, and a lecture to my mom about better nutrition, and a series of tests ordered for an even more indepth look at her nutritional deficits, the doctor was about to get up and leave and I looked over at my dad with a "Well, go on" expression, and he just gave me this blank look and finally I said, "Wait - what about the mood stabilizer to address the appetite issue (they are the same ones used to address bipolar disorder, which my mom has already been diagnosed with)?" and the doctor said, "Oh that's an easy fix - I'll call it in right away," and then he turned to my mother and said, "And you are to take one of these every single night," and she meekly agreed.

If I hadn't pressed the issue or been there, my dad would have been calling me tonight saying, "Well, I thought they were going to prescribe something for her bipolar disorder and appetite but I guess not."

See why I worry about these two? It's like my dad talks a big talk but then get him in a slightly uncomfortable or what he perceives as confrontational situation and he just melts away. Sheeze!

We came home and the doctor had already told her to eat some ice cream when she got in as an afternoon snack. So she said, "Well, I guess I should get my ice cream," and my dad said, "You know how to get it." Come on, Dad - yes, she knows how to get it but if you leave it to her, she will get about a tablespoon, eat about half that and then get on the phone telling everyone she ate at least a cup of ice cream. So I said, "I'll get her situated and you get the ice cream, Dad," and he did so, and as I came back into the kitchen, he showed me this tiny amount of ice cream in the bottom of a bowl, and said, "You think that's enough?" I said, "No, Dad - she's not on a diet. You're trying to fatten her up. Give her at least half a cup of ice cream - not a couple of tablespoons!" So he did so. And you know what? My mom likes ice cream and she ate every bit of it.

It doesn't seem like this should be so difficult.

Oh, and my mother had lost ANOTHER pound since yesterday. So now she weighs under 120 pounds.

But the good news is that she seemed grateful for my "bossiness" today and yesterday, and even did something very much out of character for her when I left today - she reached out and grabbed my arm with both hands and began caressing my arm and got big tears in her eyes and said, "Thank you - you are being such a help to both of us." Wow, THAT was a sweet moment and a rare one too, so I admit that it felt good. And I said, "Well, I know I'm bossy, but God knows you need someone bossier than you are right now, so I guess God put us together."

So - we'll see. She's in a weakened state right now so she's likely to be more compliant. We'll see how she cooperates as her strength improves!
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