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Sad news for Christmas...

Posted by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM
  • 18 Replies

 Christmas morning was going along beautifully, when I got the call from my Dad.  They live 14 hours away from us.  So I was thrilled to hear my Dad's voice say "Merry Christmas!"   We happily talked about Christmas morning and the grandkids, then he put my mom on the phone.  The conversation started out normal, she was telling me about thier plans for the day, going to see my Grandparents, who are in their 90's, and my Aunt and Uncle.  Them my mom started to act confused, she stopped responding and then told me she didn't know what she was doing.  My Dad got on the phone.  He told me that last week my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, she is already an epileptic, has been since she was a young girl.  This is devistating.  My dad told me that she refused medication, he said she thinks she is in denial.  I wanted to try to talk to her, but she was too confused.  I will be planning a trip home very soon. ;(   I am very worried about her.  She already has nerve damage in her back, her ears(she wears hearing aids) and who knows where else from life long epilipsy.   I feel so helpless ;(

by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
fullxbusymom
by Bronze Member on Dec. 25, 2012 at 2:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Parkinsons doesn't cause confusion though or not knowing what she is doing.   It causes uncontrollable shaking like Michael J. Fox.

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Dec. 25, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Hugs. That has to be difficult.


atlmom2
by Susie on Dec. 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM
Confusion could be dementia.
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lancet98
by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM
4 moms liked this

Both of the above comments are wrong in that Parkinson's disease can cause confusion like you described.

And Parkinson's disease ALSO can cause dementia.

However, you did not describe behavior that suggests dementia, but confusion.   'I don't know what I'm doing' is confusion.   There is a fine line between the two but it is nevertheless there.

'Dementia' is actually a descriptive word, dementia is a symptom(produced by many different diseases) - it refers to forgetfulness mainly(but also some confusion and anxiety is inevitable with forgetfulness)- Alzheimers is an example of a disease that produces dementia.   There are many different root causes of   dementia - vascular disease, Alzheimers, Picks disease, etc.

Parkinsons can not only cause the type of confusion you described, it can also eventually cause dementia.

While it is possible (anything is possible) that a person can have BOTH Parkinson's as well as Alzheimers or Picks or vascular disease, it is also possible that she ONLY has Parkinsons, and that is causing confusion...and some day, perhaps also dementia(forgetting).

I hope that you can encourage your mom to accept medication for Parkinson's.   She will have far better symptom control if she does.   Your dad may be able to apply for guardianship for her health care decisions, if she refuses.

WIth or without the help of medication, your family can learn ways to help her deal with Parkinsons.   She might accept medication after dealing with the symptoms without it for a while - all it may require is a little time for her to think it over.   Sometimes when your parents get sick they may be very stubborn at first about getting help.   A lot of the time, if you just don't push them too hard, they eventually will come around and agree to get help.

Sometimes it's more their doctor talking to them that gets through to them.   Sometimes because the doctor is a little removed from the situation, they will listen to him.   But yes, it can be quite a challenge to get parents to accept treatment.

I think there is a video Michael J Fox made to encourage ppl with Parkinson's to get help. Maybe you could get that.   Put check out the national Parkinson's organization's website - they do so many good things.

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Dec. 25, 2012 at 3:37 PM
2 moms liked this


Quoting fullxbusymom:

Parkinsons doesn't cause confusion though or not knowing what she is doing.   It causes uncontrollable shaking like Michael J. Fox.

Parkinsons does cause cognitive impairment in patients not just uncontrollable shaking. It causes motor planning, emotional and decision making issues. There is Parkinsons related dementia, which generally isn't an issue at onset for most but it is a possibility in patients who are older when diagnosed.

lancet98
by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I wanted to also mention that it really is hard to deal with illness in a parent, especially an illness that cannot be stopped, only slowed.

And even more so when they resist treatment.

When we were younger, our parents seemed like they would always be there, they were kind of like a constant in our life.   When they get sick it is often a rude shock.   But remember, with time you can get to where you can be at peace with the idea and just care for them, as they cared for you when you were little.   It's ironic how it goes, but at some point, the tables are turned, and now we are taking care of our parents.

JenniferSq
by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 4:18 PM

 It is especially difficult because my parents live 14 hours away.  I don't know how I can possibly help care for her and my family here.  I can go up for a little while but I have my own issues with my teens where I don't feel right leaving for a long period of time.  I don't know what to do.

My dad said her walk is barely a shuffle.  She can't lift her feet to walk properly which makes her a fall risk.  Originally we thought this was as a result of siatica.  She had some steroid injections which worked for a time.  I also worry that her long time use of multiple seizure medications for epilepsy have caused her long term damage as well. 

tyfry7496
by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 5:05 PM
I agree. I worked with people who suffered from Parkinson's, Pics and Alzheimer's. do some research on your own.

Quoting lancet98:

Both of the above comments are wrong in that Parkinson's disease can cause confusion like you described.


And Parkinson's disease ALSO can cause dementia.


However, you did not describe behavior that suggests dementia, but confusion.   'I don't know what I'm doing' is confusion.   There is a fine line between the two but it is nevertheless there.


'Dementia' is actually a descriptive word, dementia is a symptom(produced by many different diseases) - it refers to forgetfulness mainly(but also some confusion and anxiety is inevitable with forgetfulness)- Alzheimers is an example of a disease that produces dementia.   There are many different root causes of   dementia - vascular disease, Alzheimers, Picks disease, etc.


Parkinsons can not only cause the type of confusion you described, it can also eventually cause dementia.


While it is possible (anything is possible) that a person can have BOTH Parkinson's as well as Alzheimers or Picks or vascular disease, it is also possible that she ONLY has Parkinsons, and that is causing confusion...and some day, perhaps also dementia(forgetting).


I hope that you can encourage your mom to accept medication for Parkinson's.   She will have far better symptom control if she does.   Your dad may be able to apply for guardianship for her health care decisions, if she refuses.


WIth or without the help of medication, your family can learn ways to help her deal with Parkinsons.   She might accept medication after dealing with the symptoms without it for a while - all it may require is a little time for her to think it over.   Sometimes when your parents get sick they may be very stubborn at first about getting help.   A lot of the time, if you just don't push them too hard, they eventually will come around and agree to get help.


Sometimes it's more their doctor talking to them that gets through to them.   Sometimes because the doctor is a little removed from the situation, they will listen to him.   But yes, it can be quite a challenge to get parents to accept treatment.


I think there is a video Michael J Fox made to encourage ppl with Parkinson's to get help. Maybe you could get that.   Put check out the national Parkinson's organization's website - they do so many good things.

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lancet98
by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Parkinson's disease results from nerve cell death in one part of the substantia nigra of the brain.  

 

PurpleHazey
by on Dec. 25, 2012 at 8:00 PM

I am so sorry!

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