My mom's "Alzheimer's" was just a bladder infection!

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My mom's "Alzheimer's" was so "advanced" her doctor put her on hospice last March. This year my mom has had extreme confusion and agitation. Slept less than 2 hours a night (if that). Wouldn't eat or drink- has survived on Ensure and ice cream which it took me all day to get down her. Was incontinent. Couldn't swallow (anything). Was either in a manic state or crying to the point of moaning. All of that has changed.....
Last night we laughed through old movies and ate pineapple pizza. She got herself ready for bed and slept all night. This morning she ate two bowls of cereal, brushed her teeth and did her hair, is putting puzzles together and is asking about the grand kids. She is wearing underwear instead of pull-ups.
The miracle cure? Taking an antibiotic for a week!!!
She had no pain and never had a fever. Her urine had been cloudy and smelling terrible for over a year. When I asked her doctor about it he dismissed it when he was told she didn't have pain. It continued and I regularly asked her hospice nurse about it, convinced her kidneys were failing or she was dehydrated. Always told she was fine because she had a wet tongue. (Was also told that it was normal for kidneys not to function properly at her age/stage).
For the last year life has been hell for both of us.
Luckily though, on Christmas morning she did have pain when she urinated. Her doctor was out of town (she was taken off hospice because I stabilized her weight) so I called the ER. They told me to get her in immediately and she was finally diagnosed with a UTI.
I can't believe this has happened to us! My family is in absolute shock. My cousin who's a nurse told me this is very common!!! I've been studying Alzheimer's and dementia for a year and I've never heard of this. I can see how having an infection could cause erratic behavior but she never had a fever or pain and it got to the extent that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's "so advanced" she was put on hospice and basically written off as dead!
I'm in total head is spinning as I type this. We went through literal hell for nothing!!!!
I hope that I'm the only one that was unaware of this and my mom is the only person this has happened to. But just in case get that pee tested and don't let yourselves be written off!!!


Thank you for sharing that information!!
Wow merry christmas and happy new year, I bet lots of people dream about something like that, is she pretty normal now? I bet she has lots of time she wants to make up.
Well, she's 86. She's still frail and her memory is still impaired but she's nothing like she was. She's needed assistance for years- more for things like keeping her off ladders and hiding her car keys. She was previously diagnosed with volume loss in her brain (actual shrinkage but NOT Alzheimer's) by a neurologist after performing tests 4 years ago. We were told to slow down the deterioration keeping her busy playing games and cooking simple meals etc and it worked until last year. She just needed "to be watched" before, She was basically self sufficient. For me it's like seeing a ghost but she seems totally unaware that anything has happened (how do I explain to her that she's been peeing all over the house and spitting food at me for a year???).
My 96 yr old mom recently had fallen several times and had been virtually not well for months. She was told by her PCP that she had congestive heart failure a yr earlier, which she did not believe so would not take the meds so he virtually dismissed her. We took her to the ER and she spent a week in the hospital and they confirmed that she difinitely did not have congestive heart failure but she had a UTI, which she was unaware. They also indicated that she had stenosis of the neck and thought this might be the reason for her falling but it's been over two months with a stay of two weeks in rehab but has not had a repeat fall. The falling may be assoc with the stenosis but it may have been her weakness caused by the UTI.
It's amazing how CRAPPY the medical profession has become...they really don't care anymore, but insist on tons of money...amazing with all this Health care reform..the ones they should reform are the crappy doctors that are worthless but suck us out of good hard earned monies!!!!!

Yes seen that before in here and myself with my own mom...when they get UTI or takes them on a tailspin downward. We have to be better at diagnosis than these lousy 2 minute doctors! Yes WORD UP for newbies out there....check for UTI AND CONSTIPATION if your mom or dad seems to be out of tune...
I know what you mean. My grandmother was going through the same. She went for weeks at a time seeing things, crying, depressed and all that. I finally convinced her nurses at Dialysis that something out of the ordinary was going on, it was always blamed "diagnosed" on something different. Until they finally order a ultrasound of her bladder, after every other test in the world she could possibly go through. And low and behold she had a bladder infection. She was on dialysis and was unable to urinate, and there was fluid in her bladder that she had never gotten rid of that got infected because it had no where to go. A couple weeks of anibiotics and she was great! That's my first suggestion to people I give when they say their has been a major change in the mental state of someone elderly they are caring for.
what can I say but WOW!! thats amazing!! my grandmother(94) over the summer who's only health issue is a bad knee. Her memory is amazing! Within 2 weeks her health declined so fast that I honestly thought she was going to die. My uncle placed her in a local PCH. She was so weak she had to be lifted to a WC, she was unable to speak, her breathing was so shallow, wasn't able to eat or swallow. She was almost paralyzied not able to lift her head, arms or legs! Sure enough the PCH had their house doctor due some tests. UTI was the culprit. 2 weeks laters she was almost back to normal. I did notice though that her memory is not the same and her walking is more unsteadied. I wondered if the severe infection caused some lasting damage?
I am glad that someone out there got a correct diagnoses.
Its ashame, I'm sorry to say that your mom could have passed due to malpractice of the doctor and you would have never known.
I swear "us" the caregivers are more diligent doctors than actual doctors. For myself ,taking care of my mother with dementia(which I question at times) I am always trying to research things and bring it up to the doctor. Which they look at me like "who the hell are you,to tell me how to do my job"!!!
But hey, I figure that if they really wanted to help mom they would be considerate and listen to my thoughts!! I have not found a "good" dr yet!! Thats every caregivers right to get the best care for there loved one.
I see they have home test kits for around $10 you can purchase if you suspect a uti. Haven't tried them yet, but they may be worth trying, I've seen some good reviews, you'd still need to go to the doc to get antibiotics.
Wow! I am so sorry to hear that! My mom is unable to ambulate and sits most of the time. Frequent UTI's were starting to occur, just because of that. However, when the Alzheimer's-like behavior started to occur and mom was being haunted by "visitors" through the night, her doctor immediately considered a possible UTI. Urinalysis test revealed positive, antibiotics administered and mom was back and the "visitors" gone! It is so frightening to observe and watch happen. I am so glad your mom is feeling better. Ironically, we just experienced another recent bout. Got mom another antibiotic and withing 12 hours was feeling better. FYI-just prior to the next occurrence, I did start to notice mom appearing weak and distant. Just not herself...then BAM! So maybe keep your eyes open for that and you might be able to nip it in the bud because these infections surely do re-occur there's no doubt...Good luck and hang in there!
A year and a half ago, my mom's neighbor called me and said mom was outside screaming that her house is flooded. Neighbor went in and there was no water anywhere although mom kept insisting there was and she kept grabbing towels to clean up the water "she saw". I arrived along with another neighbor and mom kept insisting that she was right and we were crazy. She started swearing at all of us and this is not my mom's way-she's very quiet and concerned about what others think - she never curses in front of others. I knew something was wrong - knew it wasn't dementia or alzheimers - since she was tested 6 months before (only because I wanted her off some meds), and in evaluating her did not feel it was a stroke. Plus I saw her the day before and she was fine. Got to ER (where she yelled & cursed at everyone) and they did every test which came back negative. After her third trip to the bathroom, the nurse overhead me ask mom "you have to pee again" and it was then that they ordered a urine test - Yep - UTI. Once diagnosed the doctor confirmed that this is the typical characteristics of an older female with a UTI - yelling, confusion, hallucinating all coming on suddenly, yet with no pain or fever. But even though she had all those symptoms of her personality changing drastically so suddenly - NO ONE checked for the urinalysis initially thus saving money on medical tests. I tell all my friends about this incident so that they can relay the message to others - if your elderly family member or friend suddenly has major personality changes - have them check for a UTI first! None of my friends were aware of these conditions in an elderly woman - remember mom had no pain or fever - a lot different than a UTI in a younger person.

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