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My mother, 96, has Alzheimer's, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, arthritis in the lower back; severe carpal tunnel syndrome; an artificial hip; and meningionoma (a non cancerous tumor in her right frontal lobe that causes severe headaches. She also had her thyroid removed in her 70's and has high blood pressure.

During the night, upon awakening in the morning and sometimes during the day she complains that she can't feel her feet, that the don't feel part of her body and she can't walk on them. She describes the sensation as like having a sock or other covering over her feet, and the skin feels strange. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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Two easy suggestions - foot massages with lotion (like when you get a pedicure) to help circulation and those basic foot exercises (rotation of ankles, point and relax) to also help with circulation. Do them with her. I am middle-aged but I walk a lot so I have worn/callused feet. I have to remember to change out my shoes on a daily basis.
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Thank you, everyone, for your insights. JoAnn, your expression "as if she has socks on" is exactly the phrase mom uses, and neuropathy was often at the forefront of my mind, even though she has not been diagnosed by diabetes. Mom's feet vascillated between cold and burning hot. Patrice, my mom also received a course of B12 shots, but there appeared to be no difference, although I don't know if there were unobservable benefits. Ferris, I was also thinking of the back and compressed nerves, especially since she has severe carpal tunnel syndrome with accompanying pinched nerve. The one thing I'm concerned about is that even with one leg shorter than the other from the hip operation, she will not exercise or go out for a walk, so the muscles are atrophied and she is completely winded with the least exertion. This must surely restrict circulation. She used to do yoga all her adult life, but in later years she has become so sedentary, depressed and totally lacking in motivation. She definitely has lost the will to live on some level; sadly, bitterness and anger is what fuels her. Mollydolly, that is very interesting - I didn't know that meninginoma could cause numbness; it makes perfect sense. I wonder if it is related to the carpal tunnel syndrome, as it is on the same side of the body. Mom's sense of smell has definitely diminished, although she would vehemently deny it. Nw - wow! I'm glad you pulled through the neurosurgery. When mom's specialist diagnosed the tumour, he said he didn't want to operate because of the location, and said it was probably congenital; he was not too concerned and was of the opinion that the meniginoma did not cause the severe, eye watering headaches on the right side. I have trouble believing that; there's too much of a coincidence. Terryjack - thank you for introducing the concept of peripheral neuropathy; I'm assuming it's different from diabetic neuropathy, and given mom's osteoporosis, arthritis and mineral imbalances due to removal of her thyroid combined with her sendentary lifestyle, it is quite possible. That's why I don't understand why her family doctor has never investigated it. I understand there isn't much that can be done, but I have always had a need to understand what and why things were happening. I look for patterns and correlations among different factors. Maybe it's my way of coping (when it doesn't have the effect of scaring me to death, lol). That is why I find this forum so helpful; I learn far more here than from any doctor. Once again, thanks everyone for replying to my post.
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Because of the back issues she could have peripheral neuropathy, my dad has this; he has some numbness bur complains more about his feet being hot. I have a back issue and I have neuropathy in my feet and have numbness which varies sometimes it's just a little numb and other times there is a lot of numbness. The dementia itself doesn't cause numbness to my knowledge, it can however cause people to lose the ability to recognize and interpret what is happening with their bodies. Loosing feeling in any body part certainly is a strange event, just make sure she has good foot care, this can help prevent any issues with her feet such as infection.
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nw2946 sending you hugs and strangth. the job you are doing is tough for someone half your age so keep up tthe good work and come here often
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I am 84 years old and the caregiver for my 85 YO husband who has Alzheimer's Disease. I have severe Osteoarthritis, Neuropathy and had a very large meninginoma which was removed in 2007 at which time I almost died. I also have A-Fibb and take Coumadin. My feet feel the same way, but never give out on me. The brain tumor never had that affect on me and it was very large. I would imagine it is the neuropathy as I also feel as if my compression hose are still on when they are off. The bottom of my feet also burn, but by the grace of God, I just keep going!!!!
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The numbness is most likely caused by the meninginoma. As it grows, it presses against nerve bundles within the brain. Depending on which way it is leaning, it causes numbness in extremities. Sometimes, it can wreck the sense of smell. This is another unfortunate event that we have to deal with as we age.
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Yes. I have this due to back related changes which will effect the nerve endings all the way to the feet. It is more minor compared to her other issues.
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Thinking back my moms feet were always cold and she also received b12 shots but I thought that had something to do with the dementia
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It sounds like neuropathy. My Mom complains about the same thing. Its like she has socks on. No diabetes. But, she will go down like a lead balloon with no warning. Your ankles just go out. Mom wears socks but her feet are still cold.
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I had Peripheral Neuropathy due to a B-12 deficiency. Drove me bats. Doc said mylar coating on nerves was not being supported. I passed the B-12 serum test, but when that and several other odd symptoms kept up the Doc did a different test. Seems a person can have plenty of B-12 in their system, but if lining of tummy doesn't produce enough intrinsic factor for the B-12 to bind to, it can't be used by the body. One of the usual causes of decreased intrinsic factor is long term PPI, (Proton Pump Inhibitor), use, like Prevacid, etc., but there are other reasons for that too. I just have to have a B-12 injection every now and then, gets it where it needs to be, just goes around the tummy process. Can't hurt to ask her Doc about including it next time she's in having a blood draw anyway. Methylmalonic Acid, Homocysteine tests look past the Serum test to see if what's there can be used.
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I have had 2 lower back surgeries and due to nerve pain, numb feet, etc, I also take lyrica. My grandma had poor circulation and there is not much you can do about that. If not diabetes, moms back issues could also be the cause. Personally, I would just try to treat rather then opt for any type of operation at her age. Rub her feet if you can before she stands up. If medicine is prescribed, give it to her an hour before she actually gets out of bed, this could also help.
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Oops. My above post was supposed to say "perfectly normal cognitive function", not simply "perfectly normal function."
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Definitely sounds like neuropathy, which is not really related to Alzheimer's. Frequently caused by diabetes, and peripheral vascular problems, or nerve impingement or degeneration.. Lots of people with perfectly normal function get it too. (My husband has it due to the diabetes.) There are medications for it, but so far, none have helped him at all. You definitely have to have a doctor deal with this.
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I have morning trouble with my legs, mainly cramping in my case. I know it is because the muscles and other things are too cool. The same could be true for your mother. What may help her is to fold an extra blanket that will cover her from the knees down during the night. This will help keep her legs warmer and make the circulation better.

I hope she doesn't try to get up while her feet are still numb. I know you worry about her falling.
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My 84 year old mom is diabetic and takes Lyrica for pain and neuropathy. She claims it is a great help for her.
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You might want to try giving her a glass of tonic water. Tonic water can quickly and simply cure foot and leg cramps. It may not be the answer but why not try this simple treatment? It can be bought at grocery or drug stores. It helped my mom immediately. Bless you!
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Extremely common condition in the elderly. It can be due to restricted blood flow or compressed nerves. Many diabetics suffer from this condition. It is annoying and can lead to falls. Cold feet are also a sign of poor circulation. good wool socks can help but often the numness is more comfortable if the feet are actually cold. if the occurs mostly when the patient wakes up it may be at least partially due to the way they lie in bed compressing the nerves. Experiement with differenn and supporting the limbs with pillows. Before getting out of be the patient should move their legs and feet to try and get the circulation flowing. The first step is to talk to the Dr to rule out any underlying disease.
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If her blood sugars run continuously high, it could also be from Diabetic nerve damage which does cause numbness, tingling and sometimes pain in the feet. A person does not have to be fully Diabetic to experience this. There are meds. that can help specifically with this kind of discomfort, it might be worth further conversation with her doctor(s).
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My grandmom whom we lost two years ago at age 103 used to complain about cramps and strange sensations in her feet which would get cold. Her cardiologist and other doctors of hers told us that it was mostly due to poor circulation. This is so hard to deal with because in my case I wanted to do everything for her. I still feel chest pains about it. Take care
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