Up and down days. How can mom have such a good day and then bedridden the next?

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Yesterday my mother had the best day she'd had in a long time. She didn't take a nap at all, she even ironed some clothes and helped with making dinner. This was great, because I was having a really bad day with my fibromyalgia, so was able to go in and take a nap and not worry about her.

Today looked like it was going to start out ok, but then she said was feeling shaky, so we decided she needed to get some food into her. She went into the kitchen and had some fruit items, and I left her there, while I went to fold towels while my husband was in the family room. The next thing I know, he is pushing Mom back to her room in her walker (it has a seat) because she needed to lay down and was too weak to walk. When I went in to see what was going on she was shaking so bad she couldn't even get her glasses off. She does have an essential tremor, and the neurologist has said she MAY have early Parkinson's, but not sure yet. Since her hospitalization last month, she has had some cognitive decline that I am concerned about. More forgetfulness, inability to do her taxes, things like that.

I took Mom's blood pressure as soon as she got into bed, and it was normal - 129/72 with a pulse of 80. Not sure if I'm overlooking anything here. She is not diabetic, her blood sugars have always been normal, she eats very healthy foods.

Does anyone have any ideas why she would have such a good day one day and be bedridden the next? Thanks for your input.

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Before mom fell in July last year she was independent living on her own. I was going to her apartment 2 times a day. Some days she would stay in bed from feeling shaky. At that time I suspected something wasn't right because she was delusional. Telling me that people were coming into her apartment and eating and making noise. She would tell me she was seeing ants crawling on her dining table. Then she fell and was hospitalized 4 days. That was when she was diagnosed. The cat scan showed a progressive dementia. I know now, it was Lewy Body dementia. She lived here with me and my family for 6 months and watching the disease take my sweet mom away from us was agonizing. But even though it took me close to complete exhaustion , I would do it all over again. It saddens me that so many of our elderly are dying this way. It's a horrible disease.
Caregiving is the hardest thing I have ever done. God bless you for loving and caring for your mom.
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msdaizy - I'm so sorry for your loss, and I understand your not wanting her to suffer. It is so hard watching those we love suffer.

When you said that when your Mom was feeling shaky all she wanted to do was stay in bed, that is exactly like my Mom. She hasn't been positively diagnosed with Parkinson's yet, but when she was last at the neurologist, he had her place her hands on her lap and count backwards from 100. The further she got, the worse her tremor got, until he stopped her in the mid-60's because she was shaking so violently. He said that it was an indication that stress made the tremor worse, and that can be indicative of Parkinson's. He couldn't put her on medication at that time because she had just been released from the hospital for a gastric bleed, and he said most of the Parkinson's medications are hard on the digestive system, so to wait another 3 months.
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My mom was like that too...she had dementia and it's all how the brain makes her feel. The shaking could possibly be from symptoms of Parkinsons....its part of the dementia. Mom would have up and down days...she had the shaky hand the last 3 months of her life. But when mom was feeling shaky all she wanted to do was stay in bed. Dementia is a frustrating disease, the progression is different for everyone. With mom it was downward spiral...fast and furious. She passed away at the age of 91 in January this year. I miss her so much..it was only 3 months today I lost her..but I'm glad she isn't suffering. God Bless you...and your mom.
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My mom sometimes shakes so hard they thought she was having seizures. After much testing she wasn't. Just some quirk of aging for her.
It's so scary.
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I understand being concerned for your mom - and it is discouraging to have her enjoy a really "good day" and then have things turn around the next. You mentioned in your profile the other health issues she experiences; and especially since she has esophageal problems and is on a liquid diet and has lost weight ----- she is probably just weaker some days than others. At least her vitals were where they should be. I experienced this with my father when he had lost a substantial amount of weight and was on only soft foods due to swallowing problems. I noticed the shaking with him on some days and then gone the next. It can be a result of what is happening to the entire body in response to multiple health issues. Some days are just better than others.

But, definitely worth keep track of as Jeanne suggested and mentioning to her doctor during next visit. I did find taking care of 3 elderly that they all at some time or another experienced shaking for no known reason that would disappear. The aging process can be an enigma and even to the doctors who try their best to properly diagnose problems. Also, one thing to keep in mind is that the person dealing with these aging ailments can become depressed on some days and just not feel like doing much; but better another time. Take care and hope she improves.
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I will start logging her ups and downs. Sometimes it does seem to change suddenly, as in this morning, when she seemed to get off to a good start. She hasn't had many symptoms of dementia yet, other than a couple of times she has forgotten conversations that we had (important ones), and the other day, when I took her in for a manicure/pedicure, she didn't want me to leave her there (which I normally do - it's a free hour for me). She looked at me with a frightened child look that went right through me and said, "You're not going to leave, are you?" I told her I was, that she would be fine, and I would be back in 45 minutes to pick her. I made sure Tracy got her back to her pedicure chair, and then I left. It frightened me. I'd never seen her like that. When I got back to pick her up she was fine, and enjoying a conversation with Tracy, but what I saw in my Mom during those few moments was a different Mom than I'd seen before.
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I am so sorry that you are experiencing this.

I don't know about ups and downs as they relate to your mother's conditions. It is something to talk to her doctor about, I think.

What I am familiar with is dementia, and "good" days and "bad" days are very much a part of that condition. It is especially characteristic of Lewy Body Dementia, with also includes symptoms of Parkinson's. In LBD sometimes the changes are from "good day" to "bad day" but from "good hour" to "bad hour."

You might want to keep a log of her ups and downs, to discuss with her doctor on the next visit.
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