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Mom is so sad. It breaks my heart to see her cry. She is so disgusted that she is in such bad shape.

She can barely walk anymore. She has surgery scheduled for July 25th to unblock the first corrotid artery. Then 6 weeks later, the second will be done. She will be awake for the both procedures, and is stressed about that. She needs this surgery as she has had 2 strokes and a few TIAs.

She shakes and trembles very badly. She's very wiped out and everything is an exertion. She has COPD and still smokes. Her hands are so arthritic she can not light the lighter. What a joke. I can't fight with her about this anymore!

Her spirits have plummeted. She really just can't take it anymore. She was always on the go. I'm constantly giving her pep talks and even point out she's on the potty pot.

She does want to get better though. And isn't open to hospice.

She is always constipated and has stomach pains from it, she hardly eats because her stomach hurts.

She also has short term memory loss.

She also feels she's a burden on us and an intrusion in our home. Poppycock! We love having her!

On a good note the CBD oil has helped her severe leg pain. She would have constant pain plus shooting stabbing feelings. She'd break down because of it, and could never just relax. This oil, just a few drops under the tongue, has been a life saver!

I just don't know what to do about her depression. She is on Xanax, as needed, and Lexipro.

Where do I go from here? Even the smallest suggestion might help. Thanx for reading. I didn't know it would be this hard.

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Dori, My doctor gave me Lexipro about 10 years ago for depression and chronic pain. She gave me some samples to start. My partner at the time, a physician, told me to wait and take it on Friday afternoon. He had patients who said it made them really sleepy. I took one pill after work on Friday at 4:30. I was asleep at 5:00. I woke up on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 to go to the bathroom. Sat down on the sofa and fell over asleep. Tim got me back to bed and I woke up late Sunday afternoon hungry. Took a shower and went out to dinner. Came home fell asleep and didn’t wake up until the alarm went off on Monday morning at time to go to work. Never took another one of those. But I was pain free and so out of it I didn’t know if I was depressed.🙂
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Sorry I just reread that - my mom's oil is FOUR parts CBD oil to one part THC oil.
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Also.....I don't mean to derail the thread, but I just wanted to mention that Rick Simpson oil is basically hash oil, or honey oil. There were a pair of 20-year old chronics living across the hall from me for awhile, who used to make it all the time, lol. Anyone can learn how to make it themselves - there are lots of different websites offering instructions. I also just noticed Rick Simpson has the instructions on his own website. Basically you just need to get ahold of a bag of weed.

I'm not commenting against the oil! I'm from BC, the cannabis capital of Canada. I do believe cannabis does treat symptoms, but I don't know anything about it's curative properties. As I said above, I use CBD oil personally to treat anxiety, as well as treating my mom's pain and distress with a CBD/THC combination oil.

I'm more commenting because I've found that a lot of people are making big bank right now, by wayyyyyy over-charging for cannabis products that don't cost all that much to make at home.

Where I live, a 30 ml bottle of CBD oil containing 350 mg of CBD isolate (isolate is either tiny crystals or powder made of pure CBD) costs around $70-80. Alternatively, I can buy 1000 mg (1g) of CBD isolate for $50 and make nearly 3 bottles of my own CBD oil. (The recipe is pretty much: measure out your isolate on a gram scale, measure and add oil to bottle, add isolate to oil, shake well before using.) There is some debate about whether "full spectrum" CBD is better than isolate (it probably is) - but full spectrum contains trace amounts of THC, which makes it illegal in many US states. Also, any CBD product claiming to be THC-free and/or made from hemp is absolutely made from isolate, so it's a question of how much you want to pay.

I just did a Google search for "buy CBD isolate online usa" and came up with a $30 price for the same size isolate I buy. (It comes in a tiny jar even smaller than a lip balm.)  If THC-free CBD oil is legal in your state, then it's also legal for you to order this.  One of the best things about buying the isolate itself, aside from the price, is you can also source it to be pesticide-free, non-GMO, etc. 
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Pepsee - I'm so sorry for what you and your mom are going through.

For what it's worth, my doctor once gave me cipralex (same thing as lexapro) for anxiety. I took it for 6 months and it made my mental state far worse. It was terrible!!!  I tapered off it and now treat my anxiety exclusively with CBD oil.

I am currently giving my mom a CBD/THC combination oil for pain, anxiety, mood, and appetite. It helps a LOT. It's 1 part CBD oil to 1 part THC oil. That said, I live in Canada, where everything is in flux right now - recreational marijuana is scheduled to become legal this year. Buying THC oil is kind of a grey area under the law because of that, so it's pretty easy to get. If you CAN get it though, and you're not morally opposed to it, I do believe THC has a much stronger effect on pain and mood.

You could also consider increasing your mom's CBD dosage. I take 0.5-1.0 ml a day - 0.5 as a regular dose, 1.0 if my anxiety requires it. (Mine is a suspension of 350 mg CBD per 30 ml oil.)
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Pepsee, I use a CBD balm on my knees at night, and it really helps! It cuts down on that feeling like they are imploding, when I'm trying to relax at night time. Marajuua is legal in Washington state, so we have many dispensaries that have all sorts of concoctions, oils, capsules, tincture, different strains, CBD only, and some with both THC & CBD.

I for one Hate THC, so I strictly use the CBD only. The funny thing is,  I have never even been into one of those shops, but my kids (33-38) keep bringing me different CBD Products to try, so one by one, I'm figuring out which ones work best for me. 

The CBD salve, is one my Daughter's Chiropractor sold to her, for neck strain, but her neck got better,  so she gave me 1 & 1/2 tubs to try, and it really works for me! Her Chiropractor also sold her CBD capsules,  that my Daughter felt really worked well, unfortunately she used up Every Last One of them,  Lol!

I hope that your Mom does well in her surgery!  Keep us posted! ❤❤❤
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Pepsee, has she seen a Neuro doc yet for Parkinson's meds? Is the " Not eating" perhaps actually a swallowing issue? That was the case for my FIL, after an in diagnosed stroke.

He kept saying " I can't eat". What he meant was "I can't swallow".
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Thank you Ladies.
Beck, so glad GF came through his surgery well. Wow 89! What a trooper!

Holiday, she's on an antidepressant now. She takes a small dose of Lexipro. It was all she needed for months, but seems she might need an slight increase at this point. When I saw her PCP Friday, I meant to ask her about it. But I was side swiped when Dr said she believes Mom has Parkinson's. Then we spoke of hospice, and the Lexipro question flew right out of my head, totally forgot.

I've offered her everything to eat, but to no avail. She got up this morning and looks like she's super drunk! Literally EVERYDAY she gets worse. It's unbelievable.

I absolutely believe the surgery would help in other areas. But I don't think, at this rate, she'd make it to the two appointments she has set up for PAT tests. There not until July 10th and 12th. Her surgery is scheduled for the 25th. Who knows how she'll be next month.

The CBD oil doesn't have any THC in it. That's the part that makes ppl high, eat and euphoric. At this point I wish it did. 😆

Anywho- we'll see what each day brings. For now I'll just love her up, lay with her, tease, joke and laugh...... that's more for me then her. 😉💕
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Pepsee, My grandfather had the carotid surgery when he was 89. We noticed some changes for the better after his surgery with cognition and behavior. I hope surgery does not have any adverse consequences for your mother.
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About the carotid surgery, I would think that it would improve your mom's general brain function --reasoning, depression, etc. I understand that it's mostly done to prevent stroke, which can be devastating to quality of life. The drain thing appears to be optional in some places, and seems only to last a day, have you talked to the surgeon about that? (((((Hugs)))))))
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Possibly your mom’s having swallowing problems. I personally just went through the tests and it was reassuring to know my swallowing was normal. As I gain back the pounds I lost I’m eating my favorites. It might help if she eats her favorite foods. I’m not an expert on CBD oil but I’d think it would make your mom hungry. Also, if she’s constipated perhaps extra fiber and drinking as much water as she can might help. Many medications cause constipation too.

The Xanax seems to be the nerve pill du jour with the doctors. BUT for many people it’s very effective and is good for anxiety and panic attacks. If Xanax doesn’t help then Valium is good as it relaxes the muscles as well as the mind so helps chronic pain and encourages sleep. If your mom is depressed, the doctor can try an antidepressant. But beware with antidepressants because some don’t help everyone and Paxil is just a bad drug. It took me 2 months to cut the Paxil dose out, it had to be decreased so slowly. Prozac is one of the oldest antidepressants and is easy to stop taking if it’s not the right drug. But it’s probably better to get the surgeries done before you consider drugs. When your mom gets some oxygen to her brain her mood might improve.

Try a Xanax in the morning and then one at bedtime. My daughter has been on them for a month for panic attacks and anxiety and she’s feeling much better. I feel encouraged with her improvement!

Hope your mom improves!!!
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I know. I think it just helps me to write it all out.
Barb, you're so sweet, your hugs help more then I can tell you! 🌹
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Pepsee (((( hugs))))). I'm sorry that I don't do anything but this, but it always helped me. Sometimes, there is just no advice....
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Thank you ladies. I'm going to download the book today. I've heard it mentioned often.

DH is so sweet, he built a ramp to go on to the back deck. So I can just wheel Mom out there in her chair. I wish she'd eat.
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Golly, I really like the idea about not going through with the Roto-Rooter procedures. Ugh, I just can't imagine. And then to have Parkinson's waiting on the other side of recovery.

Have you all read - or read out to mom - Atul Gawande's book, Being Mortal? I think your mom is of sound enough mind to understand it and think about it with you. Loving thoughts to you both as you navigate these waters.
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Oh Pepsee! How discouraging for mom and heartbreaking for you. Def talk to the doc about changing antidepressants or adding another. Make sure the possible Parkinson's is taken into accout.

Mom's misunderstanding about Hospice is so common. I hope you have a good conversation with the provider and can come to a fruitful decision. (((((((Hugs)))))))
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GardenArtist,
Yes, I'm trying to turn my brain off, and just be with her. Just going to lay with her and watch Gunsmoke reruns all weekend.

Your support means more then you know. Thank you
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Pepsee, I'm offering my support as well. You and your mother are really facing some challenges.

It's hard and challenging to make a decision when so much is happening. Take a few days off while you think things over; other issues and questions may come to mind, but for the time being, you and Mom both deserve a time-out and some relief from health worries.
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Thank you so much Riverdale.
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Wow. Pepsee you are enduring so much. I am so sorry for all the physical and emotional pain being caused. I just wish you strength to continue to take each day at a time.
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Things change so fast around here. I had to run to Mom's PCP's other office, an hour and 20 minutes away. (One way!) I needed to pick up her pain meds script, they don't do those electronically. When I got there, she had time to talk.

She absolutely thinks Mom has Parkinson's. She's very concerned about the risks involved in these surgeries. Mom's declining so fast, that she's been in bed these last few days. Just getting her to the bathroom, a few feet from her room, is a mission. I even have to get her off the toilet, her legs are so weak. Plus we have the commode with the arms and she still can't get up.

So taking her for all the pre- surgery testing, chest x-ray, Cardiologist, blood and urine etc....will be awful for her.

The recovery will be rough too as she will have a drain coming from her neck when she comes home. A nurse will be coming by to drain it. Who knows how long that'll be for.

Then 6-8 weeks later, we do it all over again. Whew!

I asked her about hospice. She said she'd totally support me in that. Told me some info on it and said to talk about it with Mom. She is sending them by next week to talk to us. She did however, say Mom could live for years on hospice, with a blood thinner.

We both also feel, what's the sense of Mom going through all that, just to go down hill with Parkinson's.

Came home told Mom what was said. God, that was tough. It almost killed me to see her chin quiver and tears roll down her face as I explained hopice to her. She thought she'd be put in a facility somewhere and left to die! I assumed she felt better when I told her she'd remain here with me. Until she looked right at me and said... "Pep, I don't wanna die."

Sh*t how do people do this?!? She's my girl.

Anyway, we had a good cry together. Watching her come to grips with the fact her life is ending....is brutal.

Thank God we only have one Mother.
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Pepsee, if you love crafts, you MUST visit Michael's and Jo-ann Fabrics. Absolutely!

Dad was flight engineer on a bomber. Yes, so very much to be proud of.

Just wondering - do you think you can find some special treats for Mom's milestones?
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GardenArtist,
Love the idea of using more leaves as she makes milestones with the surgeries!

I go bonkers in the craft section at Walmart.

Post it's with flying plans.....love it! So Dad was a fighter pilot? Wow! So much to be proud of.

I'm so glad you were here today.💕🤗
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Hi Pepsee
A question about the oil.
What is the mg strength your mom uses?
How long has she been using it? Is it with olive oil, coconut oil? I’m just learning about it. My cousin is giving it to her mom who has PD and dementia. The results have been amazing. She has a liquid that a drop goes under her tounge. Also a salve for aches and pains.

I’m sure your mom is grieving still for her DIL who recently passed and her son and grandsons moving must seem like another loss. She is understandably depleted with these life events. She’s been through a lot the last few months.

Here is an idea piggybacking on Gardens suggestion.
Google “decision tree template” and you will see quite a few ideas you might find helpful.

Your brother and nephews must be lost without their mom and grandmother. I hope Utah welcomes them and they stay connected with you and mom. Big hugs to you both.
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Pepsee, I'm glad to see that you're taking the suggestion and "running with it." You've expanded it more than I could conceive of! I like the idea of the leaves - color has the capacity to cheer. You're turning a spark into a roaring fire, and for good purposes.

You might even want to change the colors of the leaves, i.e., the carotid issue could be represented by a green leaf once the surgeries are over. Find little things to be cheerful about so Mom can see more and more green leaves.

I love the idea of a "Wellness Tree" - it's so much more positive than an "Illness Tree. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that. How depressing!

There are so many creative post-it notes available; I began collecting different ones way back in the 1980's. One of my favorites is "Dance is Everything!" It features hippos in pointe shoes, one in fourth, one in fifth position, two in arabesques, and one in a 180 degree workout stretch.

I have another with several dancers, all slim, in a workout routine. One is much heaver, but just as happy as the slender ones. Dance isn't just for thin people.

For Dad, I bought one of a little duck flying a single engine plane. Couldn't find any 4 engine bombers though.

Remember that cartoon character Kathy: I have one of her on her way to the grocery store, with the motto "I will not buy any fattening groceries" (repeat 3 times)

That's followed by Kathy rushing out of the store with a cart full of groceries, a "mile wide smile", and the saying: "I will not eat the fattening groceries on the way home from the store."

But one of the best post-its was available as the women's movement became stronger after the 1970's push. The saying was something to the effect that "men used to be in charge of everything and women stayed home and did the housework. They can kiss that sh** goodbye!"

But the one that got the most attention was
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WOW GardenArtist!!
What a GREAT idea...an "Illness Tree"! But I'm going to name it a "Wellness Tree". There's more of a *hope sound* to it. I love it.

I'm going to the store for oaktag, a nice bright yellow one. I'll have my son draw up a nice big tree. He's an amazing free hand sketch artist. They sell flowered shaped post it notes, in multiple colors. Those can be the problems and an alternate color can be the solutions. I can cut out leaves from Green construction paper and write positive affirmations and silly fun saying on them! I'm so excited!

She probably is quite overwhelmed, this is a lot to wrap ones head around.

She really needs a boost today. My baby brother called this morning. He's packed and him and his sons are on their way to their new home in Utah! He's the one who lost his wife last summer.

Him and Mom have always lived in the same town. She was involved in his and then his families lives forever. We knew they where moving, but thought I'd be the end of next month. He should have visited with her first. IMHO. I don't think they will see each other again. I know Mom doesn't have long for this life.

Thank you so much for your ideas. I'm going to DO positive things instead of just SAYING them! 🌹🌼🌷🌳
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Pepsee, what would you consider to be the most serious problem, and what solutions are their for it? Is it the carotid issue?

What I'm thinking is that there's so much going on that she's overwhelmed, and literally isn't able to see her way out of the situation. Since the leg pain is abating, try to focus on that as part of a complex problem with multiple factors and solutions.

You might even make an "illness tree", something akin to a flow chart linking the illness symptoms to potential remedies, so she can see, on paper, that there are solutions to some of her problems, and follow (on paper) the steps that need to be taken.

I'm sure that right now she's completely overwhelmed and feeling helpless. Somehow, you have to work on either changing or modifying that perception.

One step at a time might help to narrow the scope of her problems and help her see that there might be a way out, or at least some better solutions than she has now.

What did she enjoy doing when she was younger? Did she garden? If so, bring her flowers. Does she have a favorite vocalist? If so play CD's. Does she like animals? Ask neighbors to bring their pets over for a therapeutic visit.

I know these sound like simplistic answers b/c at some point there's just no way to present aging life in an upbeat manner. But if you can focus on one major issue, then gradually address solutions to the peripheral issues, you might at least be able to get a foothold.
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It make me and my brother terribly depressed. We run from it! But she had such horrible panic attacks it was needed, as per the PCP.

She doesn't take it everyday though. Only when she gets really squirrelly. I hesitate as long as possible because I worry about her balance getting worse on it.

I will call her Dr. This morning and ask about the Lexipro. She's still on a start up dose. It was working great, so we left it alone. Maybe Doc will up it a bit. Thank you.
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Talk to her doc about changing the antidepressant, sounds like this one is not working for her. Is a side effect of xanax depression?
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