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Has anyone else run into this problem? My Dad has hallucinations, and this seems to be the one that occurs the most. He holds his hands palm-side up and asks what he should do with the catgut or strings on his fingers. He continually rubs his hands together to rub the catgut into a trash can. Usually I'll just tell him to rub it off and let it fall onto the floor, where later it will be vacuumed. He seems fixated on this during the day. Sometimes he picks on his fingers, trying to get rid of it, until his fingers are red!

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MishkaM, his hands look wonderful! The skin is nice and smooth, his nails are kept trimmed. I truly wish I could see inside his head and understand exactly what he thinks he sees. Its so sad. The lotion idea was a good one; at least he believes we're trying to do something to alleviate his problem. Its just that he always has to have his mind wrapped around something, he always has to obsess with something, no matter how trivial. He'll fixate on one thing, that will eventually go away, and he'll begin fixating and obsessing on something else. While his mind isn't working right, its still working! We have to be really careful about what we say around him, because he'll pick up on something and away he goes!

GrandpaHiker, thanks for the input. Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but he has so many of the symptoms of Lewy Body that I'm not sure what he really has. He picks and rubs at the 'strings' on his hands, but hasn't gotten to the point where he picks his skin raw. He continually wanders around the house rubbing the stuff off his hands, asking where he should put it, etc. He has asked me several times what would happen if he swallowed some of it (I tell him his digestive juices will eat it up) and should he be touching food with it on his hands.

You know, for most of my life I've seen older people, been around older people, and have noticed the strange habits many of them have had, but until my Dad was diagnosed with AD I never really paid much attention to it. Its scary to realize that so many are afflicted with dementia, and that there's really very little that can be done about it. And so many of them are alone. It really is a very, very sad situation.
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One of the symptoms of lewy body dementia is hallucinations. My mother sees "grit" growing in her hair. If she does not scratch it out, then it will grow down over her forehead.

At one time she saw a piece of plastic growing out of her right elbow. There is a small mole on the back of her neck that she says has moved there from the side of her head.

As a result of the "grit" she has scratched out much of her hair. Dementia meds have helped but not eliminated the issue.
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*Raynaud's Disease, I believe it is.
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OH my GOSH!! What now? Maybe try and find a harmless spray and put a label on that says-"new and improved catgut remover -no need to rub, just spray a little and relax". It is so odd that he is fixatd on his hands. Do they look different? I mean, is the color ok with them? I have heard of Raynaurd's Syndrome ( sp?) where the blood in the hands is restricted and can cause some lack of feeling and such.

What have the docs said? I am sorry the lotion suggestion kinda backfired!!!
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Okay, I found a tube of cream and put a label on it that says "Catgut Removal Lotion". I told my Dad to rub some into his hands once a day and that it will help remove the catgut. Guess what? He's now obsessed with the cream! He wants to put it on his hands three or four times a day, and needs help rubbing it on because he can't seem to rub his hands together in such a way as to rub the cream around. Now every time I go over (twice a day) he tells me he needs to rub lotion on his hands. My Mom rubs some on his hands in the morning, but Dad thinks he should be doing it all the time! You just can't win...! Now he also thinks the skin is peeling off his hands and he's going to lose his fingers, says he's down to only four on one hand...
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Thanks for all the input! Dad had his 6 month visit with his family doctor a couple of months ago and all the tests seemed okay so I think UTI is out. Also, he's been having hallucinations for about three years; I think he would have had other symptoms during that time if it were UTI infection! He also had hallucinations prior to beginning the Seroquel; it was prescribed to try to cut down on them. I don't think it has really worked, but they haven't gotten worse and they don't scare him. I did take a small bottle of hand lotion to my Mom, with a label on which I wrote "Catgut Removal Lotion". We'll see if that works! Thanks for the help all.
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I would talk to the head pharmacist where you get his meds. It could be the Seroquel. My Mother had awful hallucinations while she was on that.
Read the print outs that come with the prescriptions. Ask the pharmacist specifically what interactions could be occuring. I started to take my Mother off certain meds when I sensed an overload. Use your intuition combined with info from pharmacist, and I think you will figure it out. Also check for UTI. Give Daddy a hug for me:) I have missed mine for 40 years:( xo
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maybe his liver isnt working well and he has itching / burning palms. still catgut remover is good thinking from the two people above.
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Mishka, I was thinking the exact same thing. Catgut remover lotion in a squirt bottle that he can apply anytime the strings show up. It will help keep his hands moisturized, too. The gloves are a wonderful idea. They will help keep his hands warm while keeping off the pesky catgut.
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Hi virtualhorizon, I have heard of many with hallucinations. My Grandma, who had Alzheimer's used to hallucinate people -her sister -she would fight with her, tell her to stop talking ....but she did not have tactile hallucinations. Hmmm, can you buy a simple lotion and put a home made label on it that says-" Catgut or string remover" and rub it on his hands? Or maybe have him put on a comfortable pair of gloves -to keep the strings off of him. I have heard that it does no good to try and talk them out of their hallucinations as it is very real to them. But it sounds like you don't do that anyway. Good luck. Let us know if anything helps.
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