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Until a little over two months ago, my 81 year old mother had more energy than me: mowed her own lawn and worked as an accountant. She suddenly began having dizzy spells, fainting, and falling. She does have A-fib (atrial fibrillation) but docs have ruled out any other issue with heart, as well as stroke, no excess plaque in arteries, and UTI. Last time she fell, she broke two ribs and punctured a lung. After 9 days in hospital and 13 days of inpatient physical therapy, she's little better. I don't understand how someone goes from healthy to almost non-functional so fast. Does anyone else have this kind of experience?

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My first thought is did she have a medication adjustment or change medications. My second thought is that as people age, they often need less medication to do the job. While I'm assuming the doctors addressed these issues, I felt it worth mentioning.

Testing for a UTI was good. A brain tumor could cause these symptoms, but the doctors likely considered that, too.

Something a bit simpler could be that if she's on a diuretic (water pill) for blood pressure she could simply be low on potassium. I've seen people hospitalized for several days before this simple fix was discovered.

I do hope the physicians can figure this out soon. Your mom sounds remarkable. Seeing her suffer the pain of broken ribs and other issues from falls must be hard on you all.

Good luck,
Carol
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Get a CT of the brain and consult a neurologist who specializes in the elderly.
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Is she fainting and that is why she is falling? My mom has had these fainting spells for years and usually happen when she is on the toilet. (You mentioned diarrhea) Sometimes it seemed it was electrolytes but then it would happen when her electrolytes were fine. Well, the only answer I have gotten is that it is a "Vagal response." I would have called it a seizure in the past because of shaking while it happened, but they say no. She now just gets weak and fainty (no more shaking) but poops a ton of very soft poop. Usually she has to be put to bed and sleeps hard after. And she is more forgetful for a time. Anyway, look up the vagal nerve-and ask the Dr and see what you think. Also, could she be diabetic? Or could it be an oxygen issue? Hope you get to the bottom of this! Good luck-it is scary.
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Also make sure they check her blood pressure as she goes from sitting to standing. Here's why: "Orthostatic hypotension is a sharp drop in blood pressure that happens when a person gets up from bed or from a chair, causing dizziness or even loss of consciousness. Doctors define it as a blood pressure drop of 20 millimeters of mercury (20 mm Hg) in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading), or a drop of 10 millimeters in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number), within three minutes after standing up." So it's possible it's a blood pressure problem. Good luck in getting it figured out.
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My mom started the same way....Several trips to emergency room , a couple stays in hospital...a fall out of bed , xrays for broken ribs okay.....The doctors
said maybe a parasite blastocystis spp...gave meds ended up in isolation 3 days. Parasite supposedly in everybody but bothersome for some people...
Still going downhill no answers she got worse on meds...she was perfectly
fine before all this independent, alert, handling her own affairs and home...Now I've been told to get POA durable for finances because they say dementia, depression and anxiety.....Extreme OCD.....a stranger told me have her tested for PANDAS strep infection or UTI
secondary infection since she recently had surgery......All this within a short time
What the heck happened to some one so vital and excited about each day...The ship is sinking now...All the specialists and NO RELIEF....
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Has your mom had any recent dental work? My mom had some bridge work done since then alot of this craziness started....I'm wondering if this strep Pandas infection stuff may have a clue....but mom won't go to any more doctors? They treat with Amoxicillin .....Sounds like a bunch of whoeee on websites but kids are having problems, lady called me on phone about
assisted living places and she said something about nurses noticing cases in nursing homes....But I can't find anything about seniors affected by this anywhere......It gets wierder as time goes on doctors gave my mom ativan in hospital . A few days later she ended in hospital intensive care with overdose and on depression and anxiety meds after . This was someone who was vital
and hard working and the rock of the family, no issues before 80???? Just thought it may be something to check if you are starting this with doctors..My mom rarely went to doctors but went to 3 specialist and nothing seems to help.
She was not on any meds before her dental appt.......??????please post and let us know how this turns out......
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