Mama imagined that teeny-tiny bugs were crawling all over her breasts. Has anyone had their parent tell them anything like this?


My mother will be 93 in November, 2017. About a year or so ago, before I moved her to my city, she would tell me over the phone that she had tiny bugs, about the size of the head of a pin, crawling all over her breasts. She said a neighbor of hers, also an elderly lady, had the same thing. These weren't just a few bugs, but a whole swarming sheet of hundreds of them them, and they would, according to her, move as a group, like those aerial pictures of animals crossing the plains. They would swarm over her breasts and she could watch them. They didn't seem to cause any discomfort or itching and it didn't occur to her that this was odd or out of the ordinary. They were never on her clothes or sheets or anywhere else on her body, just on her breasts. Her eyesight is quite good, better than mine, but WTF, you know?

Eventually she didn't have them any more, but still refers to them every now and then. I absolutely do not know what to make of this. Has anyone had their parent tell them anything like this, i.e., swarms of hundreds bugs crawling over their bare skin? The caregiver who helped her bathe, of course, did not see anything on her skin, but Mama insisted and took for granted that the bugs were there even though no one else could see them. Until they weren't.

She has not been diagnosed with dementia, but over the last year, there has been a major decline in her mental acuity. This thing with the bugs happened just before that. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

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When my great aunt was alive - she said the exact same thing... but we did take her to the doctor (then to a dermatologist) to be sure... the diagnosis of the dermatologist ~ scabies.
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That's pretty much what I've done. I don't contradict her or anything. After a bit of googling, I found:

I'm glad I never thought have having this "treated" or anything. I guess if she had scratched at them and caused skin damage, that would have been a different matter. But she regarded them as a curiosity and never questioned why they might be there.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this with an elderly family member? [Hey! who you callin' "elderly"?? Heck, I'M elderly by the world's standards, too! LOL.]
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It could have been a trick of her eyesight or, since she didn't actually feel them, a weird hallucination, but at this point I'd just be grateful they are gone. When she brings it up I would just go along... "yes mom, wasn't that awful! I'm so glad we don't have to worry about that here."
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