I apologize in advance for the long post.
My MIL just came out for a long weekend to visit my husband and me. We had not seen her in about two years and she is 77 years old. She has been "pre-diabetic" (her doctor told her) for about five years. Her brother (now deceased) developed diabetes in his 50's. She never dealt well with her diagnosis and wavers between anger and denial. (The doctor is wrong, etc.)
We are looking for answers to some some bizarre behavior and signs of decline that we witnessed that are troubling.
Here are my observations in a nutshell:
1. Upon getting off the plane informed my husband (her son) she had a 'nasty fall' walking and severely bruised her face hitting the pavement a month ago while traveling. She showed him photos of the bruises on her camera. She kept this secret from us until she arrived. She still had some facial swelling.
2. Out of control obsession with candy and carbs. Picked through all meals even though she said she wanted to eat fish and vegetables but ate all the candy that she could find (hoarded free samples in stores/quickly wandering off to buy candy when we were tending to her husband etc.) Loaded coffee and all drinks with sugar and flavorings. Added syrup/sauces to everything etc. Her husband and her son would try to steer her behavior and she would become combative ~ sticking out her tongue, yelling that people can't control her/tell her what to do/saying she deserved 'a little treat she was on vacation' etc.
3. Ate ravenously when sugar was in front of her. To the point of making a mess, spilling on herself, embarrassing her husband etc.
4. Told me that her 'blood sugars are just fine' when I asked if she had diabetes.
5. Urgent trips to the bathroom. She said it was due to 'leakage.' She seemed to always disappear right after eating.
6. Worst behavior occurred at 4pm (on the dot).
Belligerent temper tantrums and mood swings if she couldn't find candy or if a family member tried to steer her away from eating (to the point she bought and then gorged on a bag of fruit when her husband took away a bag of candy)
Suddenly unsteady on her feet, wavering and almost falling over if she was walking. Almost like she was going to suddenly faint.
Panting as if couldn't get in oxygen. Especially if we were out and about at the time.
Addict like behavior - She needed 'a fix." As soon as she got the sugar fix, her demeanor would change 360. (Of course then she was too full for dinner, but had room for dessert...and then it would lead to a carb/sugar bomb breakfast and this cycle would repeat all over again the next day.)
7. Fading in and out of conversations. Confusing peoples' names/places. When her husband would correct her or he would do the same and mix things up they would yell at each other that the other person was wrong.
8. Going back to points previously made in conversations and fixating on certain things. Repeating stories from years past. Overly concerned with her hairdo. Shopping for goods she then would refuse to buy when found in a store but would start looking for them all over again the next day, etc.
8. Complaints about her feet. She said her shoes she brought on the trip were the wrong ones and were 'too tight'. Her toes hurt. (But yet would not buy new shoes/sandals.)
9. Complaints she is having trouble hearing in one ear.
10. Mood swings. Giddy about the past, angry and spiteful on the present and family members even complaining about grandchildren. Her moods were the worst mid-afternoon. Lashing out at husband over trivial things.
11. Selfish behavior. Only bought grandchildren presents when I reminded her. (Very unlike her. She lives for children and this is all she used to be interested in.) Shopping only for herself. Impulsive buying. Suddenly extravagant then cheap the next minute. She normally dotes on my husband to the point of excluding me from all conversations but it seemed making sure she had access to sugar was her top priority this visit.
12. Complained of 'stomach acid' and was seen taking several tums
13. Uncontrollable flatulence that smelled of rotten fruit.
14. Burping. Runny nose.
15. Looks about 30lbs heavier. Huge abdomen and thighs. (inflammation? water retention? celiac? fructose malabsorption? (She is about 5'2" and says she is 165)
16. Says she can't lose any weight and can't control her eating as she has 'no willpower'
17. Told my husband privately that 'she is never hungry' (?!)
18. Pale (especially for summer)
My MIL was diagnosed with depression a few years ago and briefly took meds but then refused to take them after a few months. I know she is on cholesterol medication.
So I am wondering:
1. Are these symptoms of full blown diabetes?
2. Is she using sugar to increase her serotonin (self medication for depression)
3. What are the ties between diabetes and dementia?
Thank you everyone for any information that you may be able to provide to my husband and me!