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FIL just got home from a two week vacation with his eldest son. We got reports that FIL had no trouble walking, going up and down stairs, and didn't use his rollator. BIL rented a wheelchair for longer strolls. FIL had his own room but, other than that, he was always around the family. At home, FIL normally is depressed, anxious, unsteady, wobbly, prone to furniture surfing, and using a wide stance because he won't use his rollator inside his indy living apartment. He does use it when he goes out. Two weeks seems like a very long time to keep up an act especially if FIL truly has something physically wrong with him although nothing shows up on MRIs or CT scans.

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Thank you, Guestshopadmin and jeannegibbs.

Guestshopadmin, it never occurred to me that my FIL could be acting the way he does when he's home because he's made himself that way. And I hadn't heard of "servant mentality" before. My husband and I are caregivers for his dad and he certainly acts the part of the wobbly, needy old man with us. But I can't imagine he actually likes it.

To answer your questions, jeannegibbs: How is his memory? Terrible.
Any sleep disturbances? None that I know of.
Any hallucinations or delusions? No.
Was he given a complete evaluation by the neurologist? I don't know what a complete evaluation means in his case because his chief complaint is about loss of balance. Neurologist ruled out vertigo and scans ruled out stroke. Another poster suggested we get him a PET Scan and, next time he lands in the ER, that's what I'm asking about.
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NYDIL, I think it also includes the "servant mentality" that some folks get with their caregivers. My FIL observed at lunch that he thinks my MIL would never do anything else for herself if he would let her. Put straw in her drink - she can't remember how to do it. Pick me up, I can't stand on my own. But put her in rehab where she wants to go home or attend activities, suddenly she is alert in wheelchair, standing unassisted, able to feed herself. We slide into a codependency of doing with those who live with us because it's easier.
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Showtiming is a term normally used for persons with dementia. Is there any suspicion that FIL has some form of dementia? That would not necessarily show up on scans.

How is his memory? Any sleep disturbances? Any hallucinations or delusions? Was he given a complete evaluation by the neurologist?

I suspect it was the perception of his son that was a little off, and not an actual improvement in FIL.
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Relatives did not want to see the truth of what is going on with my FIL. They want to remember him as he was - the strong, sensible, and sophisticated man who I also remember. FIL is the family patriarch now. He tells all the old stories. The relatives saw him walking, saw him participating, saw him paying attention to them and they turned that into "he walked without any trouble." Perhaps they gave such glowing reports to make my husband feel better or to not seem impolite.

FIL is visiting eldest son next month at his home but only for a weekend to go to a party. It's a 2000 mile trip, which would be a long trip for anyone. I asked why FIL isn't staying longer and was told eldest BIL won't take time off from work. So, perhaps BIL did see his father struggling during vacation and won't take time off because he doesn't want to deal with it.
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I really don't know what happened on the trip. I doubt I will ever get an objective account of how FIL was.

That's an interesting idea, RoseyKat, that BIL sees his dad through rose colored glasses to make himself seem more important. BIL visits a once or twice a year for a day or two. This was the longest he's spent with his dad in more than a decade. BIL regularly says things like "Let me know how I can help" to which my husband and I reply "Visit your father!"

Now that we know FIL does so well around BIL, hubby and I are planning on asking eldest brother to invite his dad to his home for several weeks! If BIL is falsely reporting, that ought to snap him into reality real quick. And if FIL is showtiming, so be it! Acting as if he is happy and not a fall risk is better than how he acts when he's home.
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Perhaps your BIL is falsely reporting back to you to make himself seem important. Also, I have found my husband can fake it for quite some time when he is around people who didn't spend a lot of time with him prior to his onset. Little nuances that we as caregivers notice right away are overlooked by those who don't know what he was like previously.
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My mom could pull it together for several hours at a time - up until her last ten months or so. As Jessie said - two weeks would have been impossible.
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I wonder how FIL acts when BIL is in FIL's home? Active or invalid? 
I wonder if FIL were to get PT in his home if it would help? His dr could order it.
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Thanks for your response, JessieBelle! FIL's neurologist wants him to go for inpatient rehab but he refused. So be it. Maybe the adrenaline did have something to do with it. I just don't know anymore. Nothing shows up on his MRIs, CT scans, or heart tests. According to his doctors, there's no actual cause for all his symptoms. I feel like I've been given a huge pile of yarn to untangle.
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My mother used to be able to pull things together for a couple of hours before she got too tired. Now she can't really pull it together at all, though she believes she is doing okay. That is okay, since most people understand that her mind is not as good as it once was. Going for two weeks acting normal would be impossible for her. Your FIL must be at an earlier stage. Maybe the adrenaline of change kept him revved up some.
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