My Mom has been complaining about having trouble breathing. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom has been complaining about having trouble breathing. Any advice?

Follow
Share

I just figured it was due to the heat we have been having. It appears to go away pretty quickly. She was in the hospital last Tuesday for her jaw and they checked her heart and I told them that this was happening but they said her heart was ok. The problem is that she says it and then when its gone she does not remember it happening. She got up this afternoon and was very wobbly and came out to the dining room and the electricity had been turned off for 30 minutes and it was stifling and then the a/c came on and she said it again and then she forgot about it again. I am so overwhelmed that everyday its something different and she is not faking it at all. But she hates that I would call life alert so I am not sure she is pretending she is ok. Anyone else have this problem? I hope this made sense, oh and she has been up only for 2.5 hours and said that she was going to fall asleep again. The doctor prescribed her a low dose of xanax and my sister wants me to give her some and I not going to do that, especially since she wants to go back to sleep! Thanks

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
32

Answers

Show:
1 2 3 4
Does she have trouble swallowing? Does she take a big mouthful chew a bit and then throw it out. Does she tend to cough when eating? do sweet sticky things stick in her throat - think nice chewy chocolate chip cookies. As you say nothing wrong with her intestine so I am asuming she has had an endoscopy, but has she had a barium swallow test and a food challenge?
Does she "like" any meat? depending on any other health problems she could have liver, all kinds of fish, yougurt, cottage cheese, mac and cheese and any kind of bean dishes to satisfy her need for protein and plenty of milk. if she won't drink plain milk will she drink chocolate milk or hot chocolate made with milk.
Short of fillet mignon she will reject and type of solid meat,roast, chops scliced turkey you name it it will cause problems. You can shred it in say a majic bullet and mix it with mashed potatoes. Every thing needs to be moist and not require a lot of chewing. make sure she has some fluid at hand, anything liquid will do but avoid ice cold soda because it will go up the back of her nose. ckicken thighs rather than breast are easier to chew as they are more moist. strangely ground beef and rice are not so easy because little bits get stuck in the throat. also avoid anything spicy because the tiniest spec of spice in the back of the throat is agony.
have you learned the heimlick manouver? You do need to because choking is terrifying and it might be on something a simple as vitamin pill. If she has trouble with pills give them in some soft food at a mealtime. for example with her breakfast yogurt. Most things can also be crushed and mixed with a little jam or apple sauce and washed down well.
Dysphagia or swallowing difficulties comes on slowly and often goes un noticed for a long time till the person either stats cough at meals or refusing certain foods. there are several causes, narrowing of the oesophagus, weakening of neck muscles with age or nerve damage and even allergies. Most of the treatment consists of providing foods that the patient can manage and likes and if necessary thickening liquids (yuck) in the most severe cases usually due to cancer a stomach tube has to be inserted into the belly.
How do I know so much? I have had it undiagnosed for very many years. before my diagnosis I was already managing it with things that worked for me so the clever Drs have not been able to tell me anything new. Any kind of stress or major illness makes it virtually impossible to eat. it just feels like swallowing rocks and for some reason even water burns like acid. Ginger ale and chocolate milk are my go to drinks. I also love tea being English but not made with luke warm water.
Worth thinking about Twen some of the strategies just might work. I don't have dementia (yet) but your mom can't reason so don't explain anything to her just change the diet and see what happens. That good red meat may be off her menu for good. skin on fruit such as apples is also difficult so peel them too. Bananas are very easy. You will be able to think up a lot of things yourself based on your Mom's preferences.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have very low blood pressure, am on Alprazolam and had anxiety attacks which was when I had trouble breathing. After all kinds of tests, one of my doctors prescribed Prilosec. But my main issue was anxiety, just hits me when ever.
To combat this condition, I started deep breathing exercises. Getting it right and getting used to it was difficult at first. Start gently and increase slowly. Guided breathing was best because I would tire easily or take a break and forget. I now practice Square Breathing and have not had attacks for 3 or 4 weeks.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My eighty seven year old has this, some of it is perceived, she thinks that using her lungs is abnormal, that walking she is having an asthma attack, she doesn't concentrate on breathing through her nose, she starts breathing through her mouth which causes her to hyperventilate. Getting her to slow down in the middle of a panic attack to take deep breaths is difficult, but I do it by demo, as she is not listening. I did buy the meter to monitor the oxygen issue and she is always between 95 and 97. She does take Advair in the morning/evening and has an emergency inhaler, in our case, and may be your case as well, there are things that can complicate the issue, she has asthma and scarring in her lungs, she has no known heart problem, but side effects of medication, panic, UTI's (does not display painful urination, just has an elevated white cell count, not even a fever) but hysteria upon occasion. i hope this helps you...

Does anyone know anything about shredding soft meat, saying it has gristle (but none) and discarding it to the floor by hand...does it all the time, doesn't remember or denies, even if you are catching her in the act.
Nothing wrong with dentures, stomach or intestines...any suggestions....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When the patient has dementia, it's difficult to determine the true nature of their complaints. My cousin has said her hand hurt one minute and the next she said her hand hadn't hurt in a long time. It's frustrating.

Did she ever suffer from anxiety attacks before she got dementia? I have read that having dementia can be very scary. I've seen my cousin become overwhelmed with fear, because she wasn't sure what was happening. So, it could be anxiety. You might do as others have suggested and while she's having trouble breathing, check her blood pressure and pulse. Usually, the ER will do an EKG to rule out heart attack. Did they do that?

Has she ever smoked? Ever tested for COPD?

I have heard that some elderly people just need oxygen. You see if the doctor things that might help. If it is anxiety, it could bring her some comfort and peace of mind.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just thought I would throw this out there. My Mother (now deceased) had Parkinson's disease and was extremely thin. She was always short of breath and I took her to a pulmonologist and had all kinds of tests done and he couldn't figure out the problem. She had previous lung problems (pneumonia) but was never short of breath. We finally got her to put on some weight and as she started gaining weight the shortness of breath got better and after gaining 20 pounds it was gone. However, she couldn't keep the weight on and started losing again and the reverse happened -- as she lost more the shortness of breath got worse. Maybe someone else has had this experience.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

sometimes meds can give you a feeling of trouble breathing...they listened to her heart at the hospital I am assuming they listened to her lungs as well. It could be the heat. If she feels this way on exerting herself then I would get her back in the doc
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Fligirl, hopefully the MD will check her over thoroughly. In the meantime, get a pulseox fingertip reader at the drugstore. Keep a log of the meds you give her and any odd symptom she has. Weigh her daily, log it. Check BP daily, log it. Those logs are very helpful to the MD, especially if she is retaining fluids.
If you think you need a visiting nurse or a bath aide, tell the Social Worker. Ask a lot of questions, the county has many answers, many ways to help.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Fligirl, my mom is in a NH and believe, there is still plenty of caregiving to be done! But what I don't have to do is wonder about if I'm over concerned or under concerned about her symptoms. I would not take the idea of mom going to a nh as a sign of defeat, simply that mom now needs professional care. I didn't realize your mom had pain in addition to shortness of breath.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My sister did not forbid me to come she said I could sit in the lobby. I asked her right out if this was about my caregiving to mom. She said no it had nothing to do with that it's about moms pain. One minute she says that she is sick and cannot keep coming up here and then she tells me her and her husband are coming now that she is moe involved I feel she just wants mom in a nursing home so SHE can be done with it. I appreciate all the input from you all as I do trust you and this website
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Some battles you never win and are not worth fighting anyway. If Sis has the POA medical she can refuse to share health information with you. However i doubt she can prevent you going to the dr's office with Mom.
Beware the social worker she is not there to manage Mom's pain that is the Dr's job. SW is there to investigate mom's living conditions and possibly remove Mom from your care if that is what Sis is up to. There may be other perfectly harmless reasons for a SW visit but forwarned is forarmed. make sure the house is spotless Mom showered and in clean clothes. moms bed mad with clean sheets the bathroom imaculate. Clean the fridge and make sure there is food suitable for her there and in your pantry. Be ready to tell her what Mom likes to eat and what you plan for dinner that night. have all Mom's meds together in alocked box or high shelf. make sure you know why she is taking everything. look it up on the net if you don't know. Write out a list ahead of time and be prepared to hand it to SW. You may not be able to recieve information on Mom's health but there is nothing to stop you sending the Dr ahead of time a letter telling him what has been going on. He can't answer you but you can tell him everything you know and tell him your sister has forbidden you to attend this appointment.
This SW visit is a red flag to me and sounds like a fishing expedition so take care.
Sis can think what she likes about this site, thats why we have moderators and other experts to make sure it is not a crock of s+++.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1 2 3 4
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions