Mom (75) is starting to decline cognitively- is it just lingering effects from the recent UTI? - AgingCare.com

Mom (75) is starting to decline cognitively- is it just lingering effects from the recent UTI?

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First, let me say that for the last month or so I have found this forum to be so educational and comforting. About 6 wks ago my Mom started hallucinating. She lives exactly 2 minutes from my husband and I. She called me before work that day and told me she was hallucinating. Her sleeping habits have been horrible the past few years. I see her twice a day at least. I suspected sleep deprivation. When I got to her house she seemed absolutely fine. An hour later my Husband called me at work and said she called him telling him there were people in her house that broke in. She then called the cops. I got home- 5 very sweet cops were looking at me with such empathy. I thought she had a stroke. I called the emt's -they came and checked her out. All vitals good. Answered all their questions perfectly. They could not force her to go with them. I ended up staying with her around the clock for 6 days. On the 5th day I finally got her to pee in a cup. Sure enough- it was a uti. Got a doctor friend to prescribe her antibiotics. Took her 2 weeks to get them in her.Took her to a new geriatric specialist and the infection is gone but she is still insistent that the break in happened. Not only that but she has made up all of these stories that never happened. About 6 months ago I noticed her saying that all of the Young and the Restless episodes were repeats. They don't do that. She makes up scenarios that never happened. She has never been to this new dr. before but insists she has and even says she talked to the nurse for a long time on the phone and she was the lesbian lover of one of our friends (who was not gay, btw.) I know this poor woman has never talked to my mom before and was NOT the lover of our friend. I am terrified she is going to say something to this woman when we go back. I was hoping this would eventually clear up once the infection was gone but it does not seem to be the case. I am an only child. I love my Mom more than anything- she has been a phenomenal single mother. I chose not to have children because patience is not a virtue I posess. I am trying to stay positive. Has anyone had any experience with lingering cognitive effects from a uti? I thought it cleared up when the infection was gone. I am at a total loss- she has no problem remembering things- it is just that she makes things up that never happened. Has anyone experienced this? Dr. stated she doesn't think it is Alzheimer's but the vivid memories of things that never occurred is really worrying me. Any advice would be appreciated. I took some advice I read on this forum at the beginning of this and insisted I believed her about everything. That really seemed to calm her down a lot, so thank you.

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In my experience, every serious UTI takes a little bit more of my mother's mind but it is just a little bit. When she has finished hour course of antibiotics, she is usually close to being back to normal or she is still stone cold crazy. When she is still stone cold crazy, a recheck usually reveals a continuance of the original UTI or a reoccurrence. We just switched doctors because I am pissed off that this last doctor would not take me seriously. He was relying on the post antibiotic recheck which was clear and insisted that mom was just aging (and implied that I was exaggerating).

Well, lo and behold, full blown UTI requiring hospitalization and 30 days in rehab. UTI cleared, UTI back etc. That was at Christmas and we just got our first glimpse of coherence this past week.

Be aggressive and demand urine checks until you are sure that there is no infection. And then check again to make sure it has not come back.
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My husband had dementia and he had the opposite reaction to videos and movies. He was sure he had never seen them before. Made a small collection of videos he liked go a long way!
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Oh, also- The Victor and Jack rivalry has cooled off somewhat. ;)
Still a lot of baby switching, etc. She just stopped watching as she says she has seen all the episodes before!!! Hahaha!!!!
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful replies! Mom has hypoglycemia (controlled with diet for 45 yrs) and is very sensitive to medications. She ONLY takes a small dose of Buspirone and Benicar daily. She has no alcohol in her house as she has not had a drop in 45 yrs. No surgeries since the c-section she had when I made my appearance 45 yrs ago. I was surprised she tolerated the Macrobid antibiotic she took. And, you are right about the little nurse-she is really fantastic as this is a primarily geriatric practice. I am taking her back in 2 weeks for a follow up. Her labs came back and they were good. She now says that there are guys climbing on to her roof and drinking beer up there. LOL!!!!!! She says they are the sons of her next door neighbor (who moved away months ago) and that she had a long conversation with her about them walking around on her roof. I hope this ends soon. I am confident the doctors office workers are understanding but not so sure how others will react to her wild stories. At least they are creative!!!!!
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I think this still could be the results of the uti or even another bout with that condition. One of my aunts had hallucinations in her 80s that turned out to be from a uti. I'm sorry I don't remember how long it took to clear up, but it did clear up. She lived to be 100 and never again had hallucinations or cognitive problems.

So this still could clear up.

I think you are right to be concerned, to watch her closely, and to stay in touch with the new doctor.

Meanwhile, she is not consciously making these stories up. They are not lies. They are delusions she has no control over. I think it helps to keep that in mind.
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The first time my father had an UTI he had the most off the wall hallucination - and it lasted for quite a while, as hullucinations go - several hours. Long after the UTI was cured my father said that the hallucination had been so real to him, that it was still hard for him to believe that it didn't happen. But I guess that's the big difference between what my dad experienced and what you mom experienced - my dad understood clearly that it never could have happened regardless of how real it still felt.

So yes, I think it's right to be concerned and to follow up with her doctor. I guess a couple obvious questions would be - is your mom taking any pain medications or any new rx's? Is there any chance she could be drinking? It would make sense to me to retest for a UTI and to make sure they culture it. Twice in my life I've had a UTI clears up - only to reoccur a few days later - the result of needing to do a ten day course of antibiotics instead of seven. I've also had two occasions where the initial results were negative but waiting out the culture gave a positive result.

As for The Young and the Restless- I haven't watched it in about 15 years. But if I turned it on tomorrow it wouldn't surprise me one bit to find Jack fighting Victor for control of Jabot!
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Look up confabulation. It might help you understand what's going on. My aunt (90) did this for awhile and then it passed. In her case people were moving. If a person was mentioned, she would say "oh they moved into an apartment". As far as I know, she knows no one that lives in an apartment but that was part of the story with each person. My FIL( 88-89) came to believe he had a second home, exactly like the one he had lived in for 50 years only the second one was located in the next city down the road. He seemed perfectly normal in other ways. My FIL never gave up the notion of the second home. My aunt quit having everyone moving into apartments. However one day she was telling me a story about someone. She saw that I was confused by what she had just told me so she added " or I may have just made that up". We both laughed and moved on.
About the nurse, I suspect as a nurse she sees plenty of elders who say things that seem a little off. You will adjust. No need to let it bother you. Just smile at the nurse and she'll get the picture. My aunt entertains the occupants of every waiting room we go to.
But then she's 90 and your mom is only 75 so more difficult I'm sure.
I can't remember how long it takes after the UTI for the mental fog to clear. Your mom may have gotten another one already. That sometimes happens. I find it interesting that she told you that she was hallucinating. Do you have her paperwork in order? DPOA financial and medical? Living will? Will? You might want to meet with an elder attorney.
Then I would take her to a neurologist for testing. Has your mom had any recent surgeries? Anesthesia can cause problems as well.
I've read that hallucinating is not all that uncommon. Hopefully the confabulation will pass. And The Young and the Restless does seem to repeat their story lines fairly often if not the same episodes.
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