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This came up a couple of weeks ago; mom was crying and whimpering that she had exposed my pregnant niece to "something like leprosy" and that "I knew all about it". (I didn't). I finally told mom she didn't have MRSA, Tuberculosis or shistosomaisis and she seemed happy with that. Last night, she was agitated and upset again, pointing to something on her arm and insisting that my SIL call me because "Barbara knows what I have". I've asked the nurses to have the APRN look at her and perhaps get the dermatologist involved. Anyone have any brilliant ideas? Yes, she has vascular dementia and she's on anti-depressants and anti anxiety meds.

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Brother and SIL went to see mom yesterday and still no mention of her skin. Gotta see what the late evening visits with my SIL will bring this week!
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It's a VERY good thing! My mom is in a NH two hours from where i live, quite close to brother and SIL who visit often. Sometimes there's a dance around some stuff like this.

It's interesting to see mom from the perspective of someone who didn't grow up with mom as their mother. My experience of my mom is that of someone who watched her terrible anxiety throughout my childhood. I was deeply affected by it.

My SIL doesn't have that history, tends to take her more at face value, i.e., if mom thinks she has something like leprosy, there must be a grain of truth in it. Nope.
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Babalou, so is it a good thing you have others involved in Mom's care? I'm an only child, Mom's brother has Alzheimer's and it's just me, I have POA, trustee of her trust, medical POA etc. sometimes I think it's good I don't have to convince anyone else to go my path, other times I wish I had someone to share the burden with.....btw, my FIL gets a painful skin rash on his leg that the doc called cellulitis.
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The one good thing to come out of this, thus far ( and i feel kinda guilty about it) is that my PoA brother said very firmly during mom's care meeting " we're going to treat the upset and nothing else, because the "disease" that she's upset about is a phantom. My sil wants me to call up all mom's previous docs and finds out what she'd had in the past that was "like leprosy".

I resisted. But i finally emailed my brother the other day and told him that i needed him, as PoA, to complete HIPAA forms allowing me to talk to mom's three derms, two internists...and suddenly, he seemed to realize that this was crazy.
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So, i went to see Mom today. Two hours and she didn't bring up anything about her skin, the dermatologist or anything more urgent than not wanting to be out of her room when her ice cream was due to arrive.

I drove there today armed with all sorts of responses to her concerns. The only thing i wasn't prepared for was her non-concern. Feeling very much at sea.
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Hmmm...you know liquid nitrogen might just cure "something like leprosy" too. I might or might not get around to looking it up for your mom in the Archives of Dermatology, but I bet I'm onto something - oh yeah, I think I remember from dermatology class that a little bit of the cold stuff is just the thing for lepraisis. It's probably a rare condition and very interesting, but fortunately very treatable.
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Babalou, she is re-living something from the past. Did someone she know have skin cancer or did she have something with a bad rash as a child? She may have dreams of bad skin and think it is real.
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We had mom's care meeting today. The nh professional staff believe that is function of mom's dementia.

We need to her engaged and occupied
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I'm going to talk to the dermatologist today. The thing is, my mother knows that the treatment for a keratosis is liquid nitrogen. She KNOWS (in her mind) that that's not what this is. That it's something "terrible".
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I don't suppose they would consider a little liquid nitrogen treatment?
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The dermatologist saw my mom yesterday and says that the bumps are keratosis. Mom vigorously shakes her head no when my SIL visits last night, insists that they are something "terrible".

I cannot recall an instance in which my mother did not agree with a doctor.
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Oh lord; the dermatologist came and looked and he said that they are keratoses. Mom disagrees. My sister in law wants me to contact mom's former dermatologists to find out what she may have been told that she has that is "like leprosy". Wish me luck, folks.
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Hmmmm, thinking maybe that SHE'S thinking shingles of psoriasis. Thanks for all your support!
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The nurses are calling what she has "plaques" and the dermatologist will come look at them. She has aphasia, so for her, getting out the correct word is often impossibly hard, but the word she gets out usually contains at least one sound from the ACTUAL word.

My mother has always been anxious and something of a medical alarmist. She was a medical secretary as a young woman ( she refers to this as having been "in medicine") and knows more than is good for her.

We'll just have to see what the doctor says. I'm impatient with her whimpering and pointing with horror to skin stuff like it's the end of the world. And i know it's because i was told as a child to get over this kind of behavior. Sigh
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Oh my. If she has a scaly red patch somewhere I'd bet on psoriasis...and if she does NOT have a scaly red patch somewhere, I'd also bet she dreamed she had leprosy and you knew and weren't doing anything. My mom used to dream stuff and be totally convinced it was real. She said she thought my husband had "a brain rot disease," (PROBBLY not..), there was a convicted murderer amongst the residents that the police were going to come pick up and take away to be executed, and she had medical appointments on Sundays...it really aggravated her that no one believed her and set up her transportation. At first this kind of horrified me but then I realized my mom was not all that distressed by the various stories. But yours is...maybe have her show you or get a picture of it or maybe you can look at something and tell her oh yeah, you had _____, silly me I forgot all about that, but but it is all gone now, the doctor I talked to about it for you said not to worry?
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Send, that's where I came up with Shistosomaisis! There seemed to be an "S" factor. A couple of years ago, mom was put in isolation, because she hadn't had a TB test. It came back negative, so I always empahize to her that she DOESNT have that.

She had a MRSA based UTI once, but doc didn't tell her.. I threw in Shistosomaisis simply because it had "ssss" and I have cats.

Just noticed tonight that these concerns seem to arise in the evening, not during thte day when I visit.

It's just so very concerning when she says "I) know what it is" If I get on the phone with her, she's very hostile when I say I don't know. she says "Dont put me through this,Barbara; you know what I have; you know what I'm talking about" (no mom, I really, really don't!!)
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It starts with the letter " S ",
Shingles, Psoriasis, Spiders Spider mites, and Silly Bed Bugs.

Bed bugs can be found with a special flourescent light, magnifying glass, or finding little brown flecks of dried blood dirt on the sheets. The bites appear in tiny three spots (3's). These are suspect in a facility that washes towels and sheets together. Also check the mattress.

Oh, sorry Babalou, you had asked for 'brilliant', my bad! I agree with your Mom, you know what she has! Good luck, and thanks for sharing! You have always been there for everyone else!
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If it is any comfort laprosy is not very contagious There are antibiotics to treat it. it is thought to be spread by droplets from the nose but may take many years to develop. Very few cases in developed countries such as the US. It is often known as chanson's disease. I saw a couple of cases very may years ago. It is very disfiguring. Some areas such as India, Africa and China still isolate sufferers in Leper Colonies.
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MRSA
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Shingles
Allergies to food or medicine
Flea bites (Cats in the facility?)
Mosquitos or other bug bites
Allergic to laundry Detergent used on clothes/sheets.
Itching caused by diabetes or liver problems, untreated with Benadryl Cream, Mom scratches-makes it worse. Is there a scab?
Std.
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Tell her it's an STD and she will deny having it. (just kidding).
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Interestingly, when the DON went to see my mom this AM, and asked if there was anything bothering her, if there was anything on her arm that was bothering her, if those bumps on her arm ( I sent pictures) were bothering her, mom's consistent answer was "no".

Dermatologist will check them out. thanks for listening!
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