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I'm caring for my mother who has ''dementia''. I put the '' '' because we're not sure if it is from cancer mets to the brain or not but due to her general condition and low weight/weakness the docs don't want to subject her to any more scans or treatments and I agree.

So, the palliative nurse has advised me to keep getting nutrition into her to keep up some sort of weight and help her profound weakness/fatigue. My issue is that after eating she gets extremely agitated. I know sitting up is hard for her but I try to gets lots of pillows and make it as comfy as I can until we get in a hospital bed. Today she ate a yogurt for me and some mash potatoes. As soon as I fed her the last bite she started getting agitated. She picked at clothing, insisted on getting up and when I asked where she wanted to go she said ''I just have to get out or I'll bite your head off'' which is so uncharacteristic it's funny. She was raving quite incoherently and at one point said ''I haven't seen you in months'' to me. For the next hour I couldn't get her to lay down and she was impossible to pacify. This is the third time she's gotten so antsy and agitated after a meal. Is there a connection? Has anyone experienced this before? She's much calmer at other times of the day and was with ''with it'' for some time before I fed her. Just not sure if it is a coincidence, eating, the time of day??

Any help would be appreciated. Thank You.

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Food allergy,gluten or dairy or both.It don't have to be full blown celiac,it could just be an intolerance with leaky guy too.
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Food allergies,leaky gut,gluten allergy.Thats what she's got
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BTW, from personal experience, meds like prilosec should not be given together, or at the same time as lactaid. Ask your doctor.
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BDSP37
Keep the bed elevated. You would understand if ever experiencing the hot, rolling boil, rapidly shooting up your esophagus and into your throat, to wake you in the middle of the night.
If this is what is happening, that scary event is enough to explain the bedcovers being thrown off, legs sticking out over the bed, etc.

FF, I read that it should be a wedge pillow in addition to your pillows, because the incline is important and pillows just don't do that properly. However, with g.e.r.d. it is whatever works, right?

Just so everyone knows, GERD is called different names, and some conditions can be different. GERD stands for Gastrointestinal Esophageal Reflux Disorder
(or Disease?). It can often be diagnosed from just the symptoms, whether or not studies are done such as upper g.i.
Some of the treatments are with prilosec, prevacid, prevacid with tums, nexium, and others.
Do not overfeed a patient with these issues.
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Thank you freqflyer the bed is a big help. I kept it elevated for about 30 minutes after feeding last night and she dozed off without as much agitation. Unfortunately she is up now at 4am throwing back all the covers and sticking her legs out over the sides of the bed. This is a crazy ride but if I could just get a full 8 hours sleep I would be a new woman!!
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BDSP, that is great that the hospital bed has arrived. If you think maybe acid reflux could be the issue or one of the issues, don't have Mom lying down flat... have the back of the bed up no less than 6" unless Mom sleeps on more than one pillow. I have this issue so two thick pillows are a must with me.

Some elders like to sleep totally flat, my parents were that way, and their pillows were so thin it was like sleeping on a pancake. And here my Dad had acid reflux.
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Thanks guys. The hospital bed arrived first thing which was great. She was very sore moving her into it but she seems quite relaxed at the moment. I'm sure it's much more comfortable than the sofa. I will keep track on what she's eating and how she reacts and I will get some lactaid tabs. I called the nurse again and she offered me some help every morning by getting someone to come in and wash mom. She got very agitated when she said that so I'm going to decline just right now. She's had so many adjustments in such a short space of time that once she's settled into the new bed and routine she might be more receptive.

@MsMadge You know the cancer has taken a back seat to the cognitive issues. If she was mentally okay the cancer symptoms would be easy to manage and she would still have some independence. The palliative nurse was actually telling me that most of her cancer patients have "easy deaths" with controlled pain and many are even up and about until days before a decline. She recently lost a patient who had been in Europe visiting family 36 hours before she passed! She said chronic diseases are more difficult to die from. So far in our family we've had sudden deaths with no prior symptoms so this is all new. Dad, grand parents and aunt were 4 cardiac arrests, 2 strokes. Dad actually was watching TV with my mom and he tilted his head back and died on the spot. I didn't know then how "lucky" he was to go so easily. I have such admiration for other carers because it isn't easy. I've applied for financial aid since leaving my job and they will give $870 per month. Really crazy how much we are undervalued.
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She may have gastric reflux, or lactose intolerance. Those issues can come up at any age. She also may suffer from gall stones. My mom has all 3 of those issues! So she chews 2 lactaid tablets before eating, eats sitting completely straight up, and stays sitting up for an hour or more, and can't have any greasy food, fried food, or fatty food,. I would consider digestive problems as the cause, and try to alleviate them. Can't hurt to try.
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Some of us our night owls so post at whatever time you need

You are a star for caring for your mom

I used to be of the opinion that cancer was so much more difficult due to the pain but others have told me that dementia is worst - I really don't know if you can compare the two but it is an agonizing journey
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Thanks. Some great suggestions. I was so focused on her cancer and the lung disease she had for 5 years prior that the dementia symptoms threw me and I'm totally unprepared and overwhelmed. The palliative nurse got her a low dose pain patch Monday, the family doc tried fentanyl last week but it left her totally looped. Otherwise, no meds. The oncologist is no help, he told the palliative nurse he was happy with mom and couldn't understand why the family doc had called in palliative care at all. Our checkups only involved a chat, bloods and an occasional chest scan. I'm here 24 hours per day with 2 30 min breaks to eat thanks to my uncle who drops in on his lunch break and after work. Mom cannot walk, get out to the commode, feed herself, she's mostly incoherent and mumbled speech. If I try to move her at all let alone out to a wheelchair she's moaning in pain. She's so thin I can't move her without grabbing bones which is a big factor. And this oncologist thinks she's fine and didn't want to see her again until Jan 2017???? I'm so grateful that the family doc made a house call to see her and was able to get me a little help from palliative care.

I quit my job and moved home in 2011 when she first started having COPD exacerbations but I did get a job here that was badly paid but helped keep my mind active. I've only been caring for her 24 hours for 2 weeks and I'm already going crazy so I'm happy to have found this site.
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A friend suggested feeding her less but more frequently.
Yellow vegetables can be soothing for stomach issues.

It may be she just has to go to the bathroom and doesn't know it. Charting like Rainmom suggested will tell. Just add "BM, check " to the list. Is she constipated? Is she agitated from itching? How's her liver function? (Maybe not too good). Finally, does she have diabetes, or a condition similar? Is she flushing red-faced at these times? Is she overheated?
Does she have an anti-anxiety med you can give her with her meal?
Can she be gotten out of bed-maybe fed in a wheelchair-to be taken to another room, or to the window? Do you talk to her at these times when feeding her? Try not talking, or leaving the room before she is about to become agitated.
(It is not your fault). Sometimes with enough information you can figure these things out. Trying various comfort measures may help. A drink as the meal is finishing may help sooth her. Now, on top of everything else, you got to be a detective.
Sorry you are going through this, wishing I knew the answer. But stay with us, you can get support and understanding here.
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BDSP37, have your Mom tested for her B12 level... I wouldn't be surprised if it is very low as cancer can zap the energy out of you. If the B12 level is low, it can be corrected with weekly B12 shots, then later by B12 pills.

The picking at clothing is usually a symptom of "delirium", this is something you need to tell your Mom's primary doctor. He/she can give Mom meds to calm her down.

Rainmon above had a good idea of charting what foods your Mom is eating. Maybe she had become intolerant to dairy products which can upset her stomach. Usually the symptoms happen immediately. Or if tomatoes or heavy spices were on the menu for lunch, that can makes one's throat feel like it is on fire or their chest area will hurt a couple of hours later, this is acid reflux/heartburn. Tums works to calm the fire.
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If it were me, I'd start doing what I call "charting and graphing". I have a nonverbal son with autism and since he can't tell me what's wrong - when his behavior is off, I have to try to figure it out myself. Keep track of time of day and what you are feeding your mom - dairy, carbohydrates, etc and look for patterns. Also - check for "sundowners". I'm not that familiar with the condition - perhaps someone else can advise on that. But from what little I know - it's usually an agitated behavior that happens at a specific time of day.
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