Those of you who know me from the forum know that my mother is difficult, to say the least......93 and living in the Memory Care part of the ALF she's lived at since 2015. She started a new drug, Cymbalta, a few weeks ago for the neuropathy pain in her legs. I was very hesitant to try this medication, and so was her PA, due to her history of bad reactions and side effects in general. Cymbalta, however, doesn't have a bunch of side effects that relate directly to dementia, so yeah, okay, let's give it a whirl.
Her legs are feeling better, she's sleeping like a baby (which likely has nothing to do with this medication) and her mood seems improved. A win win.
Until about 9 days in when the mass confusion begins. She starts calling my phone multiple times while I'm at work asking when I'll be picking her up or how else will she get to my house? She's agitated, confused, leaving multiple messages & saying she's getting the wrong number.
I talk her off the ledge, you're not coming over mom, nothing going on over here, yada yada. Next day, same thing. Calls me up hollering about 'I'm having a FIT because it's snowing! HOW ON EARTH will I get to your house?'
I thought maybe she had a UTI. Nope, the UA was negative. The only likely culprit, the Cymbalta. Her PA, meanwhile, is on vacation (naturally). I had the medicine discontinued; she seemed to get better after it left her system.
Then 2 nights ago, same thing! She wants my 'opinion' on something. Do I think she should spend the night in the place she's in? I'm like WHAT? She says she's never slept there before, but needs to get 'out of my hair' so maybe she should stay put. What's my opinion on the matter?
She wound up yelling at me that WHERE AM I GOING TO GO, NOBODY WANTS ME, etc etc! I have to sleep here, I guess, she kept saying.
Tonight, I call her earlier in the evening and she's seriously angry at me. I ask her if she needs anything, NO THANK YOU, I'll use what I have, is her response. She had a terrible night last night, dreamed all about her dead mother & brother all night long. Her mood is 100% foul and she's calling me by my first name, which she NEVER does. Off..........she's just totally OFF in general; angry, out of it, mad at ME for something I haven't done. Makes no real sense, but nothing about dementia does make sense, I know that.
Naturally I will be speaking to the PA who's back in town tomorrow. Now I'm wondering if she's had a stroke or a TIA. Or if her dementia has just worsened and this is her 'new normal' which I REALLY hope isn't the case. She's hard enough to deal with on a good day, never mind having THIS thrown in to the mix; insisting she doesn't live at the ALF she's lived at the past 5 years.
This doesn't fit into any dementia 'mold' except the 'I want to go home' mold, but it's not quite the same formula. Similar enough, I guess. Oh, she was dx in 2016 with 'progressive dementia' and it's been steadily worsening, but nothing too bad. She's at the point where she doesn't know what day it is, but that's been going on for 9 months at least.
Has anyone had experiences like this? Was it due to meds? Did the behavior improve? She's been off the meds since Tuesday (one week tomorrow; the half life is 2.5 days; should be well OUT of her by now). Does this sound more like a TIA or a stroke to you? It may be a coincidence that the new behaviors coincided with the new meds...but I am leery of 'coincidences'.
Just wondering if anyone had a similar experience with Cymbalta & dementia, or any light to shed on this situation?