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So many of the issues, Diabetes, End of Life???, Legal Issues (I hope to get back to that next week) and the LACK OF APPETITE thing.

the Anemia I hope we're tackling as the dr. sees fit. But I think it's a long haul. Any other stories out there? Especially by women - around that age....

thank you so much for being here....

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I just can't say (thru the tears, at the moment) how grateful I am for this place. It's interesting. My father passed away from complications of Parkinson's Disease after 15yrs. He spent much of the last couple of years off and on with me in CA because Mom just wasn't "a CGiver". I relished my job with him (he passed at 72) because he wanted so much to be better and DO whatever it took. But it was hard, too. A Parkinsonian is only as good as their med cocktail and timing is. And Daddy and I were pros!

Mom doesn't want to participate at this time. Tonite at dinner I did BSugar (OK), BPressure (also need that pulse rate - critical at this time), gave her her insulin which REQUIRES that she eats within 10-15 mins later. It's a fast acting insulin that drops the blood sugar so food must be eaten with it. She ate one bite of one of her fav soups (mashed for no dentals) and shoved it back. She had had 1/2 Glucerna to take her evening pills and wanted no more of that. I had a bit of applesauce and grapes (which she loves) for desert. SHE WAS DONE.

I took the soup to the kitchen and LOUDLY (!) washed the bowl. Reminded her that she had 10-15 mins to enjoy her Glucerna (which she actually does) and go for the desert. "later" was all I got. After awhile, I told her that when her blood sugar dropped, I had no orange juice here in the hotel room, because she wouldn't put her teeth in, she wouldn't be able to either chew a piece of candy OR a couple of Glucose tablets. She just said "why do you care"? OK, maybe we have a couple of other issues going on right now (!), but she KNOWS all I want to do is have her in a healthy and comfortable place. 1 1/2 later, checked it again, it's lower, not critical, but she finished her Glucerna and I gave her several small chunks of watermelon (sugar but LIQUID!!!!!) of which she's drinking NO water - yes urine is darkish yellow. Level is higher..

Frankly, tho this is early in our journey, it may be that if she sees what happens if she doesn't try to "try" - she'll be back at the hospital with dehydration and the nurses being much more insistent I am at the moment.

Hotel Kitchenettes are NOT my forte (I'm not a great cook - just have dogs and patient husband who loves to cook!) so this isn't helping on the aesthetic end of it.

Thank you for everything. The diabetes if the tough part because she is FAAAARRR from underweight - terribly over, in fact. But still, no food, no good measurement readings, additional weakness, etc.

I'll keep looking for this sort of specific combo and stay here as well.

I'm so blessed to you all and know what good souls you are because you caregivers first, and caregivers reaching out secondly. those that can't handle the task - it's not pretty, I know.

Oh, RebeccaJ: Tried to have heart to heart with her about PoA since all sorts of things coming up. I also have to point to the big X or O for her to sign - but the sigs are all over the where and, yes, the degeneration which is tough to handle on its own. I'll address that in a legal question area if there is one, but let you know!

Would never go out for any activity outside the home, completely reclusive because she has those around her to be there for her.

Only thing she EVER wanted to do was go out to eat. That joy is gone - but I hope we can make a temporary. Maybe wishful thinking, but.....

And the teeth? Please need those teeth! Even one side would help! Will work on that too!

thanks all and g'nite!
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I think trying to get a POA is very important, before thinking of something more radical and possibly costly such as guardianship. If you've tried these things I apologize for the repeat, but my Mother has had macular degeneration years and can't see to sign, so when she still signed I just had her start the pen beside my finger. But I would trying explaining to her that the POA is not giving up her power. It is to let you help her more, since she has a hard time seeing to sign. Also explain that she could revoke the POA at any time she wanted. She still has the power, but if something happens and she can't do something, you can do it for her. That's all it is. If you can't get a POA, guardianship might be the next step, especially if you talk with your siblings first and get assurance you are all in agreement. I wouldn't want it, personally, but if it became necessary, I'd do it for her sake.

What you said about the anemia scares me. Mother's doc is rechecking her blood tomorrow, because her white blood cell count fell to 910 and he said she might need a transfusion. But the same thing with the appetite, doesn't want to eat. Whenever she's tired and unusually weak, I take her blood pressure and while I know if it is okay, I tell her, it's really down to like 99 or 100 and she needs to eat. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. She's down to 95 and that's not good.

And like Jinx said, don't blame yourself for anything, you are trying to do the best you can and that is all anyone can do. I have finally learned it's out of my hands. I thought if I plastered signs around the house with instructions, such as "when you get up, drink your boost and eat a yogurt", she'd understand and do it, plus it is right on the bathroom mirror. I was so frustrated at me, what was I doing wrong, and at her, why isn't she following instructions. Well, last week I tried taking her to a senior center just for some activity or something -- she hated it. But I did talk to the director -- the place also has a day care connected with it -- and I learned, that while she reads the directions and knows what it says, her brain no longer understands what to do with what she read. That little information has made me more peaceful and accepting. It is just out of my hands and I don't get as frustrated. However I still do cry a good bit because it is so sad and hard for her also. Good luck and hugs.
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I'm there on the "not eating" part, my own Mother is as picky as a 3-year-old, if it's not exactly what she wants, she won't eat it. I've all but given up at this point, figuring that if she eats anything it's enough; at least I make sure she gets a proper variation of meats, breads, fruits (she HATES vegetables). Not sure what to say, it's an exercise in futility to fuss and coax someone who clearly doesn't want to eat. At least you mention some soft foods she seems to enjoy. Does she like soup? A good soup is one way she can eat even without teeth, and there's no end of variations.
Wish I could help more.
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Yes, you are wise to give those closest to you a break. How is her weight? If she is already too thin, that's worrisome, but if she is overweight and loses a bit before treatment makes her feel better, don't panic. Sometimes it looks like the end, but it is just a temporary crisis from which they improve. Then they stabilize and go on quite well for a while.

Is her medication affecting her sense of taste?

If she recovers, try dragging her out to a day program or senior citizens lunch. She's depressed and won't want to go, but she might still enjoy it enough to want to go again. What about a visit from a therapy dog or cat? What about music? Have you heard of Pandora, which is an app for computer or smart phone that will create a playlist to her personal taste.

I have been depressed for years, and even I get frustrated trying to get myself going. Don't blame yourself if you can't "cure" her. They say depression is treatable, but that doesn't mean it's always (ever!) curable.
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Hi - thank you both. I just read many answers in the appetite section. Yes, many suggestions.

I didn't realize my question was so frenetic! Please see LONG info below:

Mom is 82, I'm 58 and live in CA - she in TX. I came out for a 2 week visit after she was released from a week stay in the hospital....
She has been diabetic (II) for many many years and has never addressed it except with insulin - been a sugar nut her entire life.
Just recently the consequences have surfaced via diabetic retinopathy (currently seeing through a "black veil" - but undergoing injections and laser treatment to address the issue), and apparently has had diminished kidney function for quite some time that I was unaware of because "it" was not an outward sign, therefore she disregarded it.
Depressed for years, on and off anti-Ds, not wanting to address that either (Daddy passed away in 2001 - but that wasn't the cause, just general Dep). In other words, not really wanting to address life, I'm sorry to say so bluntly. She has two grown children who love and adore her, but.....
Over the past two months her appetite changed from eating poorly (mostly carbs, candy, whatever she chose - despite the fact she has a companion/caregiver who cooks excellent healthy meals for her and tries to keep her on track / can't make the horse drink.....") to criticizing the taste of CG's cooking, to eventually not eating much, not wanting much candy, then not wanting much food.
(Additionally, as in several other cases - has poorly fitting dental wear so she no longer wears her teeth often so there's that now.....)
Several weeks ago after a check up with her doctor (because I had a home health service evaluate her for home health care) called and told her CG to take her straight to the hospital for admittance - her blood production was low. Mom refused to go. That night she collapsed and they went via ambulance and she was admitted to the ICU.
She was transfused 3 times and has been diagnosed with Hemolytic Anemia, put on strong program of prednisone (we'll be starting 3rd week tomorrow) so has her blood checked weekly. The prednisone has her sleeping all day, totally weak, wreaks havoc with her blood sugar EXCEPT that she's not eating enough to make much of a difference.

SO, those things combined with no appetite have me, well, yes - overwhelmed. Oh, and three days ago, her house flooded and we're now in a hotel while I deal with that as well. She just wants to go home and sort of mostly understands what's going on with her health and her home.

Won't sign Power of Attorney. Can't see well enough where to sign necessary contracts now or whatever is needed in the future. Her siblings, which she loves, can talk no sense into her. She will NOT give her control away - I know that's not unusual.

The treatment for the anemia will take time - and I'm happy to have found this site and read such similar symptoms of other women who have/are going through it. But if she would eat, this would all be much more palatable. She still has "taste", and mentioned the other day that she doesn't understand where her appetite has gone, so it doesn't seem like end of life. But most of the time she DOES reject the idea of food, so lots of Glucerna, soft scrambled egg, mashed potatoes, watermelon yesterday a big winner!, yes, the small plates, etc.

I DO realize this all COULD be the beginning of the end, and she's honestly ready, so that doesn't help - but I still wish she had more _____ to fight this anemia with. It's hard, as others have said, to stand by and watch.

Thank you SO much for listening. My husband and best friend have shoulders that are only so wide!
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Not sure what your questions are, really, honey. What about end of life? What about diabetes? What kind of legal issues? What about the lack of appetite?

Sounds like Jinx nailed it - you sound really overwhelmed. Peace and more peace to you during this season and know that you are not alone and there are LOADS of resources and great support on this site.
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If you want some answers right now, put appetite in the search bar of this website. It is a common problem, and wise people have made many suggestions.

You sound really overwhelmed. By the way, are you 58 or is your mother 58? I wasn't sure. God bless you.
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