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My mother has dementia and a UTI. Every morning she asks me for "just another little white pill" referring to her Ativan. I usually give her one, then she is back in a few minutes asking for another. I tell her I just gave her one. She knows, but she wants another. She starts saying please in a begging voice until I finally have to get really forceful with my NO. Then I feel bad because I raised my voice.

A little bit later, the scene replays. She says she wants it because she has to go to the bathroom too often. I know that Ativan wouldn't do a thing to help that. I am coming to realize that she may have a fear of death, since she knows it will be soon. I'm not able to reach her spiritually, since she is so shut inside herself. The begging is creating a whole new level of stress in an already stressful situation.

I know one of the first suggestions will be an automated pillbox, so thought I would mention that it wouldn't work. I'm trying to think of a way to reach her through conversation, but I don't know if there is a way. Maybe the only way is to keep doing what I'm doing. I wish she would accept a quiet no and not keep begging under I have to raise my voice.

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:-) The only problem would be my sanity. She would be asking for a pill every few minutes, which would make it very hard for me to work.

The good news is that Mom is feeling better this morning. I hope the infection is finally clearing. Between my brother visiting week before last and the UTI last week, this has been a hard stretch of time in this household. I woke up this morning, thinking we might need to go to the hospital. I was relieved to see her looking brighter and more cheerful than she has in a long time. It will be a pleasure to go to the doctor, instead of the hospital.
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Jessie, is mom asking for a pill because she thinks it's going to help with the peeing? Or because she's getting relief from her anxiety from the Ativan?

What would be the problem with having a large supply of placebo pills to give her whenever she wants them?
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Guess I should explain what I just wrote. I know everyone doesn't read each thread. Mom and I went to her doctor at the UAB Geriatrics last Wed. The doctor said she would prescribe an antibiotic and we could go to the lab to get a urinalysis. Well, the doctor didn't prescribe and she didn't respond to my reminders the next day. The staff finally called and said the test was negative for infection, so the doctor wouldn't be prescribing anything. Things got worse and I took Mom to Urgent care on Saturday.
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She feels so bad that I feel sad for her. OTOH, I feel so stressed that I feel sad for me, too. If it isn't a bit better by tomorrow, we may try the er. I was thinking it would be really nice if she was admitted to the hospital for a few days. I would still have to run back and forth a bit, but it would give me a break from this non-ending suffering while she was getting some help.

This is something I believe that if her doctor had prescribed something right away, it wouldn't be this bad. The doctor at the urgent care facility we ended up going to was much better. We don't know if it is the right antibiotic yet... it has only been 2 days. Goodness, it feels like 2 years.
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Jessie, Babalou's suggestion reminded me that I have always taken advantage of the nurse line available through my various health insurance companies over the years. Perhaps you could say, "I don't want to give you too much if it would be bad for you. Let's see what the nurse says." Call and ask your question. Of course the nurse will say stick with the instructions. (He or she might also say discuss it with your doctor, etc.) You could ask the nurse to repeat that to your mother. I don't know how long that would "take" -- you might have to repeat it every day -- but it demonstrates that you care and you are willing to do what is safe.

Hugs to you, dear Jessie, this journey just doesn't get easier, does it?
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Jessie, my mom started getting really good care when she moved to Independent Living and started seeing a geriatric doctor whose cell phone number and email address we both had. IL was nice, but having a doctor we always felt was there to answer questions was the real blessing. Just a thought.
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That is always such a problem -- figuring out if a symptom is something or nothing.
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Placebos would be a good idea. If I handed them out freely, though, there would be no end to the request for them.

Something that helped was that the thread on peeing too much was resurrected here on AC. I read that, then told my mother that a lot of women over 80 had the same problem having to pee too often. We go back to the doctor about her UTI tomorrow. I hope it is clearing. The infection adds a seriouness to the frequent peeing.
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Jessie, I was thinking the same thing as cwillie, above. How about a sugar pill in the size of her regular pill? Or would your Mom keep asking for more during the day?
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What about some kind of placebo? As long as you are in charge of the pills I don't think it would hurt to try it just to help get her off your back. Perhaps the pharmacy would have something available??
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Jessie, I would call her doctor. Ativan sometimes makes folks MORE agitated. Or, her body may have accommodated to the usual dose and she may need mire, or a different drug. I feel so bad for you! Don't feel like you're in this alone.
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