Blowing air and so many oddities!

millalm

Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
259
0
I have been taking care of my Mom since 1998, when I came back from Germany & made her my dependent. We were stationed in Ft. Benning, GA then in Ft. Sam Houston, TX. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983 & I think her dementia started in 2013 at the young age of only 62. My belief is that after 30 years of taking antipsychotics then brain deterioration was accelerated. First, she started wondering about the neighborhood & was still living on her own but I would spend 8 to 10 hours a day with her, checking her blood sugar, preparing her meals, cleaning, etc. In 2015 Mom moved in with my husband & I. In 2016 & 2017 Mom dleep became more interrupted with hallucinations. In 2018 I noticed the blowing & constantly looking in the mirror then more hallucinations during the day & disrobing. In March 2019, she started taking Donepezil or Aricept & everything calmed down some with the hallucinations, blowing & mirror watching & there was no more disrobing. Now the doctor has greatly reduced her Aricept because she was having breathing problems & I see her blowing in mid air & she starts singing Somewhere over the Rainbow. In recent weeks she is humming songs, church hyms or music from childhood. I'm trying to figure out what stage Mom is in, she is still walking & getting around well & using the rest room on her own which back in 2018, she would have daily accidents. I am noticing her forgetting to flush the toilet in recent weeks & start the day with anger that normally wouldn't occur until sundowner. Can anyone please help me guess what stage Mom is in? She still talks well & has an expansive vocabulary. I do notice more aggressive behavior, I have many scars on my arms from her scratching me but last week is the first time she has ever scratched my face. I was giving her a shower & had my protective gear on my arms, legs & chest but she scratched my nose. Now I have ordered protective plexi glass masks. Last week she also pulled my hair which she has never done while I was driving. She does sit in the back seat to prevent her from scratching my arms. I wish you all the best & am grateful for any insight on helping Mom's journey easier.
@katherinebenton I have just reread your post and I wish I could give you the answers you are seeking. Many of the things you mention are very similar to the dementia progression I have experienced with my Mum and I know there are many others who have similar stories. My Mums' song is Galway Bay- we went from her singing the words, to mash ups with O my darlin Clementine and a church hymn none of us recognized, to using the melody to communicate with her words, to humming with basically no intelligible speech in a period of about 4 years. Based on the published stages of dementia, and the random abilities she has lost she could have been in early, mid or even late stages at any time during this period. Even now at what I believe is the late, possibly even end stage there are moments when her previously expansive vocabulary will burst through in a single shouted sentence , which seems to be part of a vivid delusion. There have been times when I have listened to the humming for 48 hours at a stretch, to the point I wanted to scream, but now the infrequent humming is the only time I have a glimmer of hope that she still knows it's me. I have been lucky that my Mums' generally sweet nature has not changed so I have not had to deal with the aggression you are experiencing, but it did take me a long time to figure out that the best way to keep my Mum calm was to present as calm and sweet ( NOT my nature) face and voice as I could manage. Two nights ago I was in despair as she was so non responsive I was afraid to leave at bedtime. Last night she was somewhere back in time and I heard her speaking in her normal pre-dementia voice with her lovely little Irish accent to my Dad, her brother and some other folk I could not see. Most of it was actual conversation with a few strange garbles here and there but it was one of those strange gifts at a time when the journey is getting harder and harder. At times she has been on all of the different psychotic medications, most of which only dulled her completely and some left her rigid and unable to move at all. In the end I decided that her delusions seem to bring her comfort so as long as she was not agitated by them I just said a lot of uh huh, really? and you don't say-an Irish standard lol. It does sound like maybe a different medication to calm your Mums' aggression could be in order so don't be afraid to try out whatever your Dr will order. It was Donezipil that made my Mum so stiff although it did help with the delusions but if your Mum has been on it a long time she may need a change as medication can lose its effectiveness over time. My heart goes out to you as I imagine how difficult it must be to have to wear protective equipment just to give your Mum a shower. Are you getting any home help? Here in Canada they will provide a carer in your home for 2 showers a week, when I did that with Mum it was amazing how much of a break it felt like.

The only other thing I can suggest is to come here and tell what you are going through to the most sympathetic group you will ever meet. Sometimes just putting it down and sending it off to people who know first hand what you're going through makes it feel less lonely. There is nothing you can share here that will surprise any us who share this soul destroying journey.

Wishing you strength along the way.
 

ianc2002

New member
Oct 19, 2023
3
0
Morning all,

I seem to be switching between knowing what to expect when I visit my mum, to be being shocked at her deterioration and then back to "OMG, she can talk again"!

There are a couple of things that we have picked up on, I know there are so many different phases and things that dementia patients do and it changes from one person to the next.

But......she does this blowing thing, like she is blowing on a cup of tea or hot food!? Has anyone else noticed there loved ones do this? She also licks her finger like she is going to turn the page of a book. Yesterday, she thought the tea towel on her lap was a book.

I am think of getting her a fidget blanket, has anyone had any success with one of these? Or is it just another thing for them to throw on the floor.

You might tell from my tone that I have had enough today, sorry if I sound abrupt. Could actually do with a good swear and scream :mad::(

Thanks

Jxx
Oh JoannePat, forgive me if your loved one is no longer with us, but what you have described here is just what I'm experiencing. My wife is blowing, but also sucking as if in pain but is at the stage where she can't tell me if she's sore or is it just another dementia thing.

Fiddle sheet, fiddle muff, my wife's sister is a knitter and made one.

She was diagnosed in 2020 at 59, although I could see it three years earlier and NHS dragged its feet for years trying to placate me. Mixed Alzheimer's and Vascular, three years on and she's housebound, fairly non-verbal, speaks, but incoherent, unless she's angry with me and then she's crystal clear.

Thanks for your post, a lot of good info here.
 

Springfield

Registered User
Dec 18, 2021
29
0
My husband has FTD and has been 'blowing' for a while now. He does it most of the time. If I ask why he tells me it calms him or that he just does! The tapping is another thing. If he gets up before me he will tap on everything in the kitchen. The work surfaces, the kettle, the teapot, draining board EVERYTHING! I have to totally switch off or I just would not cope.
There are days when he will just not try to do things and I can't persuade him to do anything.
 

JoannePat

Registered User
Jan 24, 2019
172
0
Oh JoannePat, forgive me if your loved one is no longer with us, but what you have described here is just what I'm experiencing. My wife is blowing, but also sucking as if in pain but is at the stage where she can't tell me if she's sore or is it just another dementia thing.

Fiddle sheet, fiddle muff, my wife's sister is a knitter and made one.

She was diagnosed in 2020 at 59, although I could see it three years earlier and NHS dragged its feet for years trying to placate me. Mixed Alzheimer's and Vascular, three years on and she's housebound, fairly non-verbal, speaks, but incoherent, unless she's angry with me and then she's crystal clear.

Thanks for your post, a lot of good info here.
Hi Ianc2002, I lost my mum april 21, her body just gave up in the end. Non-verbal, non-moving, the lot. Whatever "strain" of dementia/alzheimers they are struck with seems to take them the same way. Such a heartbreaking decease.

The fiddle sheet worked for about three minutes :), I get the feeling that the carers put it in her hand when ever we were due to visit......

Yes, my mum did the sucking thing too. It really is a hard time for you, as you say you don't know if she is actually in pain. Although there were a couple of times when my mum suffered with her back and we could tell the difference.

I am now dealing with my father who is showing the early signs of dementia. Yesterday we had a really good day with him, but this was following the worst two weeks. Aggression, finger pointing, accusing people of moving/stealing/throwing away.

Sending you hugs and thoughts,
 

ianc2002

New member
Oct 19, 2023
3
0
My husband has FTD and has been 'blowing' for a while now. He does it most of the time. If I ask why he tells me it calms him or that he just does! The tapping is another thing. If he gets up before me he will tap on everything in the kitchen. The work surfaces, the kettle, the teapot, draining board EVERYTHING! I have to totally switch off or I just would not cope.
There are days when he will just not try to do things and I can't persuade him to do anything.
Hi Springfield,
I'm feel your pain, my wife's deterioration was caused by multiple UTI's. In February she was still making her breakfast and lunch, four months later non-verbal, can't walk. Finally got a ramp, hoist and chair in the last few weeks, so she's sitting beside me in her CareFlex Chair, tapping on the tray, biting everything, and I mean everything, tissues, spoons (now wooden and silicon) beakers, me, when I try to take her partial denture out. Getting it back in is fun too.
I went through the typical man thing, "why are you doing that?", "what are you doing that for?" and the like. Now, I just ignore it unless it is hurting her, she's not the person she used to be an I need to accept I'm looking after someone who still, for now, knows who I am and still shows affection, everything else no longer matters.
Feeding is a nightmare, she lives on Ensure I feel.
44 years married at the end of this year, if we get to our 45 anniversary it will be a surprise, a nice one, but a surprise.
Keep up the good fight.
 

Springfield

Registered User
Dec 18, 2021
29
0
Hi Springfield,
I'm feel your pain, my wife's deterioration was caused by multiple UTI's. In February she was still making her breakfast and lunch, four months later non-verbal, can't walk. Finally got a ramp, hoist and chair in the last few weeks, so she's sitting beside me in her CareFlex Chair, tapping on the tray, biting everything, and I mean everything, tissues, spoons (now wooden and silicon) beakers, me, when I try to take her partial denture out. Getting it back in is fun too.
I went through the typical man thing, "why are you doing that?", "what are you doing that for?" and the like. Now, I just ignore it unless it is hurting her, she's not the person she used to be an I need to accept I'm looking after someone who still, for now, knows who I am and still shows affection, everything else no longer matters.
Feeding is a nightmare, she lives on Ensure I feel.
44 years married at the end of this year, if we get to our 45 anniversary it will be a surprise, a nice one, but a surprise.
Keep up the good fight.
I do so feel for you. It is hard work ALL of the time and the little glimpses of the person they used to be is the only reward.

Good luck to you. Take care of YOU.
 

Bongoboiler

New member
Jan 18, 2024
9
0
Phew! Love that we are all in the Blowing Gang! haha

What a relief when we realise that we are not alone. Yes, @Woohoo my mum does the laughing thing too. Or just completely ignores me.

@silver'lantern the different quirks they all have are strange aren't they/ i just wish we could getinto their heads and know what they are thinking - or do I? o_O
Oh yes!!! I thought my husband was the only one doing it! It’s strange and it’s so hard because his breath is so bad most of the time. 😞 I feel bad because I had to ask (order actually ) him to go and give his teeth a proper clean because his breath smelt like rotten cabbages. Felt really guilty but I couldn’t get close to him without feeling like I would throw up! I feel like the worst wife alive
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,106
0
Oh yes!!! I thought my husband was the only one doing it! It’s strange and it’s so hard because his breath is so bad most of the time. 😞 I feel bad because I had to ask (order actually ) him to go and give his teeth a proper clean because his breath smelt like rotten cabbages. Felt really guilty but I couldn’t get close to him without feeling like I would throw up! I feel like the worst wife alive
Hello @Bongoboiler You are definitely not the worst wife alive and should not feel guilty, oral hygiene is important even with people with dementia, so you did right to insist that your husband gave his teeth a good clean.
 

Bongoboiler

New member
Jan 18, 2024
9
0
Hello @Bongoboiler You are definitely not the worst wife alive and should not feel guilty, oral hygiene is important even with people with dementia, so you did right to insist that your husband gave his teeth a good clean.
Thank you for your encouragement. I have started to realize his decline is happening quicker than I expected
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,106
0
Thank you for your encouragement. I have started to realize his decline is happening quicker than I expected
Oh dear @Bongoboiler i am sorry to read that. I hope that you are receiving help looking after him. If you have not already done so please contact adult social services to arrange a needs assessment for your husband and a carers assessment for you.
 

smithdee

Registered User
Oct 19, 2023
24
0
Wow so glad I found this thread. My dad has started making fists in the air and growling at absolutely nothing, or making his fingers sign like he is pointing a gun and making shooting noises into thin air. Him and my mum have a cat and when the cat is nearby he punches his fist into his hand towards the cat.
He looks angry, growling and making noises as he does it.
 

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