Eating Buttons And Paper!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Cate, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Following a very bad decline in mum’s health just after Christmas, she has rallied again, at the time the doctor told us to prepare for the worse. Having said that, she is, since then, much frailer, her ability to walk has now turned into an unsteady shuffle. However she is eating and drinking well. She has days where she doesn’t want to get up, which is fine (I have days where, given the choice I wouldn’t come out from under the duvet either).

    Mentally mum is much worse sad to say, and the aggression has returned 10 fold, also her memory is worse than ever.

    Mum has now joined the escape committee for the first time, which is made up of just two, mum and another lady on the same floor. So far the duo have managed to get through the first security door by putting on their coats and waiting for some un suspecting visitor to ‘hold the door dear’!! They managed to get into the lift; however they got completely confused on the next floor, and went back down again. Thank goodness, even if they managed to do this again, they wont be able to get through the further 3 security doors that follow after the lift, however, they don’t give up trying, but the nurses are now onto them, and keep a watchful eye.

    Last week mum had a fall, but nothing broken, and she was fine.

    However she has now taken to eating buttons, ripping up photographs and paper and eating it. She is not hungry, the nurses give her food when ever she asks for it outside of the normal meal times, and snacks are readily available in the lounge all day also. Has anyone heard of this strange eating habit of buttons and paper? Her sewing kit, and scissors have now been removed from her room, at least she won’t be able to cut off any more cardigan buttons.

    Mum has also taken to wearing one shoe and one slipper, and any attempts to change either to match the other is met by fierce opposition. I did wonder if there was something wrong with either a shoe, or a slipper, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Personally I’m getting more and more emotionally drained for the roller coaster of what now seems daily events. On my worst days I am trying to hang on fiercely to the memories of the fantastic time we had with mum over Christmas, which now seems a lifetime away.

    Its also a very sad day for me today, my dear Aunty Joan died 12 months ago today, I miss her more and more each day.

    Love to all.
    Cate xxxxx
  2. barbara h

    barbara h Registered User

    Feb 15, 2008
    county durham
    Hi cate,

    My mam has just been in care for about three weeks as her vascular dementia suddenly got worse. Like you i try to remember the person she was before this terrible illness took her away from us. Now we get shouted at and she gets aggressive when people try to help her.

    Last week when we went to see her she was sitting at the dining table in the home and her head was bent over onto her chest and she was trying to eat a button on her cardigan. When we asked her what she was doing she said "trying to eat it" to which i replied " you can't eat that its your button " and she said "yes i can i ate one this afternoon". We thought it strange but we are still coming to terms with the way she is so everything is somthing of a shock.

    Barbara h xx
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
  4. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    No advice, Cate, only wanted to pipe up and say thinking of you and sorry to hear mum has deteriorated.

    And thinking of you on the day that your Aunty Joan died...I know she was very special to you and I know about the missing-her-more-and-more-each-day bit. Hang on in there, and have the duvet day when you need it.

    Much love,
    Tina xx
  5. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004

    When mum came home from hospital for the last time she had forgotten lots.

    From that time on she would put tea bags out on a plate thinking they were biscuits, and, if allowed to, would eat them. Quite logically biscuits became the new tea bags. The jug kettle was thought to be the tea pot and the biscuits were put into it to make a cup of tea.

    Her hearing aid also became something to eat and the ear piece was chewed. The little batteries were identified as pills that should be swallowed.

    And yes, she would take any letter she received out of the envelope and try to eat it !

    It was so sad to see the change but, thanks to TP, it’s nice to know she was not on her own !

    Best wishes

  6. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Hello Cate!!

    I'm sorry to read about your mum's latest downturn..

    but couldn't suppress a giggle at the way you posted the following...
    I do realise the seriousness of this...I understand the distress it must made me chuckle nonetheless..hope I haven't offended you!

    Love Gigi x
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Cate,

    I`m so sorry to hear of your mother`s deterioration and the draining effect it is having on you.

    The better times didn`t last long, but at least you had them.

    Look after yourself.

    Love xx
  8. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi All

    Thank you all for replying to my post, just when you think this can only be happening to your mum, for want of a better expression, its nice to know its not just my mum munching on strange things.

    Gigi, I had to smile too when I was told about this, part of me wanted to say 'way to go mum', at least there is still some of her old spirit in there somewhere.

    Love to all

    Cate xxx
  9. Cloudwatcher

    Cloudwatcher Registered User

    Nov 2, 2007
    West Sussex
    Hi Cate,
    Sorry to hear about your Mum's deterioration. Your memories of Christmas will always stay with you, but I know they seem far away at the moment. You have had a tough day remembering your Aunt Joan too. It must be so hard for you and no wonder you are feeling down. My heart is with you.

    I would like to reiterate Jenniferpa's post regarding PICA, I.E eating non nutritional substances. I have heard of this before and can be linked to, as previously mentioned, lack of iron or zinc. Worth bringing up with your Mum's consultant.

    Best wishes

    Lee x
  10. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Thank you so much for the information on Pica. It could well fit with mum, when she had the heart attack last year, the Consultant thought it was brought on by an internal bleed, and because of this her iron level was down in her boots, could well be that this could be the case again.

    I have a review meeting with the NH on Wednesday, and will bring it up then.

    Thanks again for the information, I knew I could rely on TP members to come up with a possible cause.
  11. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    West Yorkshire
    Hi Cate
    Sorry to hear about Mums latest decline. I'm sorry I can't add any advice about pica in dementia. However I have to follow gigi's comments about your mum's escape committee. I too had a giggle about this .My dad's the same, but you've got to give them all credit for trying. Since my dad came off his anti psychotic meds he's got his personality back!(to some small degree) I know its infuriating for staff and it makes him harder to manage, but I think we would all try to do the same if we were in their shoes. I dont mean to sound flippant, I suppose there is a bit of comedy in every tragedy
    kind regards
  12. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Dear Cate,

    I am sorry that your mum has deteriorated any set back seems to speed things along. I know with mum and her recent medical problem that she has gone down hill. Mum's mobility has also being affected she is very conscious now of her footing.

    Mum has never being allowed scissors and she somehow manages to get the buttons off. Only the ones that are not necessary the left over buttons without holes. Nothing to do with the way the cardigan is done up. :)

    Mum sat the other day with a slipper and shoe on the carer told her to go and put both shoes on. When mum returned she had changed her clothes...PJ pants singlet, cardigan not done up and the shoe and slipper. When the carer mentioned she was to have just taken the slipper off and put the shoe on, mum said, ****** you I have not got all day to mess about. :) God love them.

    Hope your feeling better, Love Taffy.
  13. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Mum is really going to miss her sewing kit, she loves sitting and shortening her trousers, although I have already shortened them all for her!!:rolleyes: She trained as a seamstress when she left school, and she certainly was amazing at sewing, she could make coats, jackets, dresses, well anything really. But I understand the nurses worry about leaving it with her.

    When the carer mentioned she was to have just taken the slipper off and put the shoe on, mum said, ****** you I have not got all day to mess about

    That really did make me smile Taffy, the sort of thing mum would say too.:)

    Cate xx

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