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Hello again. :(

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
Maybe I spoke too soon! My sister in law said she mentioned "the dog on the windowsill" on Monday afternoon, but she said it was just a passing mention.

I'm still a bit encouraged though, because Monday night and all day yesterday, there was a storm here. Very high winds. Mum said yesterday that there was a sort of banging/tapping noise which sounded like it was in the attic. I said "that's the broken bracket that used to hold the old tv aerial on. It bangs off the chimney stack in the wind", and mum said "Oh yeah. I'd forgotten about that". Before, I've had to drive in there in the middle of stormy nights (a half hour drive) to reassure her that there is nobody in her attic.

At one point yesterday when I was in with her she looked at me and said "I keep hearing a noise. Like a drill or something." She looked quite relieved when I said that I could hear it too! One of her neighbours must be having some work done.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,011
That's encouraging about your mum @LadyA. Maybe the leaves falling from trees make it less easy to 'see' people, or maybe things have moved on. Glad your mum also accepted your explanation about the bracket. Mine called the fire brigade out several time because she was convinced there was a fire in the attic.
She also used to talk about noises from the flats opposite. As I'm deaf I could never decide if the drumming was really happening, or mum was imagining it.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
I did, indeed speak too soon! This morning, I was greeted with indignant tales about a man who spent all night in her bedroom, sitting on top of the wardrobe, holding a baby. And trying to show me the man who was just outside the window, looking in. :( Thankfully, she was easily distracted.

We're back to level 5 lockdown (the highest level) from midnight tonight. We're restricted to within 5km of our homes except for essential reasons like providing care. Won't affect me too much, tbh, because I still have to go in to mum, and I will still be working. Also, this time around, they are allowing certain categories of people to form a "social bubble" with one other household. Mostly those who are vulnerable and those who live alone. So I can be a "social bubble" with my daughter's family. This means I can still visit them, and they can visit me. But other than the social bubble situation, there is no visiting in houses or gardens, although you can meet one other household, for exercise, outdoors in parks or outdoor areas.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,754
66
Toronto, Canada
Social bubbles can be rather confusing to me. It's my husband and I at home. I see my boss once a week at the office, otherwise I'm alone. We visit the grandchildren and a couple of OH's siblings and that's about it.

I never thought this would go on so long.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
Social bubbles can be rather confusing to me. It's my husband and I at home. I see my boss once a week at the office, otherwise I'm alone. We visit the grandchildren and a couple of OH's siblings and that's about it.

I never thought this would go on so long.
Well here, because you have someone else at home with you, you wouldn't be able to do a "Social Bubble". Only those living alone or living with someone who needs constant care, or has dementia can go in a bubble with another household. Since March, I've not visited anyone other than dau and mum. I had a coffee with my neighbour once or twice, outdoors, from a distance.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,958
Chester
I think England is similar to Ireland with social bubbles. They apply in areas where you aren't allowed to enter anyone else's house (tier 2 and 3 areas in England - Scotland wales and NI have different rules) A household that only has one adult can form a bubble with another household so my next door neighbor is a widower and has formed a bubble with his daughter, so he can go into her house and her and her family can go into his, they are sometimes referred to as support bubbles.

You can go into anyone's house for care purposes, so another neighbour has been supporting her parents and was going into their house but they coudln't come back to her house.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,754
66
Toronto, Canada
Here in Ontario the bubbles are limited to 10 people but they don't have to be in the same household. This is good for us, otherwise the isolation could be devastating.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
Mum's lower legs erupted in an awful rash again this week. Still, her gp won't see her. He says she is too vulnerable, and it's too much of a risk for her. He prescribed an antibiotic, in case the legs are infected, although he didn't think they were from photos we sent.
Friday, I was contacted by the care assistant. She'd found mum very confused and shaking. I went in, and although she seemed better, I rang her gp, and he said to get an ambulance for her. So, she spent the day in the hospital - I wasn't allowed to go with her.

In the evening, I had a call from a doctor at the hospital, saying I could collect mum. She said there was no sign of infection anywhere, but "to cover" they were giving antibiotics - the same one the gp had prescribed, but twice the dose. The problem with her legs is venous stasis - veins just not up to their job anymore.

The doctor, when I asked about the increasing hallucinations, said "Well, she has alzheimers disease, and she's 83. That's old anyway, but for your mum's medical history, it's very old." She also said that really, mum needs to be in full time care, ideally. However, I have no doubts about mum's capacity, so that would need to be her decision. And she wouldn't see any need. I am asking the doctor to see about prescribing something that might dampen down the hallucinations. We do understand the risks of those medications but at this stage, that risk needs to be weighed against her poor and diminishing quality of life.

Anyway, it turns out that the reason mum was so confused and shaky Friday morning was that she'd gone to bed early on Thursday night- about 6pm (!) to get away from her "visitors " as she calls the hallucinations, and she'd got up at 7.30. Only, it was 7.30 on Thursday night! And she stayed up all night, thinking it was day, and not understanding why it was so dark.

Now, there's the added stress of trying to ensure she has taken the antibiotics, four times a day. I went in this morning, one sister in law went at lunchtime, I phoned her st teatime, and I'd put her night dose with her other night tablets. I think the hospital doctor was thinking more of mum's increasing physical care needs - medication oversight, skin problems, etc, - than her memory problems when she said mum needs full time care.

It's all very depressing.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
Well now. Mum's been on 1,000mg of antibiotics four times a day for a week. Her legs are clearing up. Considering the doctors didn't think there was any infection.
Also, the whole family have noticed. Mum hasn't mentioned seeing anyone in the house, her bedroom, the garden etc. etc. for the last two or three days. Interesting. And I really hope it lasts. The nurse came on Friday and she said that it looks like a cellulitis on mum's legs, and although much better, it's not totally gone yet. However, she has another couple of days on the antibiotics, so hopefully, it will clear. Will be interesting to see if the hallucinations come back again.
She's being referred to icop, which is Integrated Care of older people. They bring together the gp, consultants in medicine for the elderly, tissue integrity nurse, phn, etc. so that older peoples care can be managed in a more coordinated way. Mum's gp says that they have the experts at prescribing for elderly people, taking into account all the other meds they are on. So, let's hope that works out for mum.

Meanwhile, today, I have a day to myself. Mum's going to my brother's for lunch. I'm trying to motivate myself to go for a walk, because it's a lovely day!
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,315
England
Glad to her your Mum is progressing and her health is improving @LadyA.

Go and have a lovely walk while the weather is being kind. Fresh air is a wonderful tonic.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
Glad to her your Mum is progressing and her health is improving @LadyA.

Go and have a lovely walk while the weather is being kind. Fresh air is a wonderful tonic.
I did have a good walk. And I've been cleaning my house, and generally pottering about here. I do try, this time around, to keep boundaries in place, make time for myself and my own health, and of course my daughter & grandsons. Today, I'm struggling a bit with new glasses too! Varifocals, for the first time. I wouldn't say I was finding I couldn't see, but I had to keep my reading glasses in my hand in the supermarket. With them on, I couldn't see where I was going, but without them I couldn't see what I was buying! And the last year or so, I've found I couldn't read the car dashboard & speedometer without my reading glasses on, but again, wearing them I couldn't see where I was going!

Anyway, I'm just enjoying a lovely, peaceful day!
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,958
Chester
Sounds like the ABs have worked wonders.

I hope that a proper review gives a good way forward. Maybe long term low dose antibiotics?

I'm glad you enjoyed your walk.

Not looking forward to needing varifocals. I've need distance glasses for 20 years and wear contacts but am needing reading glasses for sewing and other fine work. Not yet for reading though.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
Sounds like the ABs have worked wonders.

I hope that a proper review gives a good way forward. Maybe long term low dose antibiotics?

I'm glad you enjoyed your walk.

Not looking forward to needing varifocals. I've need distance glasses for 20 years and wear contacts but am needing reading glasses for sewing and other fine work. Not yet for reading though.
Mum's been on a maintenance dose of antibiotics for months. They've been sort of keeping a lid on the ongoing UTI. She's had this same issue with her legs twice now since the Summer. I really hope this will be the end of it. Mum's on so many tablets every day, including one which, the blurb says, if you are of childbearing years, you must use two reliable forms of contraception, and you must not become pregnant for three years after treatment stops! So, giving her any other meds is quite a feat of trading off side effects and inter actions.

I'm gradually adjusting to the varifocals. I had the opposite problem to you. I've been wearing increasingly strong reading glasses for many years, but didn't need distance glasses. I'm still ok for general seeing in the distance, but I have to admit, the distance part of the glasses is making a difference. What's hard with the varifocals is adjusting to the blurring peripheral vision, because of the graduation in the lens. By yesterday evening, it was much better, but I do still find the computer hard! Others, who already have varifocals, tell me to persevere, because it can take two to three weeks to adjust fully to them, but once I do, I'd never go back to single vision glasses. Fingers crossed!
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
2,011
Good that the ABs finally seem to be working. It's scary what a detrimental effect infections can have on the elderly.
I tried varifocals for a very short while, then discovered the reason I couldn't get on with them was my worsening cataracts. After they were fixed I no longer need distance glasses, just reading ones.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,754
66
Toronto, Canada
It's good to hear the antibiotics are working for your mother's legs and also seem to be working for her hallucinations. Perhaps she was running a low grade fever which was causing them. Whatever the reason, I hope this keeps up.

You will get used to the varifocals in time. The trick is learning to look through the right spot on the glasses for what you are doing. I was very myopic but as I aged and needed reading glasses also (which seemed so very unfair) I insisted on varifocals as I didn't want "old lady" bifocals. Yes, vanity.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,009
High Peak
I tried varifocals - awful! I work on my desktop computer all day so I need focus at about 15" away where my monitor is. But I also need closer focus for reading and my distance vision is deteriorating so I was wearing my glasses all the time rather than just for close-up stuff. Varifocals gave me a kind of tunnel vision on my monitor - I could see the central area clearly but it was blurred at the edges so I had to move my head (not just my eyes) to see the edges. No good at all.

Hwever, I have just got some new glasses with 'occupational' lenses. Mine have 3 areas of focus - up close, computer and improved distance vision too. They are brilliant! You don't get the blurred edges thing as you do for varifocals. I wear them all the time and can see all distances clearly. (Though they were hideously expensive!)
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,643
Ireland
I tried varifocals - awful! I work on my desktop computer all day so I need focus at about 15" away where my monitor is. But I also need closer focus for reading and my distance vision is deteriorating so I was wearing my glasses all the time rather than just for close-up stuff. Varifocals gave me a kind of tunnel vision on my monitor - I could see the central area clearly but it was blurred at the edges so I had to move my head (not just my eyes) to see the edges. No good at all.

Hwever, I have just got some new glasses with 'occupational' lenses. Mine have 3 areas of focus - up close, computer and improved distance vision too. They are brilliant! You don't get the blurred edges thing as you do for varifocals. I wear them all the time and can see all distances clearly. (Though they were hideously expensive!)
Yes. I'm finding the new glasses impossible on the computer, although I can now read quite well with them otherwise. I still have my old reading glasses, which seem to work really well with the computer, so I'll just hang on to those. I'm getting used to the varifocals, in fact, settling down to sleep last night, I forgot to take them off! Only remembered when I went to rub my eye. I've had plastic frames for years, but got fairly fine, metal half frames this time, and I can't believe how much more comfortable they are! They are so light, compared to the plastic!
 

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