1. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    I feel guilty straying onto the forum, I only seem to appear when I want something. I'm still a newbie to all this though, so I struggle to offer help to anyone else.
    I live in Canada and my dad's got Alzheimer's. He lives in England with my mum. I got an email just now from my sister to tell me dad had to go to hospital today with horrendous nosebleeds and bleeding from his bottom. They've checked him over, stopped the nosebleeds and done some tests. It's the third really big explosive set of nosebleeds he's had in a month.
    I've searched around the Alz site to see if there is a connection between the bleeding and Alz, or if it's something else. I think you will guess my concerns, especially as they've done blood tests and these have been sent off to oncology for examination.
    My mum's coping pretty well as always, and, when I rang her, she was talking about getting wooden flooring as the nosebleeds have wrecked the carpet. I don't know how she copes.
    Thank you, any experiences, or thoughts gratefully received.
  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Dear okmurrays,
    My husband is in the later stages of A.Z. But the symptons from my personal experience has been ulcerated colitas, medication can cause bleeding from the stomach and bowel. With nose bleeds - over anxiety causing blood pressure to raise and subsequently nose bleeds.
    I do understand your concerns but have you any idea what medication has been given over a period of time and checking the side effects ? As I have stated,
    I can only tell you about my own personal experience.
    Wishing you good news regarding the tests. Best wishes. Christine
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    My grandmother had nose bleeds and the doctor said they were nature`s safety valve, and the alternative would have been a stroke.
    She also had what she referred to as a `haemorrhage`, but wouldn`t allow me to look. The doctor said she had been `spotting`.
    Both bleeds were attributed to high blood pressure.

    I hope the tests sent to oncology are just a sensible precaution.
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    We're none of us medical experts, and of course we don't know your father's medical history but there are a lot of medications and medical conditions that can leave people prone to these sorts of things. Blood thinners and hypertension come to mind. Also, bleeding from the bowel can be a lot of things, from hemorrhoids to more major problems. Generally, I think the darker the blood the higher up the digestive tract it's coming from. This of course means that normally the only time it's noticed is when it's bright red, which tends to be more dramatic but possibly a more treatable issue. I am unaware of AD being a contributory factor to either of these things.
  5. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    I think you will find the bleeding is due to weak blood vessels and it could be that the Alzheimers is actually more likely to be vascular dementia as a result of small bleeds on the brain .......we have a friend this is happening too
  6. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    Thank you, I know this isn't a forum offering medical advice. I think I just wanted to offload it all. It seems like we get to grips with one problem and then something else pops up. Dad's a bit better today, but my Mum sounded exhausted when I phoned her. Suppose all we can do is wait for the test results.
    Thank you for the support though, much appreciated.
  7. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Nosebleeds are most commonly a symptom of high blood pressure. As has been said I think it acts as a sort of safety-valve, so it;s better to have a nosebleed than a stroke.

    Bleeding from the bottom can have many causes, from the innocuous to the serious, but it is a symptom that should never be ignored.

    I don't think that there is any particular connection between bleeding and Alzheimers. I suspect that high blood pressure can be a contributory factor in vascular dementia, which is caused by mini-strokes.

    Also, some medications such as blood thinning or anti-coagulant drugs can make any bleeds worse, my aunt was on warfarin for years after a heart op, and always had to be careful about bleeds.

    It sounds as though you've done all the right things and that your dad is in safe hands.

    I hope that all turns out well.
  8. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    Another day, another trauma.
    Awoke to an email from my sister. My dad decided to charge the new car battery. However he connected it straight to the mains and didn't use a charger. The car's a right off. He was an electician for Rolls Royce working on aero/marine engines. He took huge pride in his work. He would never have done this as little as three months ago.
    My mum is taking it well, and he's forgotten what happened. He knows the car is 'off the road' but he can't remember why. My mum's determined to get another car and get behind the wheel herself.
    Never rains as they say.
  9. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi okmurrays,

    Don't worry about asking for advice and not contributing. Merely by telling us of your situation is a contribution that some of us might relate to.

    I agree with most people about nose bleeds, they are usually a safety valve and not a sign of anything dreadful. Similarly red blood from the rectum is usually something new and near to the rear end, such as piles or a burst polyp. My dad had years of rectal bleeding of this type, and years of investigations, and nothing amiss was ever found. He also had Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which can cause some friction as the bowel empties, and hence some red blood.

    But of course, all should be investigated as there are also some serious illnesses with similar symptoms that could be treated with early diagnosis.

    Hope you get it sorted soon, and your mind is put at rest.

    Sorry to hear about the car.


  10. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    Thanks, Margaret.

    The car is beyond repair, and it looks like it won't be covered by insurance. I've suggested that my sister writes to the company, explains the situation and sees if they will at least consider a 'good will' payment. I worked for big financial services companies for many years, and if you're honest and approach the right people you can sometimes be surprised how sympathetic they are. Mum wants the car sent to the scrap dealers asap so that dad isn't tempted to fiddle again. It's good he doesn't remember what happened as he'd be mortified if he realised he did it. She's going to leave it for a while and then buy a new one for her to drive.

    The nosebleeds are huge, ferocious, and go on for hours. The other bleeding is also quite violent and dark in colour. At least he's had the tests and we should know more soon. My parents GP, and my Dad's consultant are both fantastic, so I know they'll help if they can.

    I hate being eight hours time difference from them. So much goes on while I'm in bed, and I end up lying awake worrying about them, and then ringing as soon as we get up. I feel totally helpless so far away, and guilty because my mum, sister and brother in law are taking the brunt of the day to day.
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi, I do hope you get the results of the tests soon. It must be so worrying for you, not being on the spot.

    I know when my mum was very ill following a stroke, my sis in Australia was distraught. I think it was harder for her than for me, I had the practicalities to deal with, and the hospital visiting, while all she could do was keep ringing for news -- and worrying.

    Don't feel guilty. I know how your sister feels, and she's not blaming you!

  12. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    Thanks, Hazel.
    We've been under severe weather warning here in BC today. Four hours without power, and 90km/h winds and rain. Lashing down. The lake is like a sea.
    So, I've been distracted from worrying about dad for a few hours.
    Fed the neighbours who only had electricity to cook with - quite like the old pioneer spirit!
    Molly looks like a bulldog who's chewing a wasp. She's only been for pitstops outside instead of her usual walks, and she's desperate to get outside!
  13. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    Latest is that my mum insisted that my sister got the car removed and scrapped because my dad kept fiddling with it. So the car went to the scrapheap and then a day later they called the insurance company. Insurance company was sympathetic but naturally will not consider a claim as the car is now a square box of metal. I had a blunt email from my sister which made me feel like I was interfering. If I'd been allowed 24 hours I could've at least tried to salvage something for them with the insurance company - being practical I can see they will need the money pretty soon.
    My sister is taking my mum out to buy a new car at the weekend so she can get back into driving. I'm scared witless that my dad will do something to it again, or will drive it and have an accident. After recent events I'm not sure if the insurers will continue to offer him cover, then what will happen?

    Sorry, I'm not sure why I just rambled on, but I feel so helpless. Events are unfolding thousands of miles away and I feel like I can do nothing to influence them. Makes me want to scream. If I suggest anything I am made to feel like I am interfering.

    Sure it'll be better after a cup of tea, but right now I'm so frustrated.
  14. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Has your Dad been diagnosed with dementia? If so then you should report it to the Insurance Company. In my Dad's case they just noted it and didn't cancel his insurance, but obviously if you haven't told them and he does have an accident they will not pay out.

    My sister lives in Greece, which I know is not as far as Canada, but like you my sister cannot just jump in the car when things are bad. The problem I think is that those of us who are caring on a day to day basis feel most of the time that we are doing a lousy job and so are likely to be a bit sensitive to perceived criticism, even if it comes in the form of practical help. My sister is very good at not criticising and supporting me by letting me have a good whinge when I need to. On the other hand she, like you, often feels frustrated that she can't do anything practical to help.

    Could you suggest to your sister that whilst she is doing the physical things, like looking at new cars, you could do the telephoning or emailing the 'authorities'. I know which I'd rather do!
  15. okmurrays

    okmurrays Registered User

    Oct 17, 2007
    kelowna, bc, canada
    I'm trying hard not to look like I'm meddling. I know it must be much harder at the 'sharp' end.
    I got hold of a copy of the insurance policy online and suggested how to approach a claim (I worked in financial services marketing for many years, so I know what I'm talking about). However, instead, they got shot of the car and ignored what I said. Now they are completely stuck.
    The insurers know about dad's illness now, but hadn't been advised previously, however, the consultant said only three weeks ago he felt there wasn't an issue with dad driving (?!) plus the incident wasn't related to him driving, he was fiddling with the car which caused the problem.

    I do as much research/remote help as possible, but I feel I'm being shut out. I think they are probably trying to stop me worrying, when in fact it's making me fret more!
    Oh dear. Bad day. Will be better tomorrow.

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