Questions we may have asked ourselves about people we've met at work or in our daily travels.... "Are you nuts?"
In my opinion, my mom has been nuts the last few days. Her blood pressure and blood sugar are "twanging", either one or both are high and then low. Her average blood pressure is high but not as high as it had been when she was taking Lisinopril. Rescue Remedy works to calm her and me down during her hallucination episodes.
Hallucinations are "friendly" when her blood pressure is high or her blood sugar is 125 or higher. If both are high together, she hallucinates about stuff that scares her which leads to her blaming me for something that is out of my control.
My mom got angry with me on Saturday when we were all out in the yard, working around, cleaning up the debris that had fallen from the trees. Her blood pressure was on the high side, 170/83. I didn't check her blood sugar so I don't have a reading, but after my observations from yesterday, her blood sugar must have been high too.
Mom, she walked all day, looking and watching for my dad. At one point she was heading out the front door to meet the "ship" that was taking every one, a "ship" where my dad was... my mom wanted to see my dad. She wanted to go with him.
"Ma? Where are you going?!" I asked in shock, as I saw my mom walking out the front door.
"I'm going for a walk." She said to me.
I was about to let her go out alone, it was a beautiful day, when she nearly fell down the front stairs. She told me that she was feeling dizzy. I convinced her not to go chasing my dad, that the "ship" probably already left.
My mom, she got mad. She was mad that I was working in the yard earlier in the day. My crazy mom believed that I chased my dad away by cleaning out my garden beds.
Her blood pressure began to climb.
It was easy to convince my mom to listen to her Jason Mraz recordings on her MP3 player. I had put 15 tracks of her favorite song, "A Beautiful Mess" on her player, every 2 songs, this song was set up to play. My mom sings along to this song, she loves it. I think the words remind her of her spirit friends, the ones she sees in the trees or over the fence in the woods; the ones on the bus that goes to heaven
"Here we are. Here we are..." the song echoes. My mom, sings the words, she believes that the song sounds holy and sacred. Other words say something about being crazy and having the best of both worlds. The song's words touch my mom, they mean something to her... the song makes her teary eyed.
One day, I'd love to tell Jason Mraz how much his song means to my mom and how it lowers her blood pressure, I'm sure it would make him proud of himself. I appreciate Jason Mraz, an artist who has helped me and one who I will probably not have an opportunity to thank for his role in helping to calm my mom during her most intense dementia episodes.
All weekend, my mom's blood pressure was up and then down. Her blood sugar would go up when she'd eat too much fruit, which appeared to fuel her visions. Her Lewy Bodies are fighting with me, they seem to be hanging on, clinging to her neurons, refusing to leave my mom so that she can have her life back.
It's a catch-22. Elevated blood sugar, causes hallucinations. Fenugreek, known to lower blood sugar and what I believe helped us to heal my mom's pancreas so that it produces it's own insulin, also raises blood pressure. I can bring down her blood sugar with Fenugreek but then her blood pressure goes up. I've seen her blood pressure go from 135/65 to 167/76 from 5 drops of Fenugreek Seed Extract (Herb Pharma brand.) The positive? Fenugreek lowered her blood sugar from 140 to 121 within 15 minutes.
Mission of the week.... keep my mom's blood sugar and blood pressure balanced using food.
Last night, I prepared Asparagus as one of our vegetables for dinner. I know that garlic is good to lower blood pressure so I took 8 cloves of finely chopped garlic and made the following recipe -
Asparagus and Garlic
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 bunch of Asparagus (steamed - my mom likes her asparagus soft or she won't eat it)
6-8 cloves of Garlic chopped fine
In a large skillet ( I use a cast iron pan) add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add in the garlic and stir around for about a minute, DO NOT ALLOW THE GARLIC TO BROWN. Add the asparagus and stir around to coat with the garlic and oil. Plate some of the asparagus and top with a little parmesean cheese.
My mom's blood pressure went from 198/87 to 135/65. Yay! Garlic worked and my mom loves garlic.
"Susie! Don't sit in that chair, you are sitting on Eddie!" my mom yelled at me when I came in to her room to check her blood pressure and blood sugar again. Her blood sugar was 218 after dinner, her blood pressure was fine. Her hallucinations were friendly... it was my brother.
More visions, this time it was not my dead brother... she believed that my brother who's alive was visiting but didn't come to see her. She was mad again. "Did you see Marty? Why isn't Marty coming to see me? He must be busy with work."
My mom has thought my husband looks like one of my brothers from the first day that she had met him. The thought was a bit creepy, dating a brother. Fortunately, I don't see the resemblance of my brothers in my husbands face like my mom does. Yesterday, my mom believed that my husband was my brother Marty. She was mad that Marty just waved to her but didn't come to see her.
I took her out with me to run some errands yesterday, all day. In the morning we went grocery shopping. The monkey in the bananas at Whole Foods winked at her. She thought she saw my dad walking in the store. I had to keep calling her back, she was off with my shopping cart, stalking the man who she believed was my father.
"Susie, Daddy! He's here!!!! I need to go see him." my mom exclaimed to me while I waited at the butcher counter so that I could get chicken thighs for dinner. My thoughts raced, I had no idea what to make of this new epiphany which my mom was apparently having in her mind. I did know that I needed to go along with the hallucination and get us out of the store as quickly as I could.
Outside, my mom saw the angels in the trees. She believed that they were coming for her. She was ready to go on the Bus to Heaven with my dad and all the people. "I want to go with them." my mom said to me as we were driving home. I told her that she can go whenever she is ready. Yesterday, she was ready, but the bus never came for her.
My mom stepped out of reality yesterday. I took her out in the afternoon while I ran more errands. She stayed in the truck and listened to her mp3 player, Jason sang his song and my mom appeared to relax.
I was gone about 15 minutes. To my mom she felt that I had been gone for an hour. My mom was worked up in a frenzy when I had returned, she believed that patrons to the stores in the strip mall were theives. She saw them coming out of the stores with boxes and bags, she was convinced that they were stealing the items. She was afraid that they were going to steal the truck and her in it. She didn't know how to shut the windows. She didn't know how to pull the keys out of the ignition. My mom was in a panic. She yelled at me when I got back to the truck, I had taken too long.
It was an insane weekend. Lots of hallucinations. Elevated blood sugar and blood pressure causing hallucinations that were making her laugh and at times scaring the shit out of her.
I'm learning what to do, how to keep her blood sugar and blood pressure balanced. Real food is the key. Nothing processed or baked, even gluten free treats bring on hallucinations because the ingredients raise blood sugar. The hallucinations caused from elevated blood sugar causes her blood pressure to rise. It's a viscious cycle that I need to stop so that my mom's brain has a chance to heal itself.
Where there's a will, there's a way.