25 July 2010
Kidneys, we all have them and we all need them to live. Kidneys filter the blood in the human body, removing the waste and leaving the nutrients behind for the blood to carry to other organs and the brain. Blood tests are done to determine the BUN and Creatinine levels, levels which help doctors to understand how well the kidneys are functioning.
My mom's BUN and CREATININE have been high lately. I've noticed that when these numbers are high, she tends to hallucinate way more and it's more difficult to keep her blood pressure down.
In the past we have been able to keep her BUN (blood urine nitrogen) and Creatinine low through a diet change and exercise. Keeping blood sugar under control appears to be a huge factor in helping keep these numbers low and as a result, help my mom have more good days than not so good days.
Diet restrictions had made my mom a pain in my ass so I caved and allowed her to eat foods that I had limited or cut out completely. Looking over my blog posts, this is when everything turned from OK to worse than ever.
I am beginning to believe that bread of any type is what causes my mom a problem. Simple carbohydrates are the absolute worst for elevating her blood sugar, triggering hallucinations and weird behaviors.
I've also noticed that meals heavy in meat protein tend to cause her a problem too. Steak especially gives her trouble; I wonder if it's because it's a heavy muscle meat with more fat than chicken? She loves beef and complains often because I cook lots of chicken.
My mom loves sandwiches, especially the sandwiches that I make (they are really good, I'm considering opening a sandwich shop.) My sandwiches make her happy, a happiness that is short lived.
Sandwiches raise her blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar brings on hallucinations which often upset her, leading to elevated blood pressure. Both of these factors elevate the bloods BUN and CREATININE levels, showing that the kidneys are not able to handle the waste load in the blood.
My conclusion? Mom needs to be on more of a vegetarian diet.
I've noticed that when I make a vegetable soup or a soup with chicken as the meat, my mom has better days. In soup I am able to include herbs and spices that are beneficial for improved cognition. These herbs and spices work fast when they are in the soup that I make for my mom.
I had been allowing my mom to eat more sandwiches because it was a way for me to get approval from my mom... an approval that I had yearned for my entire life. My mom has been difficult, complaint after complaint, all very upsetting. Upsetting because I wanted approval, approval that was never going to come, not now, not ever. However, sandwiches seemed to give me a quick fix where I would get lots of "mmmm's" and "this is terrific" out of my mom. Unfortunately, this happy state was short lived and always ended where my mom's hallucinations would intensify or she'd just turn into a half crazed lunatic.
My sandwiches, as delicious as they are, my mom can not have them as often as she would prefer. I'll explain this to her when she wakes up.
Friday we saw Dr. Barton. He is the one who looked at my mom's blood test results over the last 6 months, results that has him thinking that my mom's trouble could be from her kidneys. He asked me to graph all of her blood test results so that he can see a trend. He also suggested that we call my mom's kidney doctor in order to discuss the blood results and my mom's mental state.
I will make the graph. I will go one step further and line up her blood test results with the quality of her days. I've documented every day for nearly 2 years, hopefully it will give the doctors the information that they need in order to help us to help my mom.
From where I sit today, I believe that if I cut bread and dairy out of my mom's diet, she'll have days that are more clear where she can find her words and be more present in this world.
Could sandwiches be the trigger for my mom's dementia episodes? Stay tuned as we uncover the mystery of sandwich dementia.