I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

30 March 2009

Fun at Camp Sue

Yesterday started out to be a rough day for Uncle Al but after a little time at Camp Sue his troubles will melt away. Here's a great video of my mom playing the keyboard while Uncle Al walked on the treadmill. Uncle Al knows that the secret to his health is in the walking.

29 March 2009

Hello Sue, Maryann called, she's breaking up with me...

Never did I realize how painful it would be to hear Uncle Al crying on the phone, telling me that his world collapsed and he doesn't know where to turn.

I asked him what happened and he said, "Maryann called, she broke up with me." I was stunned.

He proceeded to tell me that his daughter called to tell him that because he befriended me that she's dumping him, that she never wants to see him again, that they are over. She told him that she lost his house and bought a new house in New Hampshire where she has a new job. She told him that she's changing all of her contact information so that he won't be able to reach her.

Now, all we can do is move forward.

I talked with the nurse supervisor this morning. She told me that now that Maryann is dumping Uncle Al the state will assign an attorney to take care of Uncle Al. He's pretty much becoming a ward of the state.

The nurse told me to become friends with the lawyer because often times the lawyer will call the family before making any decisions about the patient.

28 March 2009

Love that Melatonin!

Last night, I was well prepared to have a good night sleep for myself because I had given my mom a 30 mg melatonin tablet with a cup of nighty night tea. I also shut off the light next to her bed and put a low light at the opposite end of the room so that she could see if she needed to get to the bathroom at night.

I was able to convince her that shutting the light out was causing her the trouble. I told her that it was like a torture treatment, where you are never allowed to sleep... no wonder she was seeing things and going crazy.

My mom has worried about "the crazy gene" as long as I can remember. Her biggest fear was passing this on to her kids. I never forgot it because she always worried about it and told me that she didn't want us to be crazy and that she was sorry she passed it on to us.

Anyway, her crazy gene is dementia. Yay!

Now, I love my sisters, brother and my nephews but if I can avoid being their nurse then amen to that. The whole purpose of this blog is to write notes so that later down the road I can write a manual for everyone who has my genes. It may save them a lot of agravation because I can tell you right now, once Gram and Rachel move on to the other side (Uncle Al too) I'm pretty much going to be on the Golf Course as the Golf Swami!

I digress...

Today, Josie woke up feeling great. Her readings were all awesome. Wooo Hooo!

Unfortunately, I notice termites coming out of a wall near the outside door that is next to her room. I set up the vaccuum and gave her the task of sucking the bugs up before they got into the room.

Thank God we took care of the hallucinations with Melatonin, that's all we need to hear Knock, Knock, Knock... "Susie. The bugs in the room, they're.... "

I believe my mom was sleep deprived. She was hallucinating because she didn't have enough sleep. Her internal clock was screwed up. Man, isn't that a torture tactic?

The pineal gland is pretty darn amazing. I need to do more research and thinking about this interesting gland... I've got so much more to say about it.

Yay for Melatonin!

27 March 2009

What is Fenugreek?

I found this really great article that I thought I'd share.


Here's the text of the article.

Fenugreek Health Benefits

What is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek (also known as Greek Hay and Fenigreek), is an herb that is commonly found growing in the Mediterranean regions of southern Europe and Asia. Both the seeds and leaves are primarily used as a culinary spice. However, Fenugreek was also used to treat a whole slew of ailments in ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy and India/Pakistan ranging from bronchial problems to low libido.

The seeds of the fenugreek herb are an effective nutritional supplement and have also been used by herbalists for many centuries for the health benefits it provides. Fenugreek seeds contain protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and diosgenin (a phytoestrogen compound that seems to mimic the effects of the hormone estrogen). The diosgenin in fenugreek is thought to help increase libido and lessen the effects of hot flashes and hormone-induced mood fluctuations. More active constituents in fenugreek are alkaloids, lysine and L-tryptophan. It also contains steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin) and mucilaginous fiber which are believed to be responsible for many of the beneficial effects fenugreek exhibits.

What are the Benefits of Fenugreek?
Fenugreek is an amazing magic herb that can cure number of ailments. Indian Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine recommend fenugreek to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems (wounds, rashes and boils), treat sore throat, and cure acid reflux. Fenugreek also has a long history of use for the treatment of reproductive disorders, to induce labor, to treat hormonal disorders, to help with breast enlargement, and to reduce menstrual pain. Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholestrol levels, and may be an effective treatment for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Fenugreek is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

Uses of Fenugreek
Home Remedy for Balancing Cholesterol
A study in India found people who took 2 ounces of fenugreek seed each day had significantly (around 14 percent) lower cholesterol levels after 24 weeks, and had lowered their risk of heart attack by more than 25 percent. Therefore, a recommended remedy for lowering cholesterol is to take 2 ounces of Fenugreek seeds as part of one meal each day. The seeds can be sprinkled onto prepared food, or they can be consumed with water if they are in capsule form.

Treating Diabetes and Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
Studies have shown that participants with type 2 diabetes had significantly lower blood sugar levels after eating fenugreek. Therefore, a recommended home remedy for treating Type 2 diabetes is to consume 500mg of fenugreek twice daily.

Herbal Cure for Skin Inflammation
A German research group has approved Fenugreek as an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, boils, burns, eczema, gout and ulceration of the skin. Therefore, a simple skin inflammation remedy is to take a spoonful of fenugreek and grind it into powder. Mix it with warm water to make a poultice and apply it directly onto the inflamed skin. (A poultice is simply a piece of cloth that has been soaked into the warm water mixture and then applied to the skin).

Natural Cure for Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Fenugreek seeds contain a lot of mucilage, which helps sooth gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine. Therefore, for an effective remedy against heartburn or Acid Reflux, simply sprinkle 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds onto your food. Another option is to take one teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds and swallow them with water or juice before you start to eat.

Home Remedy for Fever
The Fenugreek herb has been known to help reduce fever when taken with lemon and honey, since it nourishes the body during an illness. Therefore, to treat a fever, simply consume one to two teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds three times a day along with an herbal tea (such as green tea) with a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Some health food stores also sell herbal Fenugreek teas (see below), which can be used instead of the green tea.

Breast Enlargement
Fenugreek is often used in commercial preparations and teas formulated to help balance women's hormones and/or enlarge the breasts. Therefore, a simple remedy is to make Fenugreek a part of your regular diet.

Remedy to Ease Child Birth for Pregnant Women
Fenugreek stimulates uterine contractions and can be helpful to induce childbirth. However, pregnant women should only use Fenugreek for inducing labor after consulting with their doctor.

Remedy to Aid Milk Production in Lactating Women
Since ancient times, Fenugreek has been known to increase milk production in lactating women. Research has even shown that milk production can increase by over 500 percent within 24 to 72 hours after consuming fenugreek. Although it is not known why this happens, researchers speculate that the oil contained in fenugreek seeds plays a role. Therefore, a recommended remedy to increase milk flow is to consume one capsule of fenugreek seed (at least 500mg) three times a day.

What are the Side Effects of Fenugreek?
While Fenugreek is generally considered to be safe, there have been reports of a few minor side-effects. For example, some people have reported that it can make them feel nauseous. High doses of fenugreek seed may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort, including diarrhea and gas. Frequent topical use of fenugreek preparations may cause skin irritation and sensitization. Fenugreek fiber can interfere with the absorption of oral medications because its fiber is mucilaginous (moist and sticky). Therefore, Fenugreek should be taken at least 2 hours before or after other drugs are taken. Fenugreek use during pregnancy is discouraged and should only be taken under a doctor's recommendation (since it can be used to induce labor).

Where and How to Buy Fenugreek
Fenugreek is often available in capsules, seed, and powder form at many health food stores. Fenugreek seeds can also often be found at Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. Recently, a few suppliers have also been offering Fenugreek herbal tea bags.

It's 3 AM, do you know where your mother is?

Finally, last night I figured out how to NOT have hot flashes and I was in a GREAT sleep. Ahhhhhh! No pools of sweat. No putting on the ceiling fan and opening the window to cool off while my husband lays in bed bundled up in sweats and heavy socks... Yay!



Knock, Knock, Knock

Our bedroom door opens and it's my mother! "Susie, is everyone OK?"

I woke up out of a sound sleep and saw my mother standing in my doorway fully dressed. It was 3 am. She was walking in her sleep.

I walked her back downstairs and had her check her blood sugar. 125 was her reading, it was OK.

She was talking about someone stealing the money in my purse. Next thing I knew she took my purse from under a blanket and told me to check to see if my money was in it. I told her I didn't have any money in it and then I found 17 dollars.

I assured her that everything was fine and suggested she go back to bed, we had an appointment in the morning to check her pace maker.

I didn't stick around, I went back to bed.

Around 7:30 I went down to wake her up and she was in the dream state, sort of awake. She told me to be quiet because she was trying to hear what "the man" was trying to tell her. She asked me where her mother was, where was she going.

I read a bit on the net and found out that I need to tell her how I understand how scary it is for her. I also assured her that I wouldn't let anything happen to her, that I was here to protect her. It seemed to make her calm down. Slowly she woke up. When she did, I said, "Come on Ma, we have to go to the Pacemaker clinic today." She said, "What's the point of living?"

Immediately I stopped her and said, "Ma! I've worked too damn hard to get you to this place, I'm gathering information to write a book so that I can help other people like her not have to suffer so much... Please Ma, I need you to live, you're no good dead!"

She smiled and held my hand as she said, "In that case, OK, I'm getting up."

Here's what I think is her problem. At night she is so scared that she has to sleep with the light on next to her bed. I read somewhere that the light is interupting her sleep, because the brain looks for the darkness to rest. The light is keeping her half awake and half asleep. She wakes up and walks around. Moves stuff. Hides things on herself. In the morning she wakes up believing that "the man" took her stuff, etc.

The night before last I gave her a cup of nighty night tea and she didn't wake up at all. Tonight, I'll give her nighty night tea and turn a night light on the other side of the room where it won't shine on her eyes and face. I'll also give her a Melatonin tablet.

I know that as we age we have less Melatonin produced, this is the hormone that helps us sleep.

On the ride to the clinic she told me that she went in to my mother in law's room and tried to wake her up. She thought she was dead because she didn't stir when my mom said, "Rachel, are you OK?" It freaked her out so she came and woke up Brian and me.

Rachel is still alive. She's OK.

My mom, she's just plain ole tired so I have her taking a nap in the dark.

There's got to be a solution to dementia in the elderly.

25 March 2009

Miracle Cure: Fenugreek

It's been about 2 - 3 weeks since my mom started to drink Fenugreek tea regularly.

In January, she had a stress test at the hospital where they checked the blood flow in her legs. Her left leg was giving her problems. She complained about pain and numbness in her lower left leg.

In February we went to see her Vascular doctor for a follow up and to see what the doctor had to say about her test results. He told us that her left groin artery, which already has a stent in it from 1997, was 90% blocked and this was causing the pain and numbness. He also told us that after the stress test where they had her walk for a short time (I don't remember how long the test was), her arteries opened up and dropped to 30%. The blood flowed better after she exercised.

Since that time, my mom has been walking about 15 minutes a day on the treadmill. Initially, she started slow, 5 minutes, 7... until she reached 15 minutes. It took weeks to build up to 15 minutes but now she can do it without any problem.

The numbness and pain have also left.

In addition to walking, my mom's also been drinking Fenugreek tea (very important fact so I'm repeating it.)

Today, we saw a specialist who we were talking to about having her stent replaced. He looked over the test results and what the Vascular doctor had recommended. As he left the room, he had my mom change into a johny gown.

The doctor had Josie lay on the table, he put his hands on her feet to feel her pulse. It was strong. The pulse was strong in her left foot. This didn't add up to the test results.

The doctor had a puzzled look on his face. He then took out his stethescope and listened to her foot, yup, strong pulse. He then listened to the pulse in her groin where the stent was put in 12 years ago, it too had a strong pulse. He was SHOCKED. I so wish I had a camera to capture the expression on his face. Instead, it is forever burned in my mind.

The doctor then said, "You know, I was walking down the hall, returning to the room and I was full prepared to recommend replacing your stent. (He had given us other potential solutions before he had left the room the first time.)But, they are strong. You don't have any symptoms to indicate that you need to do anything. I am treating you, the patient and not the numbers so I'm recommending that we do nothing."

My mom was soooooooo happy. The doctor then looked at me and I started to tell him what had changed.

I didn't tell him about the Fenugreek tea. I did tell him about her diet change and her increased activity. It still didn't seem to add up in his mind. I told him that I'm gathering data now to write a book on how I was able to help my mom. I also told him that I've got this blog. I didn't give him the address. I wasn't sure he'd be open to natural medicine.

I rushed home from the doctor this morning because I needed to look up Fenugreek and how it benefits arteries... my God... the stuff is good for EVERYTHING!

Here's what I found about arteries -


In medicinal uses a preparation where seeds are soaked in water until they swell and form a thick paste is used to prevent fevers, is comforting to the stomach and has been utilized in diabetes. In combination with conventional medicine e.g. insulin, it is helpful in gout, diabetes and neurasthenia.

The saponins are thought to inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis, and may also have a positive effect on blood sugar control in people who suffer from diabetes. In terms of weight control, the soluble fibre in fenugreek seeds can reduce dietary fat absorption by binding to fatty acids as well as create a sensation of "fullness" and reduced appetite. Thus it is a good agent for reducing serum cholesterol.

The herb affects cholesterol levels in the same fashion as Pectin. Fenugreek also contains saponins. The saponin-containing plant fibres could inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol much the same as Alfalfa saponins do (i.e. by absorbing bile acids and increasing the loss of bile acids by fecal excretion, which then leads to an increased conversion of cholesterol into bile acid by the liver).

It is a very well known galactogogue, which is widely used in folk medicine from a very long time ago.

Fenugreek seeds are also considered one of the cleansing herbs used on the body to eliminate built up waste materials, toxins and fat from the arteries.

Fenugreek is also used in anaemia as it contains good amount of vitamin B. Also used in rickets and scrofula.

Alcoholic tinctures are used to prepare emollient cream, ointments and plasters while the mucilage is use externally as a poultice for skin infections such as abscesses, boils and carbuncles.

It is administered as a poultice, ointment, infusion or tincture.

Fenugreek is very widely used as culinary herb and considered safe as a food supplement. It is used as a flavoring for both human and animal feed. However, because fenugreek has potential uterine stimulating properties which could potentially lead to miscarriage, it should not be used during pregnancy in any form.

24 March 2009

Who's that Strange Man in my Room?

Well, for the last few months my mom has been stuck on the idea that there's a strange guy who comes in her room and plays tricks on her.

My mom got really mad at me on Sunday because I told her there isn't any strangers in the house. She also got mad at me when I told her that she IS in the basement and we don't have another basement below the house. Again, she insisted she was right.

I have found that this strange man shows up when her blood glucose is above 129 and if she eats Bread, Pasta or preservatives. I've also discovered that it takes about 4 days for the ill effects of bread, pasta and or preservatives to pass.

This morning I woke up and my mom was all agitated. She told me that the strange guy showed up and turned her purse inside out. She continued to tell me that she isn't crazy, that the purse was inside out when she woke up. She was worried that the stranger was going to steal her money but all he did was mess with her.

I assured her that there isn't any stranger in the house and that it's her mind playing tricks. I told her that it's best not to fixate on the strange man because her mind will create an untrue reality that will make people believe that she's insane. I told her that I know she's not crazy, but she could become crazy if she doesn't just let the visions go when they come.

About 15 minutes later I brought my mom a cup of tea and she said, "You know, thinking back at the visions, it's kind of stupid that I get so nervous."

We talked about the visions and how they seemed to go away completely when she stuck to a fruit and vegetable diet with lots of fish protein.

She then told me that at 4:30am she thought she'd get up. Instead, she fell back to sleep but thought she woke up. This is where the strange man comes in...

*queue the scary music*

My mom told me that he told her that he was stealing her money. She woke up on the opposite side of her bed with her purse inside out. Her power of belief is so strong that she believes the man is real, in a sense he is real because ...

MY MOM IS THE STRANGE MAN! She is the one who is hiding things on herself in the middle of the night when she's sleep walking. She's also the one who turned her purse inside out.

23 March 2009

Rough weekend with Grammy

4 days ago I decided to give up coffee for 3 reasons. 1.) I ran out of Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut coffee, 2.) It is known to bring on hot flashes and make them intense, I wanted to see if this was true, 3.) It brings on hallucinations in elderly people with dementia

So, Josie and I haven't had coffee since the morning that I ran out, Friday.

No coffee combined with eating a whole wheat tuna sandwich sent her mind into a tizzy. It last for 3 days. She was aggravated with me about everything. Sucking it up is really hard sometimes.

Here we are, the 2 of us having caffeine withdrawals and we have a party to throw for Brian's birthday.

Yesterday morning I had a screaming caffeine headache. My mom was crabby and not talking to me. Oiy!

Donna and Brad arrived at 11:30 with Uncle Al. He was excited for the party. He loves coming to my house.

My mother, she was pissed off and wouldn't come out of her room. She sat and stared at the Game Show Network game show reruns.

After a couple of hours I went in to her room and told her that I have all her kids together, that I did it for her.

She came out of the room. She didn't talk to anyone. She never does... she doesn't start conversations, she never has. I think this is why it's so easy for her to be introvert; lock herself away and never talk to people.

Diabetes does strange things to the mind.

All day yesterday I fed her raw vegetables. Dark leafy greens, much to her dismay. She doesn't like dark greens, her favorite lettuce is iceberg lettuce. I find it tasteless... she finds it delectable. She ate the dark greens anyway because I told her that she needed to alkaline up her blood.

Around 8pm last night my mother was back to "normal" and she apologized for being such a bitch.

Caring for a parent is a lot like caring for a child. They get scared easily and need constant reassurance that everything is going to be OK. They need lots of love and attention.

The big difference between raising a child and caring for a parent is that you watch a child grow and get stronger everyday. With a parent it's the opposite, you watch your parent become less and less capable of the easiest of tasks. In a sense, I'm preparing her for the day she dies, a parent prepares a child for a full life.

But, I still believe diet, exercise and a happy state of mind helps the elderly hang on to what they have and not decline as quickly. Sure beats the alternative of putting her in a nursing home.

20 March 2009

What causes hallucinations?

Yesterday, I thought I'd try a little pasta in the chicken soup that I had made for the moms and me yesterday. I absolutely LOVE egg noodles in chicken soup and know that my mom does too. My mom in law could care less about them.

The soup was delicious. I put a couple of drops of fenugreek extract into my mom's bowl of soup. I thought that the fenugreek would help reduce the glycemic index for the soup as a whole.

The soup with the pasta noodles, about a cup of noodles, only raised her blood sugar levels 30 points. She went from about 111 to 143. That's not bad. We were pretty psyched thinking that we had found a solution to eating pasta, our favorite. It's the ultimate in comfort food for my little Italian mom.

A couple of hours had passed and I went downstairs to visit with my mother. She was all wild eyed and talking about needing to go to another part of the house. She wanted to see if the worker guy was going to follow her. She was telling me that the house is spooked. She packed her little black canvas bag (I mean, it's a little bag) with random things that must have seemed important to her at the time of her packing.

She had to get out of this house... this was her main focus. So, I let her obsess as I told her that it was all going to be OK.

I reviewed in my mind what she had eaten and drank. The only big change was the pasta. It really is poison to her system and even with a few drops of fenugreek in her soup, it still causes strange visions for her.

I did some research on the web, to see if I could find a link between diabetes and hallucinations, here's a forum that I found which sort of describes what happens to my mother.

My mom is going to see if she can check her blood sugar when she starts to see these visions of hers. It will be a good way for us to pin point exactly what she can and can not eat or drink.

Additionally, when she doesn't exercise she seems to have more visitors that are not there.

19 March 2009

Laughter IS the Universal language

Laughter is the universal language
I found this video on YouTube... no matter what language someone is laughing in, it has the same effect on ones soul.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Enemy #1

A few days ago my mom was seeing people in the house that were not here. I knew that I didn't give her anything that would trigger hallucinations because I don't keep anything with preservatives in the house. But, she was still seeing people so I knew that she must have eaten something like the sugar free hard candies that she bought religiously when she was driving for .99 from our local pharmacy chain.

We had stopped in to Walgreens just the day before her visitors returned. I left her to roam freely in the store while I was in a 2nd hand clothing store for children next door.

My mom tells me that she "needs" these candies to suck on when she gets a tickle in her throat. Then she said, "You weren't around for me to ask." Pretty lame excuse.

So, instead of getting mad at my mom, I told her the scientific facts about the hydrogenation process and how in the 1970's these "new" fats began to replace lard and butter.

Looking back in my family history, in the 1970's my dad was unemployed because he couldn't bend steel any longer. He had bursitis in his elbow, the one he shattered when he was 9 years old playing on the freight trains in Chelsea.

At this time, my family was forced to go on welfare to help us get by. During those years the government handed out food in totally generic labels. You'd get a big chunk of butter and cheese depending on how many people in your family. There were 7 of us so we got a lot.

Another item we got was corn syrup. High fructose, more than likely it was hydrogenated. My mom used to cook with this and we often used it as "maple syrup" on pancakes or french toast.

Shortly after our ingesting this food is when my mom began to have health issues and my dad died of pancreatic cancer.

So, this leads me to believe that the "new" HFCS is Enemy #1, it snuffs out lives.

Here's an article about it - The Enemy is in Your Food: High Fructose Corn Syrup

14 March 2009

Fenugreek - Diabetes Miracle Cure?

About a month ago I saw a news report about a mysterious smell in Manhattan, NY. It smelled like Maple Syrup. People were freaking out, thinking it was a bioterror attack. New Jersey Plant is Source of Sweet Smell.

That was the first time I had heard of the herb.

About 2 days later, I received an email from Dr. Schnell telling me about Fenugreek and how it is known to lower blood glucose levels in diabetics.

Immediately I began to research the herb, hoping that it would give me an answer to creating sweet treats for my mom and Uncle Al, that wouldn't raise their sugar levels. I'm still experimenting with the sweet treat and fenugreek.

My mother-in-law, Rachel had an appointment with the nutritionist this week and she invited me along. I told the nutritionist about our diet and I brought up fenugreek. She dug out a great herb catalogue and gave it to me, a place where I can buy fenugreek in bulk - organicly grown too! I told her about the idea of making treats and how I believe fenugreek will lower the glycemic index of anything high in carbohydrates.

She looked at me with an Aha look, so I think I'm onto something.

Here's a field test of the theory...

Yesterday, I had Uncle Al over for the entire day. With lunch I gave both him and my mom a cup of Fenugreek tea that I found at Whole Foods. I put a picture of the package above.

Before dinner, both checked their sugar readings and my mom was 125 and Uncle Al was 186. I gave them both a cup of Fenugreek Tea. We checked their blood sugar levels again and their readings were, my mom 91 and Uncle Al was 159.

Nearly 30 points were shaved off their glucose readings with 1/2 cup of tea - all within 1 hour!

I give my mom a cup of tea with meals that are high in carbohydrates and her blood sugar doesn't spike.

So... Fenugreek Tea is a miracle cure for Type 2 Diabetes!

13 March 2009

The Dementia Experiment

I've been thinking about the link between nutrition and dementia a lot lately.

Dementia is a very wild phenomenon that seems to occur when the brain is agitated and has had a little too much carbohydrates and or sugar.

This morning started off a little bit nutty, all before I had a cup of coffee!

My mom came upstairs this morning, all wild eyed like she had just seen a ghost. It's the look she gets when she's having "visitors." She was convinced that some guy was chasing the cat around the room all night as he blew air threw his lips. There was another guy who worked on the door knob all night. She was swearing to me that it was real, I even got an "honest to God, I'm not imagining it."

How do I fight the logic of someone who believes so strongly that they had seen someone or something, that they didn't see anything? From my experience, as long as the persons eyes are wild, you have to figure out how to get them to stop obsessing over the vision.

I didn't do very well this morning, I told my mom that she was imagining someone in the house. She didn't believe me and walked away saying something like, "I'm not crazy."

In the meantime, I prepared my mom's oatmeal with raisins as well as a cup of coffee. By the time I went downstairs, my mom was back, the wild eye woman had retreated. This is when I can explain about dementia to my mom and how no one is in the house.

I've been making sure that my mom keeps her carb intake to a minimum. We eat a huge amount of vegetables, different types of vegetables. I like to make them interesting and use them to make all of our meals beautiful... like a rainbow. Last night we had a salad with sliced roasted chicken on top. It was a fabulous meal... no carbs and very low in fat. This had all the ingredients for a happy sleep for my mom.

So, what made her have visions?

Yesterday, she got upset with me at Walgreens because I bought a new blood glucose meter for 10 bucks. She had 300 test strips for this particular meter (the doctor made a mistake and sent in a prescription for the wrong blood tester.) My mom had run out of the strips that went with her old meter. She didn't have any refills left on the strips and the pharmacist had to fax the doctor. The pharmacist wouldn't give her any strips unless she paid for them. My mom wasn't listening, she was stuck on a belief that she was right.

Well, I knew I needed to buy the darn meter for 10 bucks so that she could test her blood glucose levels. Otherwise we'd be waiting until today and there was no way that she could wait. Checking her sugar levels is how I know what to feed her!

Yesterday, my mom ate right. I think she did anyway. I'm not sure if she bought some of those sugar free candies for a dollar in the store when I wasn't looking, even one little hard candy causes her to be demented and see people and things.

Ok, back to the experiment...

I'm discovering that nutrition plays a huge role in keeping dementia and diabetes under full control. I found a website, Nutrition Data where you can check the glycemic index of any food! It even gives you a place, once you register to add in your own food labels which it will generate the approximate Glycemic Index.

Here's an example of a Taco Bell taco... Taco Bell taco . No wonder I don't like Taco Bell! It's estimated Glycemic Index is 19, too much.

My experiment is to see if I keep the GI to 10 or under on all foods, in order to help my mom regain her full good health.

06 March 2009

Uncle Al Goes to Building 19 in Haverhill

Oh, those of us from Mass. all know about Building 19. In my opinion it's the best store around for getting good stuff cheap.

Years ago when Uncle Al was still driving, he would come over to my house in Groveland, pick up my mom and they'd go shopping over the Groveland Bridge in Haverhill. The Haverhill 19 store is the best. I knew it would be good for Uncle Al and my mom to take a trip to our old neighborhood and familiar shopping.

First, we drove by the old house on Salem Street. Uncle Al didn't remember the house. He vaguely remembered the name of my old street.

When we got to Building 19 he knew EXACTLY where he was and was pretty excited.

I thought I'd make this blog interesting and take a shot at making a candid video of our shopping trip. I had 15 minutes of video that I cut down to just under 1 minute.

The intention of the video is to help Uncle Al live on even after his time is up. He has a granddaughter that he doesn't know and who doesn't know him. Maybe one day she'll want to know who her Gramps is and I'll have video of him to give to her.

Following is the video of an regular day of shopping with Uncle Al and my mom. My mom usually takes off with the cart and gets lost in the aisles and Uncle Al likes to roam and touch everything. My time is spent following Uncle Al around so that he doesn't get hurt and looking for my mother.

03 March 2009

Susie, am I crazy?

How do I answer this question after my mom just finished telling me about "the little girl" who visited her in her room.

There is no little girl here.

Fortunately I've been studying dementia and how food effects my mom. What I've found is she can't even eat a crumb of bread or a grain of rice or she'll have hallucinations of people coming into her room or the room changing.

Today, after I explained what I've learned about blood sugar and how it affects the mind to my mom, we decided to stick to the no bread, no pasta, no preservatives rule... so far, so good.

For breakfast she had oatmeal with 1/4 cup of raisins and a little no fat milk. Lunch we had a steamed artichoke and a salad. Dinner will be roasted chicken and steamed cauliflower and string beans.

I'll know tomorrow if my mom is crazy or just gets demented because she's eating carbs.