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  • #31
    Just an update:

    My mom's neurologist suggested she see an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) to see if he had any ideas. I love her neurologist because she doesn't just throw pills at her - she tests her and actually tries to figure out what's wrong. Whod've thunk it!

    I spoke with my mom this morning and asked what the ENT had said. He seems to be very old school (in a good way) and said she's probably seriously low on zinc which is EXACTLY what I told her a month ago after quite a few of you guys suggested it. So now she's going to start supplementing and see what happens. She really likes this guy, so she might be a little more open to his ideas.

    Obviously, if she can get her sense of taste and texture back, that will be a huge win. She has lost more than 20 pounds over the past few months, and she never was very heavy to begin with. But I'm also hoping that, between me, the new neuroligist and the new ENT, she might realize that she doesn't need all of the meds her regular doc prescribed. There's hope!
    Durp.

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    • #32
      Regarding the statin, maybe you should have her watch one of countlessly repeated Lipitor ads for women to improve their heart health, where the disclaimer at the end is that taking Lipitor "has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks".
      Pretty much the logic of "to prevent this condition, let me take medication which doesn't prevent this condition."
      Let your mom know that in women specifically, those with higher cholesterol levels live longer.

      Definitely try and get her to take some CoQ10 as well.

      I had to go through this with my dad. He suffered short term memory loss when he took statins. At first I was suggesting he get tested for alzheimer's (it's in the family) until I read up on statins (took a while to sort through all the information). After much nagging on my part, he agreed to halve his dose as a test, and after noticing improvement, stopped them and, shocker, his memory came back, good as ever.

      She's not likely to change her mind overnight, but plant the seeds in her mind and, eventually, she'll get there.
      Good Luck!
      My art blog.

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      • #33
        Thanks, Wafaa. Yeah, I've been on her to dump the statins since... forever. I never could understand why they said they didn't work for women while my mom's cholesterol was lower when she took it. Sounded like it was effective for her. Turns out I might have misunderstood. "Effective" was in the sense of keeping women from dying, which lowered cholesterol doesn't do. It can lower cholesterol, it's just not something you want to happen if you're female.

        I was a bit worried about her mind too. She has always been extremely lucid, and still does a couple of tough crosswords a day in addition to reading at least 3 or 4 books a week. But a few months ago, I had a visit to the ER and for some reason she had some odd idea that the pain pills were messing up my mind. The thing is, the doctor offered them to me but I didn't take them, and I talked at length about that with my mom. That kind of scared me, and then about a month later, she told me about the eating problem.

        Ditching the statins (or at the very least, adding CoQ10) and the antacids are definitely my next push. Right now, I'm trying to let her see how the zinc is going to work, since that was what I had told her before. I'm hoping it gets me some credibility with her so she'll take my suggestions more seriously. So very frustrating.
        Durp.

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        • #34
          Just now reading this thread... Geez the polypharmacy that gets imposed on the elderly is atrocious!
          Like the way things are going but want to remind you that stopping Prilosec or any PPI in someone who has been on them a long time can result in some wicked rebound GERD. Better to taper them if possible.

          Best of luck to you and your Mom, I fight this same fight in smaller ways. My mother is a healthy 74, but it's a struggle to keep the different medical providers from loading her up. After so many years I think she is listening to me more and more. (and feeling better and better from less drugs and their side effects!).

          Jeanne

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          • #35
            Thanks, RenegadeRN. Yeah, now she's vomiting (meds/supplements on an empty stomach?) and still won't listen to me. She was supposed to make an appointment with another doctor, but I didn't call her yesterday because I totally would have yelled. She's up to about a 30 pound weight loss now, and it's not a good thing.

            Then she admitted that she only "skimmed" the Primal book I gave her, which translates to her never reading it. This is the same woman that reads 3 or 4 novels a week and does the New York Times crossword puzzle every day, so she had the time and the ability.

            It's very frustrating to be working harder than she is to keep her healthy and out of the hospital.
            Durp.

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            • #36
              Ohhh vomiting isn't good.... I personally can't take meds/ supps on an empty stomach. Unless something states it MUST be taken on an empty stomach it usually is better to have a little something in there first. Especially in someone who eats little to begin with!

              I hope the neuro can be your "heavy" and help get her off the unneccesarys and onto the beneficial meds etc. like the CoQ10! Bet she is very depleted in that, as well as the zinc.

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              • #37
                Just reading this thread. The only thing I can add is that after 20+ years of being on Tagamet/Zantac/Prilosec, etc. I was able to stop taking them the day after I went gluten free. Gluten free was a recommendation from my brother (a school teacher) - not my doctor. For more than 2 decades doctors shoveled prescriptions at my symptoms and never once looked for a cause. SO FRUSTRATING.

                Recommend having your mom be alert for a GERD spike shortly after eating cereal or a sandwich. If so, you might be able to get her off of the Prilosec at least. Best of luck!

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                • #38
                  The weight loss and vomiting are very serious symptoms which call for a serious check up and cancer screenings. I would encourage her not to wait. If something serious is going on, the sooner it is caught the better.

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                  • #39
                    She has had the cancer screening a couple of months ago, part of an overall check, and that was fine. That's a good thing.

                    Rewind, I can totally relate to the GERD meds. I was in the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack - that's how bad my acid reflux was years ago, and I have a high pain threshold. They put me on Zyrtec and then Prilosec, and both seemed to just make it come back more often. I started taking apple cider vinegar instead and the pain would go away in 20 minutes. When I started eating Primal, they just plain went away. Looking back, I remember my mom telling me to drink milk when I would have a flare-up. I had totally forgotten that, and she's probably using that (along with the Tums) to counter her own bouts with it. I need to talk to her about that again.

                    Anyway, she went to her regular (but fairly new) doctor today. He gave her a new GERD medicine, which I don't really agree with, but I'll bite my tongue until it either works or doesn't. He gave her some kind of urine test, too, but she wasn't very clear on what it was checking for. He said that they would do a scope if the new medicine didn't work.

                    I'm not at all hopeful because she doesn't want to try anything except what her doctors tell her to do. She went off the statins for 2 days, didn't notice any difference so she went back on again. All I can do is offer another route, but it's up to her to choose to follow it.
                    Durp.

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                    • #40
                      They did a colonoscopy on her a couple of weeks ago and found nothing noteworthy. So this morning, they did an endoscopy and finally found something. She had multiple ulcers and a mass in her stomach. She didn't say (or probably ask) what the mass was, assuming they could tell just by looking at it anyway. They immediately sent her for another blood workup and seem to be acting fairly quickly to fix it. She said surgery was a possibility.

                      Funny thing is, my mom sounded absolutely vibrant! She's telling me she possibly has a tumor in her stomach, but she finally can say she had symptoms for a reason, so she's happy!

                      I still think all the nutrition advice I gave her applies (especially about removing grains, sugars and anything with soy), but it's nice to have at least one mystery partially solved.
                      Durp.

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                      • #41
                        I can understand how she feels to some extent.. I spent 2 years feeling like an an ancient hag! Lol. Come to find out at MY insistence on the proper labs to run... I had a parathyroid tumor! 12 minute surgery, and I feel like a million bucks now.

                        I was just so darn happy to have a very real reason for all the symptoms that got written off as , perimenopause, thyroid, chronic fatigue.. You name it.

                        I hope she finds only an enlarged benign polyp that be removed and that be the END of it!

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by RenegadeRN View Post
                          I can understand how she feels to some extent.. I spent 2 years feeling like an an ancient hag! Lol. Come to find out at MY insistence on the proper labs to run... I had a parathyroid tumor! 12 minute surgery, and I feel like a million bucks now.

                          I was just so darn happy to have a very real reason for all the symptoms that got written off as , perimenopause, thyroid, chronic fatigue.. You name it.

                          I hope she finds only an enlarged benign polyp that be removed and that be the END of it!
                          Oh, I definitely understand her joy, even given the potential for something pretty crappy. I think not knowing is even worse, and she was starting to think she was a hypochondriac (I knew she wasn't).

                          Yeah, we're hoping for something benign and easily removed. And then I can start giving her crap for not eating right again!
                          Durp.

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                          • #43
                            Hi RitaRose,

                            Thanks for updating us and letting us know what is going on. It can really be a relief to finally find out what the problem is. Then you can start to work on solving it, versus just continuing to suffer with the symptoms. That at least ends the mental distress of "not knowing".

                            Best wishes to both of you and hope for a most favorable outcome!

                            Barb

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                            • #44
                              Is there any way you could reduce the grains and dairy? Will she eat soup? You could put the meat in it. Will she eat a salad? That would be a way to get her to eat some olive oil.
                              I would try to change her diet to the extent that you can, make her go outside a little for sunlight or walking daily if she is able to and consider finding a way to get her to take some cod liver oil and also maybe something like krill- she sounds like she has systemic inflammation from diet and aging etc.

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                              • #45
                                We're still waiting to see if the mass in her stomach is a tumor or something else. Once we get that figured out (and hopefully removed) it should eliminate the issue with hating to eat and she'll be able to get more food into her.

                                I'll probably take off work for a few days and do a bunch of cooking for her to get her to see how simple it is, once she's had it removed.
                                Durp.

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