Six Months Since The Hospital Setback, And Constant Improvement - Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking Blog at Allrecipes.com - 317818

Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking

Six Months Since the Hospital Setback, and Constant Improvement 
 
Dec. 18, 2013 12:36 am 
Updated: Dec. 22, 2013 12:48 am
It's been 6 months since my mother was put into the hospital for shingles in her eye and then came home from the hospital with an ESBL UTI. We were set back to less than ground zero. If you have been following this blog, you know that we had seen enormous improvements in my mother's health and her mental capacity after we brought her here from the nursing home. After the shingles and the hospital fiasco, we had to start all over. When she came home after a 4 day hospital stay, she couldn't walk, talk, understand, or even eat. All foods had to be pureed, and, again, she was completely incontinent, both fecal and urinary.

Now, 6 months later, she is walking on her own, eating a good diet, beginning to talk and read again, and understand everything we say to her (as long as she has not decided to ignore us). Her blood work is still excellent and, according to her doctor, better than most 20 year olds - not bad for a 93 year old woman. She is not taking any meds at all - also not bad for her age.

We bought her a cycle that she can use when she is sitting, and we have had her use it at least 15 minutes each day. This has helped to build her leg muscles, and has improved her walking. We have also bought her flash cards that she reads and says the words. This has improved her reading ability and also her speech. We have also been working on having her do basic things like dressing, going to the bathroom by herself, drying her face after washing, and brushing her teeth (what there are left of them), by herself. In addition, we have bought her child wood puzzles to help with dexterity and coordination. By doing this, we are seeing improvements almost daily.

At times, she seems afraid to try new things because she is afraid that she will fail. We have continued to encourage her and to assure it will get better as she practices. Fortunately, she has a very cooperative and up personality, and she really wants to get better.

For anyone facing a similar situation with a love one, I am more than willing to share what we have been doing for my mother. We are all on a diet that is primarily healthy and natural, although it is not possible to avoid all foods that have GMO content, preservatives, etc. She is taking a number of dietary supplements that are primarily antioxidants for the brain. Most of these are antioxidants that our bodies produce when we are younger, but are not produced as we get older. Although most are meant to be used as a preventative for dementia, I am hoping that we can supply her brain with enough nutrients that it can produce new cells. One of the supplements helps to build new mitochondria, and others to build new brain cells.

Although the brain cells that have been destroyed are gone, the brain is an amazing organ. If given what it needs, it can produce new cells. Once the new cells are produced, it is a matter of developing new synaptic connections. This means re-teaching. In the last 2 year, I have done hours of research on this subject, and I completely believe that it is possible to rebuild and re-teach a demented brain. If I can prove this through my mother, I am hoping that it will help other elderly people that their family's have given up on. I really don't believe that the onset of dementia is the end, and I also believe that dementia can be prevented with education and preventative measures.

I do know that I am committed to helping my mother and will not give up on her until she is no longer with me. Fortunately, I don't have health issues to deal with for her any more. We have gotten past that. If you have an elderly love one with health issues and/or dementia, it is a commitment to get them healthy, but it really depends on how much of your life you want to commit to the endeavor. Believe me, it isn't easy!

My husband and I have gone through a soaked bed every night and linens to be washed, having to puree foods because whole foods couldn't be chewed, furniture that had to be shampooed and floors that had to be cleaned because they were urinated on or fecal matter had been spread on them. Believe me, it really isn't a fun time, but it can be done if you love the person.
 
Comments
Dec. 18, 2013 6:57 pm
Judy, I can't tell you how I admire your tenacity. Merry Christmas to you and your mother.
 
Dec. 19, 2013 2:14 am
Thanks so much, BigShotsMom. I very much appreciate your support and encouragement. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and the Happiest of New Years.
 
Elle 
Dec. 19, 2013 4:47 am
I have to agree with BigShotsMom. Your care of your mother is admirable. Hopefully, research is being done on preventing or reversing dementia. If not, maybe someone reading this will be in a position to start such a research program. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.
 
Dec. 19, 2013 8:07 am
Your care & patience is fantastic! Your research to help your Mom must be exhausting as well as tending to her needs. No one could ask for a better daughter - she is very lucky to have you! I hope your Holidays are happy & continue with improvements. Best of luck!
 
redly 
Dec. 19, 2013 1:46 pm
Thank-you for your sweet strength and your words and experience and inspspiration that you share with us. Merry Christmas! You might want to look at a book called Spark by John T. Ratey. If you haven't come across this book already I would absolutely reccomend that you seek it out. It talks partially about brain cell regeneration and many other things...
 
Dec. 22, 2013 12:48 am
I want to thank everyone for the support, and hope that my experience will help someone with a loved one. I restrict my research to sites that relate actual scientific research and studies. Much of it I have to read with a very clear mind as they can be mind boggling. I have given some thought as to writing a book that relates my experiences and the information that I have found. Some information gives reasons for dementia and what causes it, but there isn't a lot on what can be done to reverse it. For this, I am left to my own conclusions. So far, I am again seeing improvement in my mother in her memory, speech, motor control, strength, and accomplishment of daily maintenance on her own. I am sure I am on the right track, but there is still so much to learn. Redly, thanks for the book recommendation. I will look for it. Ellie, There is a lot of research being done to prevent dementia. I have been using this research for my husband and I. For my mother, I need info that will reverse it. I still believe this can be done. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and the very happiest of New Years.
 
 
 
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judy2304

Home Town
Franklin Park, Illinois, USA

Member Since
Jan. 2012

Cooking Level
Expert

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Gourmet

Hobbies
Gardening, Music, Painting/Drawing

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About Me
I breed large parrots, like to write, raise most of our veggies, completed my AS degree at 65, enjoy cooking specialty dishes and baking bread. I have done extensive study of cooking and eating healthy. A few years ago, I started researching healthy eating for my parrots, and it has since changed focus to the diet of my family. At this point, I make all of our bread using fresh milled flour that I make. We eat primarily pastures fed meats and eggs, and I make many of our condiments. We also avoid GMO foods and ingredients as much as possible. Since my 93 year old mother has moved in with us, we have eliminated the 10 medications she was on, and her physical and mental condition has improved considerably. I totally believe that we are what we eat. What is really best for us is a constant learning experience.
My favorite things to cook
I get bored with cooking daily meals, but enjoy making specialty and new dishes. I also enjoy baking breads from scratch using freshly ground flour made from various grains that I buy in bulk.
My cooking triumphs
One of my cooking triumphs was baking whole grain breads that are light, tasty, and healthy.
My cooking tragedies
My latest cooking tragedy was recovered with some effort. I made the Navy Bean and Ham soup that I posted and after the cooking time, much of the liquid had evaporated. I was tired when it finished and put it into containers and froze it as it was. The next day we had it for dinner and it was way too thick. As much as I didn't feel like it, I thawed 8 containers of the soup, added more broth, and repackaged it for freezing. It was really a pain, but I'm glad I did it. The finished soup was so much better.
 
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