Old 12-14-2017, 01:10 AM #1 (permalink)
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Default Mood swings

I am caring for someone who has MND and lately she has been very moody. Gets cranky and short tempered with me. I have cared for her for 5 months and we used to have a good friendship. Lately she had been clearing her throat a lot and her moods are angry. Is this just normal progression of her illness ? What can Ido to make her feel better.? She still has full capabilities. Although she tires really easily now. Can anyone give me some advice.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:27 AM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Hi Louise and welcome!

Are you a paid caregiver?

Have you learned much about what MND is? What kind of onset is your PALS (person with ALS)?

Your title says mood swings, but your main text says she is cranky and short tempered. Now I'm asking because there is a symptom that is called emotional lability and this is very different from cranky, but it is often described as mood swings, though usually it is 'inappropriate to the situation' emotional reactions.

If she is clearing her throat a lot what is being done about this and how is her swallowing?
If she is getting cranky she may be experiencing a lot of fear, she may be angry in general - hell this is the worst monster one can find themselves facing so emotions run pretty high.

Now I've asked lots of questions back, but this is because in order to really help you, I need to know more details. You see this disease is so very different with people in how it may start and the order in which it may move through their body that I don't want to make presumptions.

Does she use bipap and does she have a feeding tube?

You are fairly remote there, does she attend an MND clinic - I would hope she doesn't have to travel as far as Brisbane!

If you can wade through all these questions, I'm sure we can help you help her better and feel a lot better in yourself as being a carer is really hard!
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:57 AM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Thak you for getting back to me. She was diagnosed 5 years ago. Has a peg. Still eats through the mouth but mainly soft foods. She doesn't like to talk much about it. I have read information from mnd association. I know it must be frightening for her. She has a network of specialists she sees monthly. Dietician, Dr, speech pathologists, psychologist, psychiatrists, neurologists.
She has adult children. 3 carers. I am a student nurse. We had an issue with one of the carers lying to her and she had a bad month where she didn't trust any of us. I am trying to help her trust me and I struggled with the no trust issue as I pride myself on my honest and caring personality. She has OCD. I am her OCD cleaner. She had bouts of cramps and I massaged her to help her feel better. She seems to brew tired a lot lately too. Have I answered every question.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:59 AM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Thanks Louise, I sure have more of a picture now

Firstly I think you have done a wonderful job so far. To be honest sometimes with this disease it's hard to really please a PALS because we can't cure them, we can't do anything to stop progression and what they are experiencing I can't truly imagine. Even though I was there 24/7 with my own husband, I can't imagine what he went through.

I think some PALS become a bit OCD even if they were not before ALS because it can help them feel a little in control of something - it's wonderful that you are there to allow her to direct that OCD - I loved that "I'm her OCD cleaner"!

I think you also hit a nail on the head by recognising that there was an issue with another carer, and yep this is hard because you know that you are separate from this, but she is obviously affected by the experience. Have you talked to her about it and expressed how upset you are that it all went on?

The tiring easily is a huge part of this disease. You didn't say if she is using bipap at all? If she is not and she is tiring easily she may need breathing assistance if she wants that. If she is starting to have breathing issues, the big thing is not so much lack of O2, but it's a build up of CO2 and this can really affect her mood - she may become irritable, intermittently sleepy, cross, headaches and difficulty focusing.

To help her I wonder if you can find anything she is interested in that you can do with her - audio books, documentaries, music - and be willing to know she may fall asleep at any point and be ready to mark the place and take up from there the next time.

Sometimes even simple things like a nice place to go and just sit that is outdoors, or looks over a view, or even a fish tank can be very calming.

There isn't any blanket answer, but there are ways to try and find something that will resonate with her as an individual that you may be able to discover.

I have to say it's wonderful that you are taking an extra interest in looking after the person that she is, not just the personal care and cleaning. We will support you however we can here!
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:02 AM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Please be aware that she may not even know that she is treating you poorly. I don't exactly know why it happens to us but it does.

A question I try to ask myself each day is that given my current situation "how do I want to spend the rest of my life?" This helps me to remember to do what is important to me. And being angry and mean is the last thing I want to be. Maybe, if she is open to it, a conversation on this line will help.

That said I have been told that I have treated my wife meanly and I don't remember doing it, it breaks my heart to hear.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:52 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

I often get angry and frustrated but it is self-directed.

You sound like a wonderful caregiver.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:31 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Communication is the key.....if she has all of her marbles you could appeal to her sense of decency.

I have to control my inner b!tch on a daily basis. Moodiness is one of my symptoms and many PALS have the same dynamic. Mine comes from anxiety, frustration, and not being able to live and love my life as I want.

Talk to her, ask if she is angry with you and how her crankiness is affecting you. If she values your relationship, she should improve. This will drive a wedge between you two if it is not addressed as such.

Good Luck
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Old 12-16-2017, 07:59 AM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Welcome to the forum !
I have been mean to my cals many times and regret it every time after . Not to make excuses for bad behavior but I act out without thinking and it mostly comes from frustration and anxiety and fear. I don't like how I act when these bugaboos rear their heads.
Communication is the key! Keep on trying!
Good luck
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:39 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mood swings

Good evening
I didn't bring it up today as my client was in a great mood. We went for a lovely drive and then played with her new little puppy and laughed for ages. We went to the shops and had a great day together.
I didn't want to make her sad by mentioning it. It was so good to hear her giggling and laughing at the puppy's antics. I couldn't spoil that. But I really appreciate your letting me chat to you. Thank you. I am one relieved carer. I will stay in touch. Bless you all and your kind hearts for welcoming me to your forum.
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