Even on good days, my mom becomes extremely anxious at bedtime. She "can't get comfortable," no matter what. Sometimes she says she's dying, and wonders if I know who to call in that event. Frequently she doesn't want me to leave her, which isn't characteristic of her daytime behavior.
Her shrink suggested Lorazepam aka Adavan (sp?) (a small dose -- given my mom's size (under 90 lbs.)). It was also suggested that she take the pill half an hour before bedtime, so it would kick in by then. Still, bedtime is often a time of high anxiety.
Any home remedies or suggestions for getting a PWP relaxed?
P.S. Since going on the antidepressant Effexor, my mom's daytime moods have perked up. Where once she didn't have the patience to read, she is again enjoying short stories.
Calcium-fortified orange juice is a good choice -- it contains 300 mg calcium/8 oz and the calcium is very well absorbed. Calcium citrate supplements are good also, and I would consider crushing the tablet and mixing it with her food or juice, as that will be easier to absorb.
Another possibility is a deficiency of B vitamins, which is also fairly common with PD. An RD can determine whether a B-complex would be a good idea. I often recommend this daily for a week or two, then 2-3 times per week for maintenance. If she uses Sinemet, she must take a B complex separately from Sinemet by about 2 hours, as the B6 will prevent the levodopa from working.
I realize your mom's situation may be very different, but I lean toward persuits of natural means rather than increased mixes of medications, if at all possible. Since she enjoys short stories, have you tried "talking books" at bedtime?
Best wishes in this never ending struggle for quality of life for all, you included....
Many PDers (I think it is about 40%) have depression and/or anxiety at some level. There is an interesting questionaire for determining the likely hood of having depression or anxiety on the APDA web site. My mother does get depressed once in a while (who wouldn't?), but the psychiatrist says she does not believe she has depression, but clearly experiences the symptoms of anxiety. Therefore she is not on any antidepressents. (We've tried them but didn't get much response.) However, the lorazepam is a life saver for her and as far as we know, we have not had any bad reactions to it over the years. My mom is small (100 lbs) and is sensitive to meds. She takes .5 mg regularly with her bedtime meds and can take an additional .5 if needed during the day. It also has helped her to manage the pain she expereinces with the PD muscles tightening up in her abdomen . It doesn't actually relieve the pain, but it increases her ability to "cope" with it and not make it worse by stress.
Just a warning, we DID have trouble with a previous med called Xanax. Basically she became dependent on it and kept needing to add more and more and then when the docs wanted to take her off, it was a terrible withdrawal experience. Apparently, lorazepam does not have this issue. Thank God!
We have a remote for the lamp. The lamp is not near my eyes, but is just enough (40 watts) to put light in the room if i want it. Also, dim enough so that it does not wake anyone up. We can both then feel a sense of control.
Lorazepam eventually worsened my vision and my body got to use to it, so we all decided to stop it. Plus it didn't agree with the anti-depressant.