Can lightening strike twice?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by alex, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    #1 alex, Sep 15, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I'm posting cos i feel totally devastated and somehow as though i've been here before.........

    My mum had a history of cancer some years ago, she's been ill with pneumonia for the past 10-12 weeks, this is the second time this year, i took her to the hospital on thursday night as i was very concerned about her, they admitted her as an emergency and transfered her to the respiratory unit of another hospital.

    She has never had any memory problems before and she was fine (mentally and memory wise) when i left her after visiting on friday day she had full blown (quite advanced) dementia!!!

    I'm informed that the hospital believe that the pneumonia is being caused by underlying cancer and they will be carrying out more tests, but they are concerned how one day her memory is fine - next day advanced dementia........the doctor has said they intend to do scans to see if the cancer is in the brain, if not then its possible she might have suffered a stroke.

    My mum is very distressed, confused, aggressive etc, etc......the hospital have been very good and have put her in a private room rather than a ward (possibily because other patients can't get any rest for her shouting, threatening, etc) they have given me a camp bed so i can sleep beside her to try to keep her settled.

    She keeps packing her bags, which consist of the hospital bedding, boxes of paper tissues, paper towels, her oxygen mask, airtubes etc, she thinks she's only there as a caretaker.
    Today she thinks all the doctors and nurses are detectives and that her room is a prison cell...........she doesn't understand why she's in prison or what she's done wrong.

    I lay in the camp bed last night holding her hand cos she was so was i.......i was afraid because if she's gonna die, then i want her to know who i am when she dies, i want her to know i'm with her, i want her to know i'm holding her hand and i want her to know i love her and i want her to know how important she is to me..... i don't want her to die not knowing.

    I feel so.......emotional.......things are happening so fast.......the same thing happened with Ray........admitted as an emergency, overnight dementia, and died a terrible death.

    If there is a god, then surely once is enough!!!

    Sorry.........just needed to get it out.

    Kind regards
    Alex x
  2. SkiTTish

    SkiTTish Registered User

    Sep 13, 2008
    Alex ,I dont know what to say ,just wanted you to know how sorry I am that you and mum are going through this xx
    My dad was admitted to hospital with what was suspected to be a secondary cancer ( turned out to be the original primary ,long story ) but he had symptoms of dementia due to the meds they gave him ,could this be the case with mum ?
  3. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Dear Alex:
    It is so very sad to see your post. There is so little I can say to comfort you except there is nothing more you can do.
    Unfortunately lightening can strike twice.

    I am pleased you felt you could offload your burden here.

    Keep us updated. Love Jan
  4. Helen33

    Helen33 Registered User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Dear Alex

    I am so sorry about your mum Alex. I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you both at this time. Because you've experienced something similar before with Ray it doesn't mean that lightning has struck twice. Try to keep positive and hopefully when the infection is completely cleared mum will recover. I am assuming you are familiar with Skye's thread and the amazing recovery of her husband. This story shines as a beacon of hope in very unpromising circumstances.

    Love and best wishes
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Alex

    What a terrible ordeal. I could hardly believe what I was reading, I`m so sorry. I really hope it`s not as bad as it sounds.
    Love xx
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    So sorry to hear about your mother. Had she had surgery and been given general anesthesia? I have heard how detrimental it can be to seniors, whether or not they have dementia. Or did she receive something like lorazepam, which can cause confusion and memory loss in anyone, never mind just seniors.

    Keep posting - we're here and listening.
  7. Lanie

    Lanie Registered User

    Aug 31, 2008
    My heart goes out to you and I pray that there is a positive answer.

    Chest infections can cause delusions and confusion. As can a number of other things. That can be treated.

    Thinking of you

  8. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Dear Alex,

    Your mum knows. It is you she is recognising now, your name that she is was your hand that she held last night, and that gave her the peace to be able to sleep. It is in you that she is finding her comfort, her security.....she loves you, she trusts you, she knows that she is loved, she knows that she is safe with you.

    You cannot know at this time whether she will retain that recognition......but I believe that even if she can nolonger say your name she will always know in her depths that when you are there....she is safe, and she is loved...

    Take it a day at a time....maybe at present even that is too much.....but dont look too far ahead.......everything will be ok.

    So pleased that you posted.
    Love Helen xx
  9. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Alex

    I was so shocked and saddened to hear your news today.

    If you remember when mum had the heart attack last year, the doctors and nurses didn’t think she would survive past a couple of hours, and boy she fought them every step of the way. She was much more confused, and was totally convinced that ‘they were just doing experiments on her’, and there was nothing wrong with her. One week later and I’m driving her back to the NH, and on our arrival she told all the staff she had been on a lovely holiday to the country with me!! She never did take one of the bag full of tablets that the hospital had given her (why would she take tablets when there was nothing wrong with her), and bless her, she lived over a year after that.

    What I’m trying to say is, the sudden decline in mum’s mental state could be due to such a sudden change in her environment, but Im sure her doctors will do everything they can for her. Take every hour and every day as it comes, but I’m sure the love that you have for each other will give you both the strength you both need right now.

    I have everything crossed for you both and will include you in my prayers.

    Cate xxx
  10. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    Oh Alex

    You're back riding on the emotional roller coaster again.....but for now take each day as it comes and hold on until all the test results are in.....

    I remember back to when my mum didn't know who i was and that moment is heartbreaking and frightening.....but the fact that she feels so safe with you shows her love for you....I remember Ray was the same.

    Don't panic just yet Al........just wait and we'll analyse all the info...........
    Doctor Mel and Doctor Angela.Robinson are on the case ;)

    lots of love
  11. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    #11 Skye, Sep 16, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
    Dear Alex

    I'm devastated to read your post. You know my story, and you know that lightning can strike twice, thrice........:(

    Your mum's delirium could be the result of the infection, of medication, of a stroke -- you can't tell till you get the results. But people do recover from sudden delirium, rather than progressive dementia. Wait and see, love, it's all you can do.

    That and be there for her, and I know you're doing that. Your mum knows how much you love her.

    I know you're thinking back to what you went through with Ray, it's bound to have brought the memories flooding back. But you came through that, Alex -- and you'll come through this. There's lots of support here for you.

    Please let us know.

    Love and hugs,

    PS did the doctors actually use the word dementia? Because dementia and delirium are not the same thing, though they often go together.
  12. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Hi Alex

    I'm so sorry for what you're going through, more especially because it feels like deja vue and you are haunted by what happened before, so you are reliving all that again as well.

    I know your Mum must be having 101 tests, but just feel I have to ask - is anyone checking for something as simple as a Urinary Tract Infection?
    We all (here) know how badly thay can affect someone, and having cancer (or dementia) doesn't make anyone immune from other 'ordinary' ailments.

    Best wishes
  13. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    Dear Alex,

    So sorry to hear about your mum in hospital. So long as the docs are doing tests it will probably be quite difficult to speculate what could have triggered the confusion and memory loss.
    It could be an effect of the cancer, it could be infection, it could be stroke...I know that doesn't help and I know the state you#re finding her in at the moment is bound to bring memories of Ray's illness flooding back. So sorry you have to go through this.

    Thinking of you and hope you'll have a clearer picture of mum's situation and what could be causing it soon.

    Love, Tina xx
  14. angela.robinson

    angela.robinson Registered User

    Dec 27, 2004
    Dear ALEX
    I am afraid lightening can strike twice ,as we have heard from others posting here .its shocking ,the speed of all this ,as it was with your Darling RAY,My first thoughts were ,could it be delirium due to the prolonged pneumonia,or UTI that we know has devastating affects ,however ,knowing you ,i am sure you have looked into that,so its a wait and see ,till further tests and scans are done,i am sure your mum is in good hands and will know you are with her ,and feel the love you have for her , stay strong alex ,
  15. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006


    I just wanted to say thankyou for your kind replies.

    At first we were told that the high doses of steroids might be causing the confusion so they took her off these and said we should see an improvement by saturday/sunday.

    I went home for a few hours last night and when i returned at 10pm my mum was fully dressed with bags packed. The ward sister informed me that mum had gone missing, they had found her at the lifts, asked where she was going, she replied she was just popping home or a couple of hours and would be back by midnight:eek: (no money and 12 miles from home)

    I started to unpack her bags and found other patients clothes/nightware/belongings in the bags.......i asked why she had other peoples belongings, she said she was taking them home to wash and iron them for the sale they have on the ward every week :confused::confused: she said she helps with the sale and in return they give her a nice meal:eek::eek: she then became very paranoid and aggressive and tried to escape again.

    In short, no the confusion has not improved and i don't think its going to.

    The results of the CT scan today have revealed a couple of areas which would need further surgical investigation, the x-rays show a slight improvement in the pneumonia infection, but blood tests are still showing a very high white cell count.......funny thing is.....they said the same about Ray and never found the cause....seems as though its history repeating itself :rolleyes:

    My mum has been poorly for the past year and has always maintained (since she last had surgery for cancer)that she does not want to be in hospital or have any kind of further surgery.

    After speaking to the doctors today, they agree that due to her age, ill health, breathing problems, weight loss and now memory/confusion problems that it might not be in her best interests to put her through further general anesthetic/surgery etc.

    The night before last she spent most of the night sitting on her bed crying to go home, she kept saying she wants to be at home with my dad (who is also very unwell) and her dog.
    I'm now just waiting to hear when we can take her home, (hopefully early next week)
    I will talk to the hospital about the help available and the care she will need but i'm lucky that i have 3 siblings who will share the burden of caring for her at home, hopefully her confusion will be a little less in her own environment.........who knows?

    Thanks once again
    Love Alex x
  16. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Alex I am so very sorry the news is not good. You know your mum best, and what mum could and could not cope with.

    I am sure mum will be less confused once she has settled back home again, and with good fortune you should soon see an improvement.


    Cate xxx
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I am also sorry to read what is happening with your mother .

    So do I think that .

    Wishing you both all the best xx
  18. Gwenno

    Gwenno Registered User

    Jun 18, 2006

    Hi Alex

    I am thinking about you and your Mum. You know where I am.


  19. florida mel

    florida mel Registered User

    Jul 21, 2008
    Manchester ENGLAND
    Your mum will know that you love her. I can tell that from your message so you have nothing to worry about i'm sure :)

    Keep your strength up, you are a truly wonderful person and carer :)

    Good luck my thoughts are with you and your mum :)
  20. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Hi Alex

    I am new to your tale. It all sounds so very sad for you. Silly suggestion, would your mum be happier if you took the dog in to see her, lots of hospitals will allow this. Sorry you are on the campbed at night, but sure that your mum is glad you are there. You are very lucky you have siblings to help out. Most people on here have siblings who do NOT help out, and I have no siblings at all. Well my words are nothing, my experience is so different, but love to you anyway.


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