1. clare

    clare Registered User

    Oct 7, 2005
    hi all

    Mum went into hospital, as she was dehydrated and not eating. She is now on a drip and has a catheter, as they weren’t happy about her urine. A nurse also told me her bloods were up and down???? (What does this mean)?

    My question is how long will they continue with the drip. I would like to hear of anyone else’s experience. i cant get anyone in the hospital to tell me anything other than, she comfortable, we are running tests.etc. She has Vas Dem and has gone down hill fast in the last couple of weeks.

    thanks clare
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Just wanted to say hi sorry can’t be of any help am sure someone will pop in with good advice
  3. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hiya Clare

    i think "bloods" can be used to mean a whole number of different things, it´s a general term I think for a whole battery of tests for levels of different substances (sugar, iron etc) in the blood. It might be worth asking them just what they´re testing for and what substance it is that is up or down. It seemed to me that they gave only the info that was asked for..........if you ask the questions you get answers, but they don´t volunteer much info. I tend to think this is a strategy to protect relatives, though perhaps it´s misguided at times. There´s usually some staff you feel easier with than others ......... you might try approaching one of them and pushing for more clear info. I found that with my dad I would get some answers, and then when I thought about it, it didn´t quite make sense, so I´d have to go back and start "you know what you said about ..... well, I don´t understand etc" I hate having to do things like that ........ but I decided I´d rather be a nuisance to staff than wish I´d asked more and not have done. It´s scary when they start to be more ill ........and you deserve to have the support you need in order to be able to support them.

    let us know how it goes

  4. Carolann

    Carolann Registered User

    Apr 19, 2006
    Hi Clare,

    My Mum has Dementia and has been in and out of hospital for the last 10 weeks, it has been an absolute nightmare - a hip operation - MRSA - de-hydration - not eating and drinking - urine infection, you name it..............she was put on a drip but kept pulling it out of her hand which we told them she would do, but you know what it is like they know best. As for the length of time the drip can be in, Mums was in for 2 weeks but because she kept pulling it out they then fixed it in her stomach which she left alone and it was in another week. She also had various blood tests for anaemia, low sodium etc. You should be able to find a member of staff who seems more approachable than the others to get any information you require - you could also ask to meet with your Mums consultant -we did.
    Good Luck, Carolann
  5. perfectpatience

    perfectpatience Registered User

    Oct 3, 2006
    I so know exactly how you must be feeling Clare. My mum is often dehydrated and has to go in hospital from the care home. She has vascular dementia and it is a complete nightmare for everyone to try and get her to drink at the best of times. When she gets dehydrated she gets urine infections...then come the weakness of the limbs and the falls. Usually for my mum she picks up quite a bit after the drip..but last time she even got dehydrated whilst she was in hospital (5 days after they removed the drip) I too am totally confused with it all...if only she could have a drip strapped to her arm...it would solve alot of problems. Being dehydrated seems to cause my mum to look like she is dying as she is so weak. The dementia is bad enough for us to contend with but the dehydration is worse. All I can offer for advice Clare is to give your mum lots of TLC and stay very patient and focussed. Just to sometimes speak to others in the same situation helps an awful lot. Good luck with everything. Janey
  6. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    There are usually some clinical notes at the end of the bed. I find these aren't usually too techincal and can sometimes give you a clue as to what is going on. If nothing else waving the folder around and asking someone to explain it can be an icebreaker if you are cautious about asking. In my experience the length of time a drip is in varies considerably my husbands elderly aunt was dehydrated and had one in for about three days, she had a urinary infection as well. I guess it depends how dehydrated they are amongst other things.
    One thng to find out is how she became dehydrated, is she not drinking because she forgets, or has she lost the pleasuer of having a drink. I ask because when my Dad was ill we found he could not take fluids easily but was happy to suck ice cubes. Also he found it had to sip and swallow but could suck liquid from a sponge, if your Mum has problems swallowing this may help. Good luck.
  7. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    hi Clare

    From my own previous experience when my Dad, who had vascular dementia, was in hospital, I would say that it is really important to see the doctor/ consultant who is responsible for your mum's care. Nursing staff are usually very wary of commenting other than in generalities. Ask for an appointment time to meet the doctor. Don't be fobbed off with a quick chat as s/he does the rounds. You are entitled to have a proper meeting. Go with a note of all your questions. A drip feed can be in place for a considerable length of time if the patient cannot accept food/ liquids orally (which can be for many reasons). However it is usually a short term intervention while underlying problems are sorted out.

    This is a really difficult time for you. Having good communication with the medical staff at least reassures you that everything possible is being done to care for your mum. You can't make the illness better but at least you can feel she is getting the best treatment to alleviate the effects.

    Thinking of you

    Blue sea

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