1. sooty

    sooty Registered User

    Feb 17, 2007
    50
    Nova Scotia Canada
    I haven't posted for sometime as have been looking after my Mom in England for a couple of months but now back in Canada. My question is she has come down with a bad chest infection and doctor has been twice and care is in and out each day and they are concerned as well but she will not cough to get up the stuff up. Its as if shes forgotten how to do this too. So I am coughing on the phone to tell her how to do it but she doesn't really get what to do now. Her CT scan has showed lots of vascular changes to her brain and also a stroke in the past, so we had a confirmed diagosis of vcascular dementia, she also has fluid on her lungs from end stage congestive heart failure so things are not good. Does anyone have a reminder cue or a special word they have used to get her to cough. I can hear the wheeze on the phone. Care can too when they are with her . She is propped up in bed. Doctor will come again to day as he is concerned about pneumonia. I am so worried but she is just not really aware she has to cough to help herself or what is in her lungs. She is not eating saying 'I am all full with my throat now" Or 'I can't swallow my throat is full' Sooty
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Dear Sooty

    It's so difficult to manage these sorts of things from a distance isn't it? I don't know if it's even possible to persuade someone to cough when you're face to face - it's almost like trying to get someone to hiccup on demand. The only thing that occurs to me is could not the district nurse possibly use the sort of techniques they use for children with cystic fibrosis? I'm not terribly familiar with that condition but I do remember an aquaintance telling me that she had to do very frequent manipulations for her child to loosen the mucus, and I'm wondering if something like that could be used on your mum.

    Best wishes
    Jennifer
     
  3. sooty

    sooty Registered User

    Feb 17, 2007
    50
    Nova Scotia Canada
    mom to cough

    Doctor has been and propped her up, got her out of bed, in her chair with cushions, got her a cup of tea, given her a big hug and she is happier. Apparently she fell this morning too getting out of bed as so weak but doctor has put his 'thing' (stethascope) all round as no change just wait . She asked why the 'big swell in her tummy' and I know thats the fluid from her heart problems. 'Its just you' he said and I can call him anytime. He is so good and was there in an hour. Care is back for evening meal, wash etc. and tomorrow we shall see. I shall tell her to rub Moms back to get her to cough. She knows she must cough too as Doctor said it as well. Thanks for idea. As you say its so hard being far away.
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,885
    Kent
    Oh Sooty , so much more positive. What a lovely doctor your mother has. It makes so much difference. I hope they can dislodge some of the fluid. She`ll be so much more comfortable.
     
  5. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    I was going to suggest the same thing. The person lies on their front and a certain type of "back banging" is applied, called percussion. It is easy to do if you are taught how to do it, and I think any physio. could teach someone what to do in a short period of time. I'm wondering if the Carer who comes in could be taught to do it for your Mum? Or would that constitute "nursing" care and overstep the boundaries of the Carer's duties . . . . .?? Demarcation issues!!!

    Hope your Mum is feeling better soon - how wonderful to have such a GREAT doctor!!
     
  6. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    9,222
    Hello Sooty, you don't mention whether your mum has been given any antibiotics to fight the infection. When my mum had a chest infection recently I asked if she could have, as well as ABs, a linctus to help the phlegm loosen but was told that expectorants and linctuses don't work, it's mainly sugar in them. I'm not sure if I fully believe this as old traditions die hard with me!

    Anyway, there was a suggestion that my mum was actually inspiring food or fluids: taking them into her lungs instead of her tummy, so they called in a speech and language therapist to see if her swallowing reflex was correct, weak, or whatever. She decided that it was slightly weak and recommended that fluids be thickened to make them easier to swallow. This has been going on for about a month but now the S & LT says my mum's swallowing is improved and the thickeners are only to be used as and when necessary.

    I don't know if this is helpful. The thickeners, if added to the correct proportions, make fluids turn into a slightly syrupy consistency which is less likely to be taken into the lungs. My mum's chest infection has backed off and this may also happen with your mum. Kind regards,
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,885
    Kent
    Hello Deborah,

    Good news that the S&LT advice was beneficial to your mother. It must at least make her more comfortable.

    I hope you are OK too.

    Love xx
     
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Deborah

    Glad your mum is a bit better. Hope you're feeling better too?

    Love,
     
  9. gerrie ley

    gerrie ley Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    83
    bradford yorkshire
    chest trouble

    Do you know Nell my mother had the same problem and the nurse laid her front down on her bed with her head hanging over the bed and a dish on the floor.She then did a series of thudding on her back over the rib area and applied pressure in a upwards motion towards her head and yes it did give my mother a lot of relief she was diagnosed with acute bronchitus


    Regards Gerrie
     
  10. sooty

    sooty Registered User

    Feb 17, 2007
    50
    Nova Scotia Canada
    mom not coughing

    Thanks for your advice Deborah about swallowing. It twigged my memory that Mom had an op in her 50's because she had dificulties swallowing and things went well but she takes and acid reflux pill to stop acid coming into here gullet where it was scarred. She used to say before the dementia that food got stuck and she was careful . Of course now this might be starting again. It has given me thought to check with Doctor re this and to ask care to make sure shes not having difficulties with food. She is on antibioticsstrong ones and today she is less wheezy and confused and I can hear her clearing her throat more onthe phone.
     

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