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Hello again. :(

Starting on a journey

Registered User
Jul 9, 2019
404
My only long term experience with antibiotics is with cats!!
I adopted a pair of one year olds from a shelter who had an infection in the tummy. They had 2x 1 week courses with a gap in the middle and then a 28 day course which managed to cure the infection...so if it works with cats?......
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
My only long term experience with antibiotics is with cats!!
I adopted a pair of one year olds from a shelter who had an infection in the tummy. They had 2x 1 week courses with a gap in the middle and then a 28 day course which managed to cure the infection...so if it works with cats?......
I've two special needs cats here. One of them had a bad gut infection when he arrived. Took almost a year to clear. Now, they both are on (thankfully the same) Veterinary Diet food, and at our last vet visit I told him that one of these days, I'd be bring in a tent and sleeping bag, as we seem to spend so much time in there!
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
I think we are going to have to accept that mum's delusions/hallucinations about the people outside are here to stay. :( She's still on the antibiotics, and will be going forward. But, although she's much better in herself, and looks a lot better than she did, there's no denying that she is still seeing people in the garden. It doesn't seem to be bothering her at the moment, she says she's just ignoring them. I'm going to bring another sample to her doctor on Monday or Tuesday, so they can check.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Yesterday afternoon, I had a chat with mum's doctor. He is going to talk to his colleague on Monday (she has specialist training in medical care of the elderly), and see what she thinks. However, he said that the hallucinations, while they may be being made worse by the UTIs, at this stage, it doesn't look like they are actually caused solely by the UTIs. He thinks they are probably a symptom of early dementia, and we are at the "watch and wait and see what happens going forward" stage.

To be honest, it's no surprise. I spoke to him about four years ago about mum's forgetfullness, which at the time was very minor, but noticeable. And the way I look at it, William was 84 when he died, after a battle of around 9/10 years with dementia. Mum's already 83, and in very poor health, whereas William was in excellent health other than a bit of asthma. Mum's been held together with medications and interventions for many years now. She certainly isn't looking at a ten year battle. So, it's a case of make the best of things for as long as possible.

Today was a glorious day here. Warm, sunny, no wind blowing. So, I took mum out for a good walk in her wheelchair. We cut some gorgeous hydrangea blooms from her garden, and walked out to dad's grave with them. She was very pleased, and I'm sure the outing will have broken the day, and done her good.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,652
66
Toronto, Canada
I'm sure the outing did do her good. That's not good about the possibility of dementia but I think you have a great attitude. Carpe diem and all that.

As long as your mother is not upset by her hallucinations, there doesn't seem to be much need to do anything about them for now.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
I'm sure the outing did do her good. That's not good about the possibility of dementia but I think you have a great attitude. Carpe diem and all that.

As long as your mother is not upset by her hallucinations, there doesn't seem to be much need to do anything about them for now.
At the moment, she isn't upset by them. I think she gets upset when the UTIs make them worse. But, for now, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed!
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Mum's had the skin condition psoriasis all her life. It's now (first time ever!) under control with medication. Last August, she developed a discolouration/rash on her lower legs, which she said was the psoriasis flaring up. At that stage, she was still more or less fully independent, so we didn't question her own diagnosis! However, as it turned out, it was the beginnings of sepsis, caused by a UTI, and she had several weeks in hospital. This year, in June, she had another severe UTI, more weeks in hospital, and while there her skin flared up again, with blisters and oozing lesions. They said it was an allergic reaction to an antibiotic. That cleared up too.

Saturday, mum said she had two little spots of psoriasis on her leg, but they weren't bad and should clear up. Now, she has a Care Assistant three mornings a week to help her with showering and more particularly, to help apply the heavy moisturising creams she needs and keep an eye on the area where mum's now had a pressure sore twice, and had not told anyone (it was found, both times, in hospital) , but mum gets up at the crack of dawn, to beat the care assistant! Then tells her that she's had a wash herself, and oh, yes, she did the creams. :rolleyes: This morning was the same. Up, dressed and breakfasted before the care assistant got there. I called in on my way to work, and so I was there when the care assistant arrived. I asked mum if she had done her moisturising, and she assured us that she had. So I said "and how is the spots you said you had on your leg?" and the care assistant was quick on the uptake, and asked immediately if she could check it.

I was actually horrified at mum's leg! It's not psoriasis. It looks very like cellulitis (which she had before, several years ago). Fiery red, angry looking patches. The care assistant gently cleaned the area and loaded on the moisturisers, and mum admitted it did feel better. (funny that, how it felt better when the CA applied the same creams which mum had insisted she had done herself!). I've phoned the gp, and the receptionist said she has put me in for a doctor to call me back. It will be Wednesday before they can, because they are so very busy. I explained the urgency, and she said she'll flag it as urgent, but will leave me down for the slot on Wednesday, in case nobody is free before then.

I do wish mum was more cooperative with the care assistants. She does like her regular one, but she's on holidays at the moment. She quickly took the measure of mum, and arranged her calls so that she goes to mum first, so she's usually there by 8 or 8.30. The relief carer doesn't have a car, and walks her rounds. She also has young children to be dropped at the minders. She doesn't get to mum until around 10.
Sigh!
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,790
69
Dundee
Oh I’m sorry to hear that @LadyA. My mum used to get cellulitis and it was so sore. I hope it can be dealt with before Wednesday.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Oh I’m sorry to hear that @LadyA. My mum used to get cellulitis and it was so sore. I hope it can be dealt with before Wednesday.
Thanks Izzy. I'm on my way to the chemist now, again. The doctor called me last evening just before 6, and said it did sound like cellulitis, and needed dealing with quickly, and that she had emailed a prescription to the pharmacy. Could I get it now, so she can start the antibiotics tonight? I'm half an hour away, and the pharmacy was closing in 45 minutes. So, I raced in, to be told by the chemist that she couldn't give the antibiotic because mum's flagged as being allergic to augmentin, which is penicillin based, and the one prescribed now is also penicillin based. She'd have to check with the doctor, but they were now closed!
Just now had a call from the chemist to say that the doctor says it's ok, and I'm off now to get the antibiotic.

All so stressful, isn't it? All this running around. Could be worse, I suppose!
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
546
I don’t have anything useful to say but wanted to wish you well.
@Pusskins has the same problem at the moment, wishing you both lots of strength to deal with the list of issues!
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,652
66
Toronto, Canada
@LadyA what a lot of running around for you! I hope the antibiotic does its job. Can the CA gently insist on looking at your mother's leg? Can you talk your mother into allowing this? It certainly would help in catching anything like this earlier.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,856
Chester
mum gets up at the crack of dawn, to beat the care assistant!
When it was decided that my mum needed an evening care call and a ready meal heating in the microwave, she really didn't like it and did the beat the care assistant game for a few weeks. As it was obvious she had heated the meal and was eating it, there were no issues, just amusement. Didn't last long though.

10am really is too late for a morning shower call though.

I hope the ABs work for the cellulitis.

In my mum's case I have always been amazed at how her brain can work out she doesn't want something and the lengths she can go to to try and put a spanner in the works to prevent it. I'm wondering if your mum thinks hiding the red blotches/pressure sore etc will minimise outside 'interference' - it certainly is the logic my mum would have applied a few years ago.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
The phn called this morning, in response to my phone call yesterday. Mum's leg is much worse today. The two patches have joined up into one large patch. The nurse used my phone and took several photos of it, so I can use them for comparison tomorrow. She said that normally, they would draw around the outline, but mum's skin is so thin and delicate, she doesn't want to do that. She also said that if it has spread after 24/36 hours on the antibiotics, then mum needs to be in hospital for IV antibiotics. She also asked if mum has been referred to the Age Related Clinic? Not that I know of. She said I need to hound the gp to do the referral, because Age Related can keep on top of mum's physical condition and her mental deterioration in a more coordinated way. And she said that they would be so used to people like mum who "presents" really well, but isn't really that good.

Mum was all about the "people out in the garden" today. She mentions them almost every day, but when she's not well, that's all you hear about. Today it was "Now! come over here, and look out there! Can you not see those three men? What are they sitting on, up at that height? That fence wouldn't support them, so what are they up on? I mean, I know they aren't really there. I know it's not real. But every time I look out, they look up at me, and sometimes, if they catch me looking at them, they put up masks of animal heads. But I do know they aren't really there. So, how are they looking in at me?" On and on! It's like her (diminishing) rational self knows it's a hallucination, that they aren't there, but she can see them, so how can they not be there?
It must be so horrendous, something like that. Would really mess with your mind, I'm sure.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
What a worry for you @LadyA. Dad had a nasty dose of cellulitis & you have to be so careful with it.
Yes. Thankfully, I've never had it, but one of my brothers had it very badly last year. He was, literally, months out of work with it, and at one stage things were looking very grim, in that if it hadn't turned around, he could have lost the leg.
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,079
Devon
Hi LadyA, I'm sorry to hear that your mum as been so poorly and broken her ankle. My husband has had uro-sepsis a number of times and it does really knock people for six. I'm really hoping your mum makes a good recovery.
I can imagine how it made you feel to be told there were early signs of dementia, have they done a scan? Dementia is very difficult to diagnose and your mum's confusion may just be down to everything she's been through recently. It's good to hear they are arranging for her to go into rehab so she can be properly assessed. Do look after yourself in the midst of all this.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Hi LadyA, I'm sorry to hear that your mum as been so poorly and broken her ankle. My husband has had uro-sepsis a number of times and it does really knock people for six. I'm really hoping your mum makes a good recovery.
I can imagine how it made you feel to be told there were early signs of dementia, have they done a scan? Dementia is very difficult to diagnose and your mum's confusion may just be down to everything she's been through recently. It's good to hear they are arranging for her to go into rehab so she can be properly assessed. Do look after yourself in the midst of all this.
I'm afraid you're behind the times, @esmeralda ! The first fall and broken ankle was a year ago now. She made a good enough recovery from that, although her mobility deteriorated and she has to use a walking frame. She had a few more infections mild enough for the gp to treat during the year, and then this year, in June, had another bad UTI with very bad hallucinating and confusion, leading to another fall. No damage done in the fall this time though, although she was obviously on the floor for hours, as she didn't remember to press her alarm. Eventually, by chance, she lay on it and it went off. Three weeks in hospital this time. Since her discharge, this infection now is the ...second? third?? I'm losing count! Her kidney function is poor, and I'm sure not being helped by the number of medications she's on for various health conditions. The hallucinations seem to have become just part of her condition now. She's not been formally diagnosed that I know of. Mum sails through the MMSE, as she told me "I'd want to be an awful eejit if I didn't know what they were going to ask me by now!" She's done the test so often, she's well prepared!
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
@LadyA I can sympathise with you and your situation as my husband has had 2 doses of cellulitis this year. Unfortunately it is his own fault as he will not sleep in bed at night or elevate his legs at all. Fluid retention equals itching and it has been because he has scratched and scratched that he got cellulitis. The first time he was admitted to hospital for 2 weeks and given IV antibiotics. This second time he was given liquid antibiotics which I had to hide in drinks, but he got the entire prescription and his legs are much improved, but I strongly suspect he has started scratching again as there is a new scab on one of legs. I have no idea where this is all going to end. I even bought a soft footstool online last week, but he rarely uses it. I keep telling him that if he doesn't get on top of the situation he may well lose his legs, but of course he cannot take that in and it makes no difference.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,630
Ireland
Little update.
The antibiotics mum was given for the cellulitis didn't work at all. The rash continued to spread, and she was developing little sores where she was scratching. It looked so angry and inflamed, that I called the doctor back on 24th August. They still wouldn't let me bring her in to have the rash checked, but a doctor rang me back and told me to go and take photos of the rash and email them to her. Fortunately, I work just a few doors down from mum, and was able to run up straight away and do it. Then the doc rang me back again once she'd seen the pics. "That's not cellulitis" she said. "It looks more like a dermatitis/excema type rash. " This, I assume, is similar to the rash mum developed in hospital. But they don't really know why she gets it. It could well be from her kidney disease. Anyway, she was prescribed a steroid cream and antihistamines, and it has got much better. Almost gone.

Meanwhile, the "people out in the garden" are still there, constantly. part of mum understands that they aren't really there, but......she can see them clearly, so they are there as far as she is concerned. There was one day while I was there when she called me over. "Now! Look out there. Can you not see that woman?? She's wearing a pink hat.......Oh! it's not a woman at all, it's just a leaf! It just moved in the wind, and it's only a leaf." So at this stage, I'm convinced that although there are some increasing dementia problems, her eyesight is at least partly responsible for the hallucinations. (Charles Bonnet syndrome type thing, maybe?). She has had double vision for years, and the optician has done what she can, but hasn't been able to correct it.

I'm popping in most days, but not every day. My brothers and sisters in law also go in several times a week. Today, I'm taking lunch in for us both, and will eat with her.