pneumonia?

88alli

Registered User
Jan 11, 2007
42
Cumbria.England
Hi
I have just returned from MIL's physciatric assessment. The consultant has agreed that she should come off aricept, as it is no benefit to her at all. But then he said he will have a word with her GP about prescribing a new drug which is only just out on trial, cannot remember the name. Also he is going to prescribe an anti-depressant. Yesterday she was found wandering on a field crying and totally confused about everything. Also she has had a bad leg which at first was a suspected DVT. After asking for treatment for her leg and receiving a strong course of anti-biotics, her leg has eventually improved a bit. But now she has developed the most weird sounding chest and a cough that obviously hurts as she holds herself and tries to stop the cough. The consultant says it is pneumonia? I am not very 'up' on pneumonia and was wondering if anyone has any advice about it?

Thanks
Diane
 
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Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Diane

It does sound as if your MIL has a lot of problems. If it is pneumonia I would have thought she should be admitted to hospital. Has he GP seen her? If not, I would contact him immediately. Any infection may aggravate her confusion, and she should certainly not be wandering about in fields!:eek:

I'm surprised the consultant made that diagnosis, and having made it, did nothing about it.

I do hope you manage to get things sorted out.

Love,
 

88alli

Registered User
Jan 11, 2007
42
Cumbria.England
Thanks Hazel.
I don't understand the care system at all anymore. No her doctor hasn't seen her, I get the impression that an oap especially one with dementia is not worth bothering about. That is how I am feeling. Our local hospital is struggling with shortage of staff and lack of beds. The whole system is just failing everyone.

Would a psychiatric consultant know straight away that MIL had pneumonia?
I really don't think they will admit her just because of that. I know her doctor is going to contact me about her new medication I will ask him about it.

Thanks Hazel, I really do feel at a loss with all this.
Love Diane
 
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,678
Kent
Dear Diane,

Was the consultant thinking aloud or making a diagnosis, when he suggested your MIL had Pneumonia?

On the one hand he`s thinking of trying her on a new drug for dementia, yet on the other hand can seemingly disregard Pneumonia.

What is he thinking of.

I hope you manage to get to the bottom of this. You at least deserve an explanation.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
My son regularly (like every time he get's a cold) gets what is referred to in the US as "walking pneumonia" It probably isn't that frequent but it just feels like that. Normal treatment is a course of antibiotics and REGULAR use of his asthma inhaler. They normally diagnose this by 1) listening to his chest and 2) checking his blood gasses and 3) making him use the nebulizer in the office (which he hates). The chest sound is very distinctive and is often called "rails": sort of a rattling.

In him of course it isn't particularly serious, but in an elderly person with a possibly compromised immune system you don't want to take any chances.

Jennifer
 

88alli

Registered User
Jan 11, 2007
42
Cumbria.England
Thanks

Hi again
Was the consultant thinking aloud? I don't think so. He asked me the general health of MIL. I said she had a bad cough and funny sounding chest which I thought had been a chest infection loosened by the antibiotic treatment. He looked directly at me and said no antibiotics wouldn't do that, it's pnemonia. So no I don't think he was thinking aloud.

I am off work on Monday. I am going to take her down to her own GP for a thorough check-up.

Thanks for all your advice. I really apreciate your input, I feel at the moment that I can't take much more.
Love Diane X:(
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Diane, I'm glad you're taking your MIL to the doc, it sounds as if she needs treatment. Let us know how you get on.

Love,
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Could you not ask for an xray for your MIL to see if she has pneumonia ?

As I always remember when I took my daughter to the doctor with a bad cough , they sent her to the hospital for x rays , they saw a cloud on her chest and said she had pneumonia she was around 4 at the time .

So they must be able to do that for the elderly X ray ?
 

alex

Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
1,665
Hi Diane

I developed pneumonia a few months ago, but it was following a major operation so it might be different.

Although i had chest pain, it was not really bad, but i did feel terribily ill. My consultant suspected pneumonia through my sats and oxygen levels dropping drastically rather than any pain in my chest.

As far as i'm aware, a diagnosis of pneumonia can only be confirmed with a chest x-ray, so unless your MIL has had one, i can't see that the consultant is doing anything other than guessing, i also believe that a high white cell count is a good indication of pneumonia or a very bad infection.

If you suspect pneumonia or are worried about the consultants comments i would consult your MIL's GP immediately, as stated earlier, pneumonia in someone in your MIL's condition can have serious consequenses.

Good luck with your MIL's GP.

Love Alex x
 

88alli

Registered User
Jan 11, 2007
42
Cumbria.England
update

Took MIL to her own GP. He said there is no way a consultant can make a diagnosis of pnemonia as he did. Mil's GP was very thorough, he thinks she has bronchitis and we went over to the hospital for a chest xray. It will be up to 3 weeks before the results come through. He has given her more antibiotics in the meantime. He was quite shocked at her weight loss and general mental decline. We had taken her off aricept thinking it was of no benefit, but the past few days have been absolute hell, she has turned nasty, abusive, having temper tantrums and throwing things, also 'running away', but she doesn't know where she's going. It has been really scary. The doctor has put her back on aricept until the consultant makes up his mind as to what treatment her wants to give her. I feel like I really can't cope....these outbursts of abusive behaviour make me feel really uneasy. The aricept have bad side effects, but at the same time make her docile. What the hell do we do?
Sorry I'm on a real downer, any advice anyone? Personally I feel it's getting time for a care home, but then I know I will feel quilty.:(
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Diane

I'm glad it turned out not to be pneumonia. The consultant should certainly not have said that.

Why not give the aricept another try and see if it calms MIL down?

If you really feel you can't cope, then perhaps it's time to start looking for a NH. There's only so much you can do, and there's no shame in admitting you've reached your limit. You've done so well.

Keep posting, and let us know how you get on.

Love,
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
Hi Diane,
I'm so sorry you are having such a tough time.

This may not suit you, but I'm wondering if you should ask your GP for a referral to another specialist. . . .?? The one you saw sounds quite strange!!

I'm in Australia, so not sure how your medical system works. Here we can ask for another referral if we don't like the doctor, but I'm not sure if this is possible under your system. . . ??

The reason I suggest this is that obviously your MIL is going to be under this person's care for some time, so it seems best to have someone whose opinion you can rely on and respect.

However, obviously I don't know all of your circumstances, so perhaps this is not a good idea. . .? Only you and Richard will know what to do for the best.

Thinking of you and sending you caring wishes.
 

88alli

Registered User
Jan 11, 2007
42
Cumbria.England
Thanks Hazel and Nell:eek: :eek:
Your replies are much apreciated. I have heard various 'tales' about the consultant in question, but at the end of the day there isn't much choice. There is no betterness from this disgusting illness, it is soul destroying. We are going to have a meeting with GP, CPN, head of carers to decide on where to go. I can only see one road, a care home. She is just not safe anymore.
I probably sound callous, and I don't mean to be. We both wanted her to stay in her own home for as long as possible. But it can't go on. It is causing upset to both Richard and I and also our two teenage children. I feel at the moment they are sitting exams and we have not been supportive enough for them, the older one especially. My children are my world, I don't want to let them down when they need me. I come home from work and there is always some catastrophe to sort out with MIL. We are just so worn out. (sorry to moan, I know everyone is going through the same thing on this forum).
I am really sorry to air how I am feeling, I could scream, but I haven't the energy!!
Thanks for replying to my problems.
Take care.
Diane X
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,678
Kent
Dear Diane,

Don`t apologise for your feelings they are absolutely understandable.

It gets to the stage when you have to say `enough is enough` , and TP is a means of expression where no-one will judge you, because everyone knows what you`re going through.

Believe me, I have had cause to be grateful to TP during the past few days, as my husband`s behaviour has become more and more challenging, and I don`t have exam sitting children to consider.

You are not callous. If you were you wouldn`t be agonizing, as you are.

You and your husband must do what you have to do in the best interests of the whole family.

Take care

love xx
 

88alli

Registered User
Jan 11, 2007
42
Cumbria.England
Thanks Sylvia and Deborah, for your replies.
I have had a long talk with my husband and we are going to have a meeting next week about a care home.
I may disappear tomorrow. My own parents are in Austria on holiday visiting my cousin. My mum has suffered a stroke and has been admitted to hospital, she can't speak at all. I am awaiting more news and may fly off to be with her after work tomorrow. It doesn't rain, but it pours!!

Thanks to everyone.
Love Diane X:(
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Diane, I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. It must be such a worry for you, after all the stress you've had with your MIL.

I do hope you have better news of your mum tomorrow.

Love and best wishes to all the family.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,678
Kent
Oh dear Diane, your poor mum. I`m so sorry. I do hope she`ll recover her speech and it isn`t as bad as it sounds.

take care

Love xx
 

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