To push for hospital or not?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tender Face, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Well, mum has finally banished me - after spending several hours this morning coaxing down a few spoonfuls of custard and 'essential meds' - the tablets obviously very difficult for her .......(Sorry - for anyone not knowing the tale mum has suddenly been struck down with a throat infection) ... she is at least managing some fluids - and definitely brighter than yesterday. I had gone this morning intending that had there been no improvement I was going to insist she went to hospital .... even if that meant the A&E route ...... we have settled on ringing her GP in the morning ahead of his planned 'review' for Wednesday ...... (that of course, is dependent on any further changes today) ..... part of me wants to insist she is hospitalised just to get IV fluids and meds .... the other bit of me is terrified at that prospect (possibly read too many stories on TP?!) ......

    Any thoughts? Thanks, Karen, x
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,850
    Kent
    Only thoughts, Karen.

    Has your mother`s condition improved with the anti-biotics? If so she will probably continue to improve.

    If the anti-biotics haven`t helped, perhaps a phone call to NHS Direct will help you make a decision. I have always found them to be excellent.

    Please don`t keep your mother out of hospital in case she deteriorates if she were to be admitted. If she needs treatment, she will deteriorate at home.

    Perhaps not what you want to hear. It`s a difficult decision I know.

    Love xx
     
  3. Katie Malarkey

    Katie Malarkey Registered User

    Mar 29, 2008
    23
    Northumberland
    Hello Karen,
    I can completely sympathise with how you're feeling at the moment (have been there before many times) - trust yourself and your gut instinct - you'll make the right decision when/if you have to (hopefully your mum will improve more as the day goes on). I'll be thinking of you both - I'm just going back over to my mam's nursing home now to re-commence my daily eat/drink coaxing ritual!
    Katie x
     
  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,138
    Toronto, Canada
    It is a hard decision, Karen. My grandmother refused to go anywhere and died at home of pneumonia. I was 15 at the time and with her.

    I'm not trying to scare you but if I were you, should your mother look like she's losing ground, I would get her in hospital. Yes, the change will confuse her but the deterioriation will not necessarily be because she's in hospital, it will be because her deficiencies and inability to learn new places and things will be made so blatantly obvious.

    You shouldn't be terrified of hospitals - had we got my grandmother there, I'm sure she would have survived. She wouldn't even see a doctor - stubborn as two mules.

    Love,
    Joanne
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Karen, if in doubt get your mum to hospital. IV antibiotics and fluids are the quickest route to getting over her infection. If John had been hospitalised even a few days earlier than he was, I'm sure the damage would not have been done. I couldn't fault his care once he was admitted.

    Hopefully your mum will have improved today, and you won't need to worry this time, but if not, get her in as soon as possible.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Love and hugs,
     
  6. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Dear Karen,

    My sister and I were in this position a few months back about our Mum. We knew she was very poorly, (it turned out she had pneumonia), wasn't eating nor getting any better with the antibiotics, on the other hand we did not want her to go to hospital knowing how it would frighten her and us, so whenever a doctor came to see her we chickened out of pushing for hospital. The decision was taken out of our hands when Mum had a stroke and then it was an emergency situation.

    Once she was IN hospital she was given the very best attention and, several months on, is now back at home recovering. Like Jo, I am not intending to scare you, my sister looks back now and wishes we'd insisted Mum went to hospital earlier, but you can never know exactly when is the right time. As Katie says, trust your gut instinct, but I'll add to that don't expect the decision to ever be completely black and white.

    Thinking of you. {{hugs}}
     
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Three more mouthfuls of food at tea-time (and then only when I spoon-fed her - Gawd, did that get me going?) ..... some more drinks ...... refusing meds entirely .... 'Forti-sips' are turning into 'Forti-sicks' ..... every mouthful immediately comes back ..... I don't see I have a choice - if she carries on like this much longer even if I could be with her 24/7 she will die of dehydration/malnutrition ..... she doesn't want to leave her home .... she doesn't want 'people coming in' ..... at some point I have to over-ride her wishes?

    She asked me to leave again this evening because she wanted to 'lie down' ...... but this time to 'tuck her in' ... after she had given me her wedding and eternity rings from dad which have never to my knowledge left her fingers before ..... even if they have been 'strapped on' at times ......

    I think she has given up ...... what right do I have I to make her keep fighting? That brave, feisty, fighting woman who taught me so much -even if that was to not always agree with her? So, am taking the coward's way out of making a decision and waiting for GP tomorrow (mum adores him and I have great trust in him) ....... if he says 'hospital' then I know she will go along with it ..... if not ..... well face that tomorrow ... in between time I just have to 'kill the hours' ........ and try to stop dipping into the diary where only a few weeks ago I recorded daily entries such as : 'Brilliant: Happy and animated.'

    Just surreal at the minute, thanks everyone for your thoughts .. Karen, x
     
  8. Tina

    Tina Registered User

    May 19, 2006
    420
    Karen,

    go with what the GP says tomorrow and with your gut instinct as well. If that means overriding mum's wishes at this point, then so be it. It might just be a temporary blip that needs some treatment and she will rally again afterwards.

    It's so difficult to wait and see and not knowing what the next day will bring. And seeing mum weak and less feisty than she has been previously is bound to have you worried. It's good that you both trust the GP...he will take a look and advise accordingly.
    I know you said mum doesn't want people coming in, but maybe this is the time to think about it a little more. Could the GP coax her into it maybe?

    Thinking of you and hoping tomorrow will look a little brighter.
    Love, Tina x
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear, dear Karen

    I know what you are feeling tonight. The gift of your mum's rings must have broken your heart.

    It's an impossible decision, but I know it's one that won't let you rest tonight.

    Go by what the doctor says. It's not a decision you should have to make alone, you would have to live with it for the rest of your life. The doctor will decide in your mum's best interests, without your emotional involvement.

    Let us know, please.

    Love and prayers for you and your mum,
     
  10. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Dear Karen,

    I've never been in this situation but having read the posts can only agree with the others..let the GP decide...this is a medical decision.

    I feel for you and what you are going through..wishing you and your mum all the best..

    Love gigi xx
     
  11. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Kaz

    See what the doc says tomorrow, but if there is no improvement, I would ask that he gets her admitted. Better a few days of mum not being happy to be in hospital, than mum losing more ground at home. You are having a real struggle to get mum to take her medication, I know how that ones goes:rolleyes: But if her throat is really bad, and its making her feel unwell generally, and by her actions of giving you her rings, this probably is the case, sadly with AD its hard, if not impossible, to reason the 'take this and you will feel better'.

    A word of caution though, you know what I went through when mum was in hospital, so prepare yourself for taking up residence with her, however, you may be lucky, and the staff may well be very good at looking after someone with AD. If you expect the worse, you can at least be prepared to stay with her, if all is OK that will be a bonus.

    I will be thinking of you, and you know where I am if I can be of any help at all.

    Love
    Cate xxxxxx
     
  12. hendy

    hendy Registered User

    Feb 20, 2008
    506
    West Yorkshire
    Dear Karen
    Just catching up on your news about mum. My thoughts are with you, there is no reassurance for you except to say, that you have done the best you can and if mum needs to go to hospital it will be doctors orders! Just backing up what Cate says, its a worry for you if she goes on a medical ward and not a dementia ward. This happened to my dad a few times, although I have to say I was always reassured by staff and didn't need to stay over night.
    take care
    hendy
     
  13. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Dear Karen

    Thinking of you sweetie.

    Love & hugs
     
  14. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Dear Karen,

    Sorry to read your mum is so poorly. Many times with dad I have wrestled with the thought if to call the ambulance or wait and see what the morning brings. When poorly the elderly just want to sleep they eat very little but fluids are important.

    I hope the morning brings a improvement in your mum and hospital can be avoided. Caring thoughts, thinking of you and your mum.

    Love Taffy.
     
  15. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,138
    Toronto, Canada
    Update us

    Karen,
    What did the doctor say? Did your mum improve overnight/
    Love,
     
  16. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Well, we've switched to liquid anti-bios ..... St Sis (mum's sister) and I have even called a truce ... and she is currently on the night shift while I get some rest ... (yeah right!) Not sure at 'handover' whether she will cope with the repetitiveness, alone ... she was struggling after half an hour and snapping at mum ..... so I gave her a quick lesson in nodding head techniques etc ...... So sad it has taken this for her to realise what has been going on with her sister for the last few years ......:(

    Doc thinks mum is 'better off' at home ...... clear the infection then back to the Fortisips for the weight loss .... is current plan .....

    My son has been wonderful .... gave him the choice after school to come back with me to mum's (trying hard to protect and respect him equally) ...... he assured 'grandma' the medicine was the same as he had to take just recently and tastes wonderful!!!! Anyway - by hook or by crook we've got it down ...... I am so proud of him and his whole attitude to his grandma (apart from the fact he is the most wonderful child in the world and it is my right as a mother to think that!)

    Who knows, another couple of days and the 'crisis' might be over? I doubt it somehow. In the meantime, just want to thank everyone for their support, messages and prayers ..... and hanging on to my dad's words of wisdom that 'some good always comes out of evil' ...... there have been some very positive things about today .... against a very negative and frightening backdrop .....

    Thank you all, x
     
  17. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Brilliant news, Karen. You've done everything right!:

    You've found the best possible solution for your mum, called a truce with St. Sis -- (does it run in the family?:D), and brought up your wonderful son to care.

    Lets hope St. Sis manages to cope and doesn't run for the hills, and your mum responds to the antibiotics.

    Love and prayers,
     
  18. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    So glad things are better than they were Karen, and you are 100% right to sing your son's praises long & loud, he obviously takes after his mum!

    Hugs
     
  19. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Karen

    I am glad that things are a little better and that you have managed to call a truce with St. Sis. If nothign else this is giving her a taste of how life is, and will possibly earn you her respect!

    As to your son he is wonderful. My kids always surprised me with how readily they adapted but then I think with a wonderful Mum who can explain to them what is happening and show them how to care then they do it automatically. So pat yourself on the back too!

    Love

    mameeskye
     
  20. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Well, after thinking we had made some progress, today has seen a dramatic downturn .... in spite of 48 hours of anti-biotics today mum was unable to walk ..... bed-ridden ..... hallucinating at times ..... very anxious ... (Sis reported she had been perfectly well enough to enjoy her beloved footie on TV last night!!!! - it's almost unbelievable how much change in less than 12 hours?!)

    The third visit by GP in a week and finally a hospital referral - although he expressed his concern that is not the best place for her just now ..... (MRSA etc, mutter, mutter ....) We subsequently received a visit from medics from the hospital 'Admittance Avoidance Team' (also known as the Rapid Response Team) .... obvious mum needs 24/7 nursing care just now .... they felt the best option was for nursing care in a home .... within an hour of their visit, a bed was found, an ambulance booked .......

    I am assured by the GP this is 'just an infection' and she will get better, by the Admittance Avoidance team that they will review in 6 weeks or earlier to rehabilitate mum to her home when she is well enough with a care package in place ...... I, her sister, and the admission nurse at the home this evening all believe there is something 'more sinister' going on than 'just' the dementia and a couple of lousy infections (especially against the backdrop of her appalling 'physical health' history) .... but all agreed there is little point putting her through the investigations as she is barely well enough to undergo tests let alone any curative treatment .... We are trying to accept this may be palliative care ..... yet desperately trying to believe the medics' views ...

    The NH is lovely .... clean, homely atmosphere - the staff have been bustling about mum in that bossy but loving kind of way she needs to coax her with meds and liquids .... and me - lots of tea, sympathy, understanding and even hugs ..... most importantly .... in lucid moments mum knew she needed more help than we could ever achieve at home just now ..... and she has gone willingly ..... She looks desperately ill, but comfortable, smiled at the staff several times between dozing off ....... thanked me endlessly, told me to 'go away and get some proper rest' .....

    I am overwhelmed by sadness and fear - but with a tiny edge of relief she is in the right place just now ......

    Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and messages, Karen, x

    (Now off to do as my mother says and 'get an early night' ......:rolleyes:)
     

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