Thursday 3 January 2019

An update on mum, and looking after myself

Wherethejourneytakesme, thanks for your comment, and what you say makes a lot of sense, mum is not very mobile at all.  The problem is actually getting mum to drink and eat - despite us, and doctors and the paramedics, telling her she must at least drink, if not eat, she often doesn't.  She says she just doesn't feel hungry, or even thirsty, much anymore and often feels so sick she doesn't want to anyway.  There's also the problem of her low mood - she's so tired of feeling ill that she doesn't really see the point of doing what she's supposed to.  She is on antidepressants, has been for a long time, but they're clearly not working much anymore.

Sis took her to the GP today.  Her GP admitted that, seeing as all mum's tests have come back normal, they really don't know what's wrong with her, although agreed it's clear there is something going on.  The GP had a look at all mum's medications - it appears she's on about 15 different meds, plus 2 inhalers and a steroid skin cream.  And, worryingly, she hasn't had a review of her medications in a very long time (we have an annual med review at our surgery!).  

So the GP decided to take Mum off of some of her meds to see what effect that will have - 7 in total.  She said for a start, mum doesn't need to be taking 2 meds for high BP - her BP has actually been very low, sometimes dangerously so, recently.  Honestly, I sometimes wonder exactly what the doctors at mum's practice do - not a lot, it seems, and I really think, as does mum, that her doctors had more or less written her off because of her age.  Sis did some straight talking with the doc and it seems to have shaken her up, hence the doc's change to being proactive.  She's also taken mum off 2 or 3 other meds that have known gastro side effects, plus a couple of others, I can't remember what.  Mum is to go back next week for blood tests, and then see the GP again a couple of days later.  So at least, finally, something positive is being done.  The GP said in the meantime, if we're at all worried about mum, to ring for the paramedics again.

I think part of the problem is where mum and sis live - on the edge of a large town, in a heavily populated area, and the GP surgery is swamped.  Whereas we live in a rural area with a much lower population and have no problems at all with our doctors.

I'm busy tomorrow, but am going to have a weekend of doing nothing - I'm so tired my body feels like it's shutting down.  I might even stay in bed.  Got a busy week next week, so I need to build up my reserves.  I also have a cold sore on my lip, for only the second time in my entire life, I guess because I'm run down.


  1. Personally I do not like taking any medication unless absolutely necessary. Tom took Ramipril for 20 years and after doing a bit of research I'm sure that is what has caused his lung condition. Of course the doctor will not commit but agreed that he should come off of it, again he has never suffered from high bp but they said it would help the heart to work better, HA!
    I would think your Mum will start to feel better once the drugs get out of her system, I do hope so for her and for you.
    Such a worry for you all, I feel for you.

  2. Glad you are getting some help with your mum. It's dreadful the way people are put on all these drugs and never have them reviewed.

  3. Hope you mum feels more with it by stopping some of the unnecessary meds. Crazy really not doing a review when you think how much they cost..........but don't doctors get paid by what they prescribe? All seems a very strange way to run the NHS.
    Have a good restful weekend.

  4. I sympathise with you - I am sure part of my own mum's decline is the increasing number of tablets she is now on - they seem to be a real cocktail. The doctor prescribes something for one condition and when that produces side effects they prescribe another tablet to try and counteract the side effects caused by the first tablet and so it goes on. Part of mum's problem over Christmas was that the extra blood pressure tablet they had prescribed because it was very high had then made it far too low. It had fallen naturally I think whilst she was staying here with me for a few days - good food and plenty of company had done the trick but back at home I think she worries now about being on her own even though my sister goes nearly everyday and she is in an assisted living apartment. She also has no interest in making a meal for herself the only food in her fridge are pots of Elmlea cream yet she can eat more than I do if it is made for her!
    Fingers crossed that coming off a few of the meds will help your mum when they get out of her system.

  5. Very wonderful . Off of some meds. Glad your sister got to the doctor.

  6. A lot of what you say sounds horribly familiar to my own mum's position a year and a half ago but her GP is being great, very proactive and very supportive. Mum neither eats nor drinks enough really and is now extremely frail (and depressed, which is not surprising under the circumstances).
    Thjey don't have Meals on Wheels any more, do they?

  7. Well that’s a relief about your Mum-no wonder she wasn’t hungry taking all this meds. Our generation aren’t as inclined to treat doctors like the all powerful beings our parents did. We are much more proactive towards managing our own health and medication. I knew I didn’t need so much BP medication after I lost weight and went to the practice nurse one morning just after I had taken it. The poor soul thought her machine was broken as my BP was so low. Now down to minimal amount and I have once again stopped the statins as they have powerful side effects for me. I think Sue has a point about pay for prescribing as I’m sure that’s why doctors seldom remove medications but add them willingly. Hope your Mum continues to improve as it’s heartbreaking to see a parent become your child in terms of care and decision making. X


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