Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Deep lows and more highs

Thank you for all the supportive comments and emails, they do help a lot.  It's been a worrying few days.

My mother was asked by the doctors to decide whether she wanted to be resuscitated if (they made it sound like when) her heart stops.  She does have heart trouble, which has worsened since she's been in hospital, her red blood count had dropped significantly and, for unknown reasons, they weren't even treating it, hinting that her heart problems outweighed everything else.  However, after my sis and their church minister talked with mum and the doctors, it seems that the DNR question was simply a routine one they ask every elderly person and Mum isn't in immediate danger of dropping dead.  They're also now going to treat her low red blood count, they're giving her a large iron injection today apparently.  And they're back to saying she can hopefully go home soon, whereas the past couple of days they've been giving the impression she wouldn't be leaving hospital.  I really don't know what's been going on there, sounds a bit like they'd given up on her (unless my sister just got the wrong end of the stick), it's difficult to know exactly when we're so far away.

Husband has been very unwell again the past few days, had another emergency GP appointment on Monday, she said she'd rather not give him anything until he'd had the hospital tests (which were this morning), she felt it was better to wait until we knew exactly what we were dealing with.  She did say he could take anti-inflammatories for the pain, but as they interfere with a couple of his heart meds, he'd have to temporarily stop taking them (a worry in itself) until he'd been to the hospital.  The anti-inflammatories didn't help anyway.  

He had an ultrasound scan of his bladder, bowel, kidneys and prostate first, followed by a cystoscopy and rectal examination (I left the room for those!).  He doesn't have prostate - or any other - cancer, which is a huge relief.  However, he does have a very enlarged prostate which is severely squashing his bladder and urethra, preventing his bladder from emptying completely.  The leftover wee is stagnating and breeding bacteria, hence the repeated infections.  The huge prostate is squashing his urethra so much that the wee has trouble squeezing out, which is why it's so painful (sorry for the graphic descriptions!).  He's been prescribed two more meds, one to hopefully shrink the prostate (it doesn't always work successfully though), the other to relax the neck of his bladder to allow the urine to come out easier.  Fingers crossed they work.  He was told he'd be in some discomfort and probably peeing blood again following the procedure (he is! the groans coming from the bathroom sound like he's being murdered) but that should wear off in a couple of days.

Whilst we were waiting to be seen, a young couple came in for a pregnancy scan....the girl was I'd say about 6 or 7 months pregnant and was carrying a pregnancy pack.  They were extremely young, she looked to be 16 or 17, the boy even younger, 14 or 15 I reckon.  They sat there playing on their phones, the girl draped her legs over the arm of the chair with her feet on the neighbouring chair.  She occasionally spoke to the boy showing him things on her phone, he just grunted and never even looked up.  Shortly afterwards another pregnant girl came in, around the same age as the first girl and about as far gone, she was with a much older man, her father I guess.  She was a right drama queen, pulling faces, theatrically heaving big sighs and giving loud groans, fidgeting and rubbing her back and stomach, even pulling her top right up, exposing her entire belly and stroking it, whilst giving surreptitious glances around to see if everyone was watching her.  The thing that struck me about both of these children (for that's what they were!) was how totally immature they were and certainly far too young and silly to even be thinking about bringing a child into the world.  OMG don't I sound old!!

I've asked the sleep clinic for a temporary break for a couple of weeks - there's been (and still is) so much going on that my sleep patterns are all up the creek again and there's no way I can stick to their programme right now, it's just too much pressure.


  1. Hopefully the tablets will work if not it can be sorted out by a quick operation.

  2. At least you are getting to the root of the problem with hubby thank goodness. It's a nightmare this getting old lark isn't it? who knows what is next. Having has uti's I have some idea of what he is going through.

  3. I'm glad your husband is getting help and hope you can get some peace soon.

  4. Glad to hear some things are moving forward and at least something is being done. Good idea to have a break from the sleep clinic - you need to be able to give it your full focus and obviously right now is not a good time. Hope your mum and husband improve soon then that will be one less worry for you.x

  5. The dreaded DNR question has to be addressed with all inpatients in my hospital. Doesn't matter if you're 25 or 95.

    Unfortunately, many families have unrealistic expectations of what full CPR will do for their family member. I dread having very elderly patients who are a "full code". CPR when done properly will break ribs, fracture sternums possibly resulting in punctured lungs and lacerated liver and spleens. The patient winds up intubated and in ICU. It's something families don't think about. It isn't like TV where a couple of presses on the chest and an electric shock and all is well!

    Ultimately, the question is really about quality of life not quantity.

    Have they mentioned doing a TURP on your hubbie? Or are they hoping hoping the meds will solve the problem?

  6. My dad had the quick and productive surgery when he had an enlarged prostate and couldn't wee. He bleed a bit after the surgery , we told him to wear a feminine pad , like we had too.
    All went well , he was fine in that dept. after that. Not to worry, there is no cancer you said.
    They do ask folks in the hospital the DNR question , it is part of the forms they fill out. Not to worry there either. If she is tired of living the way she is , she may, one day decide ,enough is enough.It can always be changed the dnr, it isn't set in stone. She will know when that kind of time comes. Luckily it isn't a decision you have to make for her. But, is a little hard to handle when the make the decision. After you think about it from her viewpoint you will see she is doing what is right for her. Whatever her decision.
    Sorry you don't feel you could finish the sleep study right now. It may have given you something to focus on besides others health problems. :) love and hugs Beth

  7. My parents both had/have official DNR certificates which were very helpful when Mum went in for her last few spells in hospital. It meant the staff didn't feel they had to keep asking about procedures and the only decision we had to make was regarding tube feeding (no!). If it's something your mum might consider, her GP can deal with it. As other have said, it is about quality of life and resus can be extremely invasive.
    I'm so pleased that there's some good news after blow after blow. Long may it continue.

    1. I have one thing about tube feeding. There was a man that had to have a feeding tube inserted because he just could not swallow, because of another condition. He went mountain climbing and hiking with his feeding tube and I saw a picture of him using it while on the mountains. They aren't such a bad thing when you need them.

  8. At least S now has a diagnosis and things can be put right from there; so there is light at the end of that particular tunnel.
    What a shame that the DNR question was not explained properly to your Mum. I hope that now the question of her blood count is being addressed, she will be able to go home very soon. Fingers crossed for that and more tunnel light. Hugs my sweet! XOXO

  9. My husband had the same test and was told to pee into a basin of warm water for a few days and he said it helped a lot maybe worth a try .....Jessica

  10. Don't know if you will even see this but my dh had the same problem. We live in the U.S. and he had laser surgery which made his life so much better. He was going to the bathroom constantly.


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