Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mom Is In The Hospital

I've been very pre-occupied lately because my mother went into the hospital for an intestinal infection Tuesday.  She's going to be 76 in April.  She had just gotten out of the hospital/rehab facility last Nov. were she had been for two months due to complications of rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis.  The thing is, she was never sick before.  A little over a year ago she was walking around, shopping, doing laundry, etc.  Now she just sits on the sofa.  She won't go up the stairs because they are very long and she needs to use a walker.  Her legs will give out on her sometimes and it makes her afraid to walk.  Plus she has my dad and sister around to do things for her.  She hasn't slept in her bedroom in over a year.  It's very sad because she can do it if she wanted to.  But she doesn't.  She's been very depressed and will not take the anti-depressants that were prescribed for her.  She walks when the physical therapists come but when they're gone she won't even walk to the kitchen to get herself a drink.

To make matters worse she just went back into the hospital for surgery because of an intestinal abscess.  She's been on steroids for her rheumatoid arthritis and it makes it difficult for her body to heal.  She had the surgery yesterday and is in the ICU right now.  She's never had surgery before and her biggest fear was that she would need a colostomy bag.  The surgery went well and she didn't need to have a bag.  So that was wonderful news.  My fear is of complications.  They seems to follow her like a shadow.  I also hate the hospital that she's in.  It's close to my parents house and my father doesn't feel comfortable anywhere else.

Horrible Hospital Story Ahead:

When my mother was in the hospital last year her cardiologist (who was assigned by the hospital) came in her room at 7am and had her sign a consent form to have a pacemaker put in the following morning! This doctor was very good at one time many years ago but now he's a quack!  He hadn't even considered that the medication they had put her on a few weeks earlier had been causing her irregular heartbeat. We were able to postpone the surgery but he still scheduled a stress test that next morning without anyone knowing.  Her heart was fine thank God.  Why would you do that to a person that you thought was in serious need of a pacemaker?!  He'd prey on her when she was alone or when my father was there (he's 81, can't hear well, and won't argue with a doctor).  We eventually had to threaten police action to get him away from her.  Long story short, her heart was fine and the new group of cardiologists that we'd selected said that she was lucky she did not have the surgery.  Her steroid dosage was very high in order to get her vasculitis under control and everyone feared that she would not heal properly. One doctor even told my mother that he felt that I had saved her life.  My sister and brother, who are childless and spouseless, are also very gullible and would not argue with a doctor's decision either.  I later found out that the quack had a restraining order against him about 10 years ago because he was stalking a woman at the hospital.  But I don't know if it was a nurse or a patient.  I wanted to get medical POA on both of my parents but they're "old school" and won't sign the form. It's a very difficult situation.

I've missed reading everyone's blogs this week.  I hope you are all doing well.


  1. That is a CRAZY story about that cardiologist! Yikes. Thank goodness you were so on top of things.

    And I am so sorry for what you're going through right now with your Mom. It is awful to see our parents go from completely able to disabled, and the accompanying depression can be so all consuming. I hope that your Mom can find a way to give the anti-depressants a try--they really can be so, so helpful in these situations.

    I'm really sorry--it's so stressful. Big hugs.

  2. What an awful situation your Mom is going through. Do you think it's possible to move her to a bungalow, or apartment, where she won't have to deal with a long, intimidating staircase? The change may be stressful, but her spirits may pick up when she feels more mobile.

    That cardiologist needs to retire stat! My parents are in their 70s and do not question doctors at all and put all their faith in them. Maybe it's a generational thing, but doctors are human and need to be questioned.

    Be strong and know that you will get through this.