Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What a Difference Three Days Make

Mom, with a steady flow of intravenous fluids and now heavy duty antibiotics, is finally showing improvement.

• Her kidney function is at a 2.2, down from 4.8 so she officially is out of renal failure.

• Her white blood count is almost normal.

• Neurology consulted and Mom had a CT scan. She did not have a seizure. Instead, since her blood pressure was so low, her brain did not receive enough blood and her body went into “tremors.”

• Her blood pressure is normal.

• She still has diarrhea and this is the main concern. Infectious Diseases consulted and she is now on Vancomycin, the strongest antibiotic for this type of infection. If this doesn’t work, she would need surgery. But everyone is hopeful the antibiotic will kill the c.diff.

Mom is highly susceptible to dehydration and this is going to be the main concern going forward. Anyone with a parent or loved one in a nursing facility knows that keeping a resident/patient hydrated in that environment is a huge issue.

Before Mom went into the hospital for this third time, we had bought a portable non-breakable water bottle for her with a built in straw. She liked it and drank a bit more, but the bottle when full was too heavy and cumbersome to carry. When I’m with her at the home, I push fluids. The rest home does their best as well. But she just isn’t getting enough.

Any ideas or suggestions? I feel truly desperate about this. If we can’t keep her hydrated, chances of her being hospitalized again are almost guaranteed. And the bigger concern for me…does this mean changing her from a rest home to nursing home is on the horizon? I believe at the nursing home, they are able to administer IV fluids whereas at the rest home, they are not. But I’m not quite sure about this.

And it looks like taking her home is becoming less likely. But that is a blog for another day.


  1. Good news. Hard choices. Continuing to pray.

  2. It's just one crisis after another for your poor mom--and you. You're doing all you can, Lisa. The biggest thing is keeping her comfortable. Prayers for both of you, and your supportive Dan, too.

  3. I had mom in the hospital 3 or more times for dehydration. Finally the doc. said to stop pushing water and push gatorade. It worked she has not been dehydrated since. Of course I have her at home. And if I did not give her the gatorade she would not drink so I don't know what to tell you how to get her to drink if your not there. Good luck. You are doing good.

  4. Thanks Karen, Nancy and Fred. We've tried gatorade and she doesn't like it. I may have to put her in a facility that gives IV fluids. Because there is no question in my mind this is going to be a recurring issue.

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