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My nan (sorry long)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My nan collapsed 2 weekends ago and was rushed to hospital and isn't doing so well She's been feeling very weak for a while, and they thought it was a recurring bladder infection, so have had her on antibiotics for close to 2 years. I mean after that long and she still has it, maybe somethings up??

They also thought her pacemaker was playing up, and this was the cause of the collapse, so they replaced her pacemaker and realised afterwards that it was actually fine, but that her heart itself is quite weak, and just not functioning as well as it should be, which is due to age and there's nothing they can do.

They also tested her urine and realised there was no bladder infection! The antibiotics for it make her sick, and it makes me so mad that they don't seem to want to do any proper testing, they just go for an easy solution.

Because she's been so unwell, she's not moving around much, and has lost a lot of leg strength, and they were excited yesterday because she was able to take 8 steps on her own. Woop-de-doo! She should be able to walk normally like she has for years! 8 steps is nothing.

And I just got an email from my aunt (who doesn't work and lives closest to my nan so is with her most) saying they found something wrong with her bone marrow, and are trying to figure out what that's about, and maybe THAT'S been the main cause of her problems all this time. They were going to do further tests next week, but were worried so rushed her in to get the tests tomorrow, so of course my nan is stressed about that now She'll be in hospital for at least another week (definitely over Easter, which is sad), and then she'll probably need to spend a week or two in a rehab facility to try and get her strength back in her legs. If she can't do that, they won't let her go back home.

I swear these doctors just don't seem to care because she's old, and well she's had a good life, so we'll just try to make her comfortable.

My nan is very independent. My grandpa died about 23 years ago, and she's lived on her own in a 2 storey house ever since. She loves having all the family come visit, so refuses to move out of her home. All the living areas are upstairs so she has to try and negotiate the stairs to leave the house, so has pretty much been confined to the upstairs of her house for a while now. Another aunt has put aside money to get one of those electronic chair lift thingys for stairs, but her stair case really isn't built for that.

She hasn't been eating because she's been sick from the antibiotics or doesn't have the energy, and so she's been getting weaker. Her neighbours are wonderful and have a key to her house and drop in daily to see if she needs anything, and they regularly bring her meals to make sure she's eating.

We're trying to convince her that she really can't live in that house any longer, and she needs to be in a care facility, but I think she figures she's been there that long, she might as well stay there and die in her home. It puts so much pressure on her neighbours, and all the family who worry about her constantly. Of course nobody minds because everyone loves her, but my poor aunt can't handle the stress of it anymore. If my nan doesn't answer the phone, she races out there in a panic.

And it's so hard being in a different country and not being able to do anything. I've been researching care facilities in her area as much as I can, and researching single storey houses in her area she could possibly move to so she can keep living independently, but that's all I can do.

My nan's giving up hope as well. She's bought a 5 year diary and filled it in every couple of days for most of her adult life, and is 85 this year, and said she doesn't think she'll bother with another 5 year diary because it's not worth it

She was so excited when I told her I was pregnant, and I really want to be able to introduce her newest great grandchild to her, but that'll be another year or so away until the baby is born, then old enough for an 14 hour flight, and we can get holiday leave.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest...
post #2 of 14
Your nan will be in my thoughts. It's really rough when you're so far away and can't help.
post #3 of 14
Sending you good vibes and prayers.

I'm sorry that it seems the doctors aren't putting your nan on top priority. Do you think it's because she doesn't want it to be top priority? like she's not concerned so they aren't? I hope not..

praying for you.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
Sending you good vibes and prayers.

I'm sorry that it seems the doctors aren't putting your nan on top priority. Do you think it's because she doesn't want it to be top priority? like she's not concerned so they aren't? I hope not..

praying for you.
I don't know why the doctors don't care. My aunt always takes her to appointments, and my mum has taken 2 weeks off work to go along as well and help take care of her, and we're not known as being shy types (mum's one of 8 kids in the family, they had to yell to be heard...), so mum and my aunt are telling the doctors what they think of the care she's getting.

My nan is concerned, and she's very stressed about it, and because they're not doing anything about it, she's losing hope and doesn't have the energy to question them.
post #5 of 14
Oh Sarah, I'm so sorry about your Nan...but she sounds like a strong woman...many good healthy vibes being sent her way, and hugs to you
post #6 of 14
Aww sweetie!! Many many for you!! Seding mega {{{{VIBES}}}} to nan!! Please keep us posted on her situation.
post #7 of 14
I'll keep Nan, and you and your family in my prayers. My grandparents were the same way about moving out of their house. They can be stubborn sometimes! I does sounds like the doctors didn't take the time in the beginning, but hopefully they will get to the bottom of it now. And, if the antibiotics were making her sick, it probably will help that she's off of them. Medicine can do really strange things to the system. How old is Nan?
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
She's almost 85, and she's been healthy as a horse all her life. She always went and played bowls with her friends, walked to the shops to get her papers, and went down to the local oldies club twice a week to socialise with her friends, have a couple of beers, play the slot machines, and enter the meat and seafood raffles they had on.

It's been about a year, maybe more, since she was able to do any of that on her own
post #9 of 14
can you get to another doctor???? one that will actually address her issues?
post #10 of 14
I'm so sorry! I really hope she recovers quickly. I saw what being in a rehab facility did to my 85 year old grandma.
post #11 of 14
Oh, darlin... I know just what you're up against. On one of my father's hospitalizations, a nurse came into the room with a clipboard and said to us, "Okay, he's 83 -- you want a DNR order?"

DNR, of course, means "Do Not Resuscitate." This nurse was saying, right there in front of my father, that she assumed at 83, he didn't really care to go on living.

I was completely taken aback. I fairly shouted, "NO! Absolutely NOT, what are you talking about?"

She said, "Well, you know, his quality of life is..." And she shrugged.

I was livid. I stepped closer to her and said, "He has a wife and two children who love him and need him! He has a grandson! He has brothers and sisters and friends! He's writing a book! He plays the guitar, he --"

"Okay, okay," she said, making a checkmark on her form. "No DNR."

AAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I could not believe the arrogance, the presumption, the utter lack of sensitivity! And we were getting a similar, though far less obnoxious, attitude from a lot of doctors, too.

It was around that time that I finally took over the situation and sought out some new resources for my father. Now he's in the hands of a great geriatrician who serves as a "quarterback," coordinating the various specialists involved in my father's care. And despite diabetes, three kinds of cancer, and a six-way heart bypass, my father is in better physical shape now than he was five years ago.

Maybe you could help your family find someone like that for your nan -- a caring doctor who understands that she still has a life worth living, someone who will stand up for her and make sure she gets the care she deserves. Even long distance, you might be able to find someone via the internet -- maybe through people in a healthcare chatroom or a senior resource clearinghouse.

Good luck to you and your nan...
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Oh, darlin... I know just what you're up against. On one of my father's hospitalizations, a nurse came into the room with a clipboard and said to us, "Okay, he's 83 -- you want a DNR order?"

DNR, of course, means "Do Not Resuscitate." This nurse was saying, right there in front of my father, that she assumed at 83, he didn't really care to go on living.

I was completely taken aback. I fairly shouted, "NO! Absolutely NOT, what are you talking about?"

She said, "Well, you know, his quality of life is..." And she shrugged.

I was livid. I stepped closer to her and said, "He has a wife and two children who love him and need him! He has a grandson! He has brothers and sisters and friends! He's writing a book! He plays the guitar, he --"

"Okay, okay," she said, making a checkmark on her form. "No DNR."

AAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I could not believe the arrogance, the presumption, the utter lack of sensitivity! And we were getting a similar, though far less obnoxious, attitude from a lot of doctors, too.

It was around that time that I finally took over the situation and sought out some new resources for my father. Now he's in the hands of a great geriatrician who serves as a "quarterback," coordinating the various specialists involved in my father's care. And despite diabetes, three kinds of cancer, and a six-way heart bypass, my father is in better physical shape now than he was five years ago.

Maybe you could help your family find someone like that for your nan -- a caring doctor who understands that she still has a life worth living, someone who will stand up for her and make sure she gets the care she deserves. Even long distance, you might be able to find someone via the internet -- maybe through people in a healthcare chatroom or a senior resource clearinghouse.

Good luck to you and your nan...
Wow, that is amazing. I swear I don't know why people become part of the health profession.

Problem with my Nan is that where she lives is a LITTLE isolated when it comes to good care. I'm going to talk to my mum though and see if she can get transferred closer to where my mum is (about 1 1/2 hour drive away). She won't want to be that far from her home, but I think it's better she gets proper care.
post #13 of 14
That's a great idea! And maybe she'll be able to accept a move if it brings her closer to her daughter. After all, your real home is the people you love.
post #14 of 14
Hugs to you! I will say a prayer for healing and strength to your Grandma, and peace and comfort for you and your family too.
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