Hi folks! I'm really new to this sort of communicating, so please bear with me. I really need your help and support. 3 weeks ago my mom was admitted to the hospital with acute respiratory failure. This is a long story. I'm sorry. It all started on Monday June 17th when my mom started becoming disoriented and having trouble with her balance. I'm an LPN student going into my last level before graduation, so I thought maybe flu or inner ear infection. By the next afternoon my dad had to pick me up from school early because she kept sliding out of bed and couldn't stand up. I immediately called 911 and had her admitted to St. Charles Hospital in Oregon,Ohio. The E.R. had her for 6 hrs and couldn't give me a definitive answer. They finally got her up to Med Surg and after they did her 02 sat dropped to 82%. They then had to move her to ICU and put her in a drug-induced coma because it was finally detemined that she had suffered an exacerbation of her COPD. My parents are both elderly but, Beforethis happpened my mom was razor-sharp and fiercely independent. She was on avent for 3 days. She was in ICU for 8 days. She's now in the Transitional Care Unit now, but is now suffering confusion the likes of which I have never seen. No one seems to know what's causing it. Meds? low oxygen? no one has a clue. CT's have all been normal,and this has never happened before. Yes she is 75 and yes she is a smoker, but I have never witnessed anything like this. It is tearing me apart. LITERALLY. My mom is my best friend and supporter and the best part of my life. They want me to consider putting her in Long-Term Care. OH GOD THIS HURTS SO MUCH. I WANT MY MOM BACK.ALL OF HER BACK. I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN HOLD ON THE PAIN OF THIS WHOLE ORDEAL IS SO GREAT. She says and does inappropriate things and the unit was calling me every night with the latest diaster report. Every time the phone rings my heart stops dead in its tracks. Please help me get through this. I know you don't know me but I feel like I'm in the middle of the ocean treading water and I'M TIRED. I'M so so tired. Maybe I should let my head slip beneath the waves and....... Help me. Warrior Woman
Jul 7, '02
I hope everything goes well. There are a lot of things that could explain your mum's continuing dementia. There's such a thing as ICU psychosis. The combination of extreme problems with health, the sleep deprivation and the sensory deprivation combined with the sensory OVERLOAD of ICU often cause these kinds of problems.
Unfortunately, there are also other, not so transitory, possibilities. I'm praying that it's this situational type of dementia!!
It was my grandma, not my mum, but I've had the same situation, same horrible sinking feeling. I'm praying with you that this is temporary.
Jul 7, '02
Theresa, I hope and pray that your Mom's mental status will improve. I have walked in your shoes and it did literally tear me apart. You will have to stay strong for both of you. My Mother was also my best friend and supporter. My Mom had a diagnostic D&C and was fine going into the procedure. The doctor managed to perforate both her uterus and her bladder. She was on the OR table for four hours then in the hospital for nearly two weeks. She never was ok and did end up in long term, first at a custodial level, later at a skilled level. Her dementia did continue to progress. Every test possible was done but there was never an understanding of what happened to her brain. I will forever wonder if perhaps she was already heading this direction, or whether a sentinel event occurred that was never put into her records. Her O2 Sat was never compromised, Her BP remained stable, at least that is what is recorded. She is dead now but it was a situation I would never want to go through again. My prayers go to you and to your Mom. Do realize that she is most likely blissfully unaware that she is doing anything inappropriate. I think that was the only saving grace in our situation. I think Mom probably did far better that my brother and I. She did not ever seem to realize that anything was wrong. She was a very gentle sweet confused little lady. She never was mean, loud or belligerent. She was always a gentle soul prior to her dementia and she remained that way. She has been dead for 16 months now and only now is the pain lessening. I can relate to your post far more than you will ever know. Know that you are not alone and that you will do what is right to help your Mom. She may need to go into long term--this may be the only safe environment for her. My mom would wander at night and certainly could not have been trusted around a stove. Dad was blind when this occurred and could not manage her care at all. Know that you will make decisions that are very painful. Also realize that you will make the best decisions with the information you have and try not to look back and second-guess your decisions. This is much easier to say than to do. I had five years when I thought I would never survive what had happened to Mom. Seeing her was so painful, but of course that was exactly what we all did. The last couple of years she did not know any of us. The day she no longer knew who I was will live forever in my heart, but I do find it is being replaced with many of the happier memories and the sad ones are becoming more distant in my heart. I pray that your Mom will return to her normal self, but if she can't do realize that you can and will survive this horrible time in your life.
Jul 7, '02
Theresa, the wonderful thing about this board is the support you can get here. Know you are loved. And a fellow Buckeye, too? Oh yeah!
We come here to laugh, cry, pout, scream, yell, argue (you know, typical family stuff) and you know what? IT'S OKAY. Keep coming back - there's over 20,000 shoulders here to lean on when you need it! :angel2: :kiss
Jul 7, '02
Dear Warrior Woman,
I am truly sorry that you and your family are having such a difficult time. It can be difficult to stand by helplessly while someone who means so much to you has serious health problems. Like Dennie, I hope that she improves and is able to return to you and your father.
I am not a doctor, but one condition that I suspect may be the cause for her confusion is hypoxic encephalopathy. Her COPD exacerbation and decreased oxygen saturations prior to her ICU admission, and probably prior to her admission would make this differential diagnosis even more likely.
Did your mother have internists with pulmonology and neurology consults? That would be the typical standard of care. At this point, a rehabilitation physician could be an appropriate consult as well.
I have some misgivings with this post as I am suggesting a possible diagnosis with a minimum of background knowledge. However, I but felt that you should have as much information as possible about what I felt could be another cause of her persistent confusion.
Do you have a friend at nursing school, or an instructor who has been particularly helpful. They could be a resource for you as well. Keep us updated on your mother's condition and how things are going for you.
Jul 7, '02
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Could it be that the ICU psychoses has not yet resolved? I have been through a very similar situation with my own mother.I know you must be feeling very overwhelmed right now. Just try to get through each day.I wish there was something we could do to make this better for you...know that we are all here to listen to you and support you.
Jul 7, '02
I am so sorry that you are going through this difficult time. My prayers are with both you and your mother.
Jul 7, '02
Hello again! Just had to drop you guys and gals a line to lat you know how thankful I am to have such wonderful and understanding friends to talk to. Just knowing you're there for us in this terrible time means everything to me. I wish I could meet you all in person and give you all a big hug. Right now I feel so helpless and impotent I could just die. You don't know how many times during this whole thing I've just wanted to lie down and die. Know what I wish for right now? For someone to hold me close and tell me that everything is going to be all right. Crazy huh? Always know how impotant you are to me each and every one of you. Keep praying for us. Believe me it helps more than I can say. I love you all. Warrior Woman. (Some warrior huh?)
Jul 8, '02
It is devastating when parents begin to decline...we're never really ready....and it is so traumatic to suddenly reverse the caretaker role with a sick Mum or Dad.
Try to take one day at a time so it's not so overwhelming to deal with. People do reverse these symptoms in time so I will pray for you and your family...and for comfort and guidance.:kiss
Jul 9, '02
I know how hard it is to see you mom sick. Both my parents are gone now and not a day goes by that I don't miss them. I hope your mom improves and has many more wonderful years with you. I'm glad you get comfort from this site, keep us posted.
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