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Mom sick and in hospital

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My mom has been so sick for the last few days. She has had diarrhea and vomiting and has gotten very dehydrated.

Today we had to take my mother to the hospital. She needed to stay yesterday after her radation and have I.V. fluids but she refused. So today at 4 oclock in the morning we loaded her up and took her to our local ER. She was unresponsive and kind of delirious.

We watied in the ER for about 4 hours before they did anything....They said that they were waiting for her results from her MRI that she had done yesterday. After telling us what we already knew ( no tumors on the brain, and her shoulder pain is caused from the tumor in her left lung pushing on the nerves) they decided that she was only dehydratd and that it wasnt really an ER issue. So they tried to get her up walking so that she could go home. Well as soon as she tried to stand she immediately dumped. Her blood pressure and heart rate sky rocketed. The doctor told me that they were not going to do anything for her diarrhea that it just had to run its course.

Well 10 pounds and three days later she is in the hospital...She is down to 108 pounds...I am so worried about her...They suspended her radation for today and tomorrow so I will have her back on monday...God I hope she feels better by then. I was so scared because I know that I am not qualified to deal with what she went through last night.

Is it going to be like this after every round of chemo. I just dont know how much she can take.

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Besides her oncologist, does your mom have a primary care physician, because he/she has to get on board too. I've experienced with ER drs. don't really know how to deal w/ cancer patients, I'm all too familar with the long, agonizing waits, my husband waited 5 hrs one time and his onc. had called to ER to let them know he was coming!!! So I told my husband, next time there's a problem, he's going by ambulance!!!!

You need to ask as many ?'s as you want to, I don't care how simple, complex they may be....Also who is your moms' healthcare proxy, that is very important too, because if it is you, then you need to know every little thing...because there may come a point where your mom may not be able to make any decisions for herself.

Please stay strong, it is difficult, but you can do it.


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Sorry your mom had such an ordeal. The first chemo Lucie had, she was also having radiation, and it was very easy to get dehydrated. We had to go in a few times for IV fluids. It is so important that your mother drink enough fluids and eat enough that she wards off getting into this condition. It takes someone other than your mother to police her fluid and food intake, because the patient is often too tired, too sick, too medicated to want to eat or drink and nothing tastes right to them. This LC journey teaches us a lot, unfortunately. We are all novices at the beginning. Hope she fairs better after this. Don

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I'm so sorry you went through this and I hope your mom is doing better. GRRRRRRR at that ER doc.!!!!! Severe dehydration is dangerous and is most certainly an ER issue!!!!

The doc's comments on the "runs" issue all depends on what's causing them -- as a treatment side-effect, it should be controlled to prevent things such as the dehydration your mom is having trouble with; if it's due to C-diff, then they generally do want it to run its course because C-diff is overgrowth of "bad bugs" in the gut and those bugs throw off toxins which the body really needs to get rid of. However, if it is C-diff, then your mom needs to be on antibiotics to get rid of it....it will not go away on its own. Flagyl and Vancomyacin (sp?) are the antibiotics that are effective on C-diff: generally docs will start with Flagyl and move to Vanco. if treatment with Flagyl wasn't successful -- While Flagyl does work, Vanco. is the most effective choice, particularly now that there are really tough strains of C-diff out there now (can you tell, I've been through this already?).

Either way, hydration needs must be monitored and tended to carefully and the "runs" issue shouldn't be brushed aside by any doctor -- there should be a plan to stop those as soon as is feasible, depending on the cause.


P.S. For the future, it is generally true that you will get better ER attention by arriving at the hospital via ambulance rather than family bringing the patient in themselves. At least it works that way down here in Olympia area and I've found the 911/emergency response folks to be just super when you're dealing with things like this. The only thing you have to watch doing that is when you need to go into ER multiple times -- ER and emergency staff can start making assumptions based on what they saw in the past and that is to your detriment, especially with this dx where things can change so fast -- as an advocate, you're going to have to witch and voice loudly what you're seeing as changes and not let them run on assumption.

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Sorry to hear all this but its true about the

ER's. Most of them dont have a clue when it comes to cancer patients. A little trick my wife would play on me was dont ask if they want to go to the doc just say you have an appointment and you forgot.

Most cancer patients are somewhat confused by this time and dont know sat from weds. When dehydrated you can be real confused.

God Bless


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First I just wanted to say thanks for all your comments and support. It has helped me greatly.

Things right now are so out of control with my mom that I am really starting to get a little scared. Maybe its all routine but its all new to me.

We live in a different town than her Onc. so we just took her to our local Er when she started getting into trouble. After being in the ER for 12 hours they finally admited her. Well the next day an associate of her Onc. came in and started kicking butt. She started ordering tests to try and find out what is causing the diarrhea and vomiting.

She now believes that it could be thrush througout her body or some type of fungus in her guts. She is taking a 24 hour urine test to test her bladder for cancer. She is having very few lucid moments. They are not sure why she is so confused.

Just when things couldnt get any worse she gets up out of bed to try and make it to the bathroom and slips and falls and breaks her left arm. Its the same arm that her tumor is growing in. She is going to see a surgeon on Monday and they will decide if she needs surgrey on her arm.

They have moved her into the intensive care unit because her potassium level is extreamly low and it can trigger cardiac problems. They have an alarm on her so that she wont fall again. Funny how 2 days ago it wasnt an ER issue and now she is in intensive care.

Things are spiraling out of control so fast. I am not sure what this all means for her. Mean while she is not having her radation. I am just so scared and confused.....

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