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Update on Mom

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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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Cudos to the Onc.'s office and that associate! That's the kind of support you need right now in hospital -- kick butt professional attitude and getting to the bottom of the problem(s) -- if you don't have it already, get a phone number for the onc's office that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get a hold of an actual person if you need more help while your mom is in that hospital.

I know this has got to be really overwhelming for you right now, but if you can, it's good to spend lots of time hanging out at the hospital: unemotionally (if possible) observing your mom, logging every medication they give her and noting what it is for (how does she react to it?), what tests are they running and what do they find out from them, is what they are doing for what they find appear to be working?

Do you happen to have power of attorney for your mom in healthcare matters? If so, get a copy of everything they are doing/have done on the day of discharge. It will help you tremendously later -- right now, everything is happening fast and you are doing the best you can. With those papers, you will have time later to research further and find out more about what's going on now that can help you as you advocate for your mom in the future. Right now, don't be shy or intimidated: ask lots of questions and don't accept being brushed off by anyone -- ask away until you understand the answers and feel them right for helping your mom.

When they start talking about discharge, what kind of condition is your mom in and what is their plan for after she is discharged? Is she being left in a condition that you can handle at home and, if not, what are their plans for seeing to it that you/your mom have the support you need?

You have done great with your mom -- you went with your gut on getting her to the ER and it sounds like you have a good support with the onc's office -- hospital stays like this are scary, but we are all here to help support you through it.


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Oh Kimberlie. It is so scary, but it sounds like your mom is in the right place to get her levels back to normal and to check every single thing they can to help her.

Try to be strong-I know how hard that can be when you are so overwhelmed. I have been there. I wish I could help, but all I can so is listen and welcome your vents. Let it out...we are here.

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Kim Sometimes ICU can do wonders for a person in the medical sense. Dad had knee surgery 6/2 and went into pulmonary respiratory distress the next morning and was in CICU for 2 weeks, Intubated for 1 of those. After 7 weeks he is home. Think positive and I am saying prayers for you tonite and always For YourFamily and Mom.

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Things are spiraling out of control so fast
... how I recall this very same thought and all the fear and despiration that it invoked!

Dad had continuous major battles with low postassium levels though they never mentioned a cause - as someone else pointed out dehydration is a major contributor. He HATED to have the postassium infussed through the IV because no matter how slow they infussed it.. it always burned like fire - one of the few moments in my life that I ever saw my Dad cry was when they infused the postassium to fast. Someone finally said they could give it in tablet form.. though the pill was HUGE, at least there was no burning. He spent about a week and a half on the cardiac care until due to low postassium and magnesium levels.

I hope that you will find as we did...that the spiraling will stop and there will be calm days ahead! This can be so scary... I hope that the doctors are giving you answers -- for me it really helped to better understand what we were facing and what the "next steps" were.

Hope things turn around soon!


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