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Mom admitted to hospital


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Last night Mom calls & leaves a message that her fever was up to 103. Unfortunately I didn't hear the phone & didn't get her message until 9:30pm. So, I called the on-call dr. @ the concologists and was advised to go to the ER. By the time we got there her fever broke & was normal...she was sweating all over the place. Finally at midnight we were let in (from the waiting room) & got a bed. By 4:30am the doctor FINALLY comes in to see her!!! Alot of DUI's & major trauma cases coming in all night after us...which took priority. We were annoyed - but tried to stay patient. I sat on a doctor's stool leaning against the wall from 12am - 5am. By 5am she was admitted & moved up to a regular room. Today after blood work they found that her potassium was dangerously low. They said if she didn't get it by IV immediately she could go into cardiac arrest. Poor Mom...she has been poked so much and her skin is so thin now. They did this while I had gone home for a couple of hours. But when she told me about it she got tears in her eyes and said that she actually started crying while they injected the potassium. She said it was the worst kind of sting...that the potassium just burns under the skin. The nurse decided to numb her hand...but that took 16 little shots / pricks to get her hand numb. And with a bag of ice over her hand, the got the bag of potassium. The anti-biotics seem to be helping a little. But I encourage the nurse to find some kind of cough medicine AND sleeping aid to help her get some rest. I HATE, HATE, HATE seeing my mom in this kind of pain & suffering. The on-call dr. said she'll probably skip chemo this week since she's had a blood transfusion (Thursday) and a fever on and off all week. And her blood counts aren't very good. Time for her body to get a little break in order to find her strength again. One more cycle of the carbo/gemzar before we reassess.

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I hate hearing she had to spend the night in the ER. I know what it's like and no cancer patient should ever have to do that. I wish the Oncologist would just direct admit them with orders at the nurse station to start running tests. But that's not the way they always do that. I hope she is getting some rest (big joke in the hospital) and gets home soon to recover. Giving her a little break from chemo will be good for her body and soul. Blessings to Mom and the family

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So sorry to hear of the complications and the ER wait for your Mom. Although we've never done the ER thing, the wait at the hospital for tests is very tiring for cancer patients. I really resent that too.

BOTH of you need to get some rest. Sending high hopes and hugs for a quick recovery so she can go home.

Welthy

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Thank you everyone! Today was better. This morning I was able to sneak in a real latte for Mom and it made her day. Actually, I didn't have to "sneak" because the nurse said it was fine. Her infection is clearing up and for the first time in days she slept through the night. Thanks to her nurse! I asked as I was leaving last night if they'd give her something strong for her cough & some benedryl to help her sleep. He ordered it as I was walking out & today she said she slept GREAT! WOW, what energy people get after a good night's rest! She felt better today & was very cheerful. They'll probably release her tomorrow. Wishing everyone a good & peaceful day.

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UPDATE: No release date. Mom had a fever of 102 today. Plus her potassium levels aren't rising enough. They gave her 6 big potassium pills -- instead of the painful IV drip. Even did another CT scan and the dr thinks they might do another thoracentesis tomorrow. She needs her lung drained! But it's obvious the chemo is leaving her system...she has more energy and not much fatigue. She needed this break. I'm SO glad we went to the ER Friday! I can't even imagine the "what-ifs" if she was home all weekend and not given everything she's been given.

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sometimes the hospital is the best place to be to recover a little bit. Sorry about the fever glad there is a plan in place for things to happen.

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Well, Mom is still in the hospital and SO VERY anxious to come home. It's been 9 days. She didn't have a thoracentesis but she did have a broncoscopy this week. They drained a lot of the mucus from the infection. They've also been doing a percussion therapy 3 X a day. A little machine that taps on her back & chest. Feels like one of those hand held massagers. It's helping Mom cough up a lot of stuff & get it out. The nurses hadn't washed her hair since she's been there so today I brought shampoo & we washed her hair in the bathroom sink. She felt great after that. But the one thing that is so painful to watch is how many times they've stuck a needle in her arm or hands. We figured today that with blood work daily, changing the location of the IV's -- she's been poked about 26 times since she's been there. That's 26 different needles going through her veins. And her veins keep collapsing. Her hand was so raw today when they tried to give her more anti-biotics that she started crying and told the nurse to STOP!!! Then she demanded that they take the needle OUT of her hand. I'm telling you....her strength is back now that chemo is out of her system! She is PISSED and isn't hesitating to let the nurses know when they can't find a vein or are sloppy about sticking the needles in! LOL. Today after the nurse took her needle out she said, "You are going to have to find another way to get those anti-biotics in me because you are not touching my hands again!!!! These veins have to be good veins for chemo again and you guys are so rough with me!" So, the nurse had no choice but to put a call in to the oncologist on-call and find out what to do. But I swear, my mom's hands are so swollen. She said that when the anti-biotic went in today it burned throughout her hand and whenever it burns THAT bad, it means the needle has poked through the vein and is releasing the meds straight into her hands. I can't even imagine! When the nurse walked out my mom turned to me and said, "Well, it looks like I DO have some power over my own healthcare! HA ha."

The doctors are talking about removing her left lung. The left lung is giving her the most problems. The infection, the inflamation, etc. They weren't sure if the tumor had an abscess around it or not. She's worried because it's such a major surgery, but we'll talk to the doctor more.

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Mom came home yesterday! It's AMAZING how good she feels. All that therapy on her lung has made a world of difference. She can breathe again! She is not winded - unless of course we walk stairs or something vigorous. She was sent home with some very strong anti-biotics in pill form. They might make her nauseous because of their strength. She said she'd take anything in pill form from home over being in the hospital and poked with needles all day! =) She is probably changing oncologists now since she's gotten to know a new set of doctors in the hospital. We were driving some distance to her original onc. but when we went to our local hospital, she was being seen daily by the onc. here. They are all part of the same medical group, and talk daily about all the patients. But now I think she's decided just to start seeing the group HERE in our area. The only thing is that she had 2 doctors seeing her in the hospital -- one from oncology and one was a Pulmonary specialist. And they are not agreeing on when she should start chemo again. The onc. says next week & the pulmonary dr. says in 3 weeks ONCE the infection is completely gone. Not sure who will win this fight. =)

But Mom is great. I'm impressed that these doctors were so aggressive in the hospital....they said she should have NOT been as fatigued as she was over the past few weeks. That it wasn't normal. Even with chemo. She could barely walk down the hall at home & couldn't breathe. They said this was all from an infection. They also told her no more crowds when she's in the 3rd week of the chemo cycle!!! It's just too dangerous to get an infection! All I keep thinking about is the wedding I took her 2 weeks ago just before this all got really bad. Traveling wasn't the best idea. We know now.

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