Yesterday…another up day. Mom seems to have rallied. Although she is “out there”, she was alert and awake and talking and eating. She told some very funny stories, mostly about things she thinks happened that were really dreams (we assume) that she has had. We thought she would be discharged, but the nursing home had to give her bed away and we have to wait for today for them to have a bed for her. We could have her bed held while she’s in the hospital…for $185 a day! Can’t afford it and they assure us that she will have a bed to go back to, just not necessarily in the room she was in when she left. The nursing home is also a rehab center, so patients come and go, hence the reason for her bed being given away for a short time.

We spoke to the doctor again. Some things are clarified in my mind. I mean, I don’t have the medical knowledge that my sister has (she was trained as an RN), so when I am given information I have to digest it and think about it and ask questions that I didn’t think to ask when the doctor is throwing this information at me. When he says that he wants us to make the decision not to send her back to the hospital he means that if she has another infection that cannot be treated by the antibiotics that the nursing home would give her, then we just let her go. The nursing home does not start iv’s, therefore if she needs an iv antibiotic (which she has every time she has gotten an infection for the last several years) we are just supposed to let her die of a treatable infection?

In our area (or does this happen everywhere?), your own doctor does not see you at the hospital. You see a hospitalist. Your doctor receives a daily report on your condition and any changes, but he/she does not come to the hospital. So, this hospitalist that my mom is seeing does not know her. He only sees the old woman, in pain with advanced dementia. He does not know the woman who, if she recovers to where she was before she had this infection, does not have advanced dementia. Although she is confused she knows us and she knows where she is, etc. She can help make some of her decisions.

Where do you draw the line? She has chosen not to be resuscitated. She has chosen not to take extraordinary means to keep her alive. Is an iv antibiotic considered extraordinary means or is it a course of treatment?

I mean I had pneumonia last year and needed iv antibiotics. I was very ill, but I recovered. I probably wouldn’t have without the strong iv antibiotics. If I had a guardian, they could have made the decision to withhold the iv antibiotics and just wait and see if regular antibiotics works, and if they didn’t, just watch me die of a treatable illness?

When it’s my mom’s time to go I will accept that. She is worn out and she suffers with debilitating pain. But I can’t watch an infection ravage her body until it kills her.

Am I babbling? Am I making sense?


2 thoughts on “

  1. I'd ignore the person that doesn't even know her and make the decision at the time that's best for her and your family. You can't just say, "okay, no more hospital" without even knowing what might come up. Certainly if something easily treatable came up, at a point where she still has quality of life, you would take her to the hospital and get it treated! Some people see no value in the elderly, while others treasure every day they have left with them. That's not the doctor's place to try to pressure you into the former, in my opinion.

  2. Thank you! and Exactly! That is what we have told the nursing home. We will decide when the time comes. I think we will also ask that she go to the other local hospital where, I hope, this doctor is not practicing. Also, since she is spending so much of her time in the past, sometimes we can get her to tell some very interesting stories! Even if it's so difficult because much of the time during the past couple of weeks she thinks that our dad is still alive…

I would love to hear what you think!

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