Help! Mom's bout with pneumonia has turned into a chronic bathroom situation!

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I just got Mom out of the hospital from a bout with a bad cold which led to pneumonia. She was there for 5 days and wasn't ready to be released, but with insurance, medicare, medicaid and everything else, the doctor turned her loose. He wanted to send her to a chronic care facility, but decided there was no rehab for pneumonia. So I get to be the doctor, nurse and CNA all in one.
Well, the antibotics were so strong she has chronic diahrrea and they withheld
her fluid pills because she was dehydrated, so she started swelling in her face and ankles and he gave her fluid pills to her when he released her and it really wasn't bad except for the diahrrea. Then yesterday, 2 days out of the hospital, she starts peeing everywhere! She absolutely wore me and my husband out, up and down to the bathroom, but by the time we got there, her Depends was full of pee, plus she was peeing on the pot, too! She started "sundowning" about 5 o'clock, another result of being confused while in the hospital, and I got her to bed around 6. So every 15 minutes, round the clock, me and my husband took turns getting her up so she could go pee and it was always too late. I have NO clue how many Depends she went through until I went to bed at 11:00. Then she wanted to know WHY I was going to bed. I changed her and she had slowed down a bit and when I got up at 4:00 a.m. to get my husband off to work, I checked on her and she was laying on top of her bed, with her clothes on and her bed made. She hasn't had clothes on for days! I think I am more confused than her as to what is going on with her. You can't get an answer from the doctor, because he attributes everything to their age and there is really nothing they can do, so he says. Just stick them in a nursing home is what they want you to do. I cannot do that because I do not think she is ready for that and she is my Mom. I have lost all interest in EVERYTHING except my cats who bring me so much comfort and joy, just being there and talking to them. I am behind inf EVERYTHING and have NO desire to do anything. Has anyone ever experienced this before?? Any helpful comments are so appreciated. Thanks!

23 Comments

Your in the right place! Look into a elder lawyer he might be able to set you up with in house care...right away, Medicaid paid, even if not qualified. I not a big fan of lawyers but unfortunately your situation is likely to continue to spiral then not. See if there is a care giver support group in your area (free) and socialize with people in the same situation (in your area) they can recommend good recourses. My FIL got C-Diff in the hospital as well, Google it, pro bionics helped but they were very expensive at the time (3.00/pill). Watch the "diaper rash" it can get ugly quick and it burns them ( I used Desitin I put it on the toilet tissue and wiped) .....remember C-diff is very contagious so follow hazmat protocols. Regarding the urination…..hmmmm If this was MIL, I would mention it to the PCP and follow up with the urologist. How’s the kidney function? Remember the hospital is not the end all…they have rules to follow and always differ to the PCP or specialist. Good Luck….make time for the support group it was the best thing I ever did! Find a new Doctor!
Hey Chloe-I just today saw your question. How are things going now? Reading your post-I can totally relate to a couple times my mom ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Those fluid pills sure do the job-and I am wondering if you are now giving her less or none and if she stopped peeing like she was. The ER and hospitals don't want to keep patients long-and I too have felt like I was taking mom home too soon but she really got better care from me! haha. As for the antibiotics giving her diahrrea-I always call mom's Dr and he takes her off them and tries some other. I also give her the probiotic yogurt-whatever the antibiotic. My mom is sooooo sensative to meds. I am sorry you are going thru this. So many times I thought mom was on deaths door but somehow she recovers from these terrible illnesses and issues. We tell her she is like a cat with nine lives! Anyway, I hope things are better now for you! Mame
Yes, get a new doctor. There is a new health care reg, as I understand it, that says that if a patient is re-admitted for the same problem within 30 days, they don't get paid by medicare. And at least in NYS, they can't discharge a patient if you say you are not ready or able to care for them. The past few times my mom has been hospitalized, I simply say, "I'm not taking her home until you've solved the problem". Sorry that you are going through this and hope that you find better help soon!
Antibiotics mess up the digestive system by killing off not only the bacteria that were making your mom sick but also the healthy bacteria in the the intestines that are a key factor in normal digestion (affecting the bladder too). Now she needs probiotics to put the healthy bacteria back. In the first years of antibiotics, doctors never gave antibiotics without probiotics. Now they've gotten casual about this, which is a mistake. If you can't get a doctor to talk to you about this, don't bother with them -- just go to the pharmacy or a good health-food source and ask for probiotics, let them explain to you which are the most potent/helpful brand they happen to have.
So sorry to hear of your problems with Mom. I can only tell you what has happened to me last year. YES the antibotics can cause the diarerha, it can lead to colitis, which becomes a long term problem. Eating a yogurt every day helps replace the lost good bacteria, and if the antibotics caused this then you need to talk to her doctor about not giving her any oral antibotics for a while. As for the constant peeing, if she was swelling up then by giving her diretics especially in higher doses can cause her problem, if her swelling has reduced talk the her doctor about reducing the dose which should help.
The previous post about readmission before 30 days for the same condition is correct. These PCP docs are discharging before the patient is ready because they do what the insurance companies tell them to do. Be the advocate. I have stated on this post that the hospital cannot discharge the patient if there is nowhere to go to. I would say these words "My Mother is not safe in my home right now, she is too frail and is a hugh fall risk. I do not want to be back the same day with my Mom because it was too early for discharge." Trust me the docs will not be happy but they will not discharge. What they will do is turn it over to the social worker for possible placement. This buys you a couple of days. The social worker may have quite an attitude because this has been dumped in her lap. So What .... have all the attitude you want but do the best thing for my loved one. These are the facts, I worked in a hospital for many years. It is a numbers game that you do not have to play with them! Be strong.
GET HER BACK TO THE HOSPITAL ASAP - she more than likely has a c-diff infection which can be DEADLY if not treated!
Thank you all for your kind words and comments and advice. I truly appreciate it so much! It is so nice to have nice people to discuss issues with, especially these kind that you all have been through. As for Mom improving, I do not see that much improvement except we DID get the diahrrea stopped, but it was me and not the doctor who did it. If got her a big bottle of Diff-Stat tablets that are chewable from the hospital pharmacy and did the yogurt thing and it took care of it. She did have c-diff last winter when she was in the hospital with pneumonia. So we may have "nipped it in the bud" before it got a headstart this time. Now, she hardly ever goes to the bathroom. Her meals consist of pudding, Ensure, coffee and yogurt, occasionally some other drinks like water with flavors in it or hot cocoa or maybe a little soda. She refuses to eat anything other than this. She
now has her days and nights mixed up and yesterday was a 22 hr day in the bed with a lot of confusion. We are still doing the fluid pills because of the CHF, but
absolutely you would think she is full of pee from head to toe as much as she goes! She can get out of her bed and go, because the bathroom and accessible things to hold to are close, but if she is in her chair and I am around, I have to totally lift her up from her chair and the commode. Some days are better than others, but none are too good. My husband is home today, so I think I will try to give her a bath and get the teeth brushed. If I have a problem, then he will be here to help me. He has been so helpful and good through all of this, especially understanding. I want to thank you all for your kindness and help. I will keep you posted and will more than likely have more questions. Thanks so much!
Oh good - glad you got a handle on the diarrhea - when i read your original post it worried me. That infection can get so nasty if it's not brought under control. I would definitely talk to her doctor about adjusting her dose of lasix (or whatever diuretic she is on) - it sounds like it's too high, which is not good for her kidneys.
Probiotics!! Even yogurt can help....

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