How to avoid Mom getting so sick so doctor will treat her for urine infections?


Doctor will not test for urine infections until elderly woman has fever.This is because she gets infections frequently. We know when there is blood, mucous and cloudiness in the catheter tube that she is in trouble, but doctor says she colonizes bacteria in her bladder, so they won't let Home Health nurse test until there is a fever. We have to wait for them to get order from doctor, come over to Mom's house for UA sample, then get it to lab and wait for them to test and get back to doctor. Last three times this happened, she was so sick (102 degree fever, hallucinating) that we had to rush her to emergency room for treatment. The right antibiotic does cure the problem quickly. We do everything we can to prevent these infections - lots of water, cranberry tablets, probiotics, sanitary procedures when we empty and clean around the catheter (we have trained caregivers) Doctor says that since she colonizes bacteria in her bladder due to catheter, they will not test until there is fever and/or pain. Mom will not tell us when she hurts! Can't change doctors easily since this one will let us call anytime and give us advice or prescribe over the phone so we avoid the hassle of getting her into the office. She is 104 years old!

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Tempting thing to do Pam BUT the bugs get resistant easily if the patient does not get a full course of antibiotics.
Many elderly do not get a fever with UTIs and 103 certainly is elderly.
Does she have to continue with the catheter? Can she pee on her own even if she is incontinent.
For frequent UTIs antibiotics are frequently prescribed long term. Various intervals are used and at least two alternated sometimes with a period without anything.
Failing to properly treat may allow the infection to get up into the kidneys and lead to kidney failure.
A lot of this is pretty academic at 103 but she should be properly treated unless the antibiotics make her sicker.
Do they just check that she has an infection or do they make sure the bugs are not resistant to the antibiotics they prescribe.
If you decide to go the aquatic route I would recommend giving the length of course that the Dr would prescribe. Fish antibiotics are the same as the human variety and frequently made by the same drug company.
Many "Preppers" stock pile these pet store antibiotics in case the worst happens.
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Just a follow-up on UTI questions. My sister suggested Probiotics. We have been using Women's urinary health probiotics since and have not had one more UTI in the past 2 years. So happy about that.
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Totally illegal advice: Buy the antibiotic at a pet supply shop, in the aquarium aisle. Dose one day a week. Problem solved. Been there. Done that.
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Thank you for your suggestions. I do think I need to make an appt. to talk to the doctor about this. Also might get a test kit, but the doctor did say that they would not prescribe any anitbiotics unless she is running a fever, even if tests show an infection. I am wondering why they can't prescribe a low strength antibiotic that she could take over a long period of time. I have read that is sometimes done.
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Have you spoken to the Dr. about your concerns? That you don't want to wait until she needs to go to the ER? That you don't want to wait until she runs a high fever? That she becomes very ill while waiting for the testing to be completed?

Since you can eyeball the tube and see that she's on her way to another infection can you call the Dr. and just tell him she has a fever (even if she doesn't)? Maybe you can then get a jump on the infection and she won't end up in the ER?

You can also palpate her stomach and see if she reacts to any pain she may be having but is not able to articulate it. If she reacts to pain call the Dr. that minute.

I would think that the Dr. could come up with a better solution than to wait until your mom has such a high fever that she's hallucinating.
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