Mom's been see-sawing with her congestive heart failure between dehydration and fluid overload for a year. I've learned to recognize it and adjust her meds. Two weeks ago, she was on fluid overload, so I did what the doctor did last time: doubled up on her diuretics for three days. And even though she wasn't "unswollen" (her legs/feet are the first to show), I stopped the doubling. In a day or so, she was "normal." I talked to the doctor shortly after, and he said I did exactly what he would have prescribed. "Good job."
Three or four days later? She was starting to get dehydrated. I waited a day or so to see if she'd stabilize. She didn't. So, for the last seven days, I've cut her diuretic in half. (One day, to only 25%.) I talked to the doctor today, and he said to hold her diuretics 'til Monday and eat bananas and raisins.
I asked, "Do you think mom is ready for Hospice?" He said, "If she's see-sawing back-and-forth so rapidly, she may be." He's having the hospice center he works with call to make an appointment to evaluate mom.
I'm a pragmatist. For myself? If in my right mind? I'd have been on Hospice long ago. When I'm making the decision for mom? It's a completely different story.
Mom has Congestive Heart Failure, mild (not so mild some days) Parkinson's Disease and moderate dementia. She's gotten so she doesn't remember to put one foot in front of the other half the time when I walk her with a gait belt. Or...she doesn't remember to push her walker.
Still? She has some good days. Fortunately, she isn't aware of the shape she's in, and, of course, I never remind her.
Am I doing the right thing?