I need help ASAP!! My mother had a stroke a year ago that took 3 months to diagnose because her symptoms were not “Classic”. Her symptoms then were loss of coordination, confusion/disorientation, severe memory/cognitive impairment & extreme blood sugar fluctuations; no physically noticeable symptoms. Doctors initially said it was sudden onset dementia caused by uncontrolled diabetes. I argued with my father/siblings to request a CT/MRI for 2 months (to the point of being pushed away). Ultimately, my dad caved & said “just go to the doctors Appt with me & you’ll see”...(please don’t judge for overstepping here). I did go to the appt & witnessed my dad downplaying all that was happening at home - so I took the opportunity to tell the doc my concerns; long story but doc finally agreed to an MRI & guess what...CVA.
Fast forward to yesterday. My father (still in denial) was determined to take mom on a cruise vacation (which everyone thought was a bad idea, but he insisted on “one last time”. He did ask my sister (an elder law attorney) & me (the only person that Mom will cooperate with) to go with them to help out.
Yesterday was travel day. Cognitively, Mom was having a great day & excited to go, so we headed to the airport. This was the most lucid I had seen her since the stroke; major status change (signal #1 to me). She walked to the car, but agreed to use a wheelchair at the airport. She even “allowed” a TSA agent to do a pat down. We got her to the airplane entrance, where she suddenly complained of severe leg pain; said she felt like she was going to pass out; began sweating & lost all function in her legs. Between myself, sister & 3 airline staff; we got her off the plane to a quiet area to be checked by paramedics- BP 134/96; blood sugar 79; she felt much better after some cookies & juice. Paramedic thought we should go to ER, but dad refused & made arrangements to get us all home. Again, she was completely lucid & had no anxiety throughout the event (to me, that was signal #2).
While waiting for our ride, My sister went to speak with airline, leaving Dad & I with Mom. Mom said she needed to go to the restroom. No family restrooms in the area, So I took her to a large stall in the women’s room...while transferring her to commode, her legs began to give out & she c/o same symptoms as earlier. Somehow, I was able to lower her to the floor (thankfully she did not fall during either event). We recalled paramedics who did not give dad a choice about going to ER.
Upon arrival - blood sugar dropped to 44; she briefly started slurring her words (doc said she was “just very tired”);. Blood sugar then jumped to 112, then back to 60, then back to 120...all in1 hour time frame - again, no one batted an eye. All bloodwork came back as normal; EKG showed minor afib (which she’s had in the past); & exam showed that she had feeling/movement in her legs; so ER wanted to discharge. I overstepped & asked if she had stood up/walked since arrival - answer “no”, so they got her up & saw the exact symptoms that brought her in + now she could not pick up her feet. (Signal #3 to me) Ultimately, ER doc admits her for “observation” & a Physical Therapy consult. I asked for imaging - Dad quickly shut me down.
SO, she is safely in a hospital this morning; & I am going back today. I am horribly fearful that she has had another stroke; but can not convince Dad, her medical POA, or my siblings to request imaging. The change in lucidity; brief slurring; loss of coordination/leg function, blood sugar fluctuation & loss of bladder/bowel control (forgot to mention that)...same symptoms she had last year. Dad refuses home health.
How can I request imaging/plead my case to hospital staff without medical POA, sounding like a “drama queen” or being the “family b****” (sorry for language but that’s what I was called last year). Dad has been in denial through all of this & medical POA is my oldest sister who will not stand up to him. WHAT CAN I DO??? HELP