My mother is in hospice with multiple chronic conditions, such as vascular dementia, chronic kidney disease, type II diabetes, chronic UTIs, and more. She has an advanced directive that she does not want life saving efforts.
Before starting hospice, she was hospitalized with yet another UTI. The infectious disease doctor was consulted due to the fact that the bacteria causing the UTI was resistant to every antibiotic that wouldn’t kill her. Basically we were told that it is not treatable with her various conditions. For example, they could try X antibiotic, but that would shut down her kidneys and require dialysis IF she even survived. Since her wishes (before dementia) were to not undergo dialysis, this treatment wasn’t an option. The Dr said she could live with the UTI for quite a while. He went into a whole explanation about research that shows that some older people often live with a certain amount bacteria that their bodies become accustomed to and it doesn’t cause distress. I don’t know how much I believe of this, but I also didn’t go home and do research since it wouldn’t change the treatment decision.
So we’ve now been at home in hospice since April. She continues with the UTI but it hasn’t caused delirium. In fact, since coming home, she has been clearer and more acute mentally!
This morning I saw her urinating and saw pure red blood after the normal urine passed. When I discussed this with the nurse, she said it could be a couple of things. Kidney failure, kidney or bladder stones, or the beginning of sepsis. She doesn’t have any other symptom of anything yet. But something tells me sepsis is what is coming.
If she does go septic, how long could she have to suffer?
We also have an end of life placement for her. They specialize in imminent end of life care, less than 2 weeks of life expected. I want to know when to call and get her moved on the list.
She will need IV pain meds, as she refuses and liquid medicine (morphine) and will struggle to swallow pills as this progresses.
I am a planner. I don’t like having no control and no idea of a timeline in order to mentally prepare.
Thanks for your input everyone!