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I try to prepare the same foods that my husband and I eat. Puree or grind as needed so mom can chew it. This week it seems she cannot tolerate for a number of different reasons. Upset stomach, constipated, just don't want it, too much food, etc. She refused food after lunch on Sunday.


Mom imagined the need to visit the emergency room three Thursdays out of four last month. Now, it is February, she wanted the ambulance to take her to the emergency room. So, I guess flavor of the month is Monday.


Each visit in January resulted in observation. Various tests were run to rule out acute conditions that may require treatment. Nothing found. After the three days, mom found amazing health and was impatient to return to our home. She wanted them to find a way to put her in a nursing home. She is too healthy, no medical conditions that warrant that level of care. The three complaints that she "tested out" were difficulty breathing, weakness, chest pains. One complaint per visit. Last Friday we visited the doctor for the post hospital visit. She checked out fine.
No illness or complaints. Today a Monday, Mom called me to her bedroom this morning, major complaint, shortness of breath. I calmed her down and her breathing returned to normal. In a few seconds the complaint changed to weakness. And she asked if we could call the ambulance to take her to the emergency room. I explained that they had mentioned the pattern of behavior. Non-existent medical emergencies. I told her we are not doing this any more. She said I blame her for everything. She pulled her legs back up in bed and said, just forget it. At 8 am she was up, dressed and headed for her recliner, told me she would have her juice in her chair with her coffee. She tried to refuse breakfast. I told her that we weren't going down that weakness road again because she won't eat. I prepared, served, she ate. She pseudo-vomited after breakfast. Yes, I spied. Ensure at 10:30, then refused lunch. I'm on pins n needles waiting to see how the 2:30 Ensure break goes.


The bright spot, the nurse from the health department will here on Wednesday. Fingers crossed we can get through without incident. She turned in home nurse visits twice in January; I had to make nice to get this next visit. If nothing else, she will get the shower that she suddenly has been too weak to take since December.


Yes, I am beyond frustrated, I am the last one to finally see the real deal here. Any advice, tips, etc are welcome. I love my mom; shifting into tough love is hurting my heart.

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I just saw a story on diabetic Gastroparesis. That has my mom all over it! Is this so new that the doctors don't know about it. The "increase fiber" etc. makes it worse. OMG, she has been seeking help in the only way she knew how. This daughter will find out more. If my belly hurt all of the time, I would be plenty mad at the world.
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She needs a higher level of care. Being in a care center will be reassuring to her. There will be nurses and aides around to reassure her.

Get her a needs assessment and start working on moving her to a care facility.
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I'm sorry, Patti. This sounds like an awful situation. Maybe I'm missing something, but if someone you know to be frequently irrational (has to take meds for psychotic mood swings, etc.) is requesting to go to ER, why go if there's no obvious emergency that you (the rational person) can see?
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Another emergency room visit. 35 minutes away, 6 1/2 hours , another perfect physical health specimen, drive 35 minutes home in the dark. Oh wait, juice with the evening pills, let's just throw up again so you don't get your anti depression or psycotic mood swing meds yet again. Aaaacckkkkk!
Yes, I am at my wits end!
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PattiK,
My mother was never happier than when she was at the doctor's office or hospital. It got worse as she got older, a hypochondriac for sure. She had a 3 month ordeal with every test known to man with NOTHING found.

I basically had to do the same-tough love. "No, I won't take you to the emergency room because you have a mole on your back that could be cancer."

Has your mother been evaluated for mental deficiencies or dementia?

97yomom has a great idea, to take her weight and vitals and show her that she's fine.

Unless she's only eating teaspoons of meals, it sounds like she's getting enough nutrients. But it sounds like she'll need to be supervised. It's kind of like being with a toddler. You have to put your foot down at times.
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Oh, darn. Sunday evening pills were in the trash. Monday pills I supervised. I pray for a better day tomorrow.
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you can buy a oximeter at the drug store to check her 02 sat and pulse. You can get a bp unit to check her bp. Take a calendar and for a week record her vitals. Weigh her at least weekly. You can even take her temp. This log can help you track if your mom is having issues that are trending up or down. It can reassure her that her breathing is fine. You can also ask the dr to order a physical therapy evaluation. Tell him you want to see if that will increase her energy and help her get through this rough patch. Mention balance and fear of falling. The nurse on Wed may be able to get the therapist out for the evaluation. When the therapist does the evaluation he will work with home health to get the order from the doctor. 
And I agree totally. The bath is very necessary. She will feel better and help prevent other problems. 
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She checks out fine physically. But going to the emergency room weekly (or weakly) is not normal behavior. I would have her evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist. Something is not right. (My brother was a frequent ER visitor until someone figured out he was having panic attacks.)

Are you considering looking at Assisted Living places? It is good that she doesn't need a nursing home, but perhaps living in a community with people her age would be good.

Does Mom really need 3 meals a day plus 2 Ensure breaks?

Sounds like you've got a handle on this, for the time being anyway. I do think a psychiatric consult would be a good idea.
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Patti, your Mom WANTS to move to a nursing home? Wow. Would she consider assisted living or senior housing that might bring an element of group living without the nursing care?
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