Mom worked till 81 when she became ill with Giant Cell Arteritis. It took not quite two years for that illness to get under control with medication. She has since been told that the disease is gone and no further treatment is needed and all her lab work is normal confirming the illness is no longer active. She has no medical history other than that and high blood pressure which has and still is always under control.
She stopped driving at 81 and was weakened by steroids used for the GCA. She became almost unable to walk distance. Going short distances causes shortness of breath and she walks on average per day, my best guess, about 50 -60 steps a day. She refuses to use a walker but has to use a scooter if she does any shopping, which is now very limited to only a quick trip with me to the grocery store.
The past few months she has had several UTI's, all clearing with use of antibiotics. She complains she is always tired, sleeps all night (sleeps well), yet sleeps during the day. Most days she is getting 10-12 hours a night, getting up for toast, then going back to bed for another 4 hours. When she finally makes it to her recliner she is napping on and off until she goes back to bed again for the night. She says she feels sick, blames it on her BP medication (which has not been changed), eats nothing I cook for her anymore (toast or donut for breakfast, cereal if that for supper?) is not a water drinker, shuffles when trying to walk, and I believe she is unable to get in the shower or tub (even though it is fully equipped for her to do so) and she refuses help. She tells the Dr at her appointments that she is perfect, that she doesn't feel like eating, but picks all day, and that she walks around great. When she hears me come home (we live together) she makes her way to the kitchen sink, grabs a towel, and tells me she has been so busy! When I call her out nicely on the excess sleep and zero activity, she denies it completely.. Says things like, "I was just laying on my bed resting" or " I walk all over my apartment".. I am at a loss. I feel like there is something more I should be doing! I try every single day to get her out of the house, most days she says no, it's too cold, it's too hot, maybe next week.. and the excuses go on and on. I am home full time to be here for her to do anything I can to make her life comfortable and keep her active as possible, and nothing I cook or any offer of assistance is shut down immediately. Her Doctor says "you're old" "of course you will be tired, I'm tired and I am only 58" "eat what you want" "you look fine" "sleep whenever you want" and he just don't seem to have any idea that what he sees at her visit is not the way she is at home. Pajamas or robes for days and days, hair not combed, teeth not in, etc. Any suggestions? I feel so badly, so helpless. Thank you!