Mom had another GI bleed and two units of blood. Still really weak. How long can I expect this to last? -

Mom had another GI bleed and two units of blood. Still really weak. How long can I expect this to last?


Mom went into the hospital the beginning of March with a GI bleed. She was in there 4 days. They gave her one unit of blood while in the hospital, then discharged her, with orders for another blood draw to check her blood levels. She was still at only 8.7, so they gave her another unit of blood. I expected her perk right up after that, but she hasn't. I've also noticed that her memory is failing since this happened (she does not have Alzheimers or memory issues). I understand that red blood cells carry oxygen, and oxygen is important for brain function - my concern is that this could be permanent. Mom is 82 yrs old and has been declining more rapidly since she broke her hip last September. Any help would be appreciated.

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Hi Nancy - My Mom is doing much better with her strength and her blood levels are almost normal now. We've been giving her large doses of iron to help her recover, but then have to watch to make sure she doesn't get constipated.

That 15 units is a huge amount of blood! The human body only has 10-12 units of blood in it, so she has more than replaced her blood volume since November! She's got to be losing blood somewhere, even if it's not showing up in the toilet. Mom's doctor was afraid she was oozing somewhere for awhile, because she continued to go down after she went out of the hospital, and needed another unit after she got out, but then started to slowly climb up.

Years ago, when Mom first developed this problem, she ended up having 17" of her colon removed because they couldn't get the bleeding stopped and couldn't find the exact spot it was coming from - just the general area. It was a really tough recovery - her doc said she wouldn't recover from another one.

I really hope your MIL starts to get stronger. Have they done a colonoscopy and other tests to check her out? I hope at least she gets to make it to the family wedding. I know how hard it is to know that someone is bleeding inside, and getting weaker and weaker, and you feel so powerless to stop it. Take care, Eve
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I hope things have gotten better with your mom. We are going through the same thing. My mother in law has had a G.I. bleed on and off for five years. They have done every test several times. Some times they find it and cauterize it, but another one starts. I have no idea how many units she has had since 08. She has had 15 since Nov.2012. She had two units on the 23 and the Dr. told her today she is low again. She will not have the surgery ( had 2 already), and the Dr. said she shouldn't have it anyway. I'm not sure how much longer she will be with us. She is really trying to stay until July for a family wedding. But I don't know if she will make it. She is living by herself ( her choice) and I don't know how much longer she can do that.Good luck to you. I hope things get better for you and your mom. When I read your post, it was like you were looking into my life. Take cars Nancy
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Thank you to both of you. I didn't think anyone was going to respond.

I took Mom in yesterday for another dr appt, and she ordered more blood tests to see if her blood levels are still low. We haven't noticed any more bleeds, but she said she could be oozing blood. She lost almost half of her colon several years ago in a similar incident when they couldn't get the bleeding stopped and had to just take the whole the area that was bleeding. Now the area that was re-attached is having problems on occasion.

Mom is basically only going out to doctor appointments now, and those are a big chore for her. Since she had this GI bleed, she has lost all of her energy. She used to get up and get dressed every morning, get her face and hair fixed, and maybe we'd go for a walk or go do one thing during the day (shopping, out to lunch, etc). Now, she doesn't get dressed unless she has a doctors appointment. Where she used to be able to walk around our block (about 1/2 mile), she now is exhausted walking to our mailbox.

Another thing that concerns me is now Mom is really starting to signs of memory loss. She is losing entire conversations. Just doesn't remember having them. Important ones. The last time we were at the doctor we had a conversation about a prescription she was mixing up with another one (I caught it when I was doing her meds with her). She and the doctor had a long discussion about it. When we were there yesterday, Mom told me she wanted to ask her about that, and didn't remember having any of that discussion. Several other similar things have happened. Yet on other things, she has a better memory than me!

Thanks again,

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Hi Equillot, I'm not sure either. I'm quite new to this. I guess if your mom is still losing blood, then it will not be too long. How is her eating? Is she still very active? Or has both slowed down?

About 3 weeks ago, I was posting here. I happened to describe the changes in mom. Several posters told me that mom was near the end. I didn't believe them. I mean, they were telling me online without seeing her. Know what I mean? Mom has had these things happen before and lived (because we called 911.) For years (about 23 years), mom has always been a night person. She was active or stayed away during the nights. I noticed that she was sleeping more, even at nights. Her breathing was struggling and then back to normal. Her stiff arms/legs suddenly became loose, lax. She wasn't eating much thru her stomache tube and so she was losing more and more weight sooo fast. Older sis and I were shocked that the posters here were so accurate about mom being close to the end! If your mom is declining fast like my mom, then you will have an idea.

I, too, hope someone will be able to help you with your answer.
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I am sorry I do not have an answer for you. I saw your question and thought I would bring it back up in the hopes that someone can give you some information. Blessings to you and your Mom.
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