Hi all, my mother had a stroke in October of 2010 which left her with short term memory issues and poor balance. She can walk with a walker. She is 89. She refused to do physical therapy or leave the house and as a consequence sits all day and is extremely inactive. Her condition has slowly deteriorated and this past December she contracted shingles and has since recovered, but just hasn't seemed to be able to bounce back. In the past 2 weeks she is sleeping almost constantly. She wakes up during the night and dozes in the chair. She is groggy for the short periods of time she is awake. She lives with my brother but I spend 2 nights a week at her house to help out and give him a break. On this last visit she slept the entire day and into the late evening both days I was there. I had to wake her for meals. She seems to have a semi-alert period from about 9 to 12 at night, and then starts to fall asleep again. In addition to this, she has swelling in her feet and legs, and one leg is worse. I also suspect she that she might have a urinary tract infection because she frequently has the urge to go but doesn't actually have to. Her appetite has also decreased a little. She seems to have become more frail and weak in the past few weeks. She was at the doctor last month (was doing better then compared to now) and at that time everything was within normal limits . She doesn't have any health issues. She takes Aggronox, vesicare, synthroid, and folic acid. I am shocked she is doing this badly, because other than the stroke she hasn't had any other health problems. She has been taking Lexapro for about a month and a half and it seems to have improved her mood. The problem is she can't stay awake long enough to be in a good mood!
She has a doctor's appointment on Monday but I am very afraid she will not be awake enough to make it. In addition, I fear the doctor might want to hospitalize her and he has privileges at a hospital that I feel is of poor quality and that I dread going to. She was there for 2 days after her stroke and it was a nightmare.
I think I would prefer to take her to the emergency room of another hospital that is closer and in my opinion of a higher caliber. We could take her at night during her semi-alert period. I am thinking that she might be admitted to that hospital because I can't help but think further tests are going to need to be done to determine what is going on with her. Is this acceptable? Will it be an issue if we break rank with her primary care doctor? Frankly, I have not been that happy with this doctor and think it might be better if we get another medical opinion of her condition. Thank you very much for reading this and I will greatly appreciate any thoughts, opinions, and advice that any of you have to offer as to what could be causing this excessive sleeping and the correct thing to do to get her medical care. Oh, another concern I have is what to do if she refuses to leave the house to get medical treatment.