My Mother has symptoms that worry me diarrhea, vomiting and swollen face. Any advice?


My Mother is on dialysis, has CHF and COPD. She is very weak and short of breath and now her face has swollen...Her doctors don't seem to pay attention and I don't know what to do or what is normal...

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All your mother's symptoms are common with the end stages of all her diseases. I am sorry to have had to say this but now is the time when the hard questions have to be asked and don't be put off. Drs hate giving people bad news many see it as a kind of failure of their medical practice treatment. Grit your teeth and demand to know if the is in the last stages of her life and hospice should be called or whether she should be immediately admitted to the hospital for agressive treatment if that is what you and she want. She can be kept comfortable just being at home and given the right medications. She is probably already exhausted by the need to go for the dialysis several times a week and wishes she could just stay home. The answer to that is she can. She can stop any treatment she chooses and just take the medications that will help control her symptoms such as the water pill. This is a very hard time for you both but the truth takes away a lot of anxiety. Everyone will be here for you with support and suggestions for your journey with your mother. Blessings
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"Her doctors don't seem to pay attention" - I'm not sure what this means. Have you spoken to a doctor? Left a message at your mother's doctor's office? What was the response?

Call your mother's doctor's office and tell them:

when the diarrhoea and vomiting started
how frequent they are
how long they have gone on
what you are doing to keep her hydrated
whether or not she is able to take fluids without vomiting
when her face became swollen (if you can send them a picture, so much the better).

Do not take no or no reply for an answer. Persist.

If your mother is unable to keep down fluids - water, tea, fruit juice, whatever - this is serious and you need to make yourself heard. If that means ER, so be it.
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JWalker, is your mother on home health? If she is, call and ask them what you should do. If not, if your mother is retaining a lot of fluid, it may be best to take her to the ER. Your mother has serious problems, so I know that there is no way to fix things, but she can be made more comfortable.
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You will have to contact her doctors. Wish we could help you but one would need to be a physician to understand what is going on.
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