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I have no idea what topic to put this under. The last couple of days have been brutal. It took everything I had to get mom's doctor to order something for a UTI when she was having the very same symptoms as last time. As I scour thru topics to find help and guidance I see "Elder Abuse" but absolutely nothing about "Caregiver Abuse". I have gone thru something the last few days that was just brutal and I'm sitting here this morning still numb from what all has happened and still could happen today. NO ONE WILL EVER UNDERSTAND unless they have WALKED in our shoes. Everyone kept telling me to separate myself from what was happening because mom couldn't help it. DUH!!!!! I know she couldn't help it AFTER I figured out what was happening. But that doesn't help me know how to separate myself. HOW do you separate yourself? Can someone please share with me.

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You haven’t said what brutal things have happened with your mother’s UTI … and I hope the subsequent day or two have been better! – but I can share what my mother has been putting me (and her other caregivers) through, and you can see if it resonates. My mother (96, dementia, currently in a rehab) seems to have a sort of low-level chronic UTI, and her “behaviors” tend to pop out when one type of bacteria multiplies temporarily and raises the level of infection, or if she hasn’t been able to sleep. The worst of the behaviors are sudden, unexpected biting (hands or arms, whatever gets near her mouth or her hand to grab) and spitting in the face, plus what can best be described as an evil grin and wily personal comments meant to hurt and drive me away.

I don’t go away, except perhaps for a few minutes, because there are things I’ve **promised** to do for her, such as take her out into the sun or sit with her to make sure she has the whole hour she often needs to eat lunch. (Which things tend to redirect her, anyway.) I always try to keep my promises, which I do for **myself**, for the (remembered) mother I love, and to help the caregivers. I know that the biting, screaming, and apparent sociopathic grin are NOT my mother … they’re from her diseases. She was never a narcissist, and she and I were always on good terms … I remember those things, and I remember that normally she’s polite and thankful. Sometimes I have to go out of her room and lean on something and just TELL one of the nurses or CNAs that this flaming b***h is NOT my mother, and they give me a hug and say that they know. And once or twice I’ve gone to bed clutching a large teddy bear.

Long ago I learned that I’m in charge of my own emotions. Nobody can MAKE me feel anything or really hurt me, unless I let them. The hard part is remembering this! In this case, it’s easier for me than it is for you, because I’m only with my mother about 4 or 5 hours a day when she’s at the rehab … then I can get away.
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You step back into "clinical" mode. Not easy to do. This IS your parent, after all. You see behavior as symptoms and not as personal attacks.

Easy for me to say, as I never was mom's direct caregiver.

My role was to be the daughter, the cheerleader and the watchful eye. Its just too hard to do both the clinical and the "loving" part, especially when youve had a less than perfect relationship.
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Katie; Not that this helps your dear mom, but if UTI's become chronic and can't be cleared with an antibiotic, it often means that something else is going on. Kidney stones, structural abnormalities are two of the things that I've had experience with. In a younger, stronger patient, a urologist is often the answer. My mom's fairly frequent UTIs became less frequent when her GYN recommended an estrogen cream, which prevented dryness and somehow prevented UTI's from happening. Go figure.

Hoping that this information can be used by someone down the road who reads this thread. Love you, Katie, and I'm so sorry that you are hurting from your loss. (((((hugs))))))
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My mother is at the point where she is suffering from ongoing low-grade UTIs and I'm able to manage it with something over the counter but her doctor wants to start her on an antibiotic for long-term preventative care - however - as with all antibiotics there are very uncomfortable side effects. My mother has no quality of life and has been homebound because of these issues. I decided that I won't do the antibiotic because it's only delaying the inevitable - and it's not fair to her. She's been miserable since my father expired years ago. I cry at least a few times every week, begging for something to "take" her - quickly! The fact that she now suffers from chronic low-grade UTIs is added evidence that her body is moving forward with the decline process, albeit very, very slowly. When she no longer responds to the OTC treatment for the UTIs is when I'll put her on hospice and let nature take its course.
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I am so sorry to read you are going through this. My mom had recurrent UTI’s it was a horrible experience for everyone involved. I give her d-mannose with cranActin daily. She hasn’t had a UTI for 9 months. Also increased her fluids (she was barely drinking a glass a day before I moved her in with me). I keep Azo test strips and test her urine if I think she’s starting to get one. Hope this is helpful. Prayers to you
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It's a lot to be the sole caregiver for a senior inside your home. Constant care duties can wear you thin and drain all your resources. That's bad enough, and then you have to deal with crisis situation. It's tough. I know.

Since this is a repeated UTI, I'd schedule a time to discuss with her doctor, after the crisis is over. I have learned that repeated infections may be something that is futile to treat. I've been doing some reading about it and discussing with my LO's doctor. Are there other options? I'm exploring that now.
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This sounds so familiar. My Mom started with the UTIs, falling, numerous hospitalizations, nursing home rehabs, more UTI's. I lost count. I took her into my home after the first "rehab" after a hospitalization, and 4 days later she went delirious and I had to call an ambulance. Another chronic UTI and the process all over again of hospital, antibiotic, rehab, home, rehab in home, UTI's. It got to the point where her doctor would not prescribe another antibiotic and told me to " take her to a urologist" when I saw symptoms of delirium and called his office. I was supposed to take her to a urologist's office when she was delirious?!!! I called EMS once again and she ended up in the hospital on IV antibiotics and a catheter. Then they recommended rehab for her. She ended up in my home on hospice with a wonderful hospice staff, and passed away 7 months later. I have anger issues toward the rehab people she went through before hospice, and the doctor that wanted to send her to a urologist. He is also our family doctor. I have not seen him since. It seems like he can't handle anything but referrals. Two years later, I am angry and confused about what happened to my poor Mom and miss her, but not the 3 ring circus that medical people and rehab created in our lives for a year and a half. I handled this whole thing one day at a time and became like a nurse and learned everything I could from the nurses and aides in order to make her comfortable and to get through the roughest time of my life. When hospice came on board it made things so much better to deal with. Maybe this is something that just happens to people, chronic UTIs that become immune to antibiotics. I wish there would have been better communication and transparency in that time before hospice. Hospice was the only thing that really helped.
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SO very sorry you are having trouble. It is very difficult. If I cannot get help, I go with the clinical symptons even if they are not there. As a side note, are you able to give your Mom high doses of Vitamin C or Cranberry to try to stop the UTI's? I am not a doctor, but have been down this road, it does help somewhat. ALso, check out the AZO products. They actually have a strip to test for a UTI, don't know if your Dr. would listen to that result
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I know your pain. We don't always recognize the "why" to what is happening, until we are at our whits end. We are not all trained doctors or nurses. We have to forgive ourselves when we feel we have failed those we are trying to help, and learn from each experience.

My mother has suffered from chronic UTIs for many years. It wasn't until we had to hospitalize her, because she was dehydrated and having seizures that we found a wonderful help. The doctor said, "I don't think it is going against her living will to put in a catheter, get a sample, and take it out." (We were unable get a clean catch.) That was the only way to find out which bacteria we were dealing with.

Before that, the professionals were guessing at which antibiotic to treat her. Once I agreed to the catheter and the, "very rare" bacteria was identified, they were able to give her the correct antibiotic. It has been many months since she has suffered from another ITU.
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I knew that my husband who has Dementia & PD had another UTI when he urinated 7 times in a day. I googled UTI and found home remedies to stop it. (Dried cranberries, apple cider vinegar, garlic, vitamin C, a probiotic, lots of drinking water etc.) I caught it the second day and it was gone by that night, I am happy to say. I keep sterile urine cups at home (free from his doctor), got a sample & had it tested. He was fine!

It's nearly impossible for me to take him to the doctors but I found a transport chair at the Swap meet for $50 & that helps a lot. I take snacks and a magazine for him.
I keep a sense of humor about everything & try to keep him smiling to calm him down. He hardly talks but I still tell him about everything happening & hope that some of it gets through. His balance is bad, I put handles all around his room to help him & a commode next to his bed. I found that wooden puzzles keep him busy. I had him put seeds into a pot and we watch that grow together. He reads the paper everyday because that is what he always did. It's been two & a half years now & so far so good. Music helps a lot. There is respite (free time off for caregivers). See what is available in your city. Four hours or...... a day off, makes you feel like a normal human being again.
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