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We had been trying to assist my husband's father in caring for his wife with Alzheimer's. We had hired an Aging Care Specialist which we thought was very helpful but FIL doesn't want to work with her anymore. Their local children did start to come over and provide respite care which made my FIL happy.


She's had a cough for months, which they thought was just a cold. She's had extreme fatigue. She began falling. She put on about ten pounds in six weeks and her legs and feet swelled so much they had to buy her new shoes. The swelling finally made it so that she couldn't walk anymore and they took her to the hospital.


The hospital said her oxygen levels were low but, otherwise, they are not treating her at all. They are just observing her and arranging for her to go to a nursing home until she is able to walk again.


I am getting information third hand but my own father had all these symptoms and he had congestive heart failure which was treated with medication. Would the hospital decide not to treat someone all by themselves? Apparently, she is getting nothing but the oxygen and waiting for a bed to open up somewhere.


Does anyone else think this means that she's nearing the end of this journey? Frankly, if it did, I'd be happy for her. The heart failure eventually did take my dad and it was a peaceful, painless way to go.

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Good news today! The patient does not have congestive heart failure, they did do testing, she had a medical condition that meant diuretics weren't appropriate, she is being discharged into a respite care situation to get the reason for the edema under control and give FIL a much needed break.

The best nursing home in the area (that would be easily reached by FIL) has an open Medicaid bed! They will not discharge her until he agrees to and sets up 24/7 help. Hurray on all points! I'm very relieved.
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JoAnn29 Oct 1, 2018
Great it worked out.
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I would say she has congestive heart failure. Coughing being caused by water in the lungs and cause of swelling. I would think the weight gain from water is very uncomfortable. I can't see why they can't relieve the water gain. A diuretic would help. Maybe the hospital has not made this decision. Maybe her family has. Just letting nature take its course. By getting it "third hand" you may not be getting the whole story. I am assuming your husband is a stepson. Then I guess her children are in charge.

I would say, if no treatment, her time is near.
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It sounds as though they have already made a decision not to treat her, hospice might be a good option.
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My husband had the same symptoms and was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. He is now on a diuretic and 7 other pills for AFib. If he had just been observed like your MIL he wouldn’t be here now. He was catheterized and they took gallons of fluids out of him.

If MIL is at the end of her journey, so be it. But if she’s not, she deserves to be diagnosed and treated.
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Marcia7321 Sep 30, 2018
I think so, too. Or at least her family should be the ones who make a decision not to treat. Maybe I have the story wrong. I hope so.
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I don't think she's had any testing done! That sounds weird, doesn't it? The nurse I spoke with could only tell me she was stable due to HIPAA regulations, which I understand. Her sister told me the rest. I guess I'll just wait to see what happens. But what else causes such sudden edema?
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Have you not had any report from a cardiologist? That is one cause for swelling. My mother had aortic valve replacement almost a year ago. That and medication brought the swelling down. She had reached the severe category and was asked what she desired for her life expectancy. There may be other issues and she may not be a candidate for surgery. My mother barely was. I would hope you could get an answer from that source at the very least.
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