My 80-y.o. mom lives with me. Her iron levels are really low, and she's been in to see the hematologist. They are supposed to schedule her for an iron infusion, d/t low iron, which she's had before. She was in hospital in 2020 for blood loss & had to have 5 units of blood (she ran that low...). Lately (probably b/c of the low iron), she's been sleeping more, having episodes of SOB, a little dizziness, and increase in asthma symptoms. We figured out that the air quality makes a difference - we were at church yesterday morning, & she got really SOB and we had to leave. Once we got in the car with the A/C on, her breathing got better, but she was still really tired.
I've heard that as people get closer to "their time," that they start to slow down - sleeping more, less appetite, less interest in what's going on around them, more retrospection, etc. How do you know, though, whether that's what's going on versus illness? She's DNR, so I know that she doesn't want "extraordinary measures," but I'm not sure how to determine if she's declining or just ill with something that can be treated?
I went with her to her last dr. appt, and the doctors don't seem to think there is anything really wrong, other than the low energy d/t to the low iron, plus her asthma and other medical conditions that she's had for decades. She's adamant that she does not want anymore transfusions, so we're waiting for the infusion to be scheduled.
Sorry for the long rambling, but I don't have anyone to talk to about any of this. Brothers are out of state; sister is out of the country. I have very limited medical experience, and mom is a retired R.N., so she always counters what I might observe, ask, or say like I'm an idiot.
I think the drs. think I'm looking for ways to get her into AL, but I'm not - I just don't know what's really going on with her. She puts on a good front with the drs. - last time she was in hospital, the nurses all took super good care of her and called her "lovey," and she actually seemed pretty happy there (2 years ago), but she definitely wanted to come home and she's done well for the most part. More wheelchair now than she used to want, but she understands that she can't do what she used to be able to do.
She also puts on a good front when the boys come to visit with their families/spouses. I love that they come to see her, and we're all hoping that the infusions help, but I don't know what to watch for in case it's something else.
Thank you for any insight you might have - I know there are a lot of folks here who have walked this road already, and bless you for sharing what you learned. <3