Thursday, December 31, 2015

Middle of the Night ER Visit - Not My Favorite Night Time Activity

My mother has come to visit for the month. I felt really strongly that I needed to have her here for some reason. I told myself that I would get some video of her telling family history stories and we would have a good visit.

The reality is sometimes different than our dreams or wishes. I got my mother here after midnight on Saturday night. Sunday she was so tired she slept through the entire meeting of church and was saying she couldn't hear out of her right ear, her throat hurt and she was really tired.

Her hair has gotten quite long so I trimmed it up and her nails had chipped over time and she had filed them into what looked like claws, never cutting them with the chips on the side. There was one that was about an inch and 1/2 long. I cut and manicured her nails and also planned on giving her a pedicure.When I went to take off the toenail polish Sunday afternoon, I was horrified when I looked at her feet.

Her right toe was VERY infected and her right and left big toes had in-grown nails. I sterilized a needle and released some puss and blood and put on antibiotic ointment and some oils that I have used for ingrown nails for years hoping I could get on top of the infection.

Yesterday, her toe looked like this with the bandaid. Of course, she has a fungal infection on the left part of the big toe but the toe didn't look any better after soaking it for hours in peroxide both days and putting oils and antibiotic ointments on 24/7. I decided if it didn't look any better today, I would take her to a friend of mine who is a Dr. of podiatry.

Her toe was a bit better today and I am keeping a close watch on it soaking it and replacing bandages and ointments twice daily.

Her throat is bad and her hearing is still bad. I tried a few different things in hopes they would work but it is crazy how sick she was when she arrived. I am rinsing her ear several times a day with peroxide as my sister was instructed but she woke up a few hours ago screaming in pain.I hope this isn't a reoccurance of what happened a few years ago where an infection in her head causes sepsis and she almost died. Here is a link the the last time she got really sick. 

She was staying with a family member but I guess she was busy with the holiday or something as the hearing thing came on quick I guess. She can't hear anything out of the right ear. She did have my mom's ear checked twice for an infection by different Doctors but they didn't see anything on the ear canal but I am wondering if she has an infection in her teeth like last time. The Dr at the ER said he couldn't see anything as her canal is so inflamed and he didn't think and Xray or catscan would show any infection in her head. She has had a sore throat now for days, ear pain for weeks, deafness for a week, sores on the roof of her mouth for a few day and now a swollen ear with pain in her jaw. 

Her hearing is so bad that she has to have the TV on full with my surround in order to hear it and no one can be in the room as it hurts our ears. I could hear the tv in my bedroom which is on a different floor on the opposite side of the house. In the 20 + years I have lived here, that has never happened.

We have come up with a solution, she wears head phones. However, the computer and the head phones on full are not enough for her to hear it without much complaining of "I can't hear what they are saying" so tonight, we hooked up speakers to the computer and plugged the head phones into the speakers and she was finally able to hear the shows. I tried to put her on my little cellarsize tramp tonight and bounce her but her knee didn't handle being bounced very well so I will have to try something else but she is getting around the house quite well without a walker or help. She mostly has a hard time getting up.

Her leukemia has gone up and down some but she has been getting blood transfusions every 3-5 weeks depending on her numbers. She doesn't like when I make her do deep breathing and some other things to help her but she is really good to try for at least a little while and I can tell they are helping as after the first minute, she starts to breath more easily without the couching that happens in the first minute.

I think she is like me when she gets too much of any one thing, she doesn't absorb it and becomes toxic. It is a genetic issue which is an easy blood test. It is called, MTHFR test for short. Basically, you don't have the ability to make the amino acids that you need to dispose of toxins in your system. With this genetic defect, you can have one or two chromosomes affected. With this issue, you can have several health issues including infertility issues. If you get too many toxins, you get a high level of a specific acid in your body and it can cause a different set of health problems. I actually have to cut back on my thyroid medication to 1/4 pill every few weeks or I become toxic and my feet and hands swell. I have seen my mother have the same problem. I am watching her close and actually took her off anything she was taking as none of it was prescription. I think maybe she just got too much of a good thing so am hoping that taking her off of anything other than what will help her infections will clean out her system.

It is so hard to know. I doubt that even if she were in a nursing home, they would have caught all that is going on with her. She forgets what she has mentioned and hasn't and unless it is something that is bothering her right at that second, she doesn't seem to remember it.

A friend was telling me that her husbands mother started with some hearing loss, then dementia and within a month, she had passed away. Maybe my mother is just here so we can enjoy time together. I took her to the ER tonight and they put her on antibiotics, topical steroid and antibiotic ear drops and suggested we get in with the ENT specialist after the new year. I will do what needs to be done as I won't take any chances with her.

On a lighter note, it was also nice that my girls and I have gotten to play games with her almost every night and last night when they had friends over, my sister and her twins came over and grandma played "candyland" with them several times. I try to keep her up until at least 8 so she doesn't wake in the night and so far, we have done ok. She is funny though and puts her nasal oxygen on her nose at the top as it irritates her nostril and we have to "yell" at her to put it back on about 100 times a day. I think I need to get a picture with it on the nose as it is so funny.

As my dad used to say while I was growing up, "It's tough to get old." Funny thing is that he doesn't say that anymore. I find myself saying it sometimes though! I am grateful for both my parents and hope they are with us for a long time but either way, I know I have done what I can. My girls both told me in the past few days how "patient" I am with my mom. I don't feel all that patient but am really trying to understand where she is at and do what I would want done. She truly is an amazing mother and I am so grateful I was blessed to come to her. If nothing else, she has some nicely manicured hands and cute trimmed hair and is enjoying playing a different game every night! Lets hope more ER visits aren't in our future.

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