Birthday candles

Since I last blogged things have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

From where I left off:
Approximately day 6/7: mum’s head CT scan came back clear, she was put on IV Tazocin as they said she also now has a UTI (urinary tract infection). She was having problems maintaining O2 sats but the ward staff were unconcerned. She has also been started on IV Vitamin K infusions as she is having problems with her blood clotting effectively.
Day 8: mum seems a little better however at this point I’m fed up of not being told by the ward staff exactly what is going on as continually being fobbed off due to my age, they’d rather talk to someone older despite me being next of kin. So I arrange to attend ward round the next day.
Day 9: wait 2 hours to see a doctor who isn’t mum’s doctor who didn’t have a clue what was really going on. Scans through notes and tells me she has pneumonia and a UTI. Mum is looking a lot better than she has for the first time in days and is for once not being sick and eating a little.
Day 10: a doctor turns up and crosses off everything mum had been having e.g Tazocin, fluids, Vitamin K.
Day 11: mum has started becoming drowsy and confused as well as vomiting. She had an abdominal ultrasound today, there is a fatty pouch on her liver which the doctors are not concerned about and cholecystitis cannot be ruled out entirely.
Day 12: drowsiness and confusion are much worse, ward staff tell me everything is fine despite my concerns. A healthcare assistant shouts at my mum for being sick, I make a complaint but despite a ticking off from a nurse her vile behaviour continues.
Day 13: mum’s bloods come back, her LFTs are poor. She is restarted on fluids. Confusion is much worse and very drowsy, barely able to stay awake for more than 10 seconds. Again I’m ignored by the ward staff.
Day 14: I am rang at approximately 5:30pm by the gynae ward to say mum has been moved to the renal unit, no explanation. I am little puzzled but assumed she was going there as perhaps it was a more appropriate ward for observation…
I arrive on this ward, and get the shock of my life. I see my mum on a haemodialysis machine at the exact same time the nurse standing next to me says she needs dialysis. I burst into tears and not long after two of the doctors came to see me to explain everything. My mum’s kidneys have shut down due to a very severe infection, they note her kidney function had been excellent while she was on antibiotics the previous week… I am told she is very ill and that she may require a transfer to the intensive care unit. They say they had to act very rapidly and that the decision to put her on dialysis is in her best interest. I go to sit with my mum while she is having dialysis and try to take in what has happened. At the moment they are treating this as acute renal failure, it is possible her kidneys may recover and that dialysis is a short term measure. She is also in metabolic acidosis due to the renal failure. A lot of Codeine has built up in her body accounting for the drowsiness and she is being treated with Naloxone which is usually used in Morphine overdoses. Mum is reviewed for intensive care due to concerns over her level of consciousness as it is causing respiratory depression and she’s having big dips in O2 sats % and poor arterial blood gases. IV antibiotics restarted, Tazocin and Gentamicin as Urosepsis is suspected.
Day 15: relieved to know mum is still on the renal ward following the ITU review. Mum had another dialysis session. She is very agitated and confused.
Day 16: there are concerns over just how agitated and confused she is. The doctors take advice from the psychiatric on-call who says the problem is medical and mum is put on Haloperidol and Lorazepam to calm her down a bit.
Day 17: still agitated and confused. The plan is to treat intensively with IV antibiotics over the weekend. She is too confused to drink properly. She had another dialysis session. There is now concern over the risk of refeeding syndrome as she has been nil by mouth for so long. I noticed previously her tongue and mouth were cracked due to being so dry.
Day 18: not much change, other than as mentioned heavy antibiotic therapy.
Day 19: She is still confused but less agitated. I fed her a pot of yogurt and helped her drink a couple of cups of water. Antibiotic therapy continues. The nurse says she will be having a blood transfusion today (14/01) when she has a dialysis session which she thinks is because mum is anaemic.

It’s my birthday tomorrow and this is horrible, I went past the birthday candles and cakes in a shop and I was so tearful. It’s hard to put into words, but your birthday is so obviously tied to your parents especially your mum.. Birthdays are meant to be happy occasions, to celebrate. I find birthdays a bit difficult anyway usually because I find it hard to accept another year going past, getting older scares me to be honest. I just don’t know whether to just not acknowledge it this year or what.

Even though mum is ‘stable’ I’m just so scared at the moment as I’ve never seen her so ill.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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