I have mentioned the caregiving issues I have been handling with my elderly mom in past blogs. My sisters and I have been trying to help our Mother deal with the changes her body’s been going through.She went from being fit and mobile and active to sedentary fragile and weary. We’re so use to her being strong that somehow, it’s still shocking how quickly her health has gone downhill. While trying to navigate thru the Medicare Mill and drugs and Doctors, we have realized that there are protocols to follow.
You speak to this doctor about kidneys. You need another one for the heart and in the meantime you never see her actual Primary Care physician whose name is on her insurance card. He’s the one who is supposed to be the Primary Doctor. I think I saw him walking down the hallway one of the ten times I have been in his office. A PA or nurse practitioner usually handle mom’s visits.
The worst part of it is the side effects of the medicines prescribed for her heart and kidney issues. The usual recipe for congestive heart issues is a combination of diuretics and beta blockers. The problem with diuretics is they run out of fluids to pull out of the body. If we get it so her ankles look nice and not swollen, then she gets weak, dehydrated and her breath is full of ammonia vapors from kidneys stressed by being over medicated with meds to pull fluid from the heart.
When she gets too dried out…she is exhausted. She gets violent headaches and becomes nauseous. It’s difficult for her to hold down food or her meds. And to make things worse, she becomes constipated.
The colons main function is to absorb water from food. If her kidneys are being forced to release too much fluid from her body it denies the water the colon needs to not only have a BM, but that fluid would have been used to create lymph fluid that transports nutrients and waste to and from the organs and travel throughout the body to keep it healthy.
As a Massage Therapists, I have observed that 80 percent of my clients are slightly dehydrated. If the person isn’t on a lot of medication and they’re not elderly they can kind of get away with it ..they may have head aches and tummy aches but they just take some over the counter remedy for those. I used to say to my clients I wish I could send you somewhere for an IV. Years ago, you couldn’t easily access an IV. But now in many parts of the country, and even here in Florida, there are places where one can go to get rehydrated without having to make a Doctor’s appointment. In fact, they even have Mobile Iv services in some areas.
This past week we had an appointment with a new cardiologist for Mom. Unfortunately, the medications were wreaking havoc on her little body the day before. Mom had been feeling nauseous and had even vomited a couple of times. But I didn’t dare miss the cardiology appointment, so my brave little Mom and I headed off to see her. When I took my Mom to see her new cardiologist she noticed Mom was very dehydrated. And she was badly into AFIB. She looked at me and said why is she do dehydrated?
I am sure, not knowing the background of how poorly my Mom interacts with meds, the Doctor thought I was being neglectful, I was not. As we spent more time there, trying desperately to get a vein where they could put some IV fluids in her, I was able to explain to the Cardio Dr. and her staff that medicines do this every few months.
Her cardiologist was able to prescribe some new meds to help regulate Mom’s Afib, and as of today, Mom is feeling stronger, sleeping better and overall doing much better.
I feel so bad for all of the men and women who don’t have three daughters who can take care of them. I don’t know how they manage. If you have older family members, remember to check on them regularly and really find out how they are feeling. If there is any way you can help them navigate this very stressful and physically challenging time in their lives, please do it.