Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Cautiously optimistic

Firstly, thank you all so much for your kindness, it's really appreciated.  I've not been blogging long and it's lovely to think that people out there in blogland, most of whom I've never met, care enough to leave such warm comments when they don't even know me.

Mum has a urine infection and chest infection, she gets both of these regularly and they really take it out of her.  The chest infection means her asthma has been particularly bad as she hadn't enough puff to use her inhalers properly.

She has a number of other health problems too, none of which is particularly serious, but all of them combined do affect her a lot, causing her a lot of pain, stomach problems, lack of energy and mobility.  She also suffers with depression and had become very low of late, to the point where she was saying she was tired of everything and wished she could just go to sleep and never wake up.  We (my sister and I) also found out that she hasn't been eating properly or regularly recently - doubly worrying as some of her (many) medications need to be taken with food.

She hadn't seen her GP for a while.....she didn't want to see him as the last time she saw him for the severe arthritis pain in her legs, he told her there's nothing more he can do for her as she's already on the max dosage of painkillers/anti-inflammatories.  I've met her GP, he's quite abrupt and his bedside manner is distinctly lacking.  Sister managed to get Mum in to see the senior practice nurse - she was lovely and very helpful indeed.  The upshot of this is that mum now has different inhalers which are easy to use, is having a chest x-ray today, and has been given larger size compression stockings and an appliance to help her get them on (her current ones were too tight so she had great difficulty getting them on and they were hurting her legs even more, so she'd abandoned them altogether - she has ulcerated legs and bad circulation so she really needs to use the stockings).  

Sis and I have gently but firmly told Mum she must eat regularly, even if it's just some yogurt and fruit, and we are checking that she is.  OH and I are going up there for a few days next week....I've been making Mum some small ready meals and freezing them to take up for her - things like cottage pie, fish pie, macaroni cheese, lasagne, chicken stew - things she can easily reheat in the microwave or oven.  So she'll have no excuse not to eat, and it takes a bit of pressure off my sister.  I've also made her a few treat things I know she likes, such as spiced apple cake and apricot crumble.   

Sis is taking her to her various appointments.  Mum's breathing is now much easier, which in turn is lifting her mood.  We've also told her that she can come down here to stay for a week next month - IF she's well enough (she loves coming to stay here), so that is hopefully giving her an incentive to try and get better.  Sis and I are therefore feeling cautiously optimistic that Mum is starting to improve. 

Getting old is a bugger - I don't want to do it!


  1. When will doctors learn, if they help people then they can start to feel better and heal, nurses have the right attitude, I am so glad to hear your mum is now getting the correct help. It's always a worrying time.

  2. Very sorry that your mum and such a horrid uncaring doctor. Glad your sister got her in to see the senior nurse.

    Your ready meals sound very good but have you thought about getting your mum meals on wheels. My mum had this service as she became older and it was very good. It was always good to have someone popping in as I live in another country and my brothers tended to only go on weekends.

    Best wishes.

    1. Our meals on wheels for my MinLaw were disgusting so depends on where you live.

  3. I'm sorry to hear your mother has been ill her doctor sounds awful but I'm glad things are being sorted for her. xx

  4. I'm really glad to hear your Mum is feeling a little better. As you say, getting old isn't much fun especially if you are on your own. She's very fortunate to have your sister nearby and another caring daughter who will help with food and encouragement. Often all my Mum would eat is tinned rice pudding with some of her home made jam. I figured it was better than nothing. I found the meals from the company 'Cook' were tasty if a little pricey. We ordered her a few to pop in the deep freeze to be oven cooked or microwaved when she felt like it. Mum wouldn't have touched meals on wheels even if it had been her only option!! I guess it depends on what they are used to eating. Such a shame her doctor couldn't have been better, but thank goodness for the nurse!
    Let's hope she continues to improve :)

  5. It worries me that there are some doctors who seem to think that when people get to a certain age they don't need to look after them anymore. My dad always kept some ready meals in the freezer for when he was feeling unwell. The roast dinner ones are actually not too bad and most people like a roast.
    Hope your mum improves now she has had proper help from the nurse

  6. Like you, we cooked for my MinL for 6 years, serving her a meal up when we had ours. Over the week we froze and labelled them then delivered them when we went to see her. She had a personal carer come in once or twice a day. They warmed her meal, sat with her whilst she ate, they made her a sandwich or something light for tea. Also helped with the loneliness. Like you say, it is a sod growing old!

  7. I'm glad the nurse was so helpful and caring to your mum. My Nanna wouldn't have meals on wheels, but she did have M&S meals bought by my mum and then carers would go in and heat them up for her. My Mum said balls to the price!

  8. I am sure that the promise of a week with you will be all the encouragement that your Mum needs. The carrot is always better than the stick, Most doctors seem to think that old age is an inconvenience, and do not have a decent bed side manner for anybody. That they will get it in their turn does not seem to occur to them.


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