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!