Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Just can't keep her down...

I know I've been very quiet lately. Needs have changed since Mom is so happy at the ALF and her day to day has settled into a lovely routine. Thankfully her contentment has gotten us through the last couple of months.

Last fall, Mom's new doctor suggested giving her a daily dose of vitamin D. I thought nothing of it at the time and agreed to allow it. It was a bit of a joke that our 96 year old mom didn't need any medications, only a vitamin.

I guess that was the wrong decision. Although I'm sure the vitamin didn't cause the problems that followed, it obviously didn't help because we saw no change for the good.

Very soon after starting the vitamin, Mom developed a mild case of pneumonia. She had quite a heavy cough and congestion and an x-ray showed a small spot of pneumonia in one lung. Given that she got up each day, took part in activities and ate every meal, her symptoms weren't any worse than what she had experienced in the past so we decided to stick with an antihistamine and some Mucinex. The combination worked well and the pneumonia settled down.

Another issue cropped up next.  Possibly because of the meds and/or vitamin, Mom's hemorrhoids started bleeding badly.  That continued for awhile but settled down, interestingly enough, after the meds and vitamin were stopped.

Mom was so happy to see everyone at Christmas!

Christmas rolled around and our family got together at my brother's and Mom was thrilled. Shortly after Christmas, she received her present - a bout of diarrhea. Again, Mom didn't seem to notice, never complaining and going about her days as usual. It made extra work for Tina but as always, she was wonderful with Mom.

I did get in on a bit of the fun but unfortunately my visits were limited during the last few months due to a knee problem and an unexpected surgery on the same. I'm thankful every day that Tina is taking care of Mom so I don't have to worry but I'll be glad when I can get back to my normal visits.

Another little tidbit to think about if you have a loved one in an ALF that charges based on services needed - after a few weeks of the vitamin D, I received a call from the Health and Wellness director at the ALF. She was concerned about the bill because the addition of the one pill - Mom's only daily medication - they had to charge a medicine charge of $16 a day. Not for the pill, that's billed by pharmacy company. The charge is for the nurse keeping track of it and providing it daily. Having seen absolutely no change in Mom while she took it - other than the pneumonia - we decided to drop it.
You would never know she's been sick!