OTNeed to make a decision about my mother surgery

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ckball, Jul 9, 2006.

  1. ckball

    ckball New Member

    Hi everyone, my mother is 70 and has been in a nursing home for 1 1/2 years, She is there because she has had diabetes for 35 years.

    She was a bad patient, ate what she wanted which was usually, ice cream, cake and cookies. This took it's toll out on her by giving her neuropathy in her legs.

    She cleaned houses for a living and has herniated disks and knee problems and got her disabilty at 56. I moved in with her when she was 65 when she had several bouts of different things and the Dr said she couldn't take care of herself anymore. She has osteoporsis as well.

    I kept her home for 3 years and then I was too sick to care for her and she was having more difficulty walking and taking care of her personal needs. She got sepsis and ended up in the hospital and she never came home.

    Since she has been in the NH she refuses to particiapte in any activties, physical therapy, etc. She is happy to lay in bed, in a diaper, because she does not want to get up and go to the bathroom. Then she will ring the nurse to change her.

    So the other night an aid walked into her room and found her in the floor. She broke her tibia and fibia (sp). They are sending her to a orthopedic surgeon on the 31st.

    Sorry I forgot to mention she has had a bedsore on the heel of the foot on the leg that she broke. She had a infection of some kind and has been on IV antibiotic treatment for her foot. She refuses to lay the way she needs to in order to take pressure off the heel.

    So, if this was your mother, would you have surgery on her leg or just keep the stabilizer on and let the break heal.
    I don't know how bad the break is but if she refuses to get out of bed why would you put yourself thru the surgery.

    The diabetes and healing is an issue and with the bacterial infection on her heel, I just don't know what to do. I don't want to go to the surgeon who just wants to pay his mortgage by doing surgery on someone, even if it won't improve the quality of her life.

    I am sorry I went on for so long, I really did try to just stick with the facts :) So what would you do. Any and all replies welcome. Carla
  2. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Sorry, I don't have advice, but she sounds like my mom!!!!!
  3. ckball

    ckball New Member

    I appreciate your thoughts and prayers. The last time she was operated on was 2 years ago for a triple bypass, she was in ICU for 2 weeks, then 3 months of rehab. She did better for awhile, then back to her lazy ways. I was too tired to push me to take a bath somedays let alone getting her cleaned.

    I have not talked to her yet, the NH just called me today to tell me. Knowing her she say her famous "whatever you want", I don't want her to suffer but doing a surgery that may not change her quality of life. She will never walk again, her legs are wasted flesh. She weighed 200 when she went in and now is about 130-135.

    I just want to be prepared to talk to the Dr so I am not railroaded. I do not know this Dr,so we will see.

    BTW Thank you signing my book, that meant a lot to me. I enjoy coming up with unique ideas. I have been thinking about your project. Just let me know. Carla
  4. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    jsut saying sorry to hear your mother's troubles...how dificult..i was sitting hear think 70 is young...yes the diabets is bad stuff...

    is she clinically depressed? maybe she could use an ad...

    listen to the doctor...and you could always take a copy of her xrays' to get a second opinion on her leg...but the bed sores are not good as well...and the diabetes,,

    i think i would try and work on her mental health as well..


  5. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I think your mom needs some good counseling and it occurs to me she is behaving like this due to depression. I cannot advise re the surgery but the docs should be able to tell you.

    The worse thing for diabetics is no moving about, so I would definately push for psychiatric help to get her to accept her responsibilities. My FIL is 89 and still playing tennis and skiing so being 70 is no excuse to give up.

    I am sorry she is causing you extra grief with this attitude. Has she always ben stubborn?

    Love Anne Cromwell
  6. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    First of all I am sorry your mother is a nursing home must be very hard for her and for you.

    I had to place my mother in a nursing home and she is only 66 years old. She has schizophrenia which is getting worse with age and is no longer able to take care of herself and I am unable to take care of 24/7.

    I can't really give any advice as far your mother's case you know her best and I am sure you will do whatever it takes to make her comfortable.

    My mother doesn't participate with activities much but that is just how it is some people are joiners and some aren't my mother is not and she never has been. She has always kept to herself. That is OK I do not push her the staff ask her if she would like to. I have the not to push.

    She has joined in a couple of time lately on her own but only for a few minute and that is very good.

    You might check on some counseling and speak with the surgeon. It seems as if your mother does have some depression issues and it happens so often with folks going into nursing homes. I can't even image what a big change it must be for them.

    They loose their familiar surroundings, privacy, and most of the time do not get to see their family as often as they are use to.

    I am not preaching these are just a few things that I have learned going through this process with my mother.

    I do know that I would give anything if she were well enough to be back in her apartment but with her aging and schizophrenia that will never happen.

    I wish you and your mother the best. I am sure you will make the right decision for her to have the best quality of life she is able to have in the nursing home.

    Sending you good thoughts,

  7. ckball

    ckball New Member

    You see, my mother is a different breed of human. She was sent to a psychotherapist several years ago for pain management. I love him, he is now my Dr who put me on Adderall. I knew him for over a year thru mom's
    visits before I asked him to do a evaluation for my SSDI. He was the winning factor for me.

    ANyway, we would go in and he would ask her if she was depressed and try to ask the questions but she would respond by saying she was not depressed. I know she has mental problems but as far as she was concerned she was fine, except for the pain. I know she had pain, but she was on the Duragesic patch 100 mg plus 4 percocets a day. She has been on ADs for several years,her med list is huge. And she still said the pain was unbearable, the Drs, said no way that is how she ended up at the psych Dr.

    My mother, I am sad to say, was a horrible mother. Her Dr told me, after I started going to see him for myself, that she has Narcissitic (sp) personalty disorder. She only cares about herself and her needs. She would have been perfectly happy to stay home and have me wait on her 24/7 even if I was sicker than she was. She didn't care how sick I was as long as I cooked, mananged her meds, empty her potty chair, ect. She didn't care as long as she got what she wanted.

    Since she has been in the NH she has attacked a nurse, tried to strangle her when the nurse was checking her blood sugar. They now inject her with Geadon sp?, it is a anti-psych drug to calm angry/violent paitents.

    I really have tried to understand her ways but she is a real piece of work. I could write a book about her. Has anyone read "The Boy Called It"? His name is Dave, can't rememeber his last name now, and he was on Oprah about his book on his abuse by his mother. I recorded it and made her watch it. All she said was "I wasn't that bad" She has never taken responsibily/accountabilty for what she did to me growing up. It took me years of therapy, watching Dr Phil and Oprah to get where I am today.

    Sorry about the ramble, but she is beyond help mentally, that is why this surgery is questionable to me. She is happy to stay in bed and have someone bring her meals, change her diapers and watch TV all day.

    Thank you all again for your input, I guess I will wait to see what the surgeon says. Surgery may not be an option depending on how bad her osteoporsis is as well. I guess I just needed a vent. I don't focus too much on her anymore and try to be a better example to my daughter than my mother was for me. I hope all of you are having a good day and trying to get some enjoyment from your life. Life is too short to be miserable everyday. Carla
  8. katharine1229

    katharine1229 New Member

    I think the best thing you can do, since you can't count on your mother for her imput, is to get another doctor's opinion. If its possible to keep the leg immobile so it will just heal that way then what is the need for surgery? Theres so many complications for the elderly after surgery anyways (like the stories you hear all the time about embilisims (sp.) because of being immobile after the surgery). It really might be best, if not necessary to get surgery, to not do it. Just get the opinion of a doctor who you trust.
  9. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    I am truly sorry for all you have gone through.

    I no this is not my place but have you ever consider turning over medical power of attorney to another person the physician and nursing home staff can help with this.

    I only mention this because of so many unresolved issues and maybe it would be easier for you.

    I hope I have not offended you in any way.

    I do hope everything works out for you.

    Sending you good thoughts,

    Karen :)
  10. ckball

    ckball New Member

    No you did not offend me. But I am pretty much it. My daughter lives too far away and there are no other family memebers except my 2 aunts who are in their 80.

    I believe god has put me here for a reason and given me all my trial, tribualtions, illness, ect, so I would be strong enough to handle what I have to.

    I really have stepped back from the nh the last few months because I was so sick. The staff understands and calls me when they need to.

    I have a "poliet" relationship with her and have resoveled my issues with her. I will do what I have to I just don't see it being a good thing to operate on a leg that has an infection.

    Thanks I appreciate your thought-Carla
  11. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    I just pop on for a minute before taking off to work.

    I am so glad I did not offend you. The only reason I brought it up because I have discussed this with the nursing home where my mother is.

    I have been worried if something were to happen to me there would be no to make decisions for my mother. Both my sisters live out of state.

    They social worker told me they can find qualified non-family members in certain situations. I am thinking this is probably a social worker or member of the nuring home or something like that. Maybe it is something you could ask about. Just a thought.

    I will shut up now.

    Wishing you the best and I hope you feel better.

    Take care,

    Karen :)
  12. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Carla,
    This sounds somewhat like my mom. How cognizant is your mom? Is she just being stubborn, or do her legs hurt so much that she chooses not to walk?

    My mom had dibetes and dementia, and , always being one who kept to herself, she didn't communiucate as an older person. I had to try to judge how she felt, or ask her outright. If your mom's legs hurt, it is possible that she is simply avoiding severe pain by not walking.People in the advanced stages of Diabetes aoften have Fibro, but it goes undiagnosed. Remember that, not only do the nerves and muscles of her legs probably hurt, but the soft, fleshy part of the feet is very painful, too.

    Be careful about surgery. Find out what kind of anesthesia they would use, and how it might affect your mom. My mom was scared into heart surgery by her doctor, at the age of 86. The results were dissterous, even though the surgery was successful.

    She was on the pump too long, so the the two years that she survived after the surgery were filled with misery, frusration, and humiliation, as her personality changed and she went deeper and deeprer into dementia.Total misery. She didn't even remember how she got the terrible scar that she had on her chest, and felt that it had been done to her with out her permission.

    Her foot could be stabilized by the use of an air cast. It could be kept elevated by some dedicated care. Remember, old people , just like young ones, have a reason for what they do or do not do.

    I know what you are going through can be very stressful, and that you are ill. However, please be careful that you make decisions that will leave you with as few regrets as possible. By the way - is your mom already in dementia? If she is, then she is in a different world, with different rules of reasoning. What seems like stubborness, is simply her way of coping and of doing what she feels she needs, to survive.

    Good luck. I know this is hard. I now it is overwhelming, at times.


  13. ckball

    ckball New Member

    Thank you all for your sympathetic responses. I don't feel so alone now.

    I did see my mother today, her leg looks horrible, she took the laeg brace 4 days ago and refuses to put it back on, Everytime a aid walks in to try to get her to put it back on she those one of hissy fits.

    She is only allowed one shot of Geadon a day and they try to hold for the night shift so mom well sleep. I talked to the staff and we all agree it would not be a good idea to operate. We all agree she will never try to walk if they did fix it.

    She is bruised from her kneecap almost down to her ankle, there is a dent in her bone just below the knee. She doesn't want surgery, so I guess the only reason to operate if a nerve or blood vessle is inpinged on.

    By the time she gets to the Dr, a month will have passed from the time she broke it so all the damage will have been done. My only real fear is blood clots because the buising is really bad.

    Thanks again for all your replies, I appreciate the time it took to send your sincere wishes. Carla
  14. Toga

    Toga Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. When you are a good person, it is so hard to make decisions for other people. You are afraid you'll make the wrong one.

    I went through a similar situation with my mother a long time ago. I was in my early 30's, still had two young kids and felt horrible.

    I didn't sleep well, cried a lot, was just miserable. I tried to get my brother to help with the decision making but he didn't want to get too involved.

    I realize now that I was too young and stupid to handle all of it. I should have gotten professional help but didn't know how to find it or even that I needed it.

    Its over now but I remember feeling so awful.

    My advice is to take as good care of yourself as you can. You are no good to anyone if you don't do that. You are doing the right things. And you need more input from the doctors.

    My good wishes and prayers are with you.


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