From the Mommy Files…

Archive for July 2014

When we met last, I began to explain my mom’s first trip to the hospital this year.

Mom had a nasty UTI and was administered some heavy duty antibiotics via IV.

The infectious disease doctor explained that Mom had something called Emphysematous Cystitis.

This is a very severe infection of the bladder.

Mom’s bladder was swelled, filled with air bubbles and in bad shape.

It was the worst case of it he’d ever seen.

And wasn’t responding to the antibiotics.

So he increased the dose, and now prescribed two weeks of this therapy.

A PICC line was inserted in her arm, where the drug could be administered.

The infectious disease doctor inquired about whether or not I had spoken to the urologist.

I had not.

I had been trying to reach him.

He suggested I try harder.

There was more to this story.Hazard-01

I asked the nurse to tell me what was going on, since I kept missing the urologist when he visited Mom, and couldn’t get a phone call back.

Apparently, the CT scan and subsequent renal ultrasound unveiled another issue.

Mom had a large mass on her kidney.

With several counts in her blood work low, and the extreme weight loss, this was considered a possible Renal Cell Carcinoma.


And since Mom is in such poor health, she isn’t a good candidate for surgery.

She told me to speak to the urologist, but said that it might be something to just leave alone, considering she is 83 and in such poor health.

I didn’t expect that one!

Later, we’d learn that her bladder was so severely infected that there was actually discussion of removing it.

The urologist insisted that bladders bounce back pretty well, it would just take time, so he advocated for the heavier dose of antibiotics, and to see how things went.

Now, about that mass…

There were actually two – one about 3 cm, the other smaller. The 3 cm one was of concern.

With Mom’s age and health status, surgery wasn’t an option.

Normally, they’d open you up and cut it out, as it were.

If she wished to remove it, due to its location and size, it could be removed via a type of cryosurgery – it would be frozen off, via a very long needle “inside of a needle” kind of thing.

It would be very painful, but the mass would be removed.

Then there would be follow up to be sure the whole thing was removed.

He said it was too big to leave alone.

But, Medicare won’t cover this procedure unless a biopsy is performed first.

This biopsy would be performed with local anesthetic only, and involved another large needle.

We should think about it, and then make a decision.

He said we had to get the bladder infection cleared up first before we did anything.

Oh! One more thing!

He wanted to do a procedure on Mom called a cystoscopy.

He would insert a scope to look into her urinary tract to see if there was anything going on in there that would cause these frequent and recurrent infections.

The infection absolutely had to be cleared up, and no new UTI present, as if there were and the test was performed, it could cause damage.

Well, Mom was overwhelmed, and so we couldn’t even discuss this for a few weeks.

Mom did decide she didn’t want to be poked and prodded, and elected to leave the mass alone.

The urologist agreed to respect her wishes, but requested a follow up CT in 3 months to check for any growth.

After one week in the hospital, the infection began to respond to antibiotics.

It was time to move on to rehab.

But we couldn’t find a local rehab center that had an open bed!

Busy! Busy!

So Mom stayed a couple of extra days in the hospital while they sought a vacancy at a rehab facility.

We moved to a rehab center two days later, where Mom would receive IV antibiotics through the PICC line for another week.

There, they decided they could give her some rehab to help her rebuild her strength.

Or course, Mom was not happy with this, and fought it the entire way.

Ultimately, she stayed 6 weeks.

By the third week of rehab, she was pretty spry and practically racing down the hallway.

She looked good, moved well.

This is what happens when you take your meds on time and as directed, and get regular exercise!

These are things that didn’t happen at home.

So we began to discuss whether or not it was really time for permanent placement.

Because we knew, once she went home, she’d retreat to her chair, and within a week, we’d be back to where we started before she went into the hospital.

Dad said he would give it another try, so after 6 weeks, we took Mom home.

Already that night she began to have issues.

The roller coaster took an unexpected turn.



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BooBoo BeDoux

Bebs LaRoux


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