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More medical issues for my mom - what can I expect?


creekland
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Quick question as I know the depth of experience on the Hive and I have no time to google.

 

As some of you know (see my Venting Thread posts if you care and don't know), my mom has had chest pain, shortness of breath, etc, and got a stent put in an artery that was 99% blocked.  This was mid Oct.

 

Since then nothing got better, she added lightheadedness, hazy vision, and more shortness of breath to her symptoms and was told all was stress, but they rechecked her stent just to make sure - no problems.

 

Then she realized they had given her two BP meds (she had one, they added another + Plavix).  She stopped taking one and felt somewhat better for a day or two - then things returned and kept getting worse.

 

She saw her Dr again today and convinced him to order a Lyme test to check on that.

 

About an hour ago she called me really stressed and told me her Dr called and told her to go immediately to the ER due to that lab test.  It was difficult to get information from her, but she seemed to imply anemia and possibly internal bleeding.  A transfusion is happening.  That much is certain.  He expects her to feel better after that.

 

That's what I know.  We're in the process of getting ready to go up there again (8 1/2 hour trip), so I'm asking those of you who know more about this... what can I expect?  What might be going on?

 

I'm NOT asking you to make a diagnosis from the little bit of info you have, but I, personally, would like to know what some things are that we might be getting into "on the fly" tomorrow when we get there.

 

Is she likely to come home with more testing down the road?  Would they do more tests overnight or on the weekend?

 

Anything you think someone like me might want to know as we contemplate the future (and our schedule).

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Ok, I really do not want to scare you, but I am going to tell you because you said you would like information.  

 

My mom went through a similar scenario right before she was diagnosed with cancer.  She had been feeling very weak, fatigued, and lightheaded and went to the doctor.  They did bloodwork and she got an urgent call saying her blood count was very low, they thought she was bleeding internally, and she needed a transfusion.  She got the transfusion and they ran all kinds of tests over the course of a couple weeks.  At first, they thought it might be an ulcer, then they did a colonoscopy, and finally they did an ultrasound and discovered she had a tumor in her abdominal area.  It was lymphoma.  

 

I very much hope and pray that whatever is going on with your mom is much less serious, and I am so sorry if I stressed you out by telling you this.   :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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I can offer some light on transfusions.  My Dad has received them on and off for 2-3 years now.  He gets packed red blood cells.  The typing of the RBCs is actually more than just A,B,O +- ...and the first one he needed, they had trouble matching in the area.  Once they knew he was a regular, they were better at having his RBCs ready every two weeks.  The transfusion itself took four hours or so, because they tend to do it slowly in case of a reaction.

 

 

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Ok, I really do not want to scare you, but I am going to tell you because you said you would like information.  

 

My mom went through a similar scenario right before she was diagnosed with cancer.  She had been feeling very weak, fatigued, and lightheaded and went to the doctor.  They did bloodwork and she got an urgent call saying her blood count was very low, they thought she was bleeding internally, and she needed a transfusion.  She got the transfusion and they ran all kinds of tests over the course of a couple weeks.  At first, they thought it might be an ulcer, then they did a colonoscopy, and finally they did an ultrasound and discovered she had a tumor in her abdominal area.  It was lymphoma.  

 

I very much hope and pray that whatever is going on with your mom is much less serious, and I am so sorry if I stressed you out by telling you this.   :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Sorry about your mom, and you didn't stress me out.  I'm glad you gave me the info.  The bolded part is the type of thing I need to know for my planning purposes - the nuts and bolts of things I need to plan so I can be there (if it's needed).

 

We'll see what her results turn out to be.  I'm not automatically in the optimist or pessimist category.  I guess realist is more like it.  In the real world, time will tell and we'll go from there with whatever we need to deal with.

 

The more "I" know the more I can share with her and help calm her worries.  When I have to say, "I don't know," it doesn't help.  She's pretty stressed.

 

I can offer some light on transfusions.  My Dad has received them on and off for 2-3 years now.  He gets packed red blood cells.  The typing of the RBCs is actually more than just A,B,O +- ...and the first one he needed, they had trouble matching in the area.  Once they knew he was a regular, they were better at having his RBCs ready every two weeks.  The transfusion itself took four hours or so, because they tend to do it slowly in case of a reaction.

 

Thanks.  Due to our travel time, we'll miss all of that.  Did they keep your dad in the hospital afterward (the first time) or send him home?

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Thanks.  Due to our travel time, we'll miss all of that.  Did they keep your dad in the hospital afterward (the first time) or send him home?

 

No, they sent him home.  Even when he was doing hard core chemo, it was almost always an outpatient thing, usually at the hospital, though.  Only time he stayed over was when he had a reaction to one of the drugs.

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If she isn't already, I would like to see your mother under the supervision of a Board Certified Cardiologist.  IMO that is the M.D. who should be in charge of your mother.  

 

I'll find out more tomorrow.  I know this was her family dr, not her cardiologist.

 

No, they sent him home.  Even when he was doing hard core chemo, it was almost always an outpatient thing, usually at the hospital, though.  Only time he stayed over was when he had a reaction to one of the drugs.

 

Thanks.  Home could be much better if she's feeling better.  A snowstorm looms on Sunday (where she lives).

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My grandmother received a transfusion due to a bleeding ulcer. She has advanced dementia and wasn't able to articulate any health issues. (And yeah, the daughter who does not provide 24/7 care is the one with healthcare POA and overrode her advanced directives to get the transfusion.) Anyway, just another thought. Has your mother experienced any dark stools?

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My grandmother received a transfusion due to a bleeding ulcer. She has advanced dementia and wasn't able to articulate any health issues. (And yeah, the daughter who does not provide 24/7 care is the one with healthcare POA and overrode her advanced directives to get the transfusion.) Anyway, just another thought. Has your mother experienced any dark stools?

 

Fortunately, my mom is doing terrific mentally (medical issue aside).  (It's my MIL who has advanced Alzheimers.)

 

I've been calling her daily checking up on her esp since she lives alone, but not once did it occur to me to ask the bolded question.  I'm a science person, but not a medical person (aside from first aid, etc).  All I've learned medically (tip of the iceberg really) has been from my own medical issues and those have nothing to do with this.

 

I suppose it keeps me current on my "learn something new every day" checklist.

 

We're more or less on the road now.  I'll see what lies ahead.

 

Thanks all.

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Actually, my mom just called and said she's feeling much better - no longer gets dizzy standing up, etc.  They've given her three transfusions overnight and are now starting her fourth.  Their plan is to run tests all morning to try to discover the cause.  That's all info coming from her, so if something doesn't sound "correct," I'm just parroting.  Feel free to clue me in on the correct terminology or likely meaning.

 

This seems to answer my overall question of what to expect time-wise with tests, etc, and I presume we'll have answers (hopefully) relatively quickly.  Thankfully we have this whole week I can spend with her without changing any other "fairly critical" plans.  

 

It's nice for her to have planned her critical times around a holiday... ;)  (Gotta keep the humor in there regardless of potential severity - life ends without humor.)

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Glad she is feeling better! I would expect them, as you said, to be running multiple tests to find the cause. That is quite a lot of blood to have transfused, so I am guessing they will be aggressive at looking for a source of bleeding. It would not be unusual in her case to have an upper endoscopy or even a colonoscopy to look for bleeding. That's great that her PCP was paying attention enough to her initial labs to send her to the ER. It sounds like they are on top of things! 

 

 

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Creekland, sorry I didn't open this yesterday. I assume she is on a blood thinner since the stent? Has that been strictly monitored and adjusted as necessary? Are they planning a scope (endo or colon) to source the blood loss?

 

Sorry for more questions than answers, but, that blood thinner and internal bleeding is something I'd want definite answers about, especially if there's not a prior history of anemia (can't remember whether or not you mentioned that upthread).

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My mother had outpatient transfusions due to anemia. Her root cause was fibroid tumors messing with her cycle and cause it constant bleeding. (On going problem, but she made it worse because she hates going to the gyn and avoided dealing with it until it became an emergency)

After the hysterectomy and and a couple of transfusions, she was back to normal.

 

I think she did have some transfusions for anemia while she was getting chemo. The anemia was a direct result of the chemo not the cancer.

Edited by City Mouse
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It's likely they will run some easy tests but discharge and do the rest of the tests as outpatient. Quick stool check to see if there's bleeding, recheck blood levels, med levels, maybe endoscopy if there's time to prep before thanksgiving. They will likely try to discharge her before thanksgiving. Blood cancers would already be able to be diagnosed (initially), but GI could be on endoscopy.

 

Prayers for you all!

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Glad she is feeling better! I would expect them, as you said, to be running multiple tests to find the cause. That is quite a lot of blood to have transfused, so I am guessing they will be aggressive at looking for a source of bleeding. It would not be unusual in her case to have an upper endoscopy or even a colonoscopy to look for bleeding. That's great that her PCP was paying attention enough to her initial labs to send her to the ER. It sounds like they are on top of things! 

 

Thanks for the info.  I have to disagree with the bolded though (not that you ought to know the specifics before I share them).

 

Throughout this whole blasted thing (issue) her PCP has been denying there is anything wrong.  She went to him with chest pain, numbness in her left arm, and shortness of breath initially - went to him instead of the ER.  He sent her home telling her it was a muscle, so she should try extra strength painkillers for a couple of days to see if it got better.

 

It didn't, so she returned and pestered.  He reluctantly set up a stress test - which she failed as it showed an artery 99% blocked.

 

The stent procedure went fine, but she wasn't feeling better.  She was feeling worse and added the lightheadedness and vision issues.  She couldn't walk from her living room to her kitchen without issues - and she lives in a small house.  He told her it was stress - go home.

 

She returned and he reluctantly ordered a recheck of the stent.  That was fine, so he was positive it was stress - go home.

 

She found out about being on two BP meds (he didn't), stopped one, and felt (somewhat) better for about two days before it was getting worse again.  She made the appt for yesterday and he told her stress - go home.  If it's like when she was talking to me right afterward, she was practically in tears when she begged him to test for Lyme disease or something as it WASN'T stress.  He, very reluctantly, sent her for blood work. 

 

The LAB called the doctor and THEN he called her telling her to immediately go to the ER for a transfusion.

 

I'm rather furious TBH, and it's carrying over to the whole medical (doctor) profession - mainly because of my own issues being brushed off as stress too.  Mine aren't (likely) to be deadly - just aggravating.  The deadly part is only likely if I decide I don't want to live with it anymore (came close to that this past summer, but have been adjusting).  BUT, when my mom can't walk without losing her breath, has classic heart symptoms (to start with), and all this other stuff - even her heart rehab overseer was calling her dr on her behalf - for her to have to beg for him to try something - yeah, I'm furious.

 

It has me questioning my recent beliefs that my issues were only due to what I have being rare (from the brain tumor on). Everything else about my life (health) is going quite well, so it's difficult to think there could be problems if they don't take my word for it.

 

My mom's is classic - or at least parts were - and it's easy to see.

 

How much confidence can we have (at all) in the medical profession???

 

But I'll get over it given time and differentiate between her doctor and others - just as there are good teachers/police officers/DMV workers, etc and those who make others in the profession cringe.

 

NO kudos to him though.

 

And I'm a firm believer that in the real world, only men have medical issues.  We females only have stress, hormonal, or menopause issues.  

 

Creekland, sorry I didn't open this yesterday. I assume she is on a blood thinner since the stent? Has that been strictly monitored and adjusted as necessary? Are they planning a scope (endo or colon) to source the blood loss?

 

Sorry for more questions than answers, but, that blood thinner and internal bleeding is something I'd want definite answers about, especially if there's not a prior history of anemia (can't remember whether or not you mentioned that upthread).

 

No prior anemia history and I assume her blood numbers before the two stent procedures were normal, so this is all new.

 

No one has been carefully monitoring anything.  It's all stress, after all (see above).

 

We're about 3-4 hours away now and she hasn't called with an update yet.  I'm not calling her due to not knowing the test schedule, etc.

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Quick question as I know the depth of experience on the Hive and I have no time to google.

 

As some of you know (see my Venting Thread posts if you care and don't know), my mom has had chest pain, shortness of breath, etc, and got a stent put in an artery that was 99% blocked.  This was mid Oct.

 

Since then nothing got better, she added lightheadedness, hazy vision, and more shortness of breath to her symptoms and was told all was stress, but they rechecked her stent just to make sure - no problems.

 

Then she realized they had given her two BP meds (she had one, they added another + Plavix).  She stopped taking one and felt somewhat better for a day or two - then things returned and kept getting worse.

 

She saw her Dr again today and convinced him to order a Lyme test to check on that.

 

About an hour ago she called me really stressed and told me her Dr called and told her to go immediately to the ER due to that lab test.  It was difficult to get information from her, but she seemed to imply anemia and possibly internal bleeding.  A transfusion is happening.  That much is certain.  He expects her to feel better after that.

 

That's what I know.  We're in the process of getting ready to go up there again (8 1/2 hour trip), so I'm asking those of you who know more about this... what can I expect?  What might be going on?

 

I'm NOT asking you to make a diagnosis from the little bit of info you have, but I, personally, would like to know what some things are that we might be getting into "on the fly" tomorrow when we get there.

 

Is she likely to come home with more testing down the road?  Would they do more tests overnight or on the weekend?

 

Anything you think someone like me might want to know as we contemplate the future (and our schedule).

I took my mom off Plavix.  She went from basically bedridden to up and about and felt fine.  She never went back on that drug and lived a few more years (was already old).    Her family doctor later wondered who put her on it and could not figure it out.  A bunch of drugs had been added in the hospital by people who didn't know her and which she did not need.

 

So, I don't know about any of what will happen now, but just thought I'd add this.   I hope and pray she gets better.  

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Ok, now that you have updated with more details here are my suggestions.

 

1) Dump the PCP when this episode is over (I take back my initial comment). 

2) She needs an internal medicine physician (now would be good if she doesn't have one, but at minimum when this is over)

3) Make sure cardiology is on board now with her stent history and to rule out further heart issues

4) Has she had a recent echo to check her heart function and valves? The shortness of breath was likely due to the anemia but could also be heart failure. If she hasn't had a recent one she needs one, they are easy and can do them at the bedside in her hospital room. And with all the blood and perhaps fluids she is receiving you need to consider fluid overload if her heart can't handle it. 

5) I would really not be worried about Lyme at all right now, she may have bleeding from somewhere that needs to be found (the Plavix may have made it worse but shouldn't be the main culprit) and her symptoms point to heart and/or a bleed somewhere. 

6) Did they do a CT to rule out a stroke since she had blurry vision and was on Plavix?

6) Could be a anemia of chronic disease but a bleed needs to be ruled out first.

 

If there is any way you could be there, it would be beneficial to stay on top of things and advocate for her if needed. At minimum call the nurses frequently for updates.

 

Keep us posted!  

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Ok, now that you have updated with more details here are my suggestions.

 

1) Dump the PCP when this episode is over (I take back my initial comment). 

2) She needs an internal medicine physician (now would be good if she doesn't have one, but at minimum when this is over)

3) Make sure cardiology is on board now with her stent history and to rule out further heart issues

4) Has she had a recent echo to check her heart function and valves? The shortness of breath was likely due to the anemia but could also be heart failure. If she hasn't had a recent one she needs one, they are easy and can do them at the bedside in her hospital room. And with all the blood and perhaps fluids she is receiving you need to consider fluid overload if her heart can't handle it. 

5) I would really not be worried about Lyme at all right now, she may have bleeding from somewhere that needs to be found (the Plavix may have made it worse but shouldn't be the main culprit) and her symptoms point to heart and/or a bleed somewhere. 

6) Did they do a CT to rule out a stroke since she had blurry vision and was on Plavix?

6) Could be a anemia of chronic disease but a bleed needs to be ruled out first.

 

If there is any way you could be there, it would be beneficial to stay on top of things and advocate for her if needed. At minimum call the nurses frequently for updates.

 

Keep us posted!  

 

We're here now (we live about 9 hours away and didn't want to drive overnight mainly due to the large deer population that thinks crossing the road playing Russian Roulette is an awesome game to play after dark).

 

My mom is better for the time being.  The concern is due to her hemoglobin count going from 12 to 6 in a three week time period.  They do think she's bleeding internally and will check that on Monday.  She's here until Tuesday as they're worried she'll continue to lose.

 

She loves the (weekend) doctor here, esp since he explains things (and believes her)!  They have her off Plavix and aspirin right now.

 

I agree it's probably not Lyme - my mom was grasping at straws knowing something was wrong - not stress.  She just needed someone (with authority) to actually believe her.  She was getting very stressed out, but it wasn't the stress causing the problem - it was the other way around.

 

I've been after her to find another doctor for a few years now.  Perhaps I'll have luck convincing her this time.  This dr didn't even realize that HE prescribed both BP meds and told her to take both (even when she asked).  I'm not sure what's going on with him right now, but I'm not impressed.  At least he finally ordered decent tests to be done when pushed to do so (and supposedly his nurses pushed him to do so too when they saw the difficulty my mom was having even walking between rooms).  It took my mom, her heart rehab overseer, a pain doc she sees, and his nurses.  Anyone happen to see a pattern???

 

But for now, all appears to be on a decent path.  For that I'm very glad - and again, I thank all of y'all for your very helpful thoughts.

 

Going to go back to being sociable now - can catch up more later tonight.

Edited by creekland
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Praying for an easy diagnosis.

 

Same here.  It's good seeing her "normal" again.  We were here last week when they checked her stent and found out about the two BP meds, etc.  When we left she was feeling somewhat better, so we thought that would solve her problem.  Obviously it didn't and it was a bit frustrating hearing her getting worse via phone each day - esp without getting anything looked at and continually being told it was stress - even with symptoms being obvious.

 

Her hemoglobin is up to 10.something as of the last reading (after her 4th pint of blood).

 

She still doesn't want to change doctors.  She's been with this guy for 30+ years now and said he essentially runs the place (not always a good thing TBH).  Hopefully now that he's not so set in his diagnosis that "nothing is wrong - do you want some stress meds?" all will end well, but I certainly have some serious reservations and tried pointing them all out again.  She agrees, but it's tough to change I suppose.  The guy she likes works with her dr (same office).  She'd love to switch to him, but thinks it would set off bad vibes of some sort.  (sigh)

 

I need to head off to bed.  It's way past my bedtime (thank you caffeine!) and my body will still be up by 5am tomorrow morning (it can't sleep in).  It's been a pretty hectic last 36 +/- hours, but at least all seems decent for now.

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Just thought I'd update:

 

It's always fun when tests are done and the dr comes in saying, "I've never seen this before."   :glare:   My family heritage - joy, joy.

 

I love the doctor she's had this procedure with (endo) and it's very encouraging to see her be interested in figuring out the puzzle AND have a plan to do so - personally taking it on.  That part has been so missing with my own issues (sigh).

 

We're on hold for a week now while my mom is off Plavix and aspirin so the blood being thinner won't be an issue with biopsies, etc.

 

Still waiting to meet her PCP, but having seen the difference with two doctors she likes now, my mom is very much on the "switching" side with that - and soon.

 

If all goes as planned with the Endo Dr, we're on hold for a week.  I'm hopeful mom can go home tomorrow for the "wait time," but that will depend upon her blood numbers I'm told.

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Just thought I'd update:

 

It's always fun when tests are done and the dr comes in saying, "I've never seen this before."   :glare:   My family heritage - joy, joy.

 

I love the doctor she's had this procedure with (endo) and it's very encouraging to see her be interested in figuring out the puzzle AND have a plan to do so - personally taking it on.  That part has been so missing with my own issues (sigh).

 

We're on hold for a week now while my mom is off Plavix and aspirin so the blood being thinner won't be an issue with biopsies, etc.

 

Still waiting to meet her PCP, but having seen the difference with two doctors she likes now, my mom is very much on the "switching" side with that - and soon.

 

If all goes as planned with the Endo Dr, we're on hold for a week.  I'm hopeful mom can go home tomorrow for the "wait time," but that will depend upon her blood numbers I'm told.

 

Thanks for the update! Meant to write back on your last update, but had not had time. Sounds like things are moving in the right direction! 

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Thanks for the update! Meant to write back on your last update, but had not had time. Sounds like things are moving in the right direction! 

 

I didn't even mention that a swallowing issue my mom has had for a good 20 years (post gall bladder surgery) and has been told by her PCP that it's not real either has been quickly linked to this by the Endo Dr.  My mom is likely to get two issues cleared up now that someone believes her.  That will be a nice bonus.

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Ok, met her GP.  I know I was biased going in, but I really don't like him.

 

On top of his dictator-flippant attitude, he told my mom she might be able to go home in the interim if she can tolerate solid foods and her blood count stays high enough.  She also needs to stay away from caffeine.

 

Then he never changed anything on her chart, so her supper remains a liquid diet - with caffeine in her tea.  We asked about it around 3pm (anticipating a problem) and the nurse called him - no response.  We forcefully objected to what was brought in - meaning they called him again - and at least now we're waiting for the correct stuff to come.

 

Interestingly enough, he disagrees with the Endo Dr's thoughts - thinking none of that is causing my mom's issues... He still thinks he's correct and it's all a muscle.  I guess time will tell who's right on that one, but regardless, she has the FAR better personality.  My bet is with her - esp since her diagnosis actually makes sense and fits well.

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Woe to that generation that is uber loyal to physicians! I watched some older relations go many years to a quack before swapping in the midst of a medical crisis. I've seen it in my folks, too, the unwillingness to question an "authority" like their doctor.

 

I am so glad that your mom likes the news doc, hope she's able to make a clean switch.

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My Gma had a similar Dr and she had the same "loyalty" issues. Her story did not end as well. Her complaints were dismissed as "depression" (passing of my Gpa), anemia, lack of exercise, etc, etc. Sent home with iron pills, vitamins and told to get out more.

'Till she called from her recliner where she had spent the night because she was unable to stand and I took her into the ER, since her GP wouldn't listen. ER ran simple blood tests that confirmed Lymphoma. Unfortunately she never left the hospital.

I highly suspect that if her GP had ran the simple blood tests earlier (she had been complaining for 6mos+) that it could have been caught. She was only 76. While it might not have been curable, it would have given her some time. Her decline once she entered the hospital was so rapid that it was quite a jar to us (40 days from admission in the ER to passing).

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Her MD sounds very arrogant!

 

Granted, I have very little Dr experience, but he's one of a kind for what I have had.  I hope he remains one of a kind too.  This is a small town.  The stories I've heard... I can't put them on here as they're hearsay (whereas my mom's stuff I more or less KNOW - more with what I'm here for)... but let's just say he's not super well loved even by peers.

 

Ironically he has three reviews we've found online and those folks like him.  I guess for every personality, there's a match.

 

Everyone I've mentioned the Endo Dr's name to has loved her.  I fully understand why.

 

 

That GP needs to be fired by your mom!

 

I think I have her convinced of this.  Now she just needs to take the step to actually do it.  She likes the other guy better (as do the folks we've talked with).  The hospital website says he's taking new patients.  His specialty (besides Internal Med) is similar to the Dr she's been seeing.  I hope she does it.

 

All is not said and done with the issue at hand though.  There is one thing the GP said that gives me pause.  Her first stool sample upon being admitted to the hospital did not show blood in it.  If it's a GI bleeding (as this one would be I'm guessing) and she lost half her blood in 3-4 weeks, shouldn't it be there?  Or could it be bleeding "out" of the GI track (esophagus)?  Visual confirmation (from nurses) confirmed her stool was black and looked the part.  The test on the first one said no.

 

Just because he's a jerk doesn't mean he's automatically wrong about the cause for this.  I don't think his thoughts are correct either, but something is not adding up as I think about it - though I'm not an expert (far from it).

 

Nonetheless, this anomaly exists, could easily be causing her swallowing (liquid) problems she's had to live with (most likely is), and is getting looked into to see what it is.  I also agree with the Endo Dr that it's likely the cause of her chest pain (since it looked all scarred up like someone had taken a brillo pad to it - her words).  My shadow of a doubt is with the bleeding problem.

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My Gma had a similar Dr and she had the same "loyalty" issues. Her story did not end as well. Her complaints were dismissed as "depression" (passing of my Gpa), anemia, lack of exercise, etc, etc. Sent home with iron pills, vitamins and told to get out more.

'Till she called from her recliner where she had spent the night because she was unable to stand and I took her into the ER, since her GP wouldn't listen. ER ran simple blood tests that confirmed Lymphoma. Unfortunately she never left the hospital.

I highly suspect that if her GP had ran the simple blood tests earlier (she had been complaining for 6mos+) that it could have been caught. She was only 76. While it might not have been curable, it would have given her some time. Her decline once she entered the hospital was so rapid that it was quite a jar to us (40 days from admission in the ER to passing).

 

:grouphug:  I'm sorry.  I wish your story had a better ending.  My mom is pretty similar with her age.

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Ok, if I'm going to be dissing the guy (albeit nameless) online, I should also add that he has now done one thing that's impressed me.  He called my mom's cardiologist today (that person is 2 1/2 hours away due to this rural location) and worked with him to come up with a new plan - switching her blood thinner to a temporary type to avoid blood clots from the stent (and any potential serious issue there) while also moving up her biopsy on the "unknown" to Friday so she can get answers more quickly.  On top of that he went to my mom's room tonight (late - after we had left) to discuss this with her in person.

 

If we ignore the fact that it would have been nice if they could have figured this out over the weekend instead of waiting a few days (I'm not sure how necessary that was time-wise anyway), I like the fact that he now seems to have taken an interest in what's going on and working to fix it - quickly - and covering all bases so they don't fix one thing while she dies of another.

 

I seriously suspect the problem was he that he didn't believe her before - dismissing pretty much anything she said.  Now I think he does.  He might even have a little bit of guilt about forgetting the food change earlier.  (I can pretend anyway.)

 

If he's going to put his knowledge to work for her, then I'll certainly respect him more regardless of personality.  (He and I would still have a tough time getting along as I despise lofty dictator types, but I can bite my tongue and be pleased with the end product.)

 

It means she'll be spending Thanksgiving in the hospital though (to ensure the new blood thinner doesn't negatively affect her hemoglobin), but these things happen I suppose.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just as a conclusion should anyone be reading this later and wonder, my mom has officially been diagnosed having adenocarcinoma from that mass in her esophagus.  It's not a good diagnosis.  I remained stunned that the endo dr said "it didn't look like cancer" and "it's nothing I've ever seen before" after her first scope as the pics I see pretty much match google images...  small town... lack of cases I suppose.  It's not terribly common.  More women have probably won a reasonably decent lottery than get this annually.   :glare:

 

She had NO symptoms of this (except the chest pain), so I don't blame doctors for not knowing about it ahead of all this.

 

("I" actually have more symptoms of it than she does.  Scary thoughts actually... but I digress.  I don't see a genetic component and my mom's cancer is the first in her family line - no parents, grandparents or siblings have had cancer before.  Mine are hopefully just nerve issues going along with the other non-related nerve issues.)

 

Anyway - just thought some might want to know.  

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Thanks all.  I can add another update here.  Her cancer has NOT spread yet (according to her CT scans), so she's in the best possible position with what she has.  That has improved all of our moods as we move into our new future.

 

Also learned why the first dr said it was like nothing she'd ever seen before.  It was too encrusted in blood and food in the first pics.  In the biopsy round it was much cleaner/clearer - and that dr never gave an opinion, nor did we ask.

 

They are keeping everything moving at a good clip now and she'll have the rest of her stuff done at a teaching hospital with what appears to be a well respected doctor as her small town is too small for this sort of surgery.  (Chemo, if needed, can be done at home.)

 

Her doctor has been much better too now that he knows something IS wrong rather than brushing her aside blaming it on stress.  If it were me, I'd still switch, but this is her life.  I'll support her decisions - while perhaps checking occasionally with the Hive if something seems out of line.  ;)

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We're here now (we live about 9 hours away and didn't want to drive overnight mainly due to the large deer population that thinks crossing the road playing Russian Roulette is an awesome game to play after dark).

 

My mom is better for the time being.  The concern is due to her hemoglobin count going from 12 to 6 in a three week time period.  They do think she's bleeding internally and will check that on Monday.  She's here until Tuesday as they're worried she'll continue to lose.

 

She loves the (weekend) doctor here, esp since he explains things (and believes her)!  They have her off Plavix and aspirin right now.

 

I agree it's probably not Lyme - my mom was grasping at straws knowing something was wrong - not stress.  She just needed someone (with authority) to actually believe her.  She was getting very stressed out, but it wasn't the stress causing the problem - it was the other way around.

 

I've been after her to find another doctor for a few years now.  Perhaps I'll have luck convincing her this time.  This dr didn't even realize that HE prescribed both BP meds and told her to take both (even when she asked).  I'm not sure what's going on with him right now, but I'm not impressed.  At least he finally ordered decent tests to be done when pushed to do so (and supposedly his nurses pushed him to do so too when they saw the difficulty my mom was having even walking between rooms).  It took my mom, her heart rehab overseer, a pain doc she sees, and his nurses.  Anyone happen to see a pattern???

 

But for now, all appears to be on a decent path.  For that I'm very glad - and again, I thank all of y'all for your very helpful thoughts.

 

Going to go back to being sociable now - can catch up more later tonight.

 

Since she will be switching doc's anyway, I'd consider a geriatric doctor for the primary care.  It sounds like your mom's issues are pretty complicated and the elderly can react differently to drugs than others do. Having a good geriatrician could help manage all that. 

 

I would also file a complaint with the state medical board about her current primary care doctor. Whatever is going on with him could cost someone their life. 

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Very sorry about the cancer, Creekland.  Glad it hasn't spread.

 

Having read this all at one sitting, I was very alarmed to hear that they discontinued the blood thinner, and quite impressed that the doctor went back and found another one to recommend.  I know an elderly man who had his aspirin stopped due to a bleed, and then had a heart attack from a clogged stent within just a week or two.  Glad you are not letting this go.

 

 

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