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Unfiltered Story #236012

, , | Unfiltered | June 5, 2021

My mum has been brought into hospital following a very sudden change in her health. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the past 3 months (after 2 years of showing symptoms that other doctors passed off as her ‘just being tired’) and been attending a day centre twice a week where they assess her each time for memory, as well as general weight and other standard checks. We had received a call late on the Friday to say she had put on 10lbs in 10 days and her legs were very swollen, so we should have her see the doctor urgently on Monday.

Monday rolls around and she’s developed angry red patches on one leg that look suspiciously like cellulitis, so we call up but the doctor has no appointments available. So we take her to the office and ask to see the nurse. The nurse takes one look at mum’s legs and immediately calls in the doctor to take a look. Over the next 12 hours, mum is rushed to ER, where the doctors pronounce themselves ‘very puzzled’ but have her admitted to the cardiac ward ‘just as a precaution’. Another 3 hours later, a doctor finally comes round, takes a quick look at her (I mean, a glance at her hands, repeated questions about how long she’s smoked [she doesn’t], a check of her breathing and a brief glance at one leg [not the the red one]) and pronounces advanced heart failure.

I’m freaking out, but a nurse comes around, does a few tests and says that the doctor isn’t mum’s attending physician and that the AP will be able to tell us more over the next few days.

The next day, we go in a bit later than intended and mum’s looking miles better, so I ask the first assigned nurse what’s going on. It’s mild heart failure, but the primary issue is cellulitis and a clot in her leg. She’s been put on antibiotics already and having fluids flushed from her system.

I go back and tell dad everything and ask mum if she’s been making sure to go to the bathroom lots. We then have this conversation (virtually verbatim, though some errors may remain):

Mum: No, I haven’t. I haven’t needed to go since I’ve been in.
Nurse: *attending to another patient just around the curtain peeks around, out of sight of mum, and nods to me, holding up her hands to signal mum’s been 7 times*
Me: Are you sure? Because someone mentioned you’d been really good about going.
Mum: No, I haven’t needed to. I did get up once though. There was someone outside asking if I could talk to them.
Me: Where was that?
Mum: *points to the bathroom at the end of her bed*
Me: They just wanted to talk to you once, huh?
Mum: No, they were a pain in the a**. They had me up all night.
Me: I see. So what did you do?
Mum: I went down to the hall closet, grabbed a towel (we keep our towels in a hall closet at home) and threw it at him to shut him up.
Me: *blinking and now thoroughly confused, I glance at the nurse, to see she’s giving me the same look. I turn back to mum* You what?
Mum: Oh, I don’t bloody know. You think I know what I’m saying? I’m a pincushion with legs.
*cue shocked and confused looks from dad and I, while everyone on the other side of the curtain bursts out laughing their heads off*

(In the end, it turned out to be mild heart failure, a definite blood clot in her leg, and cellulitis, but the doctor reckons the heart failure may be reversible, so things are far, far better than the first doctor led us to believe, she’s on meds for the lot and was discharged today)

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