Another big step down for Mom...
As most of you know Mom took her last huge step down in June. During a UTI she lost her ability to walk and has been in a wheel chair since. Amazingly she has made very few attempts to get up out of the chair or bed. We missed most of the "fall risk" stage totally. In a way it was a blessing.
Mom has had a cough/head congestion for a couple of weeks now. It has remained stable and so far no signs of pneumonia. But physically she has been very lethargic and disconnected most days. I have noticed a decline in both the cognition and physical well being. I noticed on Sunday that her urine was dark. I did my normal fuss about hydration but something just didn't seem right. I fed her lunch and she did drink normally from her straw. I went back Monday for an in house doctor visit. He assessed that she has probably aspirated and that was at least part of the reason for her cough. I was feeding her breakfast at the time and she was eating her eggs and soft sausage with bit of a pancake on the side. She did ok eating. But when I gave her something to drink she stopped eating. A few minutes later I realized she was holding the liquid in her mouth. She never did swallow it and ended up clearing out her mouth. I repeated that several times during the morning. She ate her mashed taters, soft country style steak, and gravy at lunch but again would not swallow the liquids. Another call to Hospice later we have now put her on thickened liquids. She is doing ok, eating about 1/4 to 1/3 of her meals instead of all of it, but not swallowing liquids. They switched her to thickened liquids for supper and I understand that she did drink some then.
Also she has had a place on her ear for the last few weeks that doesn't seem to heal. It has been determined that it is probably a basal cell carcinoma. To remove it will take extensive reconstructive surgery if removed.... so we are leaving it be.
So it appears we have taken yet another step downward..... despite the fact that it is expected and I knew it was coming sooner rather than later... it was still a difficult day.