Worried about mom in hospital...

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Hello All,

My mom fainted and collapsed a couple days ago. She is a very healthy active 60 woman. Dad called 911, etc, she was admitted to the hospital and they are treating her for diverticulitis. 

I’m 3,000 miles away and have been googling everything. Not always a good idea. Her first night in hospital her blood pressure dropped because she’s still bleeding. They’ve been doing the antibiotics and fluids and added iron because of the drop in blood pressure.

The doctor didn’t seem concerned according to my dad...but I’m scared to death about tonight, her second night there. What if it happens again, what if it gets worse, what if she needs emergency surgery? What if it’s something worse? 

I know I’m overthinking and worrying. Your stories are encouraging and helpful.

Thank you!

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Being so far away makes you feel helpless and is totally scary.  Particularly as it's YOUR mum, who's always been so well.  But Diverticulitis is one of the most common but unheralded conditions in the over 50's.  In the USA you are whipped into hospital, put on a drip, kept an eye on.  But this is all a good thing.  Here in the UK you are just given some pills and left to get on with it at home.  As you say, it's easy to overthink things and expect the worse, one of the downsides of the Internet.  Normally a doctor would give you worse case scenario, just to cover their butts, but your mum's doctor has shown no such concerns.

    So your mum is in the best place if one of the very very very rare complications you mentioned do occur.  A day or so on antibiotics should see a great improvement and I'm sure she'll be sent hope with more pills to take.  I suggest you steer your dad and her to this website for advice on diet and recovery from the attack. 

    16 years ago it was me, aged 51 then, rolling on the ground in agony, passing blood.  Very scary, but 4 weeks later, after a course of pills at home, I was OK, just needed to alter my diet and take a daily stool softener.  All I missed was 3 days off work, for A&E and two hospital tests.  Best wishes - I'm sure your mum will be much better in a few days.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate it!
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  • Posted

    Update: Night 2 in hospital was better as far as blood pressure goes, no sudden drops. This morning mom was sick vomiting and couldn’t keep liquid breakfast down. They gave her anti nausea and that’s helped a lot! FF to this afternoon and she ate a small bit of solids and said she’s feeling more like her sel. smile Dr. did a CEA marker test and levels were normal. Thank goodness. She’s to be discharged tomorrow if she continues to do well. 

    Follow up colonoscopy in future weeks. 

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  • Posted

    Glad to hear your mum is improving now the medications are kicking in.  Sounds like she had quite a nasty attack.  Feeling nauseous first thing is also quite common, but it also one of the side effects of the medication as well.  A word of warning - this takes a LONG time to get over - weeks in fact.  It's not a case of diving straight back into normal life.  I've heard of people coming out, eating a cheeseburger and chips and ending up doubled up again!!  Or being told - eat fibre - without being told soluble fibre, not insoluble.  A bowl of All Bran is very harsh on the still healing insides, bran flakes are a better bet, or a sprinklable bran supplement.

    Your mum will have to follow a mainly liquid diet at first, and low residue solids like mash, steamed fish, grilled chicken, plain white bread, scrambled egg, plain yogurt, home made soups.  Eat small meals, well cooked and chew well.  Then introduce more soluble fibre.  She will also need to get her bowels back into a regular pattern, which the medications and illness will have disrupted.  I personally have a daily stool softener prescribed, others also take probiotics to replace the good bacteria destroyed by the medications.  It is common to have lingering pain, to feel totally washed out, to feel depressed and to suffer fear and loss of confidence.  This is what takes time to get over.  But if you read many of the posts on here you will see people do slowly improve, and are surprised at how long it can take. 

    Your mum needs to know this is a disease for life and needs diet and lifestyle changes to manage it, to avoid future attacks.  Sadly doctors know little about this disease and offer little or conflicting advice.  It's on this forum, with the people who have learned to live with it, that you will get the most help and advice.  Everyone is different and we all have to find our own triggers by trial and error. 

    The most important thing though, if your mum feels it is coming back, fluids only for 48 hours.  If no improvement or it worsens, back to the doctors - don't ignore it thinking it will clear up.  It might be worth asking her just how long she had been feeling ill before she collapsed.  It might have been nothing more than a low level niggling pain, where there has been none before (not to be confused with the lingering twinges from healing), but that will be her future indicator.  Mine is normally just that - pain later in the day long after I have been to the toilet.  (I normally wake up with twinges, which go after my first loo visit).

    It's a lot to take on board all at once, but we are all here to help.  Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. This is a great resource. I'll communicate this to my dad and we'll get through this. This forum is a blessing.  

    Warmest Regards,

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