This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dad has clots in both his legs...

Dad's doctor called Mom telling her the most recent Doppler exam of Dads legs showed blood clots in both of them.  He saw Dad Friday and didn't think his legs were that swollen, and was surprised at the report.  The usual treatment is a blood thinner, but with Dad's history of falls, he is concerned and would prefer not to do that.  Dad had fought the staff treating him, when he cut his eyebrow a couple of weeks ago.  The doctor said if Dad fell while on blood thinners, he could bleed out pretty fast or the profuse bleeding could cause a stroke, and he wasn't comfortable chancing it.

An alternative is putting a sieve in the main body vein (vena something) to prevent any clots from reaching Dad's lungs.  It would be done by a radiologist and the doctor assumed they'd have to sedate Dad since he gets combative when he is afraid or doesn't want something done.  Dad would have to be completely still for this procedure, and with Alzheimer's patients, that is not possible.  It would necessitate a hospital visit and short stay.  It is a complicated procedure.  Mom told the doctor she wanted to talk to all of us before making a decision.

I called the doctors office, and hopefully he will call me back.  Mom included the doctor's email, so I will also email him.  I am NOT IN FAVOR of sedating Dad.  I have read this can make Alzheimer's worse and I have seen the results when my Mother in Law was sedated to have an MRI.  She had Alzheimer's and after the MRI, she was never the same.  She did not even know who we were.  Her personality was gone.  She was like a zombie.  Shortly after, she began to keep her eyes closed and would not talk, then she stopped eating. It was the end of her.

I would rather see Dad go quick from a thrown clot to his lungs or heart than to turn into a zombie....

I need advice from my Angels...  Would my nurse friends please give me some feedback?

6 comments:

Wander to the Wayside said...

I'm guessing that this is one of those situations where you could ask twelve different doctors and twelve different nurses, and you'd get a 50/50 opinion with both groups.

I'm so sorry you and your family have to make a decision like this. It's never easy.

Jeanie said...

I am not a nurse and can't give you any advice on the medical aspect of you Dad's situation. From a human, or maybe humane, perspective I know that for myself, and I can only speak for myself, there will be a time when I will choose (or hope it will be chosen for me) that there be no more medical intervention. If you listen to your family and listen to your heart I know you will make whatever decision is right for your Dad.

Betty said...

I´m not a nurse but I agree with you. I think you should take the chance and not do anything.
I know it must be a hard decision and hope you do what feels right!

Donna B said...

Hi Linda...I have always wanted Dad to be on Hospice. I would rather see him go quick than linger and rot with Alzheimer's...thank you so much for your loving support.

Jeanie...I agree with you 100%. As I told Linda, I would rather see him in Hospice with no heroics...just keep him comfortable and out of pain.

Betty...Thank you for you support and concerns. I really think that is the best thing to do.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

In your place, Donna, I would not want him sedated. It is just not worth it. But then, I am not a medical practitioner of any kind, merely someone who has been through something similar and knows the only thing we can do in a time like this is to keep him as comfortable as possible, and cause him least pain.

I'm wishing you all the strength you need to take the right decision, and to not repent after taking the decision.

Donna B said...

Rayna: Thank you. Your voice of experience is always comforting. Thank you so much for your input and support.