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My mum has vascular problems I need advice and I need to know if I'm over reacting

(46 Posts)
Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 18:17:28

My mum has vascular problems.

She has problems with blood flow to her legs, heart and brain, I think. I'm not privy to all her personal goings on, but I think that's about where it's at.

She has had two episodes in the last week or so of losing the sight in her eye for about an hour, then it starts to return, and looks like a negative photo when it does

She has been told to go to A&E and won't go but says she will make a doctor's appointment tomorrow after I have nagged all day.

My need to know if I'm over reacting is that I think she shouldn't be driving? Should she?

Bunbaker Sun 15-Sep-13 18:25:18

You aren't over reacting at all. She is being very silly and needs to see a doctor urgently.

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 18:26:49

That's what I said. She won't go. I to her to go to a&e on Friday but she didn't want to go on a Friday night.

digerd Sun 15-Sep-13 19:05:38

Don't blame her not wanting to go to A&E on a Friday night. How old is she?

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:06:28

She's 72.

digerd Sun 15-Sep-13 19:22:13

3 years older than me then. I know how she feels about A&E hanging about for 4 hours +.

Hope she gets an urgent appt with GP, but not sure if he will know what the matter is unless she actually has an episode with her eyes at the time.

Can she phone NHS Direct as I have done in the past. As I don't drive and DD was at work, they sent an ambulance to me and whisked me straight into a bed at the nearest hospital. Mine was a life threatening allergy though.

Wish your mum all the best.

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:23:35


I just need to make sure she goes.

TiredDog Sun 15-Sep-13 19:29:34

Hi Johnny
Your mum sounds like she has had Amaurosis fugax and does need to be seen by vascular specialists.

Does she take any meds that you know of? Aspirin? Statins? Etc and is she taking them!

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:32:48

She is taking statins she's been on them for years and she takes an aspirin.

To be honest her gp is useless. She gets fobbed off a lot with its just her age.

Should I make her get a 2nd opinion?

TiredDog Sun 15-Sep-13 19:33:05

I doubt that going to A&E at night is useful. Your mum needs a carotid scan which will probably mean a Monday morning appt. I would encourage her to consider things rationally along the lines of keeping her independence by looking after her health smile

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:35:17

So me getting cross with her wasn't helpful then I may have figured that out blush

TiredDog Sun 15-Sep-13 19:36:08

From GP notebook (UK Medical reference for GPs)

Sudden loss of vision is an ophthalmological emergency and requires immediate referral to the eye emergency department

Non-invasive tests for carotid blood flow and lumen diameter should be performed routinely. Angiography should be considered

Definitive treatment is dependent upon test results. Aspirin may be beneficial

She should just go to A&E tomorrow.

TiredDog Sun 15-Sep-13 19:36:51

Cross=I love you grin

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:37:00

Thank you that's so helpful.

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:37:29


TiredDog Sun 15-Sep-13 19:39:02

Oh and driving. Remove her keys and be stern about that Imagine if she hit someone

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:47:52

That's what I said.

She called me a jumped up little nazi. grin

But she has promised not to drive

TiredDog Sun 15-Sep-13 19:52:05

She sounds like a lovely mummy grin

Good luck with sorting this ! wine < you'll need this by the sound of it!!!

Johnny5needsinput Sun 15-Sep-13 19:54:32

She's stubborn wonder who inherited that grin

Thank you though. I was awfully worried and rather losing the plot

Featherbag Sun 15-Sep-13 20:05:43

If you can persuade her to go to A&E tomorrow, make sure it's early! Everyone thinks weekend nights are the worst times to go to A&E but honestly, Monday from about 11am until about 4am Tuesday is the worst, it gets SO busy and waits are HOURS unless you're seriously ill - as in heart not working properly, not breathing, death imminent type ill.

It would be better if she could get her GP to arrange direct admission to a ward for investigation, but again on a Monday there are likely to be no beds.

woodlandwanderwoman Sun 15-Sep-13 21:29:42

Hi, firstly I feel for you and know a little bit of what it's like. My mum has vascular problems although they manifest themselves in different ways.

Secondly, it sounds like the reason your mum is refraining from going to a&e / GP is because by going it is likely that she will have to address a serious health issue that she doesn't feel able to deal with. Nonetheless, it is clearly reaching a stage where it needs to be addressed.

I would echo comments above in short term, if she has another episode of loss of vision etc, either take her to a&e yourself or phone NHS direct who will be able to send an ambulance. The best way to manage this is to physically be with her if you can.

If she doesn't have another episode in next few days, I would recommend suggesting a GP visit that you can attend together on the basis that you need a referral to a specialise. My mum's gp is equally useless and spends more time talking about his holidays (and rearranging appointments) than really listening to her and carrying out necessary tests.

Your goal should be to get her some initial tests because if results do come back indicating she needs further help she will be in the system (albeit slow) and not able to bury her head in the sand any longer.

If she absolutely won't go to her doctor, there is no harm phoning her GP to say you are worried and asking their advice on how to get her in. This must be something they come across a lot.

I know you will be well aware, but vascular problems can cause many complications in the long term if left untreated even if there are no major episodes.

Good luck, be strong for each other and in this case do for her what you know she would do for you .. Follow your instinct on what is right. xxx

Bunbaker Mon 16-Sep-13 06:35:29

"I would encourage her to consider things rationally along the lines of keeping her independence by looking after her health"

That's what we do with MIL. She doesn't want to become a burden and we point out that if she doesn't look after her health she will do.

digerd Mon 16-Sep-13 07:32:13

This " It's your age" is all too common. It began with me in my 50sconfused. I got really fed up with it. I know how your mum feels. < Although, I would never call my DD a Nazi, grin>

I may have open heart surgery in less than 5 years time and need to be looked after for several weeks, which I will HATE. DD just said, "Oh, wonder if I can get paid leave from work" with a smile hmm

Hope your mum makes and gets a GP appt today .

mineofuselessinformation Mon 16-Sep-13 07:48:34

Johnny5, my mother is also very stubborn when it comes to health issues. A very good line is ' do you want me to call them for you?' This is usually enough for my DM to sort the problem out as she knows I am also stubborn and WILL call if she doesn't.

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 09:28:46

My fil has vascular problems which he was first alerted to when he had a popping sensation in one eye and loss of sight for a while. He went to his optician not thinking it was serious and was immediately referred to a specialist who told him that he was at a very high risk of stroke. So, no, your bit over reacting. If it happened when she was driving she would be putting herself and others at risk. Best to err on the side of caution for now.

As an aside fil has had 3 bypasses now - 2 on his neck and 1 in his leg and he is doing well. He is 75.

harverina Mon 16-Sep-13 09:29:16

Not over reacting not bit!

digerd Mon 16-Sep-13 10:29:14

Has your mum seen GP this morning or at least got an appt.?

Johnny5needsinput Wed 18-Sep-13 20:45:12

She's seen the gp yesterday. Apptmt awaiting at hospital but they thnk she has had a mini stroke?

TiredDog Wed 18-Sep-13 20:47:55

Transient Ischaemic Attack

It's a loss of blood flow to a part of the brain - usually a quick recovery but a warning sign that she is at risk of another. Carotid scan is needed and she should be seen quickly. If she has another episode take her to hospital straight away

Sorry if I sound alarmist. TIAs are very recoverable but they should act as early warnings smile

Johnny5needsinput Sat 21-Sep-13 17:26:12

She's had another episode and dad took her in. She's to stay in for a few days.

Don't know anything more - just waiting for DD to come back from a friend's and we will go up and visit this evening.

TiredDog Sat 21-Sep-13 18:35:14

I'm sorry. I hope this means that she is fast tracked into the right care pathway

digerd Sat 21-Sep-13 20:24:11

Your mum is in the right place now. Good for your dad
My 83 year-old neighbour had her left Carotid artery cleaned out. She didn't have trouble with her eyes, but did have a mild stroke which made her suddenly speak gobbledygook - her words. An ultrasound showed furring up which was affecting the blood flow to her brain.

Hope your DM is not too scared or fed up being in hospital.


Johnny5needsinput Sat 21-Sep-13 20:48:54

I'm just in. I could scream.

The doctors don't know what they are talking about.

There's nothing wrong with her.

She's just going to climb out the window (she's on the 2nd floor) and go home in her nightie.

She doesn't need to be there.

She's just going to tell them she's going home tomorrow.


Dad is very worried. It now transpires she's been getting this type of thing for months along with chest pain and told no one.

They did an ECG and that was clear but they want a brain scan and some consultant is to come from a bigger hospital on Monday to see her.

TiredDog Sat 21-Sep-13 20:54:34

Is that a précis of what your mum is saying or how you feel

Monday should bring some clarity. Talk to the nurses. They will have seen strong willed independant older ladies before

Johnny5needsinput Sat 21-Sep-13 20:57:56

Oh that's what I've just listened to for nearly two hours.

I have no doubt at all that she needs to be there.

Monday is D day in that she will see a consultant - until then they are just monitoring her. but she wouldn't be there if they didn't think she needed to be there.

But they have no idea what they're talking about hmm yes mother

digerd Sat 21-Sep-13 21:34:54

Oh dear. I am in shock at your DM. A brain scan is definitely what she needs as she is not thinking or behaving normally. Or has she always been so irrational with her stubborness.?
You must be at your wits end with worry.sad

TiredDog Sat 21-Sep-13 21:59:55

She's possibly frightened and in denial. sad

Johnny5needsinput Sun 22-Sep-13 07:27:17

I think she's totally in denial. Talked to dad last night and got tough with him too. He has still be letting her drive. And that had to stop. But she's the personality and he's the quiet one. So that's going to mean a step change in their relationship.

Although it was very sweet to see him kissing and hugging her when we were leaving.

digerd Sun 22-Sep-13 07:48:10

Your dad sounds lovely and obviously adores his feisty wifesmile. Hope he succeeds in stopping her from driving.

TiredDog Sun 22-Sep-13 09:37:00

Aw. My dad is lovely with my mum although she is 'difficult'. Has your mum always been a 'strong character' like this? My mum has always been a little bossy but increasing vascular dementia is making it more so

Johnny5needsinput Sun 22-Sep-13 09:39:59

Yes. She's like ... More now. It's like how she always was just turned up or something

TiredDog Sun 22-Sep-13 09:54:38

That sounds very like my mum. I think the dementia (slow onset) has decreased her own 'edit' or tempering system so that she is now irrational and intolerant at times and often rude with it. It's sometimes extremely difficult to like her. Every so often I find myself looking past the rude old lady to a smaller frightened vulnerable mum inside her

(I'm just having a little private muse off topic here a bit)

TiredDog Sun 22-Sep-13 09:55:39

Well...private as in not to family just a few hundred lurkers!

Johnny5needsinput Sun 22-Sep-13 10:09:49

lol I know what you mean though - that's exactly it

Johnny5needsinput Sun 22-Sep-13 20:36:45

Definitely a stroke. They did a brain scan.

News not good.

More tests etc to come. But she will be in for at least a week.

She thinks she will be out on Tuesday. No chance.

I am weepy and so so sad.

My dad is so strong.

TiredDog Sun 22-Sep-13 22:32:22

Aw johnny. I'm so sorry. I hope she has good care and you can all be strong together for this

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