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93 year old with increasingly swollen left leg - is this urgent ?

(26 Posts)
gingeroots Fri 03-May-13 08:34:00

My mother has congestive heart failure and AF and chronic kidney problems ( and other stuff ) .

Over the last couple of weeks her left leg has been getting increasingly swollen .
I've seen both her legs like this before but an increase in diuretics and keeping her feet up sorted this .

I think it's likely that she's recently reduced the time she keeps her feet up so I guess this might be a factor .

She is a little more breathless than usual so I'm thinking probably her heart is struggling even more .

I have GP appointment booked for 20 May ( though doubt they'll be any help ) but wonder if it's ok to leave it this long ?

And what is significance of only one leg being affected ?

Any advice gratefully received .

timidviper Fri 03-May-13 08:36:59

I think in view of her age and health I would not want to wait over 2 weeks. I would ring the surgery and ask for advice from the GP, most surgeries have a telephone advice/triage system now.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 03-May-13 08:39:40

I would say at 93 anything is urgent.

No medical knowledge here, but I'd get her seen as soon as.

Hope she is OK.

ivykaty44 Fri 03-May-13 08:42:02

I would get her to a&e with a swollen leg that is getting worse and with her health conditions

rubyslippers Fri 03-May-13 08:43:31

potential for DVT?

i would get her to A & E especially with the breathlessness

as PP's have said with her medical history i would seek help

ivykaty44 Fri 03-May-13 08:43:36

also the breathlessness and the swollen leg are not good together

BabsAndTheRu Fri 03-May-13 08:47:36

Don't mean to alarm you but this is very urgent, get to A&E now. Breathlessness and swollen leg, could be DVT, PE, or worsening of congestive heart failure. Call an ambulance now.

LIZS Fri 03-May-13 08:48:52

definitely urgent - could be DVT . Get her seen today .

MumnGran Fri 03-May-13 08:50:12

BabsAndTheRu is spot on.
The symptoms require urgent medical review. A & E as quickly as you can.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 03-May-13 08:52:06

This warrants a visit today to hospital for her to be further examined.

Both the breathelessness and oedema (fluid) in the legs can be serious.

tiktok Fri 03-May-13 08:54:27

Hospital. Now. Phone on the way to say you are coming.

DowntonTrout Fri 03-May-13 09:04:04

My father had this, same health problems. At the very least she needs to be seen today, by her GP or at hospital.

The breathlessness is worrying. Does she not have a heart nurse allocated to her? We had a BHF nurse who visited once a week but who we could call at any time. When Dad was struggling one day, despite us ringing the GP and the hospice manager paying a visit (where he was due to go when the time came) the heart nurse took one look at him and called an ambulance. My GP still tried at this point to block him being admitted to the hospice.

I would say it is serious, the swelling and breathlessness mean the heart another organs are not coping. Also trust your instincts. Even though I was told by two professionals that people could go on for years like this, I knew it was more serious and the heart nurse confirmed it. Sadly Dad died the next day. you must get her seen.

gingeroots Fri 03-May-13 09:54:15

Ok ,read and understood .

BabsAndTheRu Fri 03-May-13 10:12:24

Good luck gingeroots and hope your mum is okay.

Sirzy Fri 03-May-13 10:13:21

Hope she is ok and you can persuade her to go to A and E this morning.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 03-May-13 19:47:57

Any news Ginger?

Hope everything is OK.

gingeroots Fri 03-May-13 22:22:11

Thanks for all your replies .

I phoned the GP and they came out and did a home visit . I nearly fainted - it's usually a long lecture about "we can see 6 people in the time it takes to do a home visit " .
And they say that on auto pilot even when I've offered to bring her up to surgery !

Anyhow ... GP is hoping it's cellulitis and that it'll respond to antibiotics .
But I have clear instructions about monitoring it and going to A&E if it gets worse ,or it it's still the same on Tuesday .

Though I think if it's no better by Monday I may have to bite the A&E bullet then .

I am tending towards it being cellultis ,mum was flushed and hot today . Though the leg in question wasn't . And I hope she will be ok on oral abs and it's not so entrenched that it's going to need IV .

Thank you all so much for help . Please send keeping her out of hospital vibes .

I dont think either of us will cope well if it gets to that .

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 04-May-13 06:09:47

Aww bless you both Ginger.

Will send lots of vibes. xx

digerd Sat 04-May-13 07:39:51

I had Cellulitis last year from an insect bite on my ankle. The foot and whole of lower leg swelled, itchy and red. ABs cured that.
I am only in my late 60s, but I did not have increased breathlessness, but then I couldn't walk or move much.

Wish your mum all the best.

Montybojangles Sat 04-May-13 08:46:25

Glad the gp came out. Hope it's sorted with the antibiotics. If she gets any worse or no better I might think of a and e on Sunday rather than Monday. As someone who has worked in hospitals for some time I can tell you by bank holiday Monday beds are full, a and e is rammed ....

Wishing her a speedy (hospital free) recovery.

gingeroots Sat 04-May-13 09:38:26

Thank you for the vibes NotTreadingGrapes smile , your wishes digerd smile and the insider advice Monty.

DowntonTrout Sat 04-May-13 10:06:37

Sending positive vibes too.

I hope I did not scare you with my post. I wanted to impress on you that waiting over two weeks for an appointment when someone is at this stage in the illness, is just too long.

I hope she picks up over the weekend but don't be afraid to take her to hospital if there are any worsening symptoms. Fingers crossed that the ABs kick in and give some relief. But as I said, it is the breathlessness that would worry me. Does she have oxygen at home? We had that for dad and it really helped towards the end.

gingeroots Sat 04-May-13 10:32:30

Oh Downton you ,and others ,said what I needed to hear . It was all really good advice .

I knew really that something was wrong and I needed a bit of a kick and some galvanising to face both my mothers resistance and what I wrongly thought would be a non productive phone call to GP followed by a trip to A&E .

Last time when I was trying to avoid A&E when mother had taken a 2x 3 cm patch of skin off her arm ( and then covered it with a less than savoury cloth ) the DNT ( who see her regularly ) couldn't help ,the GP said stick an elsastoplast on it and when I described the condition of my mothers skin ,told me that it was a district nursing job and maybe they could call next week .

I got there in the end though ( no thanks to GP or reception staff ) and the lovely ,overworked practice nurse sorted us out at the surgery .

Sometimes I lack the energy and it feels like fighting on 2 fronts at once - persuading a deeply unwilling mother without resorting to blackmail or putting the fear of God into her while also trying to enlist the help of DNT/GP surgery or facing the trauma of our very busy inner London A&E .

So I needed all the warnings of urgency that were sent smile

DowntonTrout Sat 04-May-13 11:44:08

Yes elderly, stubborn parents, who don't want to be any bother, create more bother in the end, by refusing to go to GPs and then making the condition that much worse. Not to mention the added worry for you.

God I loved my dad and miss him so much, nearly three years now. Being able to pass on advice to others from my experience caring for him really helps, if I can share one piece of information that helps someone else then I get comfort from that. He would like that too. Wishing you well.

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Sat 04-May-13 13:02:50

This all sounds so familiar. My elderly stubborn mum had cellulitis in her foot a few years ago. If you catch it early its ok, but the hardest part for us is just getting them to go to the bloody doctors! My mum's notes are about 2mm thick and she'll only go to the docs if she's browbeaten into it....

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