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Bit worried about my MIL and just need to natter

(18 Posts)
edam Fri 06-Nov-09 14:07:07

OK, I've persuaded her docs to do a home visit now but still a bit edgy and just need to let it out somewhere!

MIL is 74 and has COPD (roughly chronic bronchitis). About 1pm today I get a message from dh, who stayed with her last night, that she has pain in her back and breathing problems (he's now at work, miles away from her and home). I think 'WTF, why haven't you called a doctor?' and call MIL. MIL can hold a conversation, which was a bit of a relief, but I was still worried. Called her GP surgery - of course it's lunchtime so no-one around and receptionist says call back at 2.30. I'm not entirely happy about this not least because the later you leave it, the less likely you are to get a home visit and I want her to be seen today. (She hasn't driven for years and doc is in nearest town - MIL usually gets a lift for planned appointments.)

Spoke to my sister, who is a nurse, who confirms that she does need to be seen today. Call back the surgery and push, they go round the houses but eventually agree the duty doc will go out. Although obviously no idea when as duty doc doing all urgent requests and home visits.

Phew. Am a bit happier now. But still worried. And a bit alarmed that even though I told the receptionist when I first called her that MIL is 74 and has COPD etc. etc. etc. she still didn't put me through to the duty doc or get him to call back. It was only when I had double-checked I was right and felt able to push that we got it sorted.

edam Fri 06-Nov-09 14:08:23

(Have told dh to stay with MIL tonight, btw, rather than coming home from work. I'd rather he was there to spot any deterioriation IYKWIM. SIL is staying tomorrow night anyway so dh can come home then.)

sb6699 Fri 06-Nov-09 14:19:59

Sorry dont have any advice, but hope MIL is okay.

Lovely that she has such a caring family.

edam Fri 06-Nov-09 14:26:22

thanks - doc has been and given her the all-clear, fortunately. Thinks it's arthritis but couldn't explain the breathing difficulties. hmm

Dh is going to stay with her tonight anyway and SIL tomorrow.

Btw, we aren't half as caring as she deserves. Wish we lived nearer so I could pop in regularly (we are only about an hour away but I don't drive and dh works another hour away in the other direction. She is lovely, has looked after three of dh's grandparents when they were old and I do feel guilty that I'm not prepared to do the same, tbh.

sb6699 Fri 06-Nov-09 14:32:29

I'm sure she understands, you seem to be doing all you can.

My grandmother is getting on and has a bad hip and has started finding life difficult on her own.

I have offered to let her live with us (she's in Scotland, I'm in Essex) but she wont move and we cant afford to relocate again. I feel so guilty she's not got anyone nearby and relies on home helps.

sb6699 Fri 06-Nov-09 14:33:21

Btw, I'm no medic but I'm sure that an allergic reaction to medication can cause breathing difficulties.

is there no chance she could stay with you for a while until shes on the mend?
glad shes doing ok though

Fabster Fri 06-Nov-09 14:35:08

Anything you do is better than nothing.

I hope she is soon better.

I hated being 100s of miles away from my nana when she was ill and wasn't up to travelling whereas I wasn't allowed too.

edam Fri 06-Nov-09 14:37:15

Very true, will tell MIL about that as she's seeing her regular GP on Monday anyway (I just didn't want to leave it over the weekend given she's got COPD).

Sorry to hear about your Grandmother. But you can't do more than you can do, IYKWIM.

Mcdreamy Fri 06-Nov-09 14:39:55

Glad your MIL was seen and has been reassured. The pain itself will cause her breathing to be a bit worse, I'm sure she was maybe panicking/worrying a bit too which wouldn't ease the problem. Maybe now she has been reassured she might relax a little and her breathing might improve.

I think you are a wonderful DIL, don't put yourself down. How fantastic that she has someone like you fighting her corner.

Good idea that your DH spends tonight with her. Can he not bring her to yours where you can keep an eye on her together?

edam Fri 06-Nov-09 16:12:30

Oh dear now my nursie sister (and her colleagues) has got me worried. Pointed out it could well be an infection of the lining of the lungs that wouldn't show up if someone checked for a chest infection. And wanted to know if the GP had measured her oxygen saturations (I have no idea).

Fingers crossed her own GP does this on Monday. But surely her GP's partner who came out today will have done? <hopeful>

Sister points out any irritability/aggression/confusion may be a sign her oxygen sats are dropping. Thing is, dh has mentioned MIL was very weird and a bit aggressive after she woke up from her nap on Sunday. Which is NOT like her at all. She's a lovely lady - classic cuddly grandma who adores ds and can't do enough for people (although not able to do too much these days, sadly).

eek.

McDreamy, thing is we don't have a spare room. Sofabed in sitting room not good for her back but can't swap our room as it's a flight of stairs away from the loo.

Mcdreamy Fri 06-Nov-09 16:57:11

Fair enough. Can you or your DH call the surgery and speak to the Dr about the visit? I am pretty sure he would have done her sats, is fairly standard in an initial examination esp with someone presenting with copd.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 06-Nov-09 18:12:49

I think that given your MIL's poor state of health, I'd be inclined to call an ambulance.

Fabster Fri 06-Nov-09 18:14:13

How is she now, edam?

edam Fri 06-Nov-09 20:40:40

Sorry, been out for hours. Thanks for all your messages.

McDreamy, I'd have thought so, and it wasn't a locum (not that there's anything wrong with them, but YKWIM), it was one of the founding partners (MIL has been with this surgery for 40 years and speaks very highly of them). But my sister and her boss (the head of community nursing in a different PCT) were concerned and telling me to not to let it go.

Anyway, dh is with her now, she's no worse... I've explained what my sister said about confusion/aggression etc. etc. etc. (I only knew about those symptoms in the elderly being caused by UTIs, never thought about oxygen) and if there's any more cause for concern over the weekend, he or SIL will take her to the hospital. Oh, only I've just thought, SIL doesn't drive, must brief her that if she's worried she should get a neighbour or an ambulance and not dither!

And then she's got an appointment with her own GP on Monday. Fingers crossed it will all be fine.

Mcdreamy Sun 08-Nov-09 21:04:21

How is your MIL Edam?

edam Wed 11-Nov-09 16:12:16

Oops, sorry Mcdreamy, forgot to check back on this thread. MIL is fine - thankfully seems it was arthritis causing pain in her back which was then affecting her breathing, rather than a breathing problem. She saw her own GP on Monday - the partner who did the home visit had checked her oxygen saturations and they were fine, fine again on Monday.

GP also says the confusion she occasionally suffers is to do with living alone, rather than a UTI or chest infection. Which is plausible.

Not a lot I can do about that though, sadly. Dh goes over at least once a fortnight and we speak to her on the phone several times a week.

She's doing the alpha course at her local church so I think that will get her out and about a bit. Was a little concerned but am hoping given it's CofE it won't be exploitative in any way.

edam Wed 11-Nov-09 16:13:25

SIL also stays over a least once a week, btw. She's looked into moving, but not found anywhere she'd be happy living.

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