Sunday, 12 January 2014

13:09 – Barbara just headed over to her mom’s apartment. Sankie isn’t doing well at all–physically or mentally–and hasn’t been since about the first of the year. She’s in her mid-80’s and suffers from some dementia, which makes it difficult to figure out what’s going on. At first, Barbara thought it was just the after-Christmas letdown. She’s taken her mom to the doctor two or three times this year, and every time the doctor has told her there’s nothing to worry about. I think the doctor is wrong.

One of the staff from Creekside Retirment Village called this morning. Sankie had apparently pulled her emergency cord. The staff member told Barbara that Sankie wasn’t doing well at all, and asked about calling 911. Barbara told her not to. She called Frances and they discussed what to do. They’re trying to avoid getting back to the drop-everything-and-rush-over-to-mom’s-place thing, so they decided that since Frances was planning to go over there this afternoon that that would suffice. A little while ago, as we were building kits, Barbara announced she was worried about Sankie and was going to head over to see her.

My guess is that Sankie has a UTI yet again. UTIs are extremely common in women. The incidence rate is something like 10% annually even in young women, and in elderly women it’s much higher. And in elderly women a UTI is often physically asymptomatic, leaving only increased confusion, dementia, and other mental symptoms as indications. I was surprised that the doctor chose not to do a urine culture on any of Sankie’s visits. I suggested to Barbara and Frances that the next time their mom sees the doctor, if he’s not willing to put her on antibiotics prophylactically, they should ask him to prescribe a large supply of co-amoxiclav, SMZ/TMP, or whatever he routinely prescribes for her for UTIs. That way, at the first sign of a possible UTI, Barbara or Frances can start their mom on the antibiotic and keep her on it for 10 days or whatever.