What would you do?

@sacmom (14316)
United States
August 16, 2015 12:04am CST
As some of you know by now, my mom has dementia. It is in the advanced stage. She lives in a care home. My mom's past the point of being able to make decisions for herself, so I have to make them for her. The other day, her caregiver sent me a message. She was at the doctor's office with my mom and wanted to know if it was okay if my mom got a physical (this included a mammogram and check for colon cancer). My mom is a little woman and has become quite fragile this past year. So much so, that when I tried putting her shoes on her, she cried out in pain (and here I was being extremely gentle). From what my mom told me in the past (long before dementia ever set in), she warned me about just how painful mammogram's really are. She wasn't one to exaggerate things, so I knew that it had to be awful! As for a colon check, from what I heard about those, I know I wouldn't want one! It felt strange having to make such a decision for her. But after discussing it with my husband, we both agree that my mom would be better off without these two things. What would you do if you were in my shoes?
17 people like this
22 responses
@rebelann (39734)
• El Paso, Texas
16 Aug 15
I think you made the right decision, why torture someone with dementia if there is no need, my mom is 98 and I lost guardianship to my sibling who has since gotten her a prescription for blood thinners so that her blood would have better flow to her brain, the side affect is that the capillaries in the lower parts of her legs tend to bleed. Quality of life not quantity is most important.
4 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
You've got that right. Quality is a lot more important at this point.
1 person likes this
@Rosekitty (19443)
• San Marcos, Texas
16 Aug 15
Those tests are not necessary and you did the right thing. How dare they try to get more money out of the Insurance company. How dare they want to subject your Mother to pain... My Mother passed 2 years ago with dementia and i know how she cried out in pain for almost everything, so don't do anything but just be there and try to make things as calm and non painful as you are able...hugs hun
3 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
I'm so sorry for your loss. By the way, I feel the same way. I want to keep things as calm and pain free as possible for my mom.
1 person likes this
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
16 Aug 15
It's your mom and your decision. If it were my decision I might have just had a discussion with the doctor to see whether or not the tests were necessary. If there's a family history or any sort of risk factors, then it might be a good idea to do them. If not then I'd see what the doctor would suggest as a less painful way of detecting possible problems.
3 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
Why? Just so she could be tortured? I love her too much to put her through that.
• United States
16 Aug 15
I agree with your decision, I still haven't had a mammogram because I suspect they are more dangerous than the disease they are looking for. However, that is my opinion and even if you made the other choice, it is yours to make.
3 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
It's funny, my husband and I were just saying the same thing about the colonoscopy...
1 person likes this
@kevin1877uk (36974)
16 Aug 15
Sorry to hear bout you mom, you right she don't need to go through any more pain and would be better off without.
3 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
16 Aug 15
Thank you Kevin.
1 person likes this
@Mavic123456 (9703)
• Thailand
16 Aug 15
good job.. yes she has suffered enough and let her body rest for sometime... you have made a right decision and if she is already fragile .. then that's it enough. just eat the right and healthy food and take care of her she will be ok.
3 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
16 Aug 15
I'm glad you agree. Thank you very much @Mavic123456!
1 person likes this
@sharon6345 (121983)
• United States
16 Aug 15
Those mam.. hurt like hell to me. I did not do mine this year because of it. It would not be wise for your mom to go through that. As for the colan my friend was put to sleep before and the meds wore off while he was on the table. That dr,jammed that thing in him with out a care in the world. Because,of the sensitive nature of their conversation he did not want them to know he was awake. He just took that pain. you did the right thing.
3 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
16 Aug 15
Ouch! Your poor friend! It makes me cringe just thinking about it!
1 person likes this
@topffer (33798)
• France
16 Aug 15
My father had an Alzheimer disease and was refusing to admit it like many with this decease. He was refusing medicines that should have helped him. At a moment I have had to take the decision to ask a trusteeship for him to be able to take care of him. He was in a special retirement home for people with an Alzheimer disease and people there where knowing their job : I would have never refused them to do a physical, I only would have explained to my father that it was for his own sake, and that he should better accept it. However, I am not in your shoes, and this is a very personal decision : nobody can know better than you what is good or not for your mother, and I would never argue with you about your choice.
3 people like this
@AmbiePam (48680)
• United States
16 Aug 15
I think you did the right thing, absolutely. My dad had to make the same decision, regarding the mammogram. I mean, even if some how she (my mom) had cancer, you don't put dementia patients under that kind of cancer treatment when every moment of their life is already bad. My mom wouldn't have wanted to have us extend the kind of horror she was living. You sound like you know what you're doing without any help from anyone!
2 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
My mom wouldn't want that either. Thank you so much @AmbiePam.
• United States
17 Aug 15
I thought of you @AmbiePam and I am glad you commented since you know first hand what @sacmom is going through.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (63528)
• India
16 Aug 15
Why were these tests ordered Did they suspect anythng? If not then routine tests are not called for in this case. You did the right thing.
2 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
16 Aug 15
I'm assuming they were ordered because she's at a certain age. That and probably because her insurance covers it. After all, when it comes to insurance it's all about the money...
2 people like this
@allknowing (63528)
• India
16 Aug 15
@sacmom This reminds me about a hospital we have here. We hardly get admitted for something whatever but they will order tests from top to toe
2 people like this
@jstory07 (66152)
• Roseburg, Oregon
16 Aug 15
You did the right thing. There is no reason for your mother to be put through any pain.
2 people like this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
16 Aug 15
I agree. Thank you Judy.
@owstalaga (4547)
• Philippines
3 Sep 15
Dementia sucks. I think you decided the best thing for her so she won't experience too much pain. At least she is being taken cared of in the care home. We can't afford to put our mom in one.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
4 Sep 15
I agree, it sure does. I can't afford it either. The only reason that she's able to be there is because I was able to make a special arrangement with the care home. Otherwise, she'd most likely be living with my husband, kids, and I. And with me having an autistic son, it just wouldn't be a good idea.
1 person likes this
@owstalaga (4547)
• Philippines
4 Sep 15
@sacmom oh that's good to hear. At least she's getting all her needs attended to at the care home. Wonder how I can make a special arrangement if I find a care home for her. However that is IF she ever agrees to staying there.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
4 Sep 15
@owstalaga I really don't know. I myself am going to be selling my mom's home, so I will be using the money from that (along with her SS) to pay for the care home. This will include back payments as well. Once that money runs out, I don't know what is going to happen...*sigh*
• United States
17 Aug 15
first off I am sure its a very difficult situation to handle, I know your mom is right about the mammogram it does not feel so good and as far as the colonoscopy your mom would be put to slleep first if her health could handle she would not feel a thing , but I am sure you know whats best for your mom I wish you and your mom the best.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
@granny2015 Did you happen to see @sharon6345's response on here? She had a friend who was put to sleep, but woke up during the colonoscopy. I sure wouldn't want that happening to my mom...
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Aug 15
@sacmom no I sure did not see that one , waking up during it surely is not a good thing, I had no idea
1 person likes this
@marlina (72820)
• Canada
19 Aug 15
@sacmom I really think that you made the right decision. The doctors have a tendency to send patients for too many tests for no reason.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Aug 15
I don't doubt that you're right about that. Thank you very much @marlina.
@1wldngl (3991)
• United States
18 Aug 15
I can totally understand that. And what if she doesn't know what is happening to her? I can't imagine putting her through that in her state. I think you did the very best you could under the circumstances. Hug
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
19 Aug 15
I couldn't imagine putting her through it either. Thank you very much @1wldngl.
1 person likes this
• Miami, Florida
17 Aug 15
@sacmon Hi there, I'm truly sorry you are passing through this painful situation. I really hope and wish the best to you and your mother. From my perspective I think you should only let her get done the treatments and exams she truly needs or will make her to feel good and be much better. Also, I know you may have lost your hope by now, but try to keep it up by communicating with her, and asking her these questions to at least see her reactions, you may find the best answer to this right there. Many Blessings.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
I don't know, she's pretty far gone. She'd agree (or disagree) to pretty much anything!
@BelleStarr (37666)
• United States
17 Aug 15
I have been making my mother's medical decision for the same reason as you and I think you did the right thing. When our loved ones get to a certain point it is not humane to put them through things they can't understand. It would be uncomfortable and confuse her and it is not something she needs at all. You did the right thing.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
You're right, it isn't humane at all. Thank you very much @BelleStarr.
@PatZAnthony (12572)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
17 Aug 15
Would not recommend any testing-she is in her last years, so why make things difficult. Imagine if someone determined she needed extensive treatment or surgery. She would never understand why someone is doing such things to her.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
I agree, and I know what you mean. Thank you for understanding @PatZAnthony.
1 person likes this
@rusty2rusty (6767)
• Defiance, Ohio
16 Aug 15
I think you made the right decision with your mother being so fragile. Some doctors don't seem to care how much pain one is in when they order tests. I would allow the tests only if they the doctors suspect something to rule it out at this point. Otherwise no.
1 person likes this
@sacmom (14316)
• United States
17 Aug 15
I completely agree, some doctors will order tests without caring about how much pain a patient is in.
@sofssu (14467)
17 Aug 15
I guess I would have done the same if I was in your place. I wouldn't want her to go through more pain.
1 person likes this