A Caregivers Story – Minor Details

So, I told you that mom is in Hospice care.  I suppose you would like to know how she got from living semi-independently to being recommended to Hospice, which is still semi-independent- but with support staff.

Mom has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). To me this is a fairly vague diagnosis that says she has breathing issues.  Moms COPD is caused by emphysema. Along with COPD mom has Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).  The bottom portion of her heart does not work as efficiently as it should in keeping the blood pumping.  These two conditions can cause a buildup of fluid in her system and this causes her largest problem. Not being able to breathe.

An inefficient beating heart, too much fluid (water, tea, juice) and too much sodium are the main suspects of fluid buildup in the lungs.  Fluid intake and sodium in mom’s diet requires a finely tuned and delicate balance. Too much fluid in her system makes it hard for her to breathe and ultimately ends her up in the hospital if her body can’t or won’t eliminate the extra fluid.  Sigh. Shall I repeat that??

Individually these diseases are hard on a body.  Combined they exacerbate every one of her symptoms. This can make day to day life of showering, getting dressed, household chores and getting around difficult. Even on oxygen mom  gets short of breath. She tires easily and gets frustrated that she can’t do and accomplish everything she used to be able to do in a day.

But we do live with it we do.

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