Didn't Think It Would Get Worse, But It Has!! - Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking Blog at Allrecipes.com - 305473

Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking

Didn't Think it would Get Worse, but It has!! 
Jun. 30, 2013 1:21 am 
Updated: Jul. 7, 2013 12:47 pm
First of all, I would like to express that I really appreciate everyone's support and suggestions. I know that many of you have experienced taking care of an elderly person, and I'm sure that many of you have learned through the experience that you were able to do things that you never dreamed you could do - just as I have. I also want to apologize that I have gotten so far off the track of the original theme of this blog, but hopefully, others can learn through my experiences with my mother.

I'm sure you have all heard the old adage "Smile, it could be worse". To this I have added "So I did, and it was".  Well, I must have smiled because it has gotten worse. We found out today that the bacteria causing my mother UTI is a mega bacteria, described as an ESBL,  that is resistant to all disinfectants and most antibiotics. I had never heard of an ESBL (extended-spectrum beta-lactamase), so I did some research on the internet. 

The specific bacteria that my mother has is E-coli, but it can be any bacteria that has been exposed to multiple antibiotics and has developed a resistance to all of them. Most often multiple antibiotics must be tried to find one that will be effective.  Not only is this bacteria difficult to eradicate and control, it is highly contagious. If someone touches anything that the infected person touches, they can become infected. Worse yet, a person that gets infected and is colonized by the bacteria, may or may not become ill.  If the person does not become ill, they become a carrier that can infect other people without knowing it. If a person becomes a carrier, there is nothing medically that can be done. The only hope is that the person's immune system will eventually eliminate the bacteria. 

Since my husband and I did not find out that my mother had ESBL until more than a week after she developed symptoms of a UTI, we have already been exposed. We can only hope that we don't become ill or become carriers. In the meantime, my mother has to be quarantined, and no one can come to see her, including care givers.

In addition, I found out that ESBL has become common in hospitals, and it is difficult to control. Considering the 4 days that my mother stayed in the hospital for the shingles, and the length of time after she came home before we was any symptoms, I believe that she got the bacteria in the hospital. I have called the hospital to let them know about this, and the head nurse in the wing my mother was in sounded appreciative of the information. She said someone would call me back on Monday. We'll see if that happens. They may be concerned about a lawsuit, but my intent was only to warn them so someone else doesn't become ill.  I find it very upsetting that people can go into a hospital to help them with a medical condition, and they can get out of the hospital worse off. 

As of tonight, my mother seems better. We still have to feed her, but for the first time in almost 3 weeks, she ate some solid foods and actually swallowed them. She is still in a lot of pain from the shingles and the UTI, and busts out in tears holding her head or her stomach. She cries every time she has to go to the bathroom because that is painful, too. Fortunately, all of her vitals and blood work are that of a healthy person, but the don't measure the pain she is experiencing. Even so, it is fortunate that we were able to get her off all medications and build her up before all this happened.

Tonight when I put her to bed, she held my hand and wanted a hug. I almost cried. She is in so much pain and knows we are trying to help her. We are at the mercy of the doctors to get her well, and I feel so helpless. 
Jun. 30, 2013 5:46 am
Judy, I am so sorry for you and your Mother, I wish her the best. I have never heard of ESBL, and it is highly probable that she did receive the bacteria from the hospital. I hope that she recovers soon. I can relate to the hopeless feeling that you are experiencing. My brother has been in ICU for the last 7 months, and I wish that there was something I could do for him. However, it is now in God's hands,and the same is true for your mother. I hope that the doctors can help her recover. Best of Luck to you and your entire family.
Jun. 30, 2013 7:44 am
You, your Mother, and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. She is lucky to have you to take care of her. You are doing everything possible that you can for her. My Mother was in and out of the hospital several times last year and it seems like each time she came out with an infection and weaker than when she went in. Stay strong, know you have people praying for you and you will get through this.
Jun. 30, 2013 8:15 am
Prayers for your family. Hoping your Mom feels better soon. I also feel that bug was picked up in the hospital. Can she take any pain meds? Pain is so draining, & sleep is good for healing. When I took care of my Mom, we went through cellulitus & shingles-I made sure I got the shingles vaccine when I became eligible. Stay strong, eat healthy-it helps, as you know.
Jun. 30, 2013 12:33 pm
This is all too common an occurrence, especially in the elderly. My FIL contracted and died of mersa and my father contracted C-Diff. They re also superbugs. In fact in my fathers case, we were told the heavy course of antibiotics he had been given, with no probiotics caused the infection. Your poor mother! Can she safely have the UTI treated with sulfa? She would feel relief within a day.
Jun. 30, 2013 6:03 pm
I can't imagine how awful this must be Judy. My own Mom is in reasonably good health physically and ensconced in a home for old folks with her diminished capacities. Nothing Like what you are going through. I recently read an article regarding why these super bugs tend to collect in hospitals. The reason is right in what you said, people don't even know they have these bugs sometimes and it can take another kind of sickness to cue them, more often long after that initial sickness has hospitalized the patient. Thusly the bug gets spread, the hardy drug resistant bug right there in the hospital. A sad state. My best to you and yours.
Jul. 1, 2013 11:40 am
Oh JUDY, How terrible for you all! OMG, it is so sad and heart breaking to watch someone you LOVE go through such pain!! All we can do is pray and hope the dr's and meds can work the way they should. My thought and prayers to you and yours Judy, {{{HUGS}}}
Jul. 3, 2013 7:00 am
Judy, I really know what you are going through. Went through this with my mom and dad. Unfortunately MRSA and C.Dif are very common in hospitals and nursing homes with the elderly. Seems like they can never get off meds once they contact C.Dif. You are a very loving and caring person. Your mom is so fortunate to have you. My heart goes out to you.
Jul. 3, 2013 4:58 pm
Hugs and prayers. It is a tough process as we watch our parents decline. Prayers for strength.
Jul. 4, 2013 9:39 pm
Not knowing what medications your mother is on for the shingles if gabapentin/neurontin is not one of them you should ask about it. My husband had shingles on the head and the only thing that took care of the headaches was the gabapentin. Started with a very small dose and worked up to the level he is now. He had tried several narcotics. He takes several medications for heart, blood pressure and the like and it does not interfere with any of the 17 prescriptions. It is for nerve pain and also used for neuropathy. Good luck and remember to take care of yourself. Caring for our parents is a marathon, not a sprint but I am sure you already know that.
Jul. 5, 2013 1:22 am
vanillabean, An ESBL is a bacteria that has become resistant to disinfectants and most antibiotics because of repeated exposure to them. In my research, this can be any bacteria, but in my mother's case is an e-coli. ESBL bacteria has become a common problem in many hospitals because they can't control them with disinfectants. When I found out what it was, I called the hospital, and the nurse I talked to seemed very appreciative that I let them know. They wanted to know the room she stayed in, and the date of her admittance. Symptoms of the UTI became evident a little over a week after my mother was released from the hospital. This is the incubation period. She definitely did get this bacteria in the hospital.
Jul. 5, 2013 1:33 am
Boonie, I have to look into the gabapentin that you suggested. Initially, they gave her a form of on acyclovir that is for a virus. Since, they have given her nothing for pain. Between the nerve pain from the shingles, and the abdominal and pain urinating from the UTI, she is in a lot of pain. Her facial expression is almost always winced in pain, and she has been sleeping almost all the time to try to escape it. I will definitely ask about the gabapentin. Thanks so much!!
Jul. 5, 2013 5:33 am
I feel your pain and frustration, Judy. My mother finally succumbed to an uncontrollable UTI that I wonder might be related to what your mother has. It ain't easy...
Jul. 5, 2013 7:54 am
My heart goes out to you and your mother. I sincerely hope you both get relief very soon. If you and your husband had chicken pox as children, talk to your health care provider about getting the shingles vaccine. My sister (58) got shingles last year, so I got the vaccine. It's pretty expensive, but not as expensive as treatment for shingles, or as expensive, pain-wise. In regard to the EBSL, one reason that the drug-resistant bacteria seem to predominate in hospitals is that most patients have a depressed immune system and are at greater risk for acquiring them. E. coli naturally exists in the intestine, and unfortunately it is a very adaptable organism. If powerful antibiotics don't kill all of it, it has the ability to mutate to become resistant. This process also gets a "head start" because so much of the meat, eggs and milk in our country are full of antibiotics, and these bugs are busy mutating because of that, too.
Jul. 5, 2013 7:51 pm
You are welcome Judy. The acyclovir/valtrex will do nothing for the pain, that just deals with the shingles virus itself. He had shingles on his eyelid and it never actually went in the eye but he was on valtrex for over a year because whenever he went off the eye would itch ache and water like mad. Regarding the uti, there is an otc called CYSTEX that is a pain reliever and anti bacterial. If you can catch the uti early this will usually knock it out, at the very least it give some relief until you can get her to the doctor. I have it with me when I travel just in case, uti's are sooo miserable.
Jul. 5, 2013 8:54 pm
God bless you for being there for her. It is hard to manage pain sometimes, but as someone who lives with a chronic painful disease I can tell you having a loved one who is willing to walk thru it with you means the world.
Jul. 6, 2013 2:21 am
I am so sorry for you Mom's problems and appreciate how worried you are. I have a bladder problem and had all symptoms of a UTI. Tests show that as a result of the treatments I had, my bladder was acutely inflamed. The ONLY thing that helped my pain was to follow the diet of patients with interstitial cystitis which I found via internet. This diet was basically no spices,vinegars, no fruits like citrus, cantelope, banana, pineapple, tomatoes, grapes, no tea, coffee or chocolate. I was shocked that the fruit and vegatables irritated the bladder so badly. After eliminating all the irritants, the pain on urination decreased almost immediately and the bladder finally started to heal. I drank only bottled water. Eventually, I added pears, pear nectar, apples and apple juice. I am 68 years old and female. Try researching this diet. I pray your Mom finds relief from this pain and I applaud your dedication. Please post your results if you do try this.
Jul. 6, 2013 5:13 am
Judy I'm so sorry for you and your mom and though I'm no expert on the subject have you thought of a detox for the liver for her? Poeple generally do not realize that ecoli typically lives in all of our livers. It's not a bacteria you just come by by chance and that is why it is so easily found in hospitals. When your sick to begin with it gives leave way for it to grow and great rates. Generally liver detoxics work well on them. If she is having issues with foods especaily fruit and vegtables that is not normal and a detoxic should help to improve that as well also taking probotics.
Jul. 6, 2013 5:15 am
See a holistic docotor to get more information. Sadly many do not realize that mid wifes and holostic doctors have MORE training than a moderen day md an dunlike todays docs they are taught illness: fix though nutrition not illness: pharmacutcal drugs. Not knocking just a thought.
Jul. 6, 2013 7:00 am
Judy, I can relate. M’Lady has had diabetes for many years. Last year, she damaged a toe, and that turned to gangrene. The toe was amputated, and she spent two months in a rehab facility. Since then, the gangrene has grown, and she has had four UTI’s since. She is in the hospital now, and the prognosis is not good. They’re making her last days as comfortable as possible. I have been her sole care giver since last October, and I know it isn’t easy. And there’s nothing that I can do, because her daughter was given power of attorney, and is unavailable at this time. I will say a prayer for you. And I will mention ESBL to the doctor, and see what he thinks.
Jul. 6, 2013 8:32 am
Oh clif I'm so sorry.
Jul. 6, 2013 3:17 pm
Cranberry pills for Uti. I have taken this For years. Dr wont prescribe it because Its natural. Shouldn't interfere with anything and is natural extract. I used to get UTI all the time in 20 and 30. I take it instead of cranberry cocktail, no sugars to make the infection last. Good luck.
Jul. 7, 2013 12:47 pm
You, your mother and your family are in our prayers. She is lucky to have you - I know what you're going through as I am going through something very similar and am tending to an ill family member. God bless you lots! (((Hugs)))
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About Me
I breed large parrots, like to write, raise most of our veggies, completed my AS degree at 65, enjoy cooking specialty dishes and baking bread. I have done extensive study of cooking and eating healthy. A few years ago, I started researching healthy eating for my parrots, and it has since changed focus to the diet of my family. At this point, I make all of our bread using fresh milled flour that I make. We eat primarily pastures fed meats and eggs, and I make many of our condiments. We also avoid GMO foods and ingredients as much as possible. Since my 93 year old mother has moved in with us, we have eliminated the 10 medications she was on, and her physical and mental condition has improved considerably. I totally believe that we are what we eat. What is really best for us is a constant learning experience.
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I get bored with cooking daily meals, but enjoy making specialty and new dishes. I also enjoy baking breads from scratch using freshly ground flour made from various grains that I buy in bulk.
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One of my cooking triumphs was baking whole grain breads that are light, tasty, and healthy.
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My latest cooking tragedy was recovered with some effort. I made the Navy Bean and Ham soup that I posted and after the cooking time, much of the liquid had evaporated. I was tired when it finished and put it into containers and froze it as it was. The next day we had it for dinner and it was way too thick. As much as I didn't feel like it, I thawed 8 containers of the soup, added more broth, and repackaged it for freezing. It was really a pain, but I'm glad I did it. The finished soup was so much better.
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