Looking for help on what to ask Doctors about my dying mum
January 8, 2010 10:31 AM   Subscribe

About 2 years ago my mum (aged 62) was diagnosed with having a cist on the pituitary gland it was removed with surgery but came back around a year later. She had another operation followed up with a round of radiotherapy. She slowly started to get better over the past 10 months all be it tired a lot of the time and sometimes incoherent due to her not being able to regulate sodium levels in her blood.

Around 2 weeks ago she started having seizures and was taken back into hospital. She had some tests done as they suspected water on the brain or the cist possibly returning. The scans came back fine as did her blood tests for various levels associated with the pituitary/endocrine system. Her condition over the past week or so has slowly deteriorated and she is now in intensive care her left side of the body shakes at times, her face and hands are swollen and she has been punching/clawing at her neck for some reason. To talk to she is reasonable coherent all be it in whispers

I spoke to the doctors and they have concluded that they dont know whats wrong with her. They said it may have been a stroke but they are unsure and that if her condition deteriorated more that they would not putting her on life support due to quality of life issues. The team are having a chat tomorrow and making a decision on how to treat her then they will speak to me to let me know and answer any questions i have.

Im unsure what to ask them tomorrow i just feel pretty numb about it all. It does seem that theve given up on her (im sure they wouldnt without good reason) but i would like help/suggestion on what to be asking them in regards to possible avenues of exploration to find out what the problem is and also if there is anything that can be done. She looks terrible but worst of all i think she has given up mentally. I wouldnt want her to suffer but id like to know that i did all i could for her

Im in the UK so we are talking about NHS - who have been great considering there resources
posted by toocan to Health & Fitness (2 answers total)
My prior answer to you was dropped by the server snafu. If you would like me to repeat it as well as I can, please leave an answer here. If not, that's OK too.
posted by Old Geezer at 4:58 PM on January 9, 2010

Hi again, I answered as well and was dropped too. I decided to check back and answer again for what it is worth.
Maybe you can ask or look into endocrine or thyroid problems, as you made mention of punching/clawing at the neck and a sodium problem. Iodine and thyroid function are linked. Since it started with the pituitary gland and it's the master endocrine gland it might be worth a look.
Hopefully one of the doctors you are dealing with is an endocrinologist?
Disclaimer, I am not a doctor but I do have personal experience with thyroid problems.
All the best to you and your mum.
posted by bookshelves at 8:50 PM on January 9, 2010

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