I drafted this post over two weeks ago, and never finished it. Mom was still at home, and it seems a lifetime ago. Mom doesn’t have pneumonia, but she does have a UTI… Will update soon in part II, but posting this here now…
They call pneumonia The Old Man’s Friend, because it often sets in when the immune system is no longer competent, and causes death in a comparatively swift manner. My mother most likely now has pneumonia as a result of her COPD.
My mother also has a flair of her UTI, often it’s a form of some resistant E. coli that she picked up in the hospital years ago. She also harbors at least one other resistant, reportable urinary bug. Oddly, in seniors, as most of us in this situation know, these UTIs in the elderly often do not cause pain, but more confusion. Each one also advances the dementia some, and impacts some organs, such as the kidneys (Mom is almost in Stage IV kidney failure).
Mom is refusing taking her medication (antibiotics). We could find other ways to administer it, and could also have her admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics. However, evaluation by the hospice team is that her body, and she herself, is telling us it is time – she is also losing weight, not eating, and has expressed the desire to several people, that she just wishes to go to sleep and not wake up.
We have decided not to treat with antibiotics and to provide only comfort measures. The hospice team has said days to weeks, maybe a month. Mom is a tough cookie with at least nine lives, so I interpret that as weeks to maybe a couple of months. Either way, emotionally difficult times ahead.