My mother was admitted to St. Joseph’s hospital in Tuscon with labored breathing and high pulse. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and has excessive fluid build up around the heart. She was tentatively diagnosed heart disease.
Her treating cardiologist is telling us that they cannot do definitive tests to diagnose exactly what happened until the pneumonia is addressed, but she thinks that she suffered from congenitve heart failure, possibly a myocardial infarction (am I spelling this correctly?). They did an ultrasound of her heart and lungs, which led to the diagnosis of pneumonia.
They are telling us that due to her pneumonia that they cannot get a blood draw, due to low blood pressure or pulse (I have to speak to the cardiologist again to get clarity on this).
I have many questions and am hoping that this group and help. I’m just starting to research this on the web. I’ve asked about the nurse to patient ratio in the ward that she’s in and they tell me it is 1:7.
She is very, very weak. I am trying to make sure that they have a complete list of medications that she is taking to avoid the possibility of a drug interaction. They are administering a diuretic medication right now to decrease fluid around her heart. Her heart is enlarged, apparently. My mom also has IBS and Hepatitis C. They do not have her in intensive care, which makes me nervous. Firstly, I need to know:
1) What questions should I be asking her cardiologist?
2) What kind of tests should she be given to accurately ascertain the condition of her heart?
3) What courses of treatments are there once a diagnosis is given?
4) Are there any medications that I should watch out for as possibly problematic, or that might result in bad drug interactions?
5) What kind of second opinion should I ask for? From another cardiologist?
6) Are there any other questions I should be asking?
7) What shall I ask them about not being able to get a blood draw from her? This makes me suspicious, frankly.
My mother does not have private health insurance. She lives in a nursing home and her medical care is provided by Medicare.
I am in California and thus trying to coordinate care from long distance until I get there. Naturally, I am very very terrified right now. My uncle died in a Tucson in hospital a few years ago due to pneumonia gotten in hospital, and he received substandard care, which contributed to his death. My father also died of heart failure in 1998, mostly due to lifestyle factors.
Thank you for reading this, and any and all suggestions and help are welcome.
I’m very holistic in approach to medical care, so am wondering, if she recovers, what can be done as a complementary adjunct to her acute care.