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    mom with parkinson's
    avatar
    lorigrady posted:
    My 87 year old mother is in the end stages of Parkinson's. She was doing relatively well but suffered a fall on Christmas. She also has a history of compression fractures due to osteoporosis and ended up with back surgery to relieve her pain. Prior to her fall, she was ambulatory with a walker and one-one assistance. Because of the fall, she lost all use of her legs, both feeling and mobility. Before her fall her appetite was very good and she was able to eat almost everything. Her appetite decreased progressively and as of now she is virtually eating bird bites. The doctor wants to insert an NG feeding tube to try and help her get her appetite back. I am at a loss because I don't know if all of this is due to her end stage Parkinson's. We will probably be inserting the tube tomorrow but what happens in a week or two? I'm told this type of feeding tube is only temporary. Her swallowing isn't great but okay. Her lack of appetite seems more a loss of interest. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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    DUKE MEDICINE
    Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
    Dear lorigrady,
    I am sorry to read about your Mother's health decline. I think the fall resulted in nerve or spinal cord damage. This was likely related to the prior back history. I think it is reasonable to ask her physicians to assess whether she had spinal cord damage, and whether she will have improvement in her numbness and weakness.

    Your next decision, the feeding tube, while worrisome, is one that will help her. I think your mom has had a very difficult health concerns. I think the feeding tube will allow her some time to process decisions that only she can make. This approach will also help her care team to provide her medications and hydration. Dehydration is extremely uncomfortable, and now this can be avoided.
     
    avatar
    lovedogs1955 replied to Mark A Stacy, MD's response:
    Does your mother have Advance Directives? Did you all ever discuss how she would like to have her end of life care to be and what it should include? Is she able to make informed decisions on her own or with help? Or is she not able to make these decisions at all?

    Lot's to consider......I hope you get good guidance and support from family and health care professionals.


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