mum in hospital with kidney member


I hope you don't mind me writing on here as its about my mum and her recent episode of illness that has left her in hospital. mum has had heart failure and kidney disease for many years on top of a number of smaller ailments. last week we thought we had lost her as she was taken to hospital by ambulance as her carer(mum has a dementia too!) found her unable to get up and basically blowing up like a balloon. We were told that her kidney disease had gone into failure. Because it seems drugs prescribed for both organs are contradictory for each, mum is being kept 'stable'. As we have never really known that much about kidney disease before we thought 'failure' meant that her kidneys were not functioning at all and never will be but today they say she is back in the high 20's. How can that be especially as they are only giving her a low dose of water tablet because of her heart. I'm so confused. Could she get better? Her urine is very dark and there's not much of it.How can someone with heart and kidney failure survive? Mum is 77. Thank you.

14 Replies

  • snowygirl --

    I hope by now you have been able to learn about your mum's condition and how it is being treated. I have learned that -- at least here in the U.S. -- people over 65 are not usually given transplants because younger patients normally have a longer life expectancy than older ones, and it has been found people in this age group don't often benefit from dialysis. At 85, my kidneys have remained stable for a year since diagnosis, but my high blood pressure is more difficult to control. I have had a good life, and am willing to accept that sometime doctors may not be able to do more than keep me stable. Please stay in touch with us in this community.

  • Thank you JayKay

    I am learning more minute by minute as I read through this very informative forum. Mum's dementia and heart failure has been our main focus over the past couple of years as her kidneys never seemed to worry her GP. Now I find myself in new territory and I'm really glad to have found this forum.

  • Snowygirl --

    What do you or your mum's doctors say about the level of your mum's dementia? Are you her main caretaker? I ask because I'm trying to get an idea of what your situation is like. My mum had Alzeimer's, but my parents didn't live near me, and my father concealed the severity of her condition from me for a long time. My late husband had Alzheimer's in addition to multiple medical conditions. Fortunately, he was not combative.

  • Hi well unfortunately both my parents have Alzeimer's but my mum's is mixed with vascular dementia too. My dad went into a home this time last year and my mum has lived alone since. She had a fall 5 weeks ago and had a weeks stay in hospital during which they said she had kidney trauma and stopped most of her drugs with a view to reviewing them. Three weeks later as I said she was admitted again. Her dementia has worsened, her legs and lower abdomen are still swollen with fluid and we are waiting for an assessment on her mobility. She has begun to be aggressive in the hospital but has never been that way with me. There are 3 siblings caring for here and I'm 1.5 hrs away!

  • Hi snow girl .......I'm in almost the same as your mother, I have heart failure & block ,my chronic kidney disease is t stage 4 so 23 gfr also anemic- with very painful osteoporosis on very strong medication & checked regularly at Drs for blood pressure which can be eradicate & by regular 3 monthly hospital appointments ,cardiac & almost 79 ,but am plodding along ,So wish your mother all the best of healt 🌹🌹

  • snowygirl, I'm sorry to hear about your Mum's recent experience but the latest news sounds promising if her kidney function has improved from "failure" to an eGFR in the 20's. I'm not a medic but it sounds as though she was retaining fluid for some reason (likely her heart problem) and the water tablet has proved successful in getting rid of the fluid thus taking the pressure of her kidney function. I know someone who was in hospital a few years ago with kidney failure due to a heart condition. He was treated urgently and his kidneys are now fine. Hopefully, the doctors treating your Mum will be able to find a way of re-hydrating her so that her urine becomes more diluted without her "blowing up" again. But do question the doctors - they are the experts and should explain everything to you. I do wish your Mum well - she is blessed to have you.

  • I think its difficult as too much hydration is difficult for the heart. I know she is on a restricted fluid intake (1.5 ltrs) but then she isn't drinking much anyway. I fear that she will stay bloated as they cannot give her a bigger dose of water tablets. It's a vicious circle but I hope they will make her more comfortable as despite ulcers on her poor legs too she could at least walk around before all this happened. Thank you for your post.

  • Hi snowy girl

    Fistly, my heart goes out to you and your mum. This must be a very difficult and worrying time for you both. I'm assuming you are in the UK?

    I'm no expert on heart failure. Regarding kidneys, they can lose a lot of function before any intervention is required ie dialysis. Whether or not your mum will have that won't depend on her age, but whether it enables her to have a reasonable quality of life. If she is still passing urine then there is still some function. Medication can have a negative effect of the kidneys, even diuretics (water tablets) which are often given to treat odema ( fluid overload) caused by poorly working kidneys.

    Should she be given dialysis, it will be tailored to her needs as a heart patient. A transplant however is unlikely because of this as the operation itself would require anaesthetic which might put too much strain on the heart, not to mention the cocktail of drugs.

    I wish you and your mum well. Feel free to post any concerns you may have. There are always people who will help if they can.

  • Thank you Nicolala

    yes I am in the UK. We have already been told that mum would not be suitable for dialysis or a transplant so I guess they will just try and keep her as comfortable as they can although she isn't comfortable with the amount of fluid still in her body. I know its difficult but its hard watching mum suffer. Thanks for your reply.

  • Yes it must be so hard for you. Fluid of overload is very uncomfortable, especially if lying down. I guess the hospital will continue with the diuretics to manage it as best they can, as roo much fluid also causes high blood pressure. I wish you and your mum well. Take care.

  • Its tricky, kidneys age, like the rest of your body, and 20percent is fine to live on if its not reducing rapidly.

    It sounds like things are fairly complicated, but promising considering.

    You can find out more info here and the NKF also runs a helpline

  • Thank you JMan we will keep hoping that mums condition stays promising!

  • I wish your mother a very quick recovery.

  • Im sorry about your mum. I hope she has recovered. My mum had HF for many years and unknown to us CKD, although not bad. She had a kidney infection and was admitted to hospital with an acute kidney injury. Her fuction was 13 at admission. They stopped all her heart meds. this is normal apparently as the meds harm they damage kidneys. Her function improved, up to 23 after being given IV fluids. Her HF became worse while not taking the meds. She was passing urine fine although while catheterised. Sadly she deteriorated rapidly after 18 days without her meds and passed away. Personally I was not happy with her treatment at the hospital and I urge you to keep asking questions and make sure she is having both cardiology and renal input.

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