My 79 Year Old Mom.Crohns BP and other ??'s

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worried daughter
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/11/2008 10:00 PM (GMT -7)   
sad This is my first post, so I'm a newbie. My 79 year old mother was diagnosised with Crohn's in March of 2004. She was diagnosised and hospitalized for 1 month following a colectomy with colostomy and other complications. After being released from the hospital, she continued to get weaker, short of air, and not progressing well. 4 months later they discovered a abcess from the surgery that had tunneled to her back side. She spent another week in the hospital for IV antibiotics and drains were placed. After this episode she began to recover much faster and was able to maintain some of her activities. In May of 2005, she went back for a reversal of her colostomy and repair of 2 hernias. She slowly recovered and was doing well, without meds for her Crohn's. She had some trouble with diarrhea but the surgeon the the GI doc said that was expected because she didnt have alot of colon left and she would have "short bowel" syndrome. Her diarrhea was controllable and she didnt have many other symptoms. In January of 2006, she developed an abcess at her old colostomy site, she eventually had a one day surgery for this, it was not related to her Crohn's but to the sutures they used to repair the hernia had waded into a ball and caused infection. Since April of 2006, she did very well until about 1 week before Christmas of 2007. She began to complain about being tired and then on Christmas Eve 2007, she starting have alot of abdominal pain, diarrhea, back pain and major fatigue. Of coarse, its a holiday and none of her regular docs are available, but one of their partners did subscribe Levabid. The day after Christmas her symptoms grew worse and she went to the local urgent care clinic. They examined her, did lab, and a CAT scan. All her lab was normal. Her CAT scan didnt show any abcesses or anything that different. Her GI doc in out of the country until Jan 21. We went to his office and saw the nurse practionier and she prescribed Pentasa. That was 2 weeks ago. Her diarrhea has calmed down, but she has waves of nausea and occasional vomitting, her pain is "all over" Not just abdomin, but also in back, neck and joints. The pain is worse at night. She has sores in her mouth and around her rectal area. She also has some sores that broke out on her abdomen. She complains of terrible fatigue, dizziness, and weakness. No appetite. Her blood pressure is low. (90/60) I take it daily, I'm a nurse. She has stopped taking her daily BP meds. I have encouraged her to drink plenty of fluids and have gotten her a bunch of Gatorade. She is not on any pain meds except Tylenol. She does take Xanax at night to help her rest and she takes a daily dose of Zoloft. She takes Potassium and Magnesium. The nurse practionier put her on Entocort today along with the Pentasa. I read many posts on this site and feel that alot of her symptoms are like many of yours. My questions are: Has anyone suffered from low blood pressure? Will the fatigue and weakness ever improve? What can we do about her pain? Any suggestions or ideas or anything will be welcomed. I have a list of questions for the GI doc when we see him on Jan 22, like Vit B12, probiotics, pain pills, iron supplements and etc. Thanks you in advance for any ideas.
** I added a title to your thread this way you should get more replies to your post ....**IF it is not what you would like there then by all mean do put your own topic in.WELCOME to HW...........LYN 

Post Edited By Moderator (Howlyncat) : 1/12/2008 7:45:39 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 1/12/2008 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi wd and welcome to the board! I'm so sorry your mom is dealing with this. My mom has IBS and I'm constantly trying to help her, so I understand your plight. It seems your mom really needs some answers right now, though, and I don't have any for you--just wanted to say welcome!

Understandably, you have a lot of questions. You might want to ask one or two separately on this board to grab attention of those who know and put a pertinent subject heading to help. Also, you may have success doing a search with words like probiotics, iron, etc.

I hope your mother feels better real soon!
Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium w/D3 and a good multivitamin.
Started The Maker's Diet in early September.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 1/12/2008 7:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and glad to have you on this forum! Its wonderful that you care so much for your Mom! I am sure she deeply appreciates you.

Jan 22 seems like a long time away. The sores you mentioned are worrisome, as is the low blood pressure. I am concerned there may be infection. She may be having a reaction to a drug, and suddenly going off the BP meds can be a problem. I would keep in frequent contact with the nurse practioner. They often are compassionate people who are willing to take the time to care for you. Doesn't your Dr have someone sitting in for him/her while he is on vacation? If her symptoms aren't getting better, I would consider going to the ER.

I really feel for her! Getting such a strong dose of this disease at her age can't be pleasant. Please let us know how she is doing!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/12/2008 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello and Welcome to HW
I am so sorry that your Mom is dealing with this DD at her age
She should be enjoying life and not being so sick
I do feel she has a great daughter that is supporting and caring enough to seek answers for her ..Kudos to you
My bp is always on the low side ( when broken out in sores ) but not dangerously ........I would also say keeping in close contact with her docs would be of the utmost importance as well
It sounds like you are doing your best to help her and keep her comfy and as healthy as YOU can  
 I am sure others will pop in and let you know what they think
Weekends are abit slower so dont give up it might take more time for responses

Keep us posted on how she is doing will you .
Take care

Contribute Today ..Click On         
Moderator,Anxiety/Panic, Alzheimers,Co Mod for Crohns                     

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 1/12/2008 7:48:12 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 1/12/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Gosh, I am so sorry for your mom's suffering. I haven't experienced the surgeries, but I do have the low blood pressure. Mine is normally 80/50-ish range. Sometimes it goes as low as 50/30 which I know sounds like I'd be dead. I have had low blood pressure all my life, so maybe I am used to it by now. What I do know from my experience with Crohn's is that I have gone through times of extreme fatigue where I could barely get out of bed, pain that seems like it is all over (many of us have lots of joint pain along with the intestinal pain), not having an appetite at all and frankly just feeling horrible. Yes, it can certainly get better and I hope it will soon for your mom. She obviously needs more help with her multiple issues. Is there any other GI doctor that you can consult in the meantime? Please keep us updated on her progress. We all care.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 1/12/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
i have the low bp too. has ur mom had her iron levels checked, im sure she has. They want me to have a blood transfusion and i'm still debating. Also, as for the fatigue and loss of appettite, has she tried the supplemental drinks like ensure? Boost works for me if i drink enough? i have a problem with staying hydrated as i usually dont drink much, im working on that. But it can get better. I tell myself this alot bc lately iv been experiencing my fatigue, staying in the house sleeping in pain hardly able to move, but i can easily remember times (well mayb not easily when the pain is really bad) when i've been fine, able to resume my natural activity. Unfortunately crohns is so unpredictable, we have our good and our horrible days. I pray for ur mom that she gets relief soon.
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/12/2008 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to you on your first visit to Healing Well! To help you get the most out of the Crohn's Forum please feel comfortable asking questions or email if you would like too. I am Kitt and I am a nurse too.

I am so sorry about your dear Mom. I am wondering if perhaps she has been through so much and because of her age she is showing more signs of fatigue.  It certainly sounds like she needs to be seen by her GI. Also the low pressure.........what does she normally run? Is she dehydrated, I know you mentioned gatorade for lytes but she could be volume depleted.  Just tossing out some thoughts.

Any cardiac problems...............?? I hope she is feeling better soon and please keep posting. Gentle Hugs to you and Mom.

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7121
   Posted 1/12/2008 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I would call the NP back and tell her of your mother's continuing nausea, occasional vomiting, fatigue, weakness, mouth sores, and all over pain. While waiting for her GI, the NP can order additional labs such as B12 and Vit D levels. If she truly has short bowel syndrome then she is at high risk for malnutrition and it is important to discover to what extent it is affecting her.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency symptoms in early stages are feeling weak, tired, and lightheaded; pale skin; having a sore, red tongue or bleeding gums; feeling sick to your stomach and losing weight; and/or having diarrhea or constipation.

"In a study involving 150 children and adults with unexplained muscle and bone pain, almost all were found to be vitamin D deficient; many were severely deficient with extremely low levels of vitamin D in their bodies."

I hope your mother regains her strength soon. Please let us know how she is doing.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

worried daughter
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/14/2008 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
:-) Thank you everyone for your responses. Unfortunately, the GI doctors partners will not see her in the office, if she is hospitalized, they would care for her there, but for office visits you have to see your regular GI doc or see the NP. It sounded silly to me, but I guess they are afraid of losing pts to each other?? The NP has been good about helping us out. I think my Mom's low BP is partially related to her volume intake. I have been making sure she drinks plenty. She has experienced some low BPs in the past when she was very ill. She does not have any heart problems that are current. During her month long stay at the hospital the first time, she did experience some irregularites that resolved on their own and the cardiologist's opinion was that she so sick for 2 weeks prior to her surgery that her heart problems were transient. During her 2nd surgery, the surgeon said she did have a little irregularities and had the cardiologist see her again, but since they resolved on their own, he felt that anytime they mess with her gut her heart reacts. Those were the only 2 times she had problems and they resolved on their own and never showed up again in the hospital after either surgery and she was on a heart moniter the whole time. When I check her BP, I also listen to her heart and I dont hear any problems. (I work a cardiac floor, so I'm used to hearing hearts) I definately think she would benefit from B12 and other supplements. Its at the top of list for the GI doc. We have tried nutrional supplements, like Boost and Ensure, I even had her try energy bars and the like, but she absolutely does not like them. The only thing she did try and would eat was the high protein jello they gave her at the hospital. Do you know if I can buy a protein powder and put it in jello if that would work? I have printed several things off this site and given her to read. I think this helps because she can relate and feels like she is not alone. Was able to wash her hair and shower on Saturday, so that was a plus. I worry about getting her to the doctor, but if I have too, I will go rent a wheelchair and take her that way, we did it before, we can do it again. Again, thank you for all your suggestions, it helps me to read this site, and I feel that I can help her.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 1/14/2008 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, as you can see we have some wounderful people on this forum.I feel for your mother and I know were you are coming from,my dad was diagnosed with Crohns a couple of weeks ago and dad is 68.I strugle as well trying to make sure that he eat's and as we know when yout stomach hurt's the last thing you want to do is eat.My dad will eat Jello and he will drink Insure and it's loaded with vitiams.My dad has all ways been small but now he looks like a walking dead person.So please know that we are here for you and I hope that your mother gets to feeling better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 1/14/2008 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I would take her to the ER and get her admitted. I am also a nurse (old ER/ICU nurse) and there needs to be some serious testing done. Just with her Hx of abscess formation along with pain esp in the back with low BP really concerns me. If it were me, I would be there. My mom died from complications of hypotension, she was in her 90's. She should def be on B12, try SL until ordered. Also older folks don't feel pain as much as younger people do. It is terrible that covering docs won't see pts, nevermind hardly call them back. I had to be pushy about getting a blood test done when my doc was away for a month. Please don't trust NP's or CT scans totally. Could she have a yeast inf causing the sores and/or an inflammatory arthritis from the crohn's. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
Diagnosed at age 19 with CD.
3 small bowel resections, 1 for perforation, 2 for strictures 

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/15/2008 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I really think she should get her B12 checked. It is very common when you have had surgeries for Crohns for you to then suffer with low B12. Also, its very common for the elderly to be low on B12 also. As we age our supplies lower and can be a cause for dementia in the elderly. I sure hope you get her feeling better. Hope the Entocort helps things calm down some too. Also, ask about some Zofran for her nausea. I take it and it really helps. Good luck!

God Bless,
Gail * Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

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