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Old 06-03-2016, 06:10 PM
 
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Basically my mother is turning 77 this year and has no history with colon cancer in the family. However in the most recent physical where she had to give a stool sample there was a hint of blood, which led my family doctor to recommend a specialist who made an appointment to do a colonoscopy this month. I suspect there was blood because my mother suffers from constipation and prior to giving the stool sample she forced herself to go which caused her to bleed quite a bit. After that though, there's been no blood whatsoever.

The problem is my mother's mental and physical health has declined late last year and if this scheduled colonoscopy had occurred before all her other problems she would not have hesitated to do this procedure. She's not sure if she can fast the day before and does not want to take the prescriptions to make her empty out her colon. She finds the procedure too difficult because of her current health. She does not want her to go but the doctor and specialist want her in cause there's a health problem.

Should I force her to go or let her cancel? I'm worried on the day of the procedure she will flat out cancel. She's mentioned that she might. On the one hand I don't really think she has any type of colon cancer but I'd hate myself if there was an actual problem that the colonoscopy could find.

She's an adult but my mother and her reasoning is not 100% logical at the moment. Not sure what I should do. I've read that colonoscopies can be hard on very elderly people and useless after age 75.

What should I do?
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:13 PM
 
35,104 posts, read 44,142,638 times
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You should quit trying to parent your parent, she is obviously a grown woman who is lucid and can make her own decisions no matter how you feel about it.
Leave her alone.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:14 PM
Status: "My heart broke the day Leonard Nimoy died." (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ and Redwood City, CA
10,891 posts, read 7,101,536 times
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A small amount of blood in the stool is pretty common. It can be from hemorrhoids or straining.

I'm surprised your doctor would go straight for a colonoscopy. Ask if she can do an fecal occult blood test instead. This checks for hidden blood in stool and can be done at home. If that comes back positive, then go from there.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Location: Location
6,703 posts, read 8,577,220 times
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You cannot force your mother to have a procedure if she is not comfortable. All you can do is quietly tell her that if nothing is found, she can continue to enjoy her life and if there is anything that is suspect, it can often be taken care of before she wakes up.


As for your reading about how hard a scope is on the elderly, may I tell you that I'm pretty elderly. At age 73, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Had surgery and continue to have periodic colonoscopies. MOF, I had one last month. I'm 80 now and I still marvel that something so invasive can leave me feeling like I just had a little nap and now I need breakfast!


Whatever your Mom decides, know that you did what you could but the decision is hers. Out of courtesy for the professionals involved, it would be better if she cancels prior to the day of the appointment. Good luck.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
9,207 posts, read 5,460,292 times
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What would your mother want to do if a colonoscopy DID find a cancer? Would she want to undergo major surgery to remove it, or would she opt for palliative care? The answer to that question should help guide her decision.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:49 PM
 
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My mom is elderly and gets them annually, usually. (It's that often because her father died of colon cancer and polyps are often found during her colonoscopies.). The procedures are uneventful and don't seem to affect her energy level at all. The prep, of course, is unpleasant, but it takes less than a day.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:04 PM
i7pXFLbhE3gq
 
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She's 77 years old and you want to force her to have this done?

Her body. Her choice. Doing nothing is a perfectly reasonable choice, especially at that age.

It's frankly pretty sick and disgusting how we basically force old people to be subjected to procedures and treatments just to drag out the length of their life without regard to their quality of life. We wouldn't subject a pet to that sort of treatment because it'd seem cruel, so why do it to other humans?
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:13 PM
 
4,870 posts, read 7,396,546 times
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Should i force my mother to get a colonoscopy?

Well, that just painted a funny picture in my mind. LOL

No, don't force her. You can't anyway, unless she's extremely malleable. And to me, it sounds like your mom has some good reasons for not wanting to do the colonoscopy.

Fluffy's suggestion of a fecal occult blood test is a good one, if you think your mom can handle following the directions. It's not hard. Then if nothing shows up, your mind is set at ease. If something does...well, you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,309 posts, read 8,991,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
It's frankly pretty sick and disgusting how we basically force old people to be subjected to procedures and treatments just to drag out the length of their life without regard to their quality of life.
There's a lot of truth to this, esp from adults in their 40s or 50s who are used to supervising their own children, and they get the idea that they should do likewise for their parents who, in their own minds, are somehow less capable because they are not busy-busy in the workaday world any longer, and need a more 'responsible' person to make their decisions for them.

Quality of life is always a very personal matter, even to an elderly person. At the age of 77, your mother has already outlived the average person. Her prospects look good for age 80. Trying to force her to undergo something she doesn't feel comfortable with (assuming you could even do that) will result in what benefit, and to whom? It's not your decision to make.

I say this only because I am almost 69 years of age, and would not appreciate anyone doing such a thing to me!
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville NC
6,111 posts, read 5,972,779 times
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My mom is 80 and recently announced that she was done with colonoscopies. Her body, her choice, and I have no argument with it.
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