Mom, age 89, went to dr last Wednesday for checkup. Acted great, looked great, BP 118/64, oxygen 97%, heart, lungs, circulation, pulses all great. Dr did routine bloodwork. She called last night saying results came in - Mom has "very severe anemia." Low on iron, Vitamin D. Some blood number came in at 5, which from my research I know is very low. Based on mom's age, dr not really interested in finding out reason, just wants to treat anemia. Wants her to get a blood transfusion in an outpatient setting. Thoughts? Mom has shown a bit of decline in the last two months - mainly with fatigue and some confusion. We all just thought it was some dementia. She is wheelchair bound and has someone with her at all times. Appetite is great and, as mentioned above, on the face of it all seemed well for someone of her age. Dr is amazed she is functioning as well as she is with such anemia. Thanks for responses - especially quick ones!
I think the blood transfusions, at a minimum, are a good idea. From my perspective as a caregiver, the more energy she has, the less she depends on me to do every little thing around her house. Plus those low blood levels are potentially dangerous. You don't want her to pass out and fall down, or potentially even have a heart attack.
If your mother is too frail to undergo a lot of tests and potential treatment for whatever they find, it makes sense to just treat the symptoms and not look for the cause. If you think your mother has a lot of good years ahead of her and they should be treating her more aggressively and seeking out the root of her problems, you can always get a second opinion.
There is a pill endoscopy where you just swallow a tiny camera in a pill and it travels through, takes pictures, and is eliminated. But I was told that only works in the small intestine, since the other organs have large surfaces and fold in on themselves. We were forced to go through regular endoscopy and colonoscopy to get answers. If there's a better way, we weren't told. Just FYI.