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93 yr old grandma meds, stroke and seizures. crush pills?

Hi, please excuse my grammar, I’m typing on a cell phone and switched voice to text. Sorry for this long post, I just wanted to describe the best I could.

Here is my grandmother’s med list

1. Amlodipine Besylate 5mg in the morning for blood Pressure.

2. Losartan HCTZ 100 12.5mg in the morning for blood pressure.

3. Levetiracetam 500mg for Seizures (1 in the morning and 1 at night).

4. Donepezil HCL 5mg to treat confusion (taken at bedtime).

5. Vit D2 1.25mg (50,000 unit) every Monday morning to help absorb calcium.

6. Eliquis 2.5mg in morning and night (blood thinner).

7. Nitrostat 0.4mg SL taken as needed for chest pain.

She can swallow I think all but 1 with ease but they insist on crushing all pointing to the few times we've saw her dangling the pill in her mouth a minute later.



3 years ago at the age of 90, my grandmother was walking (slowly but on her own) her only major health condition was she had 4 or 5 short memory lapses over the past 5 years which prompted the Dr. to put her on Alzheimer's Medicine. After months on the med no problem!

Going to restroom one night she fell which left a nasty lump on her head. That's when everything began. She was 90 when she fell. The hospital put her on some meds my cousin (nurse) said to the family that's some strong med to put on a 90 yr old. 2 weeks later at the age of 90 my grandmother has her very first seizure. Now she was put on seizure med. A month or so later at the age of 91 she had her first heart attack and stroke (multiple). I live an hour away and can't be as involved as I like and my grandmother has 2 older adults taking care of her, a nurse comes every day to clean her and she has 2 nieces who have been in the medical field over 20 years. Sitting in emergency room I searched her meds. I found on this site and others mixing the 2 particular meds seemed to cause many a lot of problems. Pardon me, I can't remember the med but googling the med alone brought up seizures. Then many thought it was pretty sad it was given to a 91 yr old. Anyways the hospital Dr. agreed and her primary dr took her off the 1 script with all the side effects (it was for strokes I believe).
All seemed much better for 5 or 6 months! After her daughter playfully fussing about my grandmother holding pills in her mouth (not swallowing right away) my cousin (nurse) told her to start crushing her med and feed it to her with apple sauce. I never try to undermine anyone in their profession as my medical knowledge is that of a first grader. But, I said to myself that doesn't sound right....I quick search found 1 of her meds was time release and shouldn't be crushed. Less than 2 weeks later back at hospital for multiple seizures and a light stroke.
I mentioned it to the Dr. and he switched her to from time released and didn’t have a big problem with crushing pills she couldn't swallow but my cousin (nurse) insisted crushing them all together and I shut my mouth as 2 of the family members who are nurses seemed agitated by me asking the dr about them crushing everything together and stirring it.
For the past year she's been doing pretty well. At times she seemed more agitated sitting up in a chair, speech slurring and mildly confused. A month ago at her daily community center even for seniors she abruptly had a seizure. The ambulance rushed her to the hospital; they ran CT Scan, etc... and she was home the next day. They don't know what caused it as she was in an environment she's comfortable with and nothing unusual occurred before hand.

Yesterday (a month since last seizure) they noticed her movements and called 911. The dr said she didn’t have a seizure or stroke but her blood pressure was 195 (I can't recall the bottom number) I got to the hospital about 5 hours after she was admitted and her BP was stable. To my surprise she had a huge plate that revivals a southern soul food restaurant. Not exaggerating the plate was wider than standard paper plates, I had never seen them feed her such a juicy meal...but then I thought...all the other times were for seizure and stroke. This time they said she had neither....This particular nurse was the first to rub me the wrong way....she just had this nonchalant attitude and looking back in hindsight not trying to blame her but......tell me if I’m wrong please..... So why does she have the Chef's special plate, full of rice, mashed potatoes, greens and a cup half cream and half ice cream?? The hospital nurse ask did she take her med this morning before the ambulance got her and my Aunt replied "no" So the nurse pulled out her pills my aunt said those are big and the nurse said the pills are the same just probably a different manufacturer from the ones you get from your pharmacy. The medical assistants of the family all stopped the nurse and told her they always crush them. To the nurse puts all the big pills in a jar, twist and I assume crushed all the meds together.....She seemed to ask ice cream or apple sauce when my aunt said apple sauce the nurse remembered they had ran out of apple sauce and all they had was that convenient cup of 50% ice cream and 50% cream... The way she abruptly said the hospital ran out of apple sauce it made me feel she didn't want to leave the room go get it and come back.....I could be wrong that's just the demeanor she gave me. I want to puke just thinking about all the cream on top of the ice cream....I hadn't saw anything like it.... Anyways, as my 93 yr old grandmother wanted no more of the Captain's Feast, all looked fine and I left. 3 hours later I get a call saying she had a stroke and is in Heart and Vascular.

Theoretically, something wasn't right that's why they ended up at the hospital but when I left all was looking good.
Including the family medical workers we know little about this stuff. What steps would you take? Like should we ask for all medical records dating back to the first seizure? I'm interested in seeing her med sheet to compare to when she ended in hospital. Not blaming anyone because I don't know...I know treating a 90+ year old can be tricky and fragile.....so any advice? Should we be getting second opinions or what? She's had her dr for about a decade, most family members like him I’m just skeptical on the strength of meds in the past and the fact many of the strokes seemed to run with new meds, higher doses, etc... I don't like the crushing pills thing even though all her meds are supposed to be instant. And are you supposed to crush, mix the meds together and feed in apple sauce or ice cream?
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replied July 28th, 2017
It is acceptable for the medications to be crushed and fed to the patient , especially the debilitated patients, similar to your grandmother.

There is no reason to worry that the medication absorption would be affected


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