Urgent Care

All our plans for the weekend have been scrapped. When I arrived this morning (I’m sleeping at a friend’s house nearby), it was immediately obvious that she is very sick. Overnight her eyes had swollen grotesquely and were very red. She sounds like she’s hacking up a lung and was too weak to even get out of bed for more than a few minutes. I called for the nurse right away; she listened to Mom’s lungs with a stethoscope, asked a couple of questions about her symptoms and said that she needs to see a doctor right away to get antibiotics.

We spent the better part of the afternoon at Urgent Care, where the PA expressed concern about her low oxygen levels and high blood pressure. (Interestingly, he told her to lay off the Mucinex because it could be pushing the BP up.) The diagnosis was bronchopneumonia, bronchitis and conjunctivitis (yep, pinkeye – just as I thought). The doctor said “it’s not pneumonia YET” and told us that her lungs didn’t sound too bad, but because of her previous history of pneumonia he recommended treating it aggressively. They got her started with a nebulizer steroid treatment and an injection of antibiotics, then sent us home with four prescriptions – antibiotics, steroid, an inhaler and drops for her eyes.

I brought Mom home and put her to bed, then ran out to fill the prescriptions and get the meds handed off to the med techs at her facility and set up the humidifier in her bedroom. Her roommate has gone down to dinner but they’re sending a tray up for us – chicken soup for Mom and the rest of tonight’s meal (popcorn shrimp and fries) for me. Mom is sleeping but it doesn’t seem to be restful. She’s been mumbling and whimpering in her sleep; I keep getting up to check on her, thinking she’s calling for me. She seems so fragile, so vulnerable.

It’s very quiet in here. I brought a book to read, a novel called Dad by William Wharton, but I don’t want to read it. It’s about a middle aged man dealing with his mother’s heart attack and father’s subsequent descent into dementia, and it’s just too close to home right now.

I’m fighting a head cold myself and want more than anything to take a nap, but there’s no room to get comfortable on the tiny love seat… and besides, they’ll be coming around to give Mom her meds any minute now.


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