Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mom in hospital with infection

A suspected infection flared into a definite infection along the line of Mom's surgical scar, and she's in the Mount Vernon Hospital ER as I write this. Dad said they were giving her a CT scan to determine whether or how far the infection had penetrated.

It was Sean who, earlier this afternoon, felt the greatest urgency about getting Mom to the ER. For my part, I thought the infection looked worse than it did yesterday, but that Mom might be able to wait until Tuesday to see her personal physician. My reason for feeling this way was that Mom didn't seem feverish, and she had just started a course of antibiotics. This, I felt, meant we could hold off until Tuesday.

But in the end, after seeing Mom's scar up close under the fluorescent lights of the ER, I ended up realizing that Sean had made the better call: the pus had spread under the skin along almost the entire length of the scar, and tiny brown blisters-- as shiny as spider eyes-- had also begun to form. Bringing her in today was the right thing to do, and we have Sean's good sense to thank for that. Along with watching Mom because of her balance issues, we have to increase our vigilance regarding her scalp hygiene. This will mean attending to Mom as she showers, and making sure she cares for her scalp (or that we tend it for her). Considering the intimate nature of such vigilance, the job is going to fall primarily to Dad.

We are arranging for a non-skid bottom to be installed in the upstairs bathtub, and Dad thinks it might be a good idea for Mom to have a shower chair, as she's having difficulty standing up on her own.

We had hoped to have Mom in and out quickly, but her infection constitutes a low priority as far as the ER's triage procedure is concerned, so the ER is taking its time. I'm at home, awaiting Dad's call to drive back to the hospital to pick him and Mom up. Here's hoping he calls soon.

UPDATE: Mom underwent a CT scan, as mentioned above, and was also given an antibiotic IV drip. She was diagnosed with cellulitis, which can become quite nasty if left untreated (a friend of mine had it in college). Again, Sean made a good call; this could have been a lot worse.

Before Mom left the hospital, she was prescribed a set of antibiotic meds to take along with her other meds. Dad will be picking these meds up tonight after our relatives leave. The medication Mom received today has left her groggy and woozy; I'm hoping she drifts off to an early sleep, and have my doubts about whether she'll be in any shape to interact with our visitors, who will be here in a few minutes to eat dinner and say goodbye before that head back to Texas (it's 8:03PM as I write this update).


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