Monday, November 9, 2009

there and back again (again)

We took Mom out to an appointment with Dr. Wheeler, the infectious disease specialist who has taken over for Dr. Yoho since the latter's departure for greener pastures. As has been true for all of Mom's appointments over the past six weeks, I didn't go in with her; Dad escorted her alone into the complex.

The appointment was brief, perhaps 40 or 50 minutes: I barely had time to settle in for a nap in the van before my cell phone rang and Dad announced that he and Mom were coming back out. As we drove off the property, I asked Dad what Dr. Wheeler had had to say, and was surprised to discover that Mom's tongue isn't covered with thrush. Whatever thrush might have been there is now gone, according to the doc. The patches we're currently dealing with can be from a variety of causes, the net effect of which is called "geographic tongue," which is derived, I imagine, from the way the patches simulate the jagged borders of countries. A quick perusal of the Google Health site and Wikipedia indicates that geographic tongue has no known cause, but may be linked to heredity and to certain environmental factors, such as spicy or sugary foods and alcohol, as well as to Vitamin B deficiency, allergies, and hormonal irregularities (Decadron again?). There is no known cure for geographic tongue, though staying away from possible irritants, such as those mentioned above, may be one way to help speed its departure.

Mom appears otherwise fine, infection-wise. Like all seniors, she will need to take the normal precautions during flu season. The doc took cultures from Mom's nostrils to see how she's doing with her MRSA (remember: once you've got it, you've got it for life, even if you're not contagious); we'll have results on Thursday. It's unlikely that Mom is experiencing any MRSA flareups, but we've been advised to buy a certain ointment, to be applied intra-nasally, in case we find any open sores inside her nostrils. Add that to our growing list of rituals: periodic nostril checks.

Dad's out again, running various errands. Mrs. Merill is slated to make an appearance at 2PM; she has rapidly become Mom's most consistent visitor, aside from Pastor Jeri. Mom had a large lunch that began with a bowl of amped-up miso soup and ended with a bologna and cheese sandwich on toast with mayo, lettuce, and tomato. Today isn't a walking day for her, but she'll be doing some indoor exercises and using her incentive spirometer.


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