I greeted the head nurse with a heart-felt hug today, and left with Mom for the first of two dental appointments to get a new crown. When we returned, I asked the nurse for an assessment of Pop’s condition. I was pleased and a bit surprised by her honesty. “He’s not doing well.”
Pop’s urinalysis and urine cultures both came back clean as a whistle, meaning that we’re not dealing with another bout of MRSA. Two stool samples, however, came back positive for C. diff. Pop was dressed and in his chair today, but the new round of antibiotics was begun this morning. So he will likely be in bed again for the next couple of weeks.
Two terrible battles are sapping the strength in Pop’s body: one, the infection is fighting with him; and two, the antibiotics are fighting with the infection. That is why he’ll be in bed; there’ll be no strength for him to use for anything else. By tomorrow we should know what level of quarantine (if any) will be applied in this situation.
Mom was surprised when I told her of the re-infection, but to her great credit, she understands very well what it means and how to respond. She knows not to use Pop’s bathroom, and she knows to report “accidents” to the staff instead of cleaning them up herself. She has been faithfully using latex gloves for several weeks already when handling laundry, the one chore Piedmont Place allows her to do. But they rinse the soiled clothing first, and monitor her closely to make sure she does nothing to put herself at risk of infection.
While Pop does look well today, he is by no means well. He is cognitively disconnected from every communication, and struggles to put simple thoughts together. He told me that he’s been having weird dreams, but not the frightening kind, and not the kind that’ll wake him up.
I don’t know if Pop will be up to visiting his ophthalmologist this Thursday morning for another macular degeneration shot (right eye, this time).
Logic tells me that Pop can’t continue like this indefinitely. But as I said a few days ago, we’ve been on this roller coaster before. There’s no call to get excited (in a negative way). We need to let the medical professionals do what they can, and let God do the rest.