Mom’s temperature was the medical feature of this day. It started high and got higher…up to 102.5. That triggered a urinalysis which revealed a Urinary Tract Infection. As I’ve noted in the past few ElderBlog posts, she does have a Foley catheter to handle liquid waste. This replaces the need for frequent trips to the bathroom…something Mom is not very able to do. It may be that the catheter caused – or contributed to – the acquisition of the UTI; an infection of the bladder. The antibiotic Cipro has been introduced and Mom’s temp is already down to a more acceptable 99.2.
Both of my parents have scored a number of UTI‘s, so I don’t get all bothered about it anymore. I do know that this bacterial infection can have a huge effect on the body at every level. Mom has dementia. Throw a UTI in there and you’ve got a real cognitive mess. A urine culture has been ordered to see what further treatment may be necessary.
It may be that the UTI had something to do with the next little story. The hospital physical therapist worked with Mom after breakfast for the purpose of exercise and assessment. Mom told me that she refused the treatment citing extreme weakness. That sounds reasonable…except for the fact that she actually walked about 200 feet down the hall and back – albeit verrry slowly. When that came up later, Mom was surprised; she had no recollection of it.
It’s been interesting to watch the behavior of the guests who come calling. Some have Mom’s best interests at heart and know how to handle themselves. Some are well-intended, but say exactly the wrong things. Some come thinking the worst is about to happen, and they behave that way. Still others come in and ‘vomit’ their own problems all over my defenseless little mother. I hope I’m not being overly protective, but when I see a behavior that could hurt Mom, I intervene by cutting the visit short.
There are, on the other hand, a few people I can trust. One such visitor came late this afternoon. Debbie is always a breath of fresh air. She is positive, and treats Mom – in this situation – as a cherished friend; not as a patient. Dinner arrived, and I asked Debbie if she’d be interested in feeding Mom. She was very pleased to accept the task, and I went to the hospital cafeteria leaving the girls alone.
Tomorrow, test results and, perhaps, new courses of treatment. Also, my baby sister will drive home to Maryland to resume her life. Elizabeth has been a major blessing to me this week, and to Mom, of course.
One final family note: my brother Michael and his wife Joy, have been in touch with me at least twice each day for updates. They are on “high alert” to hop on a big bird from Germany to the states. Think about how often you’ve heard stories of sibling in-fighting in situations like this. We three kids are quite the opposite. How lucky am I?
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