Medical update — 041611

A couple of diagnostic pieces fell into place today, but there seems to remain another piece, as yet unknown.

Mom has another Urinary Tract Infection, as you already know.  It is just possible that it was acquired while at the hospital this past week.  The insertion and presence of the Foley catheter could explain the UTI.  The appropriate antibiotic is being used to combat this infection.  Any antibiotic will slow your system down, a fact especially notable for the young, elderly, or those whose immune systems are already compromised.

We got the results of blood cultures today.  Mom also has a skin-based bacteria.  It may not be MRSA; it could be MSSA.  Further culture study will firm this up.  These bacteria are infamously available in medical facilities, and could have been acquired at Mom’s Assisted Living facility or at the hospital.  No matter its source, this bacteria will also be fought with yet another antibiotic drug.

For those of you keeping score, that’s one elderly body fighting two infections with two different antibiotics.  Is there any wonder that Mom is weak?

But these infections may not account for why Mom fell unconscious early last Saturday morning.  There seems to be something else.

An EEG was taken yesterday.  This examines brain waves and sometimes detects seizures or strokes.  We’ll get the results on Monday.  If positive, it could explain the fall.  If negative, it’s back to the drawing board yet again.

I’ve learned that the practice of medicine is often the elimination of possibilities.  When this proves wrong, you try that.  If that doesn’t explain things, you look at something else.  All of this takes time.  The blood cultures, for example, need a day or two to grow in the Petri dish before they can give you the information you need.

I have carefully chosen words like “could have,” and “might be”.  There’s at least a chance that neither infection came by contact in any medical facility.  There remains a possibility that an entirely different diagnosis has yet to be developed in search for Mom’s core malady.  It is also known that the reasons for half of the falls among the elderly are never found.

In the meantime, I – and the medical professionals entering Mom’s hospital room – get to wear those classy blue gowns and latex gloves.  Yet another reason why Mom can’t have visitors.


About FredMarx

Old enough to have wisdom; young enough to learn.
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