Last Monday I noticed Mom had a tiny cough at the fitness center. By Wednesday she was wheezing and I got her to the doctor. She had her first ever case of bronchitis.
With an inhaler and antibiotics, I moved Mom to my house (she was so sick she didn't even argue).
Due to miscommunication (and a bit of patronization), the albuterol administration was a disaster. She has no strength in her hands so cannot use the inhaler. And when I shook/depressed the inhaler, she can't coordinate an useful inhale. And the stuff sent her into a wheezing/coughing fit that lasted a good hour. It did that again 6 hours later. She didn't want it after that and not knowing the expected reaction, I was loathe to administer it.
Mom started sleeping almost all the time, wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink. By Friday afternoon it was bad. ER bad.
Now I was not looking foward to a stint in a Friday night ER. I've been to that ER 2ce (sliced hand, and the body numbness). Both experiences were awful. So I sorta argued with her doctor when she said she HAD to go. Finally, with the suggestion she go in an ambulance so she didn't have to 'wait in line', I called 911.
Never have done that before.
There were here in minutes. Mom taken to ER. I followed with purses, etc.
Now I knew that for the past year a lot of the hospital area was torn up because they were working on the ER. This was my first experience there.
It was like night and day. Mom was taken to a private examining room (not just behind a curtain). When I found her she was already hooked up to everything along with a saline drip. The whole bottom floor of the hospital was now like a mini-hospital, quiet, private, all computerized.
The doctor/nurses/etc were polite, helpful, non-condescending and it all felt so safe. Mom of course, just wanted to curl up and die. Yep. Little food and water and a fever - what else was she gonna say?
Well they took anything they could get out of a living body. LOL EKG. Chest X-ray.
Acute bronchitis. They nebulized here with albuterol. I explained to the Doctor we just didn't know how to administer the inhaler effectively and what to expect after one.
They explained everything that the primary care doctor and the pharmacist did not. Those guys seemed to think a) everyone understands/can operate an inhaler and b) what's gonna happen AFTER that deep inhale.
They gave us a tube extension for the inhaler where I can spray the mist into the tube, then Mom can just take a really deep inhale from the tube, no timing needed from spray to inhale. (But she cannot depress the inhaler on her own. This is going to be a big issue in future.)
She is doing much better now and eating/drinking more regularly.
I, on the other hand, finally succumbed to all the germs and now have a raging sinus infection, chills and congestion.
Okay, so now she's sick, I'm sick. I can just about handle that. BUT....
I still have to leave the house every 2 days to go over to HER house to take care of those damn cats....