Sunday, January 17, 2016


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....



  1. Awww - I hope you (and your mom) feel better soon.

  2. That must have been scary for both of you. Nothing worse than being unable to breathe. I sure hope you are able to take care of the both of you. It's times like this I wish I could help out.
    Take care of yourself (and mom)

    1. This is my worst fear - that at any given time I wouldn't be able to take care of my Mom (I'd be sick or away or (God forbid) that I should die before her).

      Thanks. Wish you could help out too.

  3. After becoming so sick from a hospital visit stint I learned touch nothing with your hands; do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth and wash your hands while in a hospital.
    I do hope all works for the best for your mother.

    1. Hi Joanne, we went even 1 better, making sure we were wearing our eye-loop masks at the house and especially at the ER. I'm sure our exposure was 7-10 days ago and Mom developed a week sooner than me (I kept sucking on Coldeze). Thanks for your good thoughts.

  4. I was taken to the ER a couple of years ago and they did have the private rooms. I don't know what they do if they have more people than rooms. I helped a neighbor with the inhaler when she came home from the hospital. We didn't have many problems except the lady keeps smoking and doesn't understand why she can't get any better. I hope you the caregiver can bounce back quickly. Your care giving is a lot of physical work. Take care.

    1. You're right. The 'not stop smoking thing'. My brother's wife has mouth cancer. She still smokes....

      I'm battling with my illness, but Mom is showing some improvement with the low-dose pregnisone. I'm just so tired from not sleeping.

  5. OH, Kris! what a mess. Glad you got it under control. I remember a few years ago when DH has bronchitis. He had no problem with the inhaler. I have never used one.

    Take care of yourself (I know how hard that is in you present situation).

    My 78 year-old sis is getting a new puppy! I wasn't even tempted for the very reason you have now with the cats. I will be thinking of you both and wishing a speedy recovery.

    1. How long did DH have to use the inhaler? Mom will have to be here until she doesn't need it.

      Don't get me started on those cats. 101 temp yesterday and I was out in 4F to go over there...

  6. Ugh.... What an ordeal. I hope you're both feeling better soon! :o)

    1. Sometimes it's like "Fifty First Dates". Some days I have to re-convince her that I'm not Satan.... Thankfully, I can usually calm her down.

    2. Mother considers herself a prisoner, that I'm in league with the doctor to keep her from home, etc etc. She tells me she hates me. (But I understand - she hates the situation and I'm the only one she can take it out on.) But it sure makes it hard to be caregiver....


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