My mother has been staying with us for the past couple of months and in that time her health and strength have been waning. She was supposed to go back to Tucson with my sister, Karen, in May. But it was becoming clear to everyone that this may be her last big trip. It's time to move to the next level of care...that being a nursing home. She had her choice of one in Tucson, one here in Conyers, or going home to Illinois. Our home town is Streator, but her 3 children are now scattered across the country. She chose to go back to Illinois...but to Joliet. Karen is a Roman Catholic nun and she is a member of the St. Francis community. Their order built and maintains a lovely retirement/nursing home in Joliet. As the mother of one of their sisters, mom was moved right to the top of the waiting list and will be able to go there in May instead of back to Tucson. All this seems very settled and straightforward now, but the first four days of last week were a tangle of emotions, decisions, communications, etc. that was physically, mentally, and emotionally tiring for all of us. I say the first 4 days, because by Thursday everything was pretty much settled.
Then came Friday.
On Friday morning, I awoke (at 4:00 a.m.) with a very sore, red, hot, swollen right elbow! It was also very itchy and I figured I had some kind of a bug bite. I took a couple of ibuprofen, put ice on it and elevated it. Then I wondered about going to the doctor. Normally, I would wait till the next day and see how it looked. But this was Friday. So I was talking to my friend, Mellie, on the phone and we were weighing the decision of whether or not I should make an appointment. I noticed as I was talking to her that I was wheezing. So I decided this bug bite may be affecting my breathing and I'd probably better go see about it. I was able to get an appointment in 1/2 hour, so I went. By the time I got to the doctor's office, I was having an asthma episode. I haven't even thought about my asthma in about 15 years! They gave me a breathing treatment and then the doctor looked at my elbow. She said it was not a bug bite (we still don't know what triggered the asthma attack) and she wanted me to see an orthopaedist today...or go to the emergency room. She said there was infection. So her nurse was able to get me in to see an orthopaedist that afternoon. I was diagnosed with septic (you mean like the sewer???) bursitis. The doc decided not to drain the sac (thank you, doc) but he said, "Let's just hit it hard with antibiotics." He also prescribed something for gout. And an hour after I took the first "hard" antibiotic, my eye lids started to swell. I called my sister-in-law, Linda, and she said, "Go to the emergency room. Now." I whined, "But if I have to go to the ER I want Jerry to take me. And there's nobody here to stay with mom." She said to take 2 Benadryl, but that if I wasn't better in half an hour, go to the ER. About 20 minutes later I was on the phone trying to find someone to come stay with mom. I tried the girls first, but that failed, so I called my friend, Gail. God bless her...she came right over and I told her we were heading out already, but the door would be open. She came in to a growling dog and a somewhat confused mom. :) She handled the dog well, as I knew she would and mom remembered meeting her, so all went well. Then Jess came over and Gail got to go back to whatever she was doing before I yanked her over here. In the ER they gave me oxygen, two more pills and two shots in the rump and some cool cartoon bandaids. They also gave me 4 new prescriptions. Two antibiotics to replace the one they took away, a steroid to control the inflammation and itching and Zyrtec for allergies. My kitchen counter looks like a branch of Walgreens.
So here's looking forward to a new week!!!