Thursday, July 14, 2005

Back home

My mom was released from the hospital today. Turns out what she had was a bacterial infection of the sort associated with overuse of antibiotics. Thing is, she doesn't routinely use any antibiotics, other than some that she took six weeks ago prior to dental work.

Our best guess is that the infection is something she picked up while visiting my father in the hospital.* Nosocomial infections, infections that you pick up from a hospital, usually affect patients but I suppose that visitors can get infected just as easily.

It was scary for a while. Her gut swelled up like a beach ball. If we hadn't gotten her to the hospital when we did, I'd hate to think what could have happened.

The adventure isn't over yet. She was released with a prescription for something-or-other that she's supposed to take every six hours. Problem is, the pharmacy she gets her prescriptions from doesn't have it, and they can't get it until tomorrow. (None of the other pharmacies in town have it, either.) So she's S.O.L. for at least 18 to 24 hours, three to four doses. Whoopsie. You'd think maybe the doctor prescribing this stuff would send her off with a starter set to cover the first day or two, and would maybe verify that the stuff he was prescribing was actually available locally. Nope. Hope the infection doesn't gain a toehold while we wait for the drugs to come in.

*Update, 7/17/07: This turned out not to be the case. Her illness was caused by and intestinal bacterium called Clostridium difficile that took advantage of the action of a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Click here for more details.

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