Friday, August 9, 2013

On Pneumonia Watch

I am not an alarmist. I think I’m pretty practical and level-headed. Even a realist when warranted.  
He may look happy in the hospital
but I'd like to keep him out of there!

With Robert, I do have to be on alert with his health since he can go from having a slight cold to the ICU with pneumonia and septic shock in a matter of hours. 

Well, we’re at the “slight cold” stage.

Yesterday, he had a little bit of nasal congestion and a slight cough.

Today, he also had diarrhea and more nasal congestion but the cough stayed about the same.

He had an unusual seizure at Day Program so they called me. The seizure lasted about a minute but his breathing was labored and he trembled like he was very, very cold. The staff has had Robert for over two years so recognized this was an unusual seizure (I LOVE his Day Program staff!).

This is very similar to the seizures he had before his last bout of pneumonia. 

Richard picked Robert up from Day Program since I was still at work.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from texting instructions to Richard (oh, my husband must love me so!).

“How’s his breathing?”

“Put him on his oxygen.”

“Please take his vitals.”

Robert had a slight temperature but it was normal by the time I got home. His breathing was labored even though Richard had put him on the oxygen as soon as they got home.

I took his vitals before dinner and they seemed fine except his pulse rate was high. (That was a problem when he was sick last time.) He is still weak and talking like he’s out of breath but the pulse ox meter says his oxygen level is at a good rate.

Robert didn’t lose his appetite and still wanted his usual amount of food at dinner as well as a scoop of Rocky Road ice cream.  (How can I refuse when he’s sick?)

I don’t understand why he has had pneumonia twice in eleven months and why it appears he’s headed there again.

The doctors are looking into the causes but it is slow-going.

We have to wait until mid-September to see a pulmonary specialist. His Upper GI Endoscopy finally happened a couple of days ago and only showed slight inflammation. Per the doctor’s instructions we doubled up on his prescription strength Prilosec. She didn’t express any concerns whatsoever.

I sent a note to his doctor to see if there’s anything we can do besides watch him like a hawk, regularly take his vitals and take him to the hospital at the first sign of a downward slide. I don’t want to be too late in catching whatever is working on him.

(What’s odd is the hospital never seems to be able to grow any bacteria even though the x-rays show pneumonia. They call it aspiration pneumonia but I don’t know how or why he gets it and why it develops so quickly and seems to immediately send Robert into septic shock).

So we’re on pneumonia watch tonight but I’m hoping by morning he has recovered and is feeling as good as new.

I may be practical, level-headed and a realist but I’m above all, an optimist. 


Anonymous said...

My nephew gets aspiration pneumonia from his severe environmental allergies. He usually gets hospitalized for up to a week when he catches it spending days in the ICU.

If the Prilosec doesn't work then have them try Nexium. I have taken both and for people with severe GERD, acid reflux, and or IBS, Nexium usually works best for reducing the inflammation.

Sending positive healing vibes into the ether and hoping he receives them and gets better soon without having to see the doctor.

I know this all must be very frustrating for you, so sending you hugs, as well. Hang in there! Sounds like you are on top of it.

Much love to you all.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Thank you so much for sharing your nephew's experience! I'm sorry that happens to him but appreciate hearing about a similar experience. I will definitely ask the doctor about Nexium. Thanks again and hope you are doing well. Love & hugs to you and Marc.