More about Covid

We are nearly two years into to Covid.  Two long years and how we long for it to be "over."  But will it ever really be?  Despite "promises" in 2020; it’s not going to just disappear.  It will (in my uneducated mind) start to fade and be less lethal.  Vaccination will probably be an annual thing.  We will live with it; it will live with us.  Masks may go away, but probably not completely and no one will give a second thought to seeing someone wearing a mask in public.  (Remember when that was weird?  Do you remember?)

Because of Covid I've seen my parents less.  Maybe that's true or maybe it's just something I'm letting myself think to make myself feel better.  Not seeing them meant that observations were not made.  Daily phone calls (and there are ALWAYS daily phone calls), were shorter (I used to call on my commute to the office...that is a distant memory).  I let things slip.  When I knew in my heart that things were not ok, but I was told that they were, I allowed myself to be fooled.

Things went downhill in November when my mother was hospitalized.  I should have seen in coming, but I buried my head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich.  Three days in the hospital, from which there was no diagnosis (that I saw...and I went through all the paperwork) and 5 different medication.  (One which was for depression...which I don't think she really was, but it did make her have hallucinations.  Thank you Mirtazapine!) She was released late on Tuesday afternoon (family friends picked her up and I'm pretty sure no one asked if there was anyone who could help her at home) and I went down the next day (again) to see how things were.  It was clear that my mother could not take care of my father (who had other health my posts from December of 2020).  To be brutally honest, when my mother was released from the hospital she was barely able to take care of herself.  One of the medications she had been given (for depression and anxiety...maybe she had a little of both due to circumstances but I truly do not think she needed or need medication for that) had side effects that made her constantly sleepy, confused and hallucinations.

 Things had changed; they had changed rapidly. My parents had gone from living independently to needing some assistance (a wonderful caregiver who came in for 2 hours several nights a week) to needing a live in.  All of this within the span of 2 months.  Which was indeed a blessing, especially when my son (and by extension my husband and myself) got hit with Covid right before Christmas.   (Hubby and I did not get tested because we knew that if my son's test came back positive we would be positive too.)

When my husband and I went to see my parents on the first Saturday in February, they were doing okay.  Or as okay as they could be.  My mom was having some stomach problems (which unfortunately are common for her) and it was not helped by the fact that she had little or no sense of taste.  (This had been going on for months)  However, by Monday evening she was definitely quite confused and the caregiver had her call me.  I convinced her to forgo her dentist appointment the next day and go to her doctor.

The doctor did not want to see her; he wanted her to go right to the hospital.  Again, thank God for their caregiver who drove my mom, stayed with her for several hours until it was clear that she was going to be admitted and then returned home to my dad who was a nervous wreck being home alone for several hours.

She was tested positive for Covid.  How did that happen?  She rarely leaves the house and she was vaccinated (back in March of 2021) but had not yet been boosted as it is very difficult to get either of my parents out of the house due to mobility issues.  She was diagnosed with Covid pneumonia.  So while the rest of the world seemingly felt that Covid was no longer a threat, she was in a "nook" in what I assume was a Covid ward.  She was there till Friday and while I wasn't there to see her, I did speak to her and I didn't HEAR much improvement.  However, apparently the protocol is to treat for 3 days with Remdesivir and then kick you out.  They were recommending acute care, but she did not want to do that and I could hardly blame her.  I knew that she would be better off at home where she could be comfortable and where she would have a caregiver to focus on her (versus an overworked staff at a facility).

I went down to see my parents yesterday.  My father is still rattled from this experience.  My mother is very weak, on oxygen and wants to sleep all the time.  That might have something to do with the fact that one of the medications they gave her is mirtazapine, which gave her problems last time.  Why did they give it to her again?  I'm sure she didn't (and doesn't) know what all the medications they sent her home with are AND I didn't recognized it when the pharmacy provided me with all of the names.  (After 2 days I finally got the hospital to make ME point of contact instead of my father.)  Once I realized this (which was late last night), I told her caregiver to stop the nightly dose and hopefully that will clear her mind a little while the medications help to heal her.

So now I come to the wrap up of this rambling post.  What are my points?

  • Covid is still out there.  It can still hit you if you've been vaccinated (my immediate family is an example of that) and it can really hit you if you are older and have other health issues (that would be my mom).  Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking its over.  And take caution and care when you are in contact with people who have weakened immune systems/are not in the best of health.
  • Take care of yourself and those you love.  Don't bury you head in the sand when you think something is not right.  Go with your gut and speak out.
  • We know this pandemic has put incredible stress on our healthcare workers.  I am grateful to them, even as I wish they could have given my mother more attention.  Had this been any other time in history, I would complain about the care (or lack thereof) that she received not just this time, but back in November.  I feel like they did not ask the right questions nor did they seek answers for issues that were very apparent.  I'm very disappointed and distressed in how health care has become a business and not about patients.  But that is not something I'm ready to fight about or for now.  Once we truly (and finally) get through this pandemic, then my voice will be raised.
  • I am so grateful that I was able to get my parents in home care.  I know this is something that is not possible for many (most?) people.  I know that this is tapping out their financial resources, but it's something they NEED.  Furthermore I NEED it if I am to continue working and taking care of my immediate family.  Which is another reason we (once this pandemic is over) need to look at how we deal with the aging population.

Be safe; be well.


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