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Column

What the doctor ordered

A lot has been happening in my world lately. Some are rather big things while others are just the simple joys of everyday life.

The weather has finally turned to more spring-like temperatures, melting all of the snow from our yard. As wonderful as it is to see the grass again, it has also uncovered all of the many sticks and random objects planted in our lawn after a long winter. It has my husband, Tim, and I itching for the ground to dry, so we can start getting our yard in shape for spring and summer.

The warmer weather also marked the return of Tim’s favorite car to our garage. Tim was very excited to bring his Mustang home after being in storage for the winter. He couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he navigated the windy roads home. I have a feeling a ride with the top down will be on the agenda soon.

While these were moments to celebrate, I had something a little heavier weighing on my mind — my mother and her health. I have been worried about mom for more than a month now, and the last couple of weeks have really been difficult on her and the whole family.

Mom has been dealing with a nasty infection since February. She is as stubborn as it comes about going to the doctor, but she eventually did go. She was diagnosed with something called C. Diff and given an powerful antibiotic to fight it. She seemed to get better for the next few weeks. She and my dad were still able to fly to Tampa Bay to watch spring training baseball as planned.

While in Florida, her condition took a turn for the worse again. She made it back home and went back to the doctor almost as soon as they got off the plane. She was prescribed a different antibiotic. She lasted all of one night before she had my dad take her to ER. She was so dehydrated, all of her leg muscles were cramping and her skin felt like paper.

After a few hours spent in the ER getting her fluids back up, they admitted her to the hospital. Mom told me later she went through three bags of fluid that day. Yikes!

The hospital doctors finally confirmed how she got C. Diff in the first place. At her regular check up in January, she mentioned a lump on her neck to her doctor. It was an ingrown hair and was prescribed an antibiotic for it. Not only did it kill the bad bacteria, but also killed the good bacteria, making room for the C. Diff to take over. It’s not something I’d wish on anyone.

A week and one small procedure later, mom was finally on the mend and was discharged from the hospital on her birthday Saturday. It’s the only gift she really asked for this year. My siblings and I were all able to help welcome her home this past weekend and spend time waiting on her hand and foot. She is usually a “busy bee,” always doing something around the house. She has taken such good care of my dad and the three of us, it was our turn to repay the favor.

This whole experience was certainly an eye opener, and it has taught me a very valuable lesson — only take antibiotics when they are absolutely necessary. Sometimes we don’t stop and think about the medication our doctors prescribe us. We trust they are giving us something to make us better. Mom’s doctor was trying to help her, but unfortunately the side effects were far worse than the original problem.

I pray mom gets back to her normal self soon, and in the meantime, rest enough to let her body heal. One thing is for sure, mom will be very careful what antibiotics she takes in the future.

Contact Pam Pratt at
pampratt@newtondailynews.com

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