Day 9: The Cold Becomes Something More

I was interested in getting an idea of how Kate was doing yesterday morning, so I tried to get her up for lunch. That would have given us time to be together as she was getting ready as well as at lunch. This was one of the many occasions when she just wanted to remain in bed. The first time I walked into the bedroom, she was lying in bed awake. I took a glass of water and asked if she would like some. She said, “In a minute.” She looked mildly confused or disturbed. When I asked if something were wrong, she held her hand up to let me know she didn’t want to talk about it. I sat down on the bed and said, “It looks like something is bothering you. Could you tell me about it?” She shook her head no. Then I asked if she would like me to let her rest a little longer. She did. I told her I would be in the kitchen if she needed anything.

About twenty minutes later, I went back to let her know that I would be going to the Y a little later and wondered if she would like to go to lunch with me or let the sitter help her dress and take her. She opted to stay in bed and let Mary handle things. Then I noticed she was wheezing slightly. It wasn’t much, but I took that as a warning sign and called her doctor. Unfortunately, they had just closed for lunch, but her doctor’s nurse called me back as soon as she returned to the office. She advised us to go to an urgent care center to have her checked.

We went to a nearby office that has quite a few locations in various parts of town. We have been to one of their other offices in the past. I like the fact that you can schedule appointments online and wait at home until they text you thirty minutes before your appointment. That doesn’t mean that you don’t wait in the waiting room, but the wait is significantly shorter. I also like that they have a TV that lists the order in which patients will be called. Both times we have used this system, Kate has been the next person called. That happened again yesterday.

This was a time I could have used my cards indicating that she has Alzheimer’s, but I forgot. Instead, I discretely told the woman at the front desk and the nurse who led us to the examination room. That was good because Kate had trouble following very simple directions like stepping on the scale to be weighed and where to sit. I knew that when we got to the x-ray room, she was going to have a problem. It worked out fine, but she did get confused and spoke fairly strongly (for her) to the nurse to be clearer about what she was supposed to do.

Her vitals were just fine. Her blood pressure (139/80) was higher than it used to be, but her temperature was 98, and here blood work showed no sign of an infection. She had lost five pounds since her last doctor’s appointment in the fall. Of course, scales can vary, but I couldn’t help thinking that might be a result of eating fewer blueberry muffins. That doesn’t happen nearly as much now that we are not at Panera every day. The x-ray, however, did show congestion in the bronchioles. Although it appears that she does not have a bacterial infection, the doctor put her on an antibiotic and advised us to contact her doctor on Monday.

She slept well through the night and had only one coughing spell that occurred shortly after going to bed. She was up at 6:30 to go to the bathroom. I took the opportunity to give her the next antibiotic and Mucinex. I didn’t detect any wheezing; however, a few minutes ago, I went to her beside and listened carefully. She was wheezing very slightly, less than she was yesterday. I hope we will see some improvement today.