A household with two people suffering a neurological brain disorder… I have witnessed much. I realized soon we have to rethink how we deal with illness and old age. Above all, we have to stop the cruel practice of isolation.
Another run to the hospital. Shelly had been with a fever too long. Three weeks. Nothing worked. Doctors were pushing antibiotics. The fever was constant, up and down. Maybe that horrible heat was at fault? No, no that couldn´t be it, the doctors said.
On top of it the sodium was down, 124. The normal is 135.
One idea was to stop the antibiotics . Then wait 48 hours and see what happens.
I did not want to wait 2 minutes. I was frightened. What if there is an infection? And if the sodium drops down more? Blood work was needed.
Hospital for Shelly is not a picnic. The clumsy machines we have to bring in. The changes: from hot to freezing, from bed to bed. Unfamiliar hands putting on diapers.
We go to the hospital where they know us. The public Hospital Sant Pau, the pride and joy of Catalunya. The beautiful Sant Pau is half empty now, all echoes when you walk. Its budget smashed to smitherins. But the emergency is going at full speed.
A young doctor we had never seen. She says her name is Mara. And Mara is her first name.
She is gorgeous, and unaware of how she looks. Shelly´s eyes should now be open . But he is too worn out to look.
Dr. Mara takes her time studying Shelly´s case, his whole sad story in the computer. She works with calm and quiet and we become calm and quiet , too.
Something incredible next. Something no doctor has done before. She asks Shelly – not me – if she can listen to his chest. Imagine, an emergency doctor asking a patient if she can touch him. Who is she? And what planet did she come from?
Anything she touches turns to gold. Shelly suddenly without a fever. And in 2 hours we know there is no infection. His blood is clean. So it was the sun heat, after all.
Then we go home? Not so fast. The low sodium business is still unfinished. A solution has to be dripped in slowly. Slowly, slowly. All night slowly.
Dr. Mara arranges a quiet, private room for us. The temperature is perfect. It seems that everything is perfect there. But wait, there is no oxi monitor. And no way to tell if the oxygen in the blood is sufficient. We have our small device from home but it has no alarm, important when we sleep. I run home with a taxi. I bring back our bigger oximeter, Shelly´s food. But where is Shelly? His room is empty now.
Panic. But then I hear him before I see him. A distant mucus suctioning sound I know so well. He is now in a more general part, behind a curtain. Our private little room apparently was needed.
It is winter in this zone. No way to adjust the freezing air. Another trip home for something warmer.
The night goes well. The nurses sweet and caring. But my chair is hard and I continue to be cold. Shelly´s feet under three blankets are frozen.
At 5:30 am I suddenly wake up. Dr. Mara´s face is facing me. She looks fresh as if arriving from a spa. Another magic touch. The sodium is perfect, 135. We can go home.
The rest is boring. Thank you all, Anna
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