Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Applied Love v/s Applied Cruelty

A bothersome reality of this upside-down blog is that the happiest material is at the bottom (the bottom of the 2010 posts that is). With the ongoing progress of MS, the story simply saddens and that is the part that you, dear reader, must encounter first.

Nevertheless, this posting was commenced on 13th September 2011 and if nothing else, it tidies up the curious ending of the previous post. Pam eventually recovered from her pneumonia and I brought her back home last Wednesday (7th).

Pam loved to be back home and everyone loved having her back, especially me. She was somewhat tenderised by the hospitalisation but within a couple of days she was getting noticeably stronger. It seems like there is no end to these 'near-death' experiences and yet Pam stoically comes through each one.

Yesterday, while I was down town taking some respite leave, I received a call on my mobile phone from Louise, the TRIO carer who was then looking after Pam. Louise was worried about an apparent nausea reaction to Pam's 12 o'clock PEG feed and she didn't know what medication to use to combat it. Additionally, Pam had developed a gurgly cough, she said.

My heart sank to my boots. I hurried back home to find Pam not coughing all that much, but when she did, it was very gurgly-sounding. I gave her an anti-nausea tablet and thanked Louise and dismissed her a few minutes before her scheduled knock-off time of 1:30pm. I took Pam to her bed and left her propped up there to assist in minimalising aspiration - if I wasn't too late.

Pam continued coughing and I kept asking her if I should call the ambulance. She said she didn't feel crook and that she did NOT want to go back to hospital, but by 3pm I'd had enough and called 000 regardless.

The paramedics didn't take long to arrive and quickly assertained that Pam's lungs seemed to be clear and that the cough irritation was probably just in her wind-pipe. It was decided to take Pam to the Emergency Dept as that would be safer should Pam dislodge the irritating material (probably stomach regurgitation) and choke on it. So off she went in the ambulance with me following in the car. Pam was xrayed and ECG'd but it was a saline nebuliser that thined the irritation and allowed her to eventually deal with it.

I brought Pam back home about 7:30pm. She was so tired that she couldn't even control her electric wheelchair. It was almost funny - after Pam was hoisted into her chair, I took off toward the exit expecting Pam to be close behind in her chair. However, when I looked around she still way back in the cubical unable to manipulate the control lever of her wheelchair and looking longingly at me to come and get her.

Bloody MS, I thought - how cruel could it get? Applied cruelty, I reckon - applied by nothing but rotten luck to a beautiful, wonderful person.

I went back and towed Pam to the car by her chair's control lever. That must have looked very strange to those I passed.

Anyway, Pam is happily home once more and Jeni brought little Ellie around to say 'hello'. Here's a happy snap.

It'd be nice if all women were like Pam - she is simply 'Applied Love'.