Friday, October 9, 2009

So! Today was doctor and pharmacy day, as we ALL have a cold...

Pneumonia fills the lung's alveoli with fluid,...Image via Wikipedia
This time I AM the victim... 

Both T and my mother brought back airplane colds.  And each one suffers to a greater or lesser degree of  incapacity. 

Needless to say, my mother has been living in an environment where personal medical news is NEWS. 

(I am ambivalent on that part of growing old...)

Sadly for her we do not enter into the same enjoyment of symptoms that her fellow residents do in Santa Fe. 

In fact T and I both generally "hole up" and hide in different parts of the house when we're sick, and proceed to mostly suffer silently and miserably on our own, generally snarling "no thank you" through gritted teeth, to any well meant assistance from the other. 

My mom though is more used to the treacheries of illness and expects the worst of any malady. She's really into telling stories of mistaken diagnosis and dark ramifications of ignoring obvious warning symptoms.

To be fair, 9 years ago she had a cancerous tumor in her lung and had to have 2/3 of one of her lungs removed.  (she NEVER smoked.)  She's still a "half empty" sort of person re the cancer, even though she's been cancer-free since the surgery. I guess cancer can do that to you.  Anyway she IS afraid of bronchitis, and pneumonia and I can't blame her.  A chest cold makes her feel like she's suffocating and that's not fun. 

Still it was her possible brain tumor headache that threw me a bit, yesterday.  It turned out to be a bit of a stiff neck, and tight muscles in spasm, probably brought on by coughing a good part of the night.

But she was not feeling well and the cough was getting worse and the wheezing had started.  She didn't sleep well last night so off we went this morning to "the Clinic". (it was time for the antibiotic) 

Thankfully T and I  found this clinic near us, a few years ago when it first opened - a sort of 'all purpose' - as long as it's not too complicated stuff-  "med center" type facility on the Paleocastritsa road, just past the Ropa Valley turn off.  The staff all speaks English very well, they're very nice, and for something short of being a brain tumor, they're OK.

Now Greece (as I mentioned before in my post about "things I've learned about living in Greece") is one of the last places in Europe where you can buy prescription drugs "over the counter".  Earlier I'd asked my mother what she needed to take, so I could run out and pick it up for her, and of course she said "Whatever the doctor tells me to take!"  So convincing her to go and pick up what she needed from the pharmacy was out of the question without a doctors "prescription/permission".

We arrived and there was a young doctor at the desk talking to the receptionist, with no one in line.  [yay!] 

My mother spoke with the nice young woman doctor who interviewed her for her medical history (ie: listened through lung surgery and fears) checked for any allergies and looked at the meds she was currently taking (I brought the list) and wrote out a "prescription" for an antibiotic and some sachets to be dissolved in water to break up the congestion. Hurrah!  But she was really good and recognised that my mother was, still waiting for one more thing she was used to getting something else, and wrote out the name of the steroid pill the doctor prescribed in the US to be taken for three days to stop the coughing attacks that so frighten her.  {Bless her!]

So now my mother is "woozy" from the medicine and took a nice long nap this afternoon after lunch.  She ate a good dinner and fell asleep in front of the television.  I've just herded her gently into bed.   It should be a quiet weekend. 

At least I hope it's a quiet weekend... as now I'm coming down with the dratted cold.
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  1. I can emphathize with both you and your mother. We have been battling colds too. And I have had cancer and know the fear of its return whenever I get something new too.

    I want to read all your information about Greece and will soon. You must have so much to tell about places I have never been and now will never see. Will be back.

  2. So empathise with this. We have my 84 year old mother in law staying and although she is the sweetest person, her life seems to revolve around how she slept, her bowels, her dieretics, endless pill taking..................

    No added illnesses yet though, fingers crossed!

  3. Oh I do hope you all recover very soon and this doesn't spoil your Mum's holiday.

  4. Dear Bernie,
    Welcome,I enjoy your blog! My mother is getting better, and I do recognize her fears regarding her cancer. It was a scary time. Thanks for your comments!

    Dear Rosie,
    Welcome! I finally figured out where your blog was so I could add it to my links! For some reason on FriendConnect it wouldn't tell me!

    Re: health/age... I think it's because as you get older your world sometimes become really small. For instance, when I talk to friends my age I generally talk about the same things they do. Right now anyway my world is large enough to embrace many ages and topics.)

    I'm afraid that as we get older the simple issues of the body and its daily health become a chief topic of conversation to many people. If you are around people of only one age group (as many retirement homes can be) you end up talking about (and focusing a lot!) on simple body functions and your medications!

    One of the reasons it bothers me as much I think is that it makes me think about myself in an old and sick way. Or else it makes me frustrated and want to talk about ANYTHING but those things.

    Once in a while tho, when everything is going right with the world, my mother and I have lovely funny conversations about the past and present. Because we don't see eachother but once a year, it makes it difficult to not cram too much of "who, what and where" we are into our conversations and also to give eachother enough space to ourselves. Thanks for you comments. (I do share your frustrations!)

    Dear Ayak,

    She's feeling much better, thankfully and now we're focusing on our trip to Belgium on the 20th. T is getting better as well, and all I have to do is magically get rid of this cold before we leave. GAh. Thanks for the comments!

  5. Now the quality of food is decreasing and also the pollution is spoil the environment.So there is increase in the case of patients for that we have to celebrate doctors and pharmacy day and we have to tell people about various disease.

    r4i kort



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