Saturday 23 June 2012: Diagnosis pneumonia
Today didn't quite go as planned. I was going to work all day, but not only did we not wake up until 11.45, when we did get out bed and I checked my phone, there was a very brief text from Dad: "Mum v poorly won't let me call doc". I rang him while I was getting dressed, told him to call the surgery or NHS Direct, whatever she said, necked a mug of tea and then called him back. He'd by then spoken to the out-of-hours phone line, with Mum's agreement, and they said she should be seen by the out-of-hours doctor at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
I left Ant at home and drove straight to the hospital, where they were still waiting to see the GP. Mum was very confused and drowsy, with her head hanging down to her knees as she was sat on the seat. She was not interested in talking at all. When we walked her into the doctor's room, she could barely stay upright or walk straight. The GP was very thorough. He thought that she must have an infection, as she had a high temperature, low oxygen levels in her blood (even lower than expected for someone with asthma), high blood pressure, abnormal heart sounds (even more abnormal than expected for someone with heart problems) and was struggling to stay awake, barely responding to instructions. He bleeped the medical assessment unit, who agreed to examine her.
Within 10 minutes we were on the way to MAU. The team in there were fantastic. She had blood taken very quickly, an ECG in her bed, which was quite abnormal, and some paracetamol to try to bring her temperature down. The registrar saw her pretty quickly and took a very detailed history, including a memory exam. She really struggled with that, not remembering where she was, when the first world war started or an address given to her a few minutes earlier. After an hour or so she went for an x-ray. She'd barely got back into bed, and I was still in the car waiting for my phone to charge up a bit, when the doctor came in to tell her and Dad that the tests showed she had pneumonia. Apparently both their chins hit the floor.
She was quickly started on intravenous antibiotics, and when I left a few hours later, she had her head up, was much more lucid and able to hold a conversation, including about which hospital she was in, although Dad said she can't remember anything about this morning, even arriving at the hospital. Hopefully she'll be even more like her usual self tomorrow...