Today was tough.

I talked with my mom this morning, following up with her about a doctor appointment she had yesterday afternoon.  Among other things, she said that she still has an infection in her lungs, and that the doctor prescribed the same antibiotic as a couple of weeks ago.

The same one that made her vomit around the clock for the seven days she was on it.  (Which she didn’t tell me about until day six.)

My thoughts were:

a) She would not be getting the medication she needs if she pukes it up.
b) She’d lose MORE weight (she’s already the thinnest I can ever remember, going back to my childhood).
c) There are MULTITUDES of other antibiotics out there that would likely do the trick.
d) As she’s recovering from extensive blood clots, pulmonary emboli, pneumonia, a trip to the ER and a 3-day stay in the hospital, well, she doesn’t need an additional seven days of unnecessary illness;  she needs to be strong in order to recover.

Her thoughts were:

“Well, the doctor is the expert.  If that’s the medicine she thinks I need to take in order to recover, I’ll just have to tough it out.”

I proceeded to get probably more upset with my mom than I have in as long as I can remember.  I couldn’t understand why she didn’t say something to the doctor!  I don’t know why she didn’t advocate for herself!  And there she was, as we spoke:  On one hand, she was completely planning on taking the antibiotic.  On the other hand, it was there, sitting on her desk, staring at her, and she was dragging her feet to start the round of medication because she knew it would make her so ill.

I asked for her doctor’s number.  She said, “Well, if you’re going to harangue someone, I’d rather have it be them than me.”  I apologized.  😦

I did call the doctor.  About 20 times.

The office, which has short hours on Fridays, had a meeting of some sort that lasted the entire 3½ hours that they were supposed to be open.  On about the 20th time calling, I finally left a message with the answering service, not all that hopeful of a return call, but feeling somewhat desperate, because I didn’t think it could wait until Monday.

The doctor called me about 10 minutes later.  Bless God.  It turns out that my mom had already put me in her HIPAA as someone to whom information could be released.  The doctor was very kind and accommodating, and confirmed that she would never have prescribed that antibiotic if she would have known that it made my mom so ill.  I also asked how it could be that my mom could still have a “lung infection” yet not have pneumonia, which was my mom’s impression of the state of her health.  Mom was mistaken.  She does still have pneumonia.

The doc wrote up a new prescription.  I put Fiala down for a nap, sent Wesley to a quiet time, put Ethan in charge, and took Audrey and Grant with me in the truck.  I drove to the doctor’s office, knocked on the back door, and collected the rx, along with the doctor’s suggestion that perhaps I should accompany my mom to future doctor’s visits (I agreed).  I drove to my mom’s to pick up the “bad” prescription, in hopes that the pharmacy would accept it as a return and refund the $40 copay.  Drove to the pharmacy, asked in vain for a refund for the other prescription, and waited for the new one.  Thankfully, it was only $5.  Five bucks.  For generic Bactrim, which is very easy on the stomach.  (Makes me cynically wonder if the doctor has an agreement with the other name-brand antibiotic’s drug rep or something — why didn’t they prescribe a generic in the first place???)

So, now my mom is on Bactrim.  And back on oxygen full-time, 24/7.  At least, she’s supposed to be.  Both times today I stopped into her home, she did NOT have the oxygen on.  Well, the machine was on, but it was not on her.


Throw into the above a hellish 1½ trip to Walmart (which I hate) in which all five of the kids had rotten behavior — for only which Fiala was excused.  And, picking up a present I had ordered for some friends who are to be married tomorrow.  And a haircut (FINALLY) for Wesley.

Then, my hubby suggested we pick up some wings for the kids.  I thought that was a fabulous idea.   (He went to the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner tonight, but he managed to “snack” on a dozen wings before he left  😀 )  As I was fixing Fiala’s lamb-burger, she could smell the mild and BBQ wings, and kept saying, with increasing volume and interest, “Mmmmmmmmmm.  MMMMmmmmm.   MMMMMMMMMMMmmm.”  I caved.  I rinsed off the BBQ sauce, and gave her a wing to gnaw on.  Then a second.  By the end of the 2nd one, she was absolutely clawing at her face, and she was red everywhere — cheeks, around her eyes, around the eczema lesions she already has.


Now, it’s 7:30.  I’m going to get the girls in bed, let the boys watch a bit of TV (How It’s Made), and finally dust the front room so that I can feel good about FINALLY decorating for Christmas and maybe even getting the tree up.

I feel tightly wound up.  And a bit sad.  And more than a bit frustrated.  😦

Sorry for whining.  I did just want to WRITE this, plus, at times, I feel like my blog — because I want to be careful not to complain — ends up appearing as The Best of My Life, rather than my real life.  It’s a delicate balance.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on December 11, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Christmas, Family, Housework, Shopping, The Dear Hubby, The Kids, Total Elimination Diet, Whining. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. here is a double hug from me b/c I had an equally poopie day

    (hug) (hug)

    so sorry about fiala! poor girl. I’m dealing with the same thing with Ven. He’s 7.5 monts and begs for table food but I stillwont let him b/c he is reacting to so many things i am eating (still!!!) it breaks my heart.

    • Thank you, Laura! We’ll just hug each other and cry a bit then get back to our lives, OK??? 🙂

      I just think it is so ironic — NONE of my kids were really fantastic, willing, joyful eaters, except Fiala, who can’t eat anything! 😦 We were talking about it at the table last night. She just spontaneously does that, “Mmmmmm!” thing and is so overjoyed to eat. And, honestly, she’s nice and chubby. We haven’t been to the ped lately — since I decided to stop vaxing, AND because I need to change doctors, I have been dragging me feet to go get everyone’s one-year well visits — but I’m certain her weight and growth is fabulous again. Her thighs are just so chubby! Sweet girl.

      I also think it’s CRAZY that we seem to be going through virtually identical things — both in our own personal health, in our other kids, in our babies. Seriously. Makes me wonder what’s up with that. Like, is God just having us encourage each other, and that’s why we “match”? Or, is there something up with it, literally, physically similar in our make-ups and in the children we produce????? IDK. But, it’s weird. Weird/good.

  2. We all have those kind of days, so whine away! I understand.

    So sorry about your Mom’s troubles, hopefully this new prescription will do the trick!

    Your poor baby girl! I know my sisters had to take their little ones to get tested for allergies, because they were reacting and they didn’t understand why. (We are a whole big family of celiacs, all off of wheat and gluten but the babies were still reacting to things!) Turns out a lot of my nephews and nieces are allergic to things like corn, dairy, potatoes, even things like carrots or apples! Maybe your little one is allergic to corn (in the BBQ sauce?)

    Hope you can figure out what’s bothering her! Eczema is no fun.

    ps. I’ve been stalking your blog for a while, but this is the first time I’ve commented. 🙂

    • I’m glad you commented, Sarah! I like blog lurkers, but I love it when folks comment!

      I didn’t write our whole sad history w/ Fiala in this post, because I was trying to go fast… but we have gone through all sorts of testing (prick, RAST/blood, and 3-day patch), and she IS allergic to everything you mention — corn, dairy, potatoes, carrots, apples, plus OTHER things that we haven’t identified.

      One of her worst allergies is garlic (it made her skin BLISTER), and I know for a fact that those wings had garlic in the sauce (b/c I spoke to the owners about it a while back when we were “only” avoiding her 17 identified allergens). I was hoping that rinsing the sauce off would be all right, but it wasn’t. So, either it was the chicken itself, corn from the sauce, garlic from it, or who-knows-what. 😦

      I don’t know if you read my Thanksgiving post, but I was SO ENCOURAGED that she didn’t have digestive problems from our normal/gluten-free Thanksgiving dinners, but I think in the last couple of weeks, I’ve gone overboard with what I’ve trialled and/or not been 100% strict with (or with myself). But, now she’s paying for my slackness because her face is so oozy today, and she has new patches of eczema on her forehead and right cheek and chin, and her left cheek is a full on, raw lesion. 😦 Bad mom. (I don’t REALLY feel like a bad mom, but I do feel guilty for the chx wing, for letting myself drink dairy eggnog on Monday, for a few handfuls of almonds, etc. etc. I just need to get back to the bare bones, even though it’s hard.)

  3. I just love you. You are a wonderful daughter (I pine to have such as you, Karen…) – You are an incredible mother. You are doing more and being more than you can understand darling. I salute you. Kathy

  4. I am so sorry you had such a bad/difficult/frustrating day. The poor sweet Fiala. Koala begs for food constantly and I cave far more than I should. I can only imagine how hard it is for you to stay the course.

    Continuing to keep you in my prayers.

  5. I think that her attitude must be a generational thing, that complete trust in the doctors. Go you for stepping in! Also, I’d recommend you get her on some good pro-biotics as if she’s had all this stomach trouble her bacteria in her stomach is probably all messed up.

    I’m on some meds that are upsetting my stomach constantly and I’m sort of wondering if it is worth it, fix one problem but cause a multitude of others?

    • You’re probably right about the generational thing! What’s funny, though, is that she’s a total product of the 60’s and in some ways is VERY non-conformist, and in other ways, she’s a doormat. My sister and I have talked about this before and wondered what the root of it is. We still haven’t figured it out! And, you’re SO RIGHT about the probiotics. She does do a bunch of natural supplements, but I wonder if she’s using probiotics. I’ll have to check w/ her.

      I’m guessing that whatever meds you’re on — that there isn’t an acceptable substitute that doesn’t cause stomach upset?? 😦

  6. Yeah, my stomach is doing a lot better so I think I just have to stick it out now for six weeks. I’m actually a lot more tired than I was on them so hopefully they start to work their magic before too long. I would rather go to a naturopath and get treated that way, but I found that most more alternative practioners are not very good with brain injuries and don’t really understand them.

    I think those that were around in the 60s were the first generation to probably really have good access to healthcare, things like vaccines were pretty new then and there is something in their mindset about going to the doctor and getting a pill to fix it. I’m amazed how many people expect me to go to the doctor when I have a cold – like they are going to do anything! Luckily there is a much better awareness of antibiotic overuse now, but I think that generation still expect to always get a prescription if they go to the doctor.

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