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Friday, January 16, 2004

As a nurse, I make a pretty good potted plant.

Mom has a bad cold, and she's in the worst part of it today. I sat with her a couple of hours tonight and did next to nothing. Earlier, Suzanne took her to the doctor and got all the medicine she needed and tried to get her to drink a milkshake. I mostly just sat and tried to think of ways to be useful. That's not easy when the person doesn't want anything.

She doesn't feel like eating or drinking, even though both of those activities are spelled out on the printed instructions they gave her. I know how she feels about eating and drinking with a really bad cold and clogged nasal passages, though. I've been there, and I didn't listen when people told me what I needed to do. I just did what I felt like, and I think that's all we're going to get out of her, for a day or two at least.

It's hard to watch someone who's so sick she doesn't even try to disguise it. That means she feels as low as she can get. As one who sometimes tries to pretend he feels better than he really does, here I was confronted with the one person who can always see through my act. And she wasn't even trying to act, so it had to be bad.

14 January 2004

The rain has kept the birdbath full of water, but one day I really should clean the leaves out of it.

The doctor wasn't very worried, though, according to Suzanne. It's one of those things that plays out (the worst of it, anyway) in a few days. So we'll watch over her and do what we can. We'll also give her space to be as miserable as she feels. I don't know if that's bad bedside manner or not, but that's how I "helped" her tonight.

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A bad cold doesn't sound like much, does it? But her fever spiked this afternoon and she was having trouble breathing and my thoughts drifted into pneumonia territory. It's a cold coupled with symptoms of asthma, and it's all throwing her system off so that she's nauseated. And let's not forget that she's 77 years old. So that's why we're watching her "cold" pretty closely.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Touch of Freedom
"It's hard coming to terms with such a big change."

Two years ago: Distracted
"It doesn't even look better yet. It looks more the way it would if my manic mole invited his crazy cousins over to plow up my yard a little faster than he could do it alone."

Three years ago: Changed Conditions Ahead
"I doubt that he knows why yesterday was a holiday; he might not even believe that it was, although if I told him the sky had turned purple, he'd probably believe that."

Four years ago: June in January
"Oddly enough, getting vacation time arranged for so many people to get away at the same time was the easiest part. It was harder to decide where we were going."

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If you want to own a great big mansion,
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