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Riding out winter's ills

December 6, 2009
by Kathleen Mears
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In the last few weeks the silence is broken here by the sound of residents coughing, so it seems the fall/winter flu or opportunistic virus season has arrived. Some residents have stayed in their rooms for days. Oddly enough, much of it began right after we got the seasonal flu shot.

In the last week or so the coughs have begun to sound worse. I try to stay in my room as much as I can, and I avoid being around residents with symptoms.

Despite my great care, I was wracked by fever Friday night. It is the fever that only arrives on the eve of a weekend when no doctor is around. I have not had a fever of 102.5° in a while. Because I am on chemo it is easier for me to get infections. But this just cropped up out of nowhere. During the night I shivered and I had every blanket in my cupboard put on me. The fever went down during the night.

The facility faxed my doctor but I will probably not hear from him until Monday. Saturday morning my fever was just above 99°. I was achy and transferring was a bit more difficult. My aide offered to do my shower since the shower aide was reluctant since I felt so badly. Knowing my aide was at ease caring for me despite my quite uncomfortable state made me feel much better.

It is amazing how some aides can make you feel so much better when you are sick. It is not very easy to define what they do. It is more the feeling that they convey. Giving comfort to someone is a great gift.

Despite the good care, my temperature returned to 102.5° Saturday afternoon. I do not seem to have any symptoms so it is difficult to figure out what is going on. But because of my quadriplegia, I am constantly on the lookout for pneumonia.

My fever broke Saturday evening and this morning it was way below normal. But it is rising again as the day goes on. I do feel better so maybe it has run its course. I hope it is just a nasty little virus that got in my way.

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I hope so too Kathleen, take care of yourself. Thanks for your continuing blogs they remind us all about life on the "inside" - the good and the bad. Warm wishes, Ralph

Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...