Monday, May 20, 2013

pneumonia, pleural effusion, and popularity-based healing and salvation

Thanks Becca. I think I'll be OK. I'm trying hard not to make this about me, because it's not, and part of being an adult is that every crisis that happens to someone close to me isn't inherently about me.

My aunt is breathing on her own. She's still comatose, but the relatives --doctors who are not her physicians -- think she is stirring and showing signs of coming out of the coma. Then again, they're all related to her and may be seeing what they want to see.

They've identified psuedomonas aeruginosa as the strain of bacteria causing Jilly's pneumonia. It's one of  three or four common bacerial causes of pneumonia in cystic fibrosis patients. That allows the doctors to give a more specific antibiotic to target the bacteria. I'm sure her doctors already started her on it, although I don't know what the antibiotic is.  She also has pleural effusion, which is, I believe, a build-up of fluid in the pleural cavity above and protecting the lungs. The prblem is that it can be too protective, which causes a whole new set of issues.It can be treated with antibiotics in less severe cases, but in Jillian's case, the fluid has to be drained by needle. She's out of it enough that pain is a minor issue, but the doctors are still administer a local anaesthetic just because comatose patients sometimes remember pain after coming out of a coma.

My dad said that if the antibiotics work and she has a good night tonight, she should wake up tomorrow and the worst may be over. The pleural effusion may return, which means  it will have to be drained again. The doctors use better drugs for pain if she's not comatose, but it will still hurt. That's probably the least of her problems, though.

At least none of the followers of Aunt -----'s cult have discovered anything I wrote, so I haven't received death threats.

I'm not stupid enough to blame any of this on  Aunt -----. I just find it a little sickening that she plays the martyr role with such virtuosity because she bore a child with a birth defect that was successfully repaired. There's only -- gasp -- a scar! that cannot be seen, only felt.  I'm terribly sorry the tiny baby and her mother went through this, and I'm even happier that the little girl made it through with flying colors. And while I know it hurt me terribly when one of my adversaries' attorneys advised me that it was time for me to get over what was done to me and to get on with my life, and therefore agree to lift many of the terms of my attackers' probabtion, not that it was totally my call to make, anyway. Maybe what I'm saying about Aunt  ----- is similar to what was said  to me.  Somehow that's not the vibe I get, though. It seems more like, while I'm not trying to minimize the seriousness of her baby's condition at birth,  hers is behavior of a drama queen.

Anyhow, I'm not going to be a martyr over this particular situation. My aunt has prevailed in tougher situations than this one. Odds are looking more and more in her favor in this situation as well, although I worry about risdual and cumulative damage to her lungs.

I'm just thankful that I don't believe in a popularity gospel (which my religion somewhat supports, with its "Pray for the Aldo Massaro family" engraved brass placards screwed into the pews, with different names of course, depending upon who donated the money to pay for the pew in question;  it practically reeks of papal indulgences, but that's another topic for another blog) whereby the likes of Aunt -----'s depression and everything else will be cured because she has so many minions pleading for her, while my poor unknown aunt has only a few friends, co-workers, and relatives offering any prayers on her behalf. It gives me peace to know not necessarily that prayer is a combination of fairy tale activity and voodoo science, but that any outcome, however arbitrary it may seem, is not decided by casting ballots in terms of prayers. I hope I'm right.

1 comment:

  1. I hope your aunt will be okay, Alexis. I can tell you really love and care about her very much. I'm not much into prayers, but I'm sending good vibes your way.