Thursday, December 9, 2010



om was acting very strangely this morning.

She had an appointment for fasting blood work this morning. Mom's blood sugar going low affects her significantly, and sooner than it does most people. If her blood sugar is in the 70s, she's getting shaky. So, the idea of not being able to eat until after a 9:00 appointment had her freaked out from the moment she woke up (if she slept at all, that is, as nervous as she was).

She took her blood sugar right after she got up at 7:00, and it was 99. To her, that's spiraling down out of control! When I came upstairs at 7:40, she was worried because she thought we were supposed to be there before 8:00. No Mom, your appointment is at 9:00, and they called yesterday and asked you to come in at 8:45. I suggested she sit down and rest if she thought her sugar was going low. She did for a couple of minutes, and then she checked her blood sugar again. 155. Her liver must have thrown some sugar, she said. I told her again to sit down. Instead, she searched for her blood pressure cuff to see if that was the problem. 107/51. Superb.

Finally, I said we could just as well leave and wait there as well as at home. Maybe they'd get us in early. Then, during the 25 minute drive, I tried to engage her in conversation, but she wouldn't talk much. She had an odd look on her face, somewhere between determination and confusion, if that makes any sense. She looked at the clock and said, "We aren't going to have time for breakfast before my appointment." I gently reminded her that she needed to be fasting for this appointment, and we'd have breakfast afterwards. Thank God for my meds.

Finally, a thought occurred to me.

"Mom, we usually eat breakfast at 8:30. It's 8:35 right now, so on a normal day, you would just be eating right now. You're going to be OK."

I dropped her off at the door and told her to register while I parked. When I got inside, she was standing there and told me every one was busy. Two of the three receptionists were sitting with no one in front of them. I got her registered, and gestured to the waiting room. But Mom bypassed the waiting room and headed right down the hallway toward the patient rooms in the back!

"Mom, we have to wait here."

"No, I have to go have my blood drawn so I can eat breakfast," she insisted, like a petulant 3-year-old.

I convinced her to sit down, and listened to her whine about not getting to eat. I offered to go check with the receptionist to see if she was supposed to go to the lab first. Of course, the answer was no.

Not too much later, she was called back. I told the nurse in private that I thought Mom was acting a little strange and that we should have her checked for a UTI. They were kind enough to oblige, and sure enough, she had one.

This isn't the first time this has happened. The first time, I was surprised that it would have that kind of effect. But one of the women at my church works in a nursing home, and she told me that yes, when patients start acting (more) confused (than usual), the first thing they check is for a urinary tract infection. Apparently, when they have an infection, the toxins that should be flushed out by urination back up in the system and get into the blood, causing all kinds of havoc.

So, Mom got some antibiotics. We'll see how it goes.

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