A parent’s dilemma

When a child is admitted to the hospital, the mother usually stays at the bedside 24 hours a day. They provide routine care, give medicines and supply hoards of affection. Often the parent is completely consumed with the child’s health and they neglect themselves.

This week, Lydie, the mother of Little Doctor (from my October-December 2009 posts) presented with another child, Joanna. The child had vomiting and required IV hydration. Over the three days of hospitalization, Lydie had progressive fatigue and developed a severe headache. I encouraged her to seek care but she declined.

This morning on rounds, she looked horrible. I spoke with the internal medicine doctors and they admitted her to the ICU. Over the day she became worse and by 3PM, she was in a coma.

After running some tests we discovered that she had a type of meningitis with a high mortality. We will treat her aggressively and monitor her closely, but the prognosis in unclear.

I desperately do not want Joanna to become an orphan this early in her life so I hope Lydie recovers quickly.


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