Friday, December 05, 2008

Sick, Sick and Sick

Lucky Grandma! I get to help take care of two little boys with pneumonia and to try and keep the smallest one from catching it, too. One of them uses a nebulizer every four hours; fortunately he did not have to stay in the hospital and was allowed to return home the night he was taken to the emergency room.

Emergency room! The thought of having to go there horrifies me. As the answer to the country's refusal to accept the notion of health care as a "right", the pressure has been placed on emergency rooms throughout the United States to treat those patients with inadequate or no healthcare. So for most of us it is a nightmare whenever we are so sick there is no alternative.

Fortunately, my daughter-in-law and grandchildren qualify for State of Washington medical assistance. Their doctor was so worried about the 5 year-old that she sent them to the emergency room for a bloodtest and x-ray. They left at 5 pm and returned about 1 am. The waiting room was packed with children -- some with broken bones and my grandson with a temperature around 105! (F) When he was seen the staff at St. Peter's were great -- but why does it always take so long? To be honest, emergency room treatment in the UK can also take a very long time, but I think the American nightmare is singularly dreadful for its time frame.

Both little boys are now on the mend and the care of their personal doctor has been superb. But the problem that face hospitals across the country are shocking. I cannot understand why, as I heard on television yesterday, 50% of the country thinks we should leave medical care the way it is. I am due back in Britain on the 15th of December and will be relieved to get back with my health intact. In the meantime I'm taken daily doses of Echinacea and Zinc in the hope that I can stave off any illness, at least until I get back.

So far my history of taking Echinacea and Zinc has been very successful. My son told me about it a few years ago when I complained to him about how often I got sick as a result of flying. So now whenever I fly I start of regimen of taking Echinacea tablets (4-6 per day) and Zinc (1 tablet per day) about two weeks before I'm due to fly. The measure is now being put to its greatest test! I feel pretty good, but as though I am fighting off something that doesn't quite have the where-with-all to strike me down. Just over a week to go and then once I get there there it's almost Christmas! (Scream, Scream, Scream)

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