Mom has pneumonia -- what would you do? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My mother is terrible at taking care of herself -- she has many times let an illness get out of control to the point where she is really sick. She's a smoker too, so sickness tends to really stick once she catches something. So once again, she ends up feeling very sick this week -- coughing, phlegm, throwing up, headache. I beg her to go to the doctor, but she demurs again and again. Last night around 8PM she calls me to tell me she's having trouble breathing and is on the way to the hospital with my dad!
Normally I would go to be there with her, but my DS is just 8 weeks old and spending a few hours with her in the ER while they evaluate her is probably NOT a good idea.
So hours later, after me trying repeatedly to call her cell and getting voicemail, she finally calls me at 3AM. She has pneumonia and they admitted her. She was quite out of it, so it was hard to get details. She was upset, said that she was angry that they made her stay, and that she was going to have to leave because payroll needs to be done at her job and she's the only one who can do it! Ugh. Typical mom... she'll do anything for other people but will NEVER take care of her own health. I would not be surprised if she checks herself out against medical advice today.

Anyway,
how contagious is someone with pneumonia?
would you visit in the hospital or stay away?
Would you let your mom near the babe, or wait until she's well again? (She was holding and kissing him on Christmas Eve even though she was already feeling sick... I didn't realize at the time that she was feeling so poorly. She hid it pretty well.)

Spiralshell -- Mama to David Nathaniel, born October 2009. And so you see I have come to doubt all that I once held as true. I stand alone without belief, the only truth I know is you.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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First, I'd try to find out if its bacterial/viral/fungal/etc.. pneumonia. If she is being treated, currently, there is probably much less chance of it being passed on.

My mother developed pneumonia shortly after giving birth to my twin sisters. I had planned a visit and went anyway, along with DS (who was 5-6 months or so at the time, if memory serves) and we were vigilant with hand washing/sanitising, but otherwise normal.

I'm sorry that that's not really helpful. You could always try to speak to her doctor to find out the specifics of her case. As i understand it, no two cases are the same.
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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Pneumonia is an opportunistic disease--typically you have to be someone who has a compromised immune system in some way to get it--which your mom clearly has. Unfortunately, 8 week old babies fall in the same catagory. You, as a healthy adult, are unlikely to get it---it is really another word for fluid in the lungs and it usually develops (from other issues like chronic illness) rather than just appears. I think you could go visit and be alright if you feel comfortable leaving the baby. I would wait until she is well before allowing much contact with the baby though, mostly because the illness that created the pneumonia is probably still contagious.

On the bright side, your baby is probably safe from the exposure she had on Chrismas Eve, unless she has an underlying condition such as a cold and the pneumonia is a viral/contagious sort (which is less likely).

Mama to P. born at home 10/09, and W. born in the hospital 2/13

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