Post # 1
My mom doesn’t take the best care of herself – she smokes, doesn’t exercise, has a high stress level, and doesn’t always eat super well. She also stubbornly refuses to see a doctor. So it’s not surprising that she gets sick from time to time with normal illnesses, like colds or the flu. However, yesterday she called my sister, who is a nurse, to come over and take a look at her because she’s feeling so poorly. My sister thinks she may have pneumonia, so after a lot of pressure from my sis, and after me calling her and nagging, she finally agreed to have my sister take her in to get checked out today.
So here’s why I feel like a jerk – I am not working right now, and ideally, I’d be the one to take her to the doctor today and stay with her if she has to be admitted for treatment. However, I am afraid to be around her if she has pneumonia, and I really don’t want to go to the hospital, either, since I am pregnant. My sister does have the day off today, but she was supposed to be studying for an upcoming clinical exam, so now she’s having to take my mom to the doctor and study while she’s waiting.
I would maybe feel better if my sister knew why I was being such a bum and not offering to help, but DH and I have not told the rest of our family yet about the pregnancy, since we are still in the early stages (only about 6 weeks in). My mom knows, but my sister doesn’t. I feel like she probably thinks I’m being a brat for not offering to take my mom in for testing & treatment.
Not sure what the point of this post is, other than I guess I just wanted to vent my frustration over feeling a bit powerless to help. Have any of you bees had a family member get sick while you were pregnant? Were you able to be around them or go visit them in a hospital?
Post # 3
@IAmTheShadow: It’s nice of you to want to help with your Mom and also help your sis out, but please don’t feel guilty.
Just acknowledge that it’s an unpleasant feeling for you that you can’t help her, but your priority is your baby!! And that’s a good thing!
Post # 4
@IAmTheShadow: Try not to worry about it. I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t go hang out with someone who was ill or a doctor’s office either. Heck, we went to interview pediatricians the other day and I didn’t want to be in the waiting room with the sick kids! Your sister will get over it (assuming she is even upset).
Post # 5
@IAmTheShadow: I understand your concerns completely. You need to protect yourself and that baby. But I did want to say, IF, just IF for some reason you have to take your mom to the doctor soon because your sister is unavailable… ask for one (or a few to keep with you) surgical face masks. Most hospitals will have them. You might feel silly wearing them, but it’s worth the precaution. And wash your hands and use antiseptic gel/foam like it’s going out of style. Keep that little bean safe!
Post # 6
Thanks for your support, ladies. I really appreciate it!
My sis just called – she ended up calling an ambulance for my mom, because she couldn’t get enough breath to even come down the stairs at her house. She called me as she was following the ambulance to the hospital. I finally caved and told her what was up with me, and she was like, “well, pneumonia isn’t contagious, but the flu is. You could come to the hospital and just wear a mask.” I honestly don’t want to go to the hospital yet because I haven’t had a flu shot, so I said I wanted to wait for now and see what they find out, if they need to admit her, and so on. My sister was like, “okay, well, I have to go, I’m pulling into the hospital now.”
So, that was a lot of fun. Not really how I pictured telling my sister, and not really a great reaction from her – she was just kind of like “congratulations” in a sort of flat way, and it kind of made me feel like she was like “that’s great, but you’re being a baby about this.” Ah well, she’s probably just stressed out.
Post # 7
@IAmTheShadow: UGH, I can see how that’s not an ideal way to tell her. But like you said, the stress of the situation doesn’t help. You are doing the right thing by not exposing yourself. Let her get on a treatment regimine first. She’s being attended to by medical professionals now. I know you feel bad, but it’ll be ok. I wish the best for your mother.
Post # 8
You can always wear a mask and wash your hands throughly and frequently.
If it makes you feel any better I work in surgery with very sick people while I was pregnant. I just made sure to wear gloves when handling the patients and always always washing my hands frequently. The only patients I didn’t take care of are the ones that had TB.
Your priority is to protect you and your baby so I understand the situation you are in. Defitinitely dont put yourself into a situation that would cause either of you harm, but if you felt like you really need to help your mom or visit her, play it smart. Insist on having a mask and wear gloves. Use the alcohol foam that is around the hospital and nothing beats a good hand washing with warm water and soap.
Also unless you have a stance against getting the flu shot, I would get one ASAP. This current strain of the flu is literally killing people. The hospital where I gave birth have visitor restrictions (no one under the age of 18 and for the babies, only parents and grandparents). Good luck!
Post # 9
You are doing the right thing – why take that risk???
If it gets worse, go visit and wear a mask/wash your hands.
Post # 10
@IAmTheShadow: I’m sorry to hear that your mom is sick & had to go to the hospital via ambulance, scary! Please don’t feel bad though. Your #1 priority is taking care of that baby. Your sister is probably a better candidate for being with your mom anyways as she is a nurse and can ask all sorts of medical questions & get a good grasp on your moms current state. I was on a cruise for the first few weeks of my pregnancy (germ central) and you can bet I sanatized my hands at every turn. You just can’t be too careful when pregnant and especially this time of year. Over xmas we were supposed to visit DH’s 90 y/o grandma, who lives in a senior care home on our way to his parents house. I was already really uncomfortable with the idea of going over there since all the old people are sick and dying but would make an exception because of the holiday as long as it was a quick visit (under 1 hour). Well MIL called me on xmas eve and said that grandma had a fever, cough and runny nose, I told DH there was NO way I was going there on xmas and risking myself/the baby. Instead we went straight to his parents house & did presents, then DH & his dad went over to visit grandma and give her xmas presents. She was so sick she didn’t even realize it was Christmas so i didn’t feel bad for not being there, even though she might not be around for xmas 2014. I’m happy that DH was able to see her & didn’t bring the sickies home to me!
Bummer about how you had to break the news to your sister. This is just the beginning of people having opinions on how you should handle your pregnancy (well just wear a mask and come anyways, etc) but ultimately its up to you to decide what you are comfortable with. Keep us posted!
Post # 11
@IAmTheShadow: Aw you poor thing. I hope your mom is okay. I definitely wouldn’t be going to the hospital right now until you have more information and determine if it’s necessary or not.
I’m sorry you had to tell your sister in a less than ideal way, but I’m sure once the stress of this blows over, she will be super excited and happy for you.
Post # 12
@Hippos: Nope, no real stance on the flu shot one way or the other, I’d just never gotten one before. Just now, I called my OB’s office to ask their thoughts on it, and they it would be fine for me to get one, but they said to not get the live vaccine (like in the nasal version), but go with the dead/injectable version instead. Unfortunately, they have run out of the vaccine. So I called the CVS MinuteClinic, and they said they only had the live virus version. I left a voicemail with my primary care physician next to see if they have the dead version available.
Thank you all so much for your replies – it really helps me to feel like I’m not just being overprotective when I can hear from some others on here! I am waiting on an update from my mom & sister at the hospital, and if she is admitted, I will likely go to see her, but wear a mask and limit contact (no hugs, unfortunately).
Post # 13
@IAmTheShadow: Because your sister is a nurse, she likely has a higher risk tollerance in this situation than you do. My FSIL works in a hospital, starting there when she was 7.5 months pregnant, and was doing clinicals throughout her pregnancy. If you are in the medical proffession, you don’t see it as being as risky as those of us who are not in the proffession do.
There is absolutly nothing wrong with either side.
I’m sure that your mom is the pressing issue on your sister’s mind right now, where you are ballancing concern for your mom with concern for your baby. I think you made the right decision for you and your pregnancy. Once everything calms down with your mom, your sister will probably come around to your side. At that phone call, she was probably in a panic about your mom, and really didn’t have the ability to process the emotions to be excited for you.
Post # 14
There are pregnant women ALL OVER the hospital – patients, visitors, nurses, docs… Go over there and be with your mom. They’re experienced with such things and will be able to tell you best how to protect yourself if the need arises.
Post # 15
I am sort of on the same boat. My mom is also sick right now, but its just a bad cold, and usually I always go check on her, bring her whatever she needs and just stop by and check on her. She is not alone, she lives with my father, but I like to take care of her when she is sick. However, now that I am pregnant (24 weeks) I am not going near their house at all until she is 100% A-O-KAY and fortunately she understands and totally backs me up on not coming over. Dont feel guilty, your baby comes first now. Your mom isnt alone, thank goodness! so you can always see her after she is better and maybe bring her some flowers. I am sure your mom will understand. GL and I hope she feels better soon 🙂
Post # 16
@IAmTheShadow: Check Target clinic, as well!