I am pleased to report that Ladan seems to be pretty much over her chest infection, she had a five day course of anti-biotics and is certainly more settled now.
For people in Ladan’s condition, or any condition that results in a large degree of immobility, simple infections can be a very big deal. With chest infections a lack of movement means that secretions have more of a tendency to stay stuck in the lungs and what would be a trivial infection for most people can quickly become a life-threatening disorder such as pneumonia. It is probably the case, and certainly is my experience, that most people with reduced mobility die from infections which are picked up in the environment they are being cared for rather than from anything related to the cause of their condition. Taking the case of people who have had strokes or other brain damage, there is very little that can actually go wrong from their actual condition if they are stable, complications tend to only arise from infections they acquire.
People in minimally conscious states also tend to suffer a serious set-back in terms of alertness
when they get infections. A simple cold can cause somebody who was looking around the room regularly and occasionally seeming to answer questions with a discernible blinking pattern may become very sleepy for up to a month just from a few days of a cold.
These matters are not helped when it takes several days of illness before medical staff take a proper look and prescribe the required medication, or when it takes several days for medication to be acquired and started… and such problems are not at all uncommon.
It is, therefore, with some relief that I can report that Ladan does not seem to have taken a very significant knock from this infection and was already seeming fairly alert again for some of today. Thankfully this infection was spotted quickly and dealt with rapidly. Assuming it is all clearing up now, it has been nothing significant.
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