I’ve been thinking about the surgery I had when I had the hospital acquired MRSA. I must have been admitted a good 20 times to my local hospital for IV antibiotics, only to have the infection return within days of stopping them.
Finally it was decided to transfer me to a larger hospital with an infectious disease specialist. She ordered a picc line, had a consult with the surgeon and sent me home doing IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. Sure enough once the IV drugs were stopped, the infection came back and this time it was the worst that is has ever been. Instead of Rudy taking me to our local hospital, we went straight to the bigger one where I was promptly admitted. Around 9pm the surgeon came by with a couple pieces of Godiva chocolate. He asked if I liked them, which I did, I devoured them. When I was done with the last piece he said he was glad I enjoyed them because I was npo from that moment on, he had me scheduled in the OR for first thing in the morning. He said he wasn’t going to cut that deep, only needed to get rid of the bad tissue and he was going to leave it open to heal from the inside out. It didn’t sound too bad the way he put it. When I was in preop, I suggested a local instead of general anesthesia and he said the last thing he needed was me telling him how to operate while he was operating. I don’t know how he knew me so well.
I now know I should have never watched “Braveheart” the night of my surgery. You know that scene at the end where Mel Gibson gets disemboweled ? Well that’s how I looked. When they brought me down for hydrotherapy I noticed a poloraid camera on the shelf and I asked someone to take a picture of my incisions. Well when I saw what the doctor did, I went into a full blown panic attack, the like of which I’ve ever seen or felt before. In fact they had to give me an injection of valium just to calm me down. People die from the kind of wounds I had. and I gave consent to this one. In the end, the surgeon was right and it was the last time I had an infection of my surgical site, though it took almost 2 years for it to completely heal.
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I got to the hospital in Indy at around 7am. I managed to get there just in time for shift change, so by the time a doctor made rounds and got me on some pain meds it was around noon. Mental note: Never get to a hospital during shift change. I was not a happy camper at that point and I’m sure I made my feelings known. The hospital I started out in did blood cultures before I left.
The next morning when Dr. Whomever came in he said I needed to be transferred to ICU immediately as in yesterday. Ironically the first thing they did to prep me for ICU was put in a foley per their protocol. It seems I had a life threatening infection in my bloodstream, go figure. I had a yeast infection in my bloodstream called fungemia. How fun! If it’s rare or unusual apparently I’m going to get it. I didn’t understand how serious it was at that moment. I’m a girl and a diabetic therefore no stranger to yeast infections. All I’m thinking is give me some diflucan and I’ll be on my way home. It was after all, the week before Thanksgiving where I was planning to cook an elegant dinner for my family and friends.
I hate being in a hospital so far from home. It’s hard for my family to visit and I get lonely. Once I got into a regular room my best friend decided to come see me and stay for the duration, very cool because she brought my laptop. Most hospitals now have internet access for patients. I was getting very frustrated and told the doctors I wanted to go home on Sunday and on Sunday I was prepared to leave AMA (against medical advice) Something happened that never happened before. Not one but two Infectious Disease doctors sat on my girlfriends roll away bed and very bluntly told me that if I left I would probably die. I was in tears at that point I wanted to go home so badly. Instead I told them I needed to talk to my husband before I made any decision, totally ruining my plan to not mention the AMA part and just tell him I was discharged. It was a bad plan anyway, I can never get away with lying to him. He always knows.
The dear man told me he would rather miss having me home for one holiday and have me alive for all the other ones and to please stay in the hospital, also I forgot to mention the doctors had me scheduled for surgery in the morning. I had to have my port removed as they believed that was the source of the infection. I’ve had my port for 2 and half years and I loved it. My veins are so scarred from IV’s that it’s very difficult to get vein access and it saved me from countless central lines. In fact it took the anesthesiologist 4 sticks to get a vein to remove the port. I also decided since I have my laptop to google this new oddly named infection. Turns out that it has a 40 to 70% mortality rate. Okay then, you convinced me to stay. Now I don’t know whether to get it replaced or not. It would be great to think maybe I don’t need another one I just don’t know how realistic that is. On the other hand this one almost killed me. I’m open to suggestions.
The end of the story is that I did get home 2 days before Thanksgiving and I owe a big thank you to my sister who with the kids did all the cooking and cleaning for day and I didn’t have to lift a finger, so I still consider myself a pretty lucky girl. I did land myself back in ICU one time since then, but that’s for another post, another story. Thanks for listening to me I know this was a long one. Since I started blogging this is the best way for me to vent.