Thursday, August 02, 2007

Guess Where We Are?

Back to the HospitalYou guessed it.

After the successful PICC replacement on Friday Josie headed home…standard and routine. Then on Saturday there was a frantic attempt by doctors to reach us to let us know about the testing and culture results on Josie’s old PICC and blood samples. The results showed growth of gram negative rods which is an indication of a nasty bacteria. The big alarm of this news on Saturday was amplified because Josie is immune suppressed already and particularly now because she has Remicade in her system to continue to fight her Dermatomyositis. Everyone was trying to get a hold of us because this kind of bacteria can take over a body very fast and can be a killer if not treated right away.

Well, the great news is that Josie was not showing any indication of sepsis (actual blood infection) at that time and so all were quite relieved. We were given marching order to watch Josie closely and to keep close tabs on her temperature. If her fever was to rise over 100.5° then we were to call in immediately.

Well, Josie has had a lengthy history of fevers, all of which have corrected themselves within a day or so, some higher than others…but this time we had to be more careful. On Tuesday morning Josie had a 100.8° temperature. The Doc’s were called and we were ordered to head on down to the hospital. Now, Tuesday’s are Josie’s big steroid bolus and IVIG days from the Home Health folks. These doses were put on hold as we headed down to the hospital.

We arrived here Tuesday at about 11:00AM and they immediately took more blood samples: one from each or the two PICC ports and a third from a fresh arm stick. Josie had zero indication of further worsening fever…and in fact the fever went away after a dose of ibuprofen in the morning. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning Josie still showed no signs of any problems. She was feeling and looking great all day and the gears were turning for a quick departure. Then we were abruptly stopped almost at the door because the cultures from the blood taken on Tuesday grew some gram positive rods…again a bacteria. You’ve got to be kidding!

So Josie had to stay another night here just to be careful and make sure nothing was going on. Throughout all this Josie has shown no signs of getting sicker…all was perfectly well aside from the positive blood cultures.

Bridge Collapse!

Last night, unbelievably, the I35W bridge completely collapsed. This bridge is only about one mile from this hospital. Because of the closeness of this disaster and the initial numbers of casualties they thought were going to be involved, this hospital was put on Orange Alert and that more or less completely changed the operations around here. Expecting lots of people converging on the hospital they decided to lock down the hospital completely so no one was allowed in or out of the hospital for several hours after this collapse. Luckily Deb was in the hospital with Josie at the time, but I was turned away at the door at about 8:00PM.

As it turned out there were quite a few victims admitted to this hospital and the staff here handled it quite well. Our disruption was minor compared with many here in Minneapolis last night. We’ve traveled over this bridge at least a thousand times since we’ve lived here and being so close to this disaster is almost surreal. Seeing the bridge down in the water is really quite a sight.

Home We Go

This morning Josie is looking good and feeling good with no fever or and indication that this bacteria is infecting her. So we’re outa here sometime in the early afternoon. Hopefully we’ll be able to get the Home Health folks out to our house in the afternoon so she can still get the dose of IVIG administered which has been put on ice since Tuesday. If it doesn’t get in today then it’ll have to be thrown out, which would be a huge waste of a couple thousand bucks worth of good medicine.

So a wild few days should hopefully calm down to more normal ho-humness.


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