As the stomach turns… Part 5

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Part 4

Actual tears dripped out of the corners of my eyes.

Finally, “Really?”

He knows. He knows what a wuss I am. And he’s always been so kind about it. “I know. But it really is the only way to beat this. Three of these organisms can’t even be touched by oral antibiotics. They’ll just keep growing if we don’t kill them. You don’t want to be in the hospital for 4 to 6 weeks for continued IV therapy.” He knew that much was true without a doubt.

“Seriously?” I asked – still back on the first statement!

“Maybe we can set it up so that you can go to the infusion clinic every day – then you wouldn’t have to self administer.”

“SELF ADMINISTER?” I gasped. More tears.

“Of course, they have infusion nurses who come to your house and teach you everything if you end up needing to do it yourself at home. They’re there 24/7 for you – always available.”

“I’m liking the sound of infusion clinic.” I said wide eyed. Feeling very deer in the headlights-ish.

“I’m just not sure if the meds we’re going to give you will allow us to be able to do that. I don’t know how many antibiotics you’re going to end up going home on. Dr. Crislip is working on that.” He soothed.

“So… when would I be able to go home?” Cause I really wanted to go there – even though it was supposed to be 107 that day and I’d likely die of heat stroke if I did.

“We don’t know exactly for sure yet – maybe a couple of days yet. Remember – we want to beat this.” He encouraged.

“Okay.” I sniffed, wiping my tears. “I’ll try to be brave.” And then I remembered, “Oh, hey. I caught a glimpse of my labs a little earlier. My iron labs totally suck. Can you have a hematologist look at them and order me an iron infusion while I’m here?”

“Yeah. Sure! Of course!” He promised and off he went.

Shortly after he left the IV nurse showed up to check out my IV site. Yep. It had blown again. So, as she looked for yet another site, she casually said, “Well, would you want a PICC line?”

I didn’t mean to be so vehement, but I spat out, “NO!”

She looked at me, said, “Okay… This might be a little painful.” And proceeded to eventually find yet another site.

Lord, I’m a weenie.

By late that afternoon Dr. Hampton was returning with the latest. My iron infusion had been ordered – would be there shortly. (Yes, I definitely needed one.) Dr. Crislip was still finishing up determining which antibiotics would be best for when I was discharged. It would take at least 24 hours for me to get to go home – so probably some time on Thursday…

….and…

It was looking more and more like I’d need to go home with a PICC line.

I tried not to panic. Asked about the possibility of infusion clinic, and he promised to do his best to learn everything about all of the options.

Sure enough, shortly thereafter my nurse, Nhu, showed up with a test dose and 50 mg pre-treat of Benadryl.

I’m a total light weight when it comes to drugs – super sensitive.

Give me 25 mg of Benadryl – pill form – and I’m out for the count!

After my ankle reconstruction, I would only accept 0.5 mg doses of morphine. I just can’t handle much more than that!

So – knowing that 50 mg of Benadryl was about to be given IV, I kissed my husband goodnight – he’d just arrived there after having gotten off of work – and told him if I dozed off on him to not take it personally. As if he didn’t know! LOL!

So in went the test dose via my IV line. Got a little wooziness from the Benadryl, but not much. Huh.

Then the test dose. John eventually left – and I was still wide awake.

Weird!

Nhu arrived just as the test dose finished. She disconnected it, reconnected my fluid drip, and all of a sudden…

WHOA NELLIE!

Guess where the Benadryl had been hiding out! In the IV tubing of my fluid! Lord have mercy!

I have a vague memory of her hooking up the main part of the iron infusion, and then I drifted off into never-never land – at about 5pm-ish. I awakened the next morning – Wednesday – at 5:00 am.

Gosh I slept well!

That morning my nurse, Cindy – who was a total sweetheart and completely amazing – came in to help me get ready for my shower.

Okay – I just got to say this. We have an old house with old plumbing and the water pressure is pretty much just a trickle at its best. I can completely admit to LOVING every single shower I had while in the hospital – even while having to devote a lot of energy to keeping that IV site dry!

She put the Aqua guard on just like every other day. I took my shower. I changed. I felt better. I was finally at that point where my fever was breaking at night again – so I’d wake up TOTALLY soaked every morning. Shower was definitely the answer!

Cindy came back, made my bed for me, and then flushed the line with saline…

OUCH!

No way!

Another blown IV!

WAAAA….

We looked at each other, Cindy and I. We’d just talked about the fact that my doctors were leaning strongly in the direction of a PICC line, but that they’d not made any definitive decisions as of yet. She knew I was still opposed to a PICC line… but I had to admit, this blowing a vein every day thing was sucking big time.

“I wish we knew for sure what Dr. Crislip had decided.” I sighed to her.

She said, “Well, let me go call and ask, I’ll get a call in to IV to tell them how things have progressed, and that I’ll keep them in the loop for the next line that needs to go in – regardless of which type it will be.”

“Okay.” I sighed.

Amazingly enough – Dr. Crislip himself showed up shortly and confirmed my worst fears. I was going to need a PICC line. Dr. Zelko was on his heels. They both assured me that if it was them – they’d choose the PICC – it hurts so much less, they were quick to tell me. Plus – I was going to need two different IV antibiotics for another 4 to 6 weeks. It wasn’t even a debate any longer. It was a must do.

So the very nice IV ladies came and visited me and gave me my PICC line.

I didn’t cry.

Yes, it was a little uncomfortable at first, but not as bad as the IV guy I’d had the day before – he was awful!

Strangely enough, I learned – I had TWO lines going into me. Okay – that freaked me out a little bit at first, but I managed to get used to it.

That evening they switched one of my antibiotics from IV to oral – Flagyl. It tasted horrible, but I considered it progress. What I hadn’t anticipated was the nausea and vomiting it would bring on. Darn it all. But Zofran is my friend – and home was my goal!

Not too late into the day one of the Home Infusion nurses dropped by my room to introduce herself and explain what services they offered.

Apparently she hadn’t gotten the memo about the infusion clinic. Cause I was pretty sure I was going to do that. I mean – honestly – ME? – do my own IV meds?! HA!

But she was very nice and did an excellent job of explaining stuff that I was sure I’d never need to know! J

Later in the day Dr. Hampton visited once again and told me that the plan was to switch one of my antibiotics so that my two IV antibiotics would be once a day things – not at the same time of day, unfortunately – but only once for each. And, of course, that I’d go home with the oral Flagyl and an RX for Zofran. And I’d have to have the home infusion nurses – not the infusion clinic. It was just the way it had to be.

We talked about the fact that John would be slammed at work until the moment he was off of work – 3pm – and so I wouldn’t be leaving before then. There was a consensus, being that they wanted to give me a dose of the new antibiotic in the hospital setting, before trying it out at home. I was all for that.

When Dr. Crislip came by for one last chat I remembered to ask him a question I’d been meaning to ask for ages. When should I start probiotics? Cause you gotta know every beneficial bacteria that had ever lived in my gut had to be dead as a doornail! He smiled and said, “Well, I just read this new study that came out – it proves out something I’ve believed for some time. The truth of the matter is that the average person only gets a fraction of the probiotic that comes in a pill form. I really believe an organic, whole foods, high quality yogurt with live cultures is by far the best way to introduce beneficial flora to the gut.”

Interesting!

We talked for some time about probiotics and the like. Then before he left he thanked me for introducing me to the DS and said what a pleasure it had been to meet me.

Not much longer John arrived to take me home.

Isn’t it nice having nice doctors?

Something that happened DAILY while I was in the hospital was telling. Without fail – at some point in time, a doctor, a resident, a nurse, a medical assistant, a tech of some sort – would take a peek at my chart – look up with a smile and say, “OH! You have Dr. Zelko! How did you luck out?! He’s the BEST!” Or, “Dr. Crislip is your Infectious Diseases doc? Wow – impressive. Who do you know? Oh – you have Dr. Zelko,” knowing smile, “He insists on working with the best.”

It’s true – Dr. Zelko is always in the top 100 doctors and surgeons in the Portland area – every year. My orthopedic surgeon just smiles when you mention Dr. Zelko and says, “John’s the best. You’re so lucky to have him for your doc.”

I gotta be honest. Those eight days in the hospital got me to doing a lot of reflecting.

I went through a LOT of emotions.

Fear

Awe

Joy

Peace

Thankfulness

Praise

Adoration

I’m a little bit – okay – a lot bit – in AWE over the amazing, benevolent, loving, gentle hand of God. How He had directed my paths. Brought me the exact doctors that I needed, who brought in excellent doctors to be on my new team, who chose a path of therapy and healing for me that has been a little humbling.

God – why do you love me so?

I’m so very thankful that He does.

And that He guides.

And nudges.

And sustains.

And comforts.

And loves in a way that only He can.

I have experienced fear, as well as an understanding of just how gravely ill I was, joy, pain, and peace this last week.

My theme song for the week? Here, let me share. If you do iTunes or Zune or whatever – go right on over and buy it – it’s a keeper!

“Made me Glad” by Darlene Zschech

I will bless the Lord forever

I will trust Him at all times

He has delivered me from all fear

He has set my feet upon a rock

I will not be moved

And I’ll say of the Lord

You are my shield, my strength

My portion, deliverer

My shelter, strong tower

My very present help in time of need

Whom have I in heaven but You

There’s none I desire beside You

You have made me glad

And I’ll say of the Lord

You are my shield, my strength

My portion, deliverer

My shelter, strong tower

My very present help in time of need

 
 

All one can say in response is: Amen!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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One Comment Add yours

  1. rebeccafinkenbinder says:

    You are right……..Amen

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