Sunday, July 18, 2010

Never want another July like this one!!

It's been a Looooooong month of July and I don't ever want another one like it.

You remember that I wrote about Ole breaking/spraining his ankle way back the end of May. He hobbled around on crutches and removable casts and all such things for most of the month of June. About the end of June things were beginning to look up for him (and me) again when the last weekend in June he got sick with what we thought was the flu.

Guess again - it was another case of staph infection in his leg, just like he had two years ago. Only this time it was the other leg. We've got to have equal treatment, you know. And this time I thought we'd caught it early - the first day of redness and swelling - so it wouldn't be as difficult to cure as it was two years ago.

WRONG!! I hauled him into the ER on Sunday morning, waited 3 hours to see a doctor who admitted him to the hospital immediately. He had an ultrasound and an MRI, both came back positive. By the second day the infection disease doc had been called in. He was on IVs 24/7 and wasn't making any progress. Unfortunately, the ID doc was one of these folks that spoke so far over the heads of anybody else that you couldn't understand a word that he said.

After six days in the hospital he had made enough progress that the ID doc took him off the IVs and sent him home with an oral antibiotic - of all things - cephalaxin - a very broad spectrum drug used to treat minor infections.

Within 24 hours Ole started to go downhill so the next day it was back to the ER where he was again admitted immediately to the hospital. There was another round of ultrasound and another MRI, and the result was that the infection was starting to settle into the calf muscle in his leg and causing a tremendous amount of pain. Ole could hardly walk. The same ID doc came back to see him and after spending some time picking his brain I decided I needed a second opinion. This guy didn't want to give him anything more than cephalaxin, which hadn't worked.

To make a long story short we got a different ID doc who immediately put him on different, stronger drugs and Ole immediately started to improve. After questioning the 2nd ID doc, who had studied his MRI very thoroughly (the first one hadn't even looked at it) his diagnosis was that Ole had MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which is a very difficult bacterial infection to treat, can infect both the muscles and bones and in some cases require amputation or can even cause death.

We sure didn't need that!!

Anyway, after another 6 days in the hospital he was sent home on a new drug called Zyvox which has worked wonders for him. He had a follow up appointment last Friday and the doc even told him he could start riding the Harley again. That was the best prescription of all.

Ole's been incapacitated all summer and it's beginning to get on his nerves. We had a vacation planned, scheduled to leave on the 20th of July, but we've postponed it now to somewhere around the 1st of August just to make sure that everything goes okay with his leg.

So neither of us has accomplished much this summer - except I've learned some really good nursing skills.

Love Lena


Susan said...

I am pleased that things are looking up. Have a curious question. What do you mean by an ID doctor? It is always best to be your own advocate and when things don't seem just right, fire the doctor. It can saves lives. There is a point where it is no longer prudent to be nice!!! Be demanding.

Lena . . . said...

Just short for infectious disease doctor. Too lazy to write it all out every time!!

Marge said...

I was wondering what was going on. You hadn't written for so long I was starting to worry. Poor Ole! What am I saying, Poor you! Playing nurse all summer! Hope he recovers quickly now that he's on the right drugs. Keep us informed.

harrietv said...

Some doctors talk over your head to cover the fact that they don't know what they're talking about. (I always say that people who really know are happy to help you understand.) On the other hand, a year ago I was explaining to young residents who had never encountered a patient like my husband.

I hope that by the next time you feel like writing, Ole is his old self again. Tell him I said so.

Memaw's memories said...

Keep up the good nursing skills.

You just can't keep a good man down. Hope all goes well.

Carolyn said...

I'm so glad Ole's doing better. How scary for you both!

We arrived safe and sound in Oklahoma on Sunday. I've been putting stuff away and continually running back to Wal Mart to get the stuff I didn't get on the prior (542) trips! Take care!