January 8, 2007 , Day 83
We are finally back home from the hospital. It has been an experience. We had to wait to come home until the organism that caused my infection was identified and tested for sensitivity to various antibiotics. The sensitivity testing was completed either late yesterday or early this morning. The bad bugger was the ubiquitous e-Coli, and as Menchie said, it is suspected to have infected the catheter.
Late Saturday afternoon, my IV blew out and my arm started swelling up with the IV fluid. Thus started a nightmarish evening. They pulled the IV and started to try to start another one. My assigned nurse gave it a try and couldn't find a vein. Then she got another nurse who tried two more spots that didn't work. Shift change was coming so they decided to wait for the night shift to work on it some more. My newly assigned nurse tried in vain, so they decided to call up the expert from the intensive care unit. He tried three times and the last one was excruciating so we told him to stop. At that point both arms and hands were burning from being rubbed with alcohol and slapped repeatedly. One arm was covered with a rash. I was feeling very ill and just wanted to rest. Imagine my surprise when another nurse arrived after about 5 minutes with all the paraphernalia to start an IV. He was like the IV god for the hospital. I wasn't too happy about it but let him take a shot. He actually hit a vein and got a flash, but the vein blew immediately when he tried to flush. He was getting ready to try again and I told him no more. I told him to tell my nurse to call the doctor and come up with a new plan, which they did. I have been without IV since then.
Not having an IV has been wonderful. I have been feeling much stronger each day. My appetite is coming back, and my tongue is improving rapidly. My mouth is still very dry, but I discovered that if I eat dryer foods with some beef or chicken broth, the broth takes the place of the saliva pretty nicely. I have eaten chicken and pork loin using applesauce to help me pick up the pieces and swallow them. I think I am going to be able to start eating real food again with a little creative food combinations!
On the medical front, they think that the problems I had on Wednesday were probably caused by a combination of the infection and the blood pressure medicine I was taking. The blood pressure medicine was keeping my blood pressure too low when I was exercising causing the light-headedness I had been experiencing all along when I got tired. We are taking tighter control of it now and I haven't had any dizziness since Thursday with exercise. This is a relief. Medications have changed quite a bit. Cipro, Daptomycin and the other one have been discontinued. I am taking cyclosporine again. Metoprolol I take as needed as I mention above, and Actigall has been discontinued. I am still taking Magnesium, Folic Acid, Diflucan, Budesonide, and Protonix. Levaquin has been added to fight the infection. Eliminating the Cyclosporine for a couple of days has helped to restore kidney functions to a healthier level.
We will be going back to the hospital on Thursday for a checkup, then next week resume our normal schedule.
Blood Cell Type
Have a great day everybody!
Ted and Menchie