Saturday, February 23, 2008

What it is could be

UPDATE: My post below is about what I thought the infection I have is... the dreaded MRSA. I got that info from a conversation with someone at Midland Hospital, but the RN's here at Covenant say that if I was diagnosed with MRSA, then I would be almost in like state of quarantine hospital room, and since I most definitely am not being handled that way... I'm just another patient on this floor, then MRSA is unlikely. I haven't gotten a definitive answer on what the infection is, or if the fluid that was removed during my surgery this past Thursday evening contained any type of infection. I know I have a staph infection; that's what Dr. Abolo called it.
Basically, I'm in info limbo...
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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — often called "staph."

Oh crap.

Two good links I found with info on this:

1) this one from the Mayo Clinic, and

2) this one from "Medline Plus," a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

I found it interesting that there is no information about MRSA on the "MidMichigan Health" web site, which includes the hospital where I had my original surgery back on January 18th... and which is where I most likely contracted this infection.

I'm now in the Covenant Medical Center Cooper in Saginaw, as I mentioned in my last post. Dr. Adams wanted me here because there are a couple of doctors who he considers the best at fighting infections. This is quite a bit larger hospital than the one in Midland, e.g. this one has 700+ beds, while the Midland facility has 250 beds.

I found this information on MRSA on Covenant's web site. Kudos to Covenant.

I'm still getting the same antibiotic by IV that Dr. Abolo (from the Midland hospital) had prescribed for me, vancomycin. That is the most commonly referred to antibiotic when you find info online about MRSA, and the most commonly prescribed. But Dr. Abter, here at Covenant, also has me on an IV of meropenem. Both of these 2 antibiotics' bags on the IV pole say "piggyback," which for some reason I like seeing that word on the labels... Piggyback sounds like fun.

I'm getting the vancomycin every 8 hours and the meropenem every 6 hours. When I'm not getting one of those 2 drugs by IV, then they've got me on a really large IV bag of potassium chloride 20 mEq in NS 1,000 mL infusion. I'm not sure why I'm getting that, but I've sure got the routine down flat of unplugging the unit, wheeling it across the room and maneuvering it into the bathroom. Did I mention it was a big bag?...

I'm still taking Vicodin, which is the tradename for acetaminophen and hydrocodone; taking it for pain. Getting it about every 4 hours, which is the minimum. It's not enough, so they're supplementing it with shots of Dilaudid, which is the tradename for hydromoarphone hydrochloride.

It's interesting how the shots of Dilaudid has been given to me... the first RN, John, whose head I rubbed, shot it into my arm, the next RN shot it into my belly, the next RN diluted it with saline and pushed it very, very slowly through my existing line attached to my PIC line (and whoosh! did that one hit fast). Today's RN, Gail, is shooting it through my PIC line with no dilution and going at it pretty fast, and it hits fast, but doesn't seem to really be getting at the pain as well. This second time she gave me Dilaudid, just now, she shot it in very fast; I know she's really busy and I'm pretty sure she was rushing through. The shot instantly made me feel ill. I think the best pain relief I had was from the shots in the belly. You really just have to watch out for yourself in the hospital, and you have to not mind about offending someone. I know the next time I need Dilaudid, it will work for me if Gail would dilute it and give me the shot slowly in the belly. She won't want to do that, I suspect, since it'll take longer. I can understand her position, too... just like where I work, they want you to do more and more all the time. I can hear them out in the hallway (because no one ever closes my door here), and they've been super busy all day. I think they're a bit shorthanded because it's the weekend. Also, this facility is really full, as I mentioned before. More patients and less RN's makes for a heck of a busy day.

Anyway, that's what the infection is as far as I know, though the culture data should be available today, and we may find out more. I want to know what the pocket of fluid contained.

I somehow feel better looking up all this stuff. But right now, I'm gonna lay down and try not to barf...

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