Wednesday, November 04, 2009

OMG So much hospital time. . .

(Written 11/4/09)

Well, I guess I just can't stay out of this place. After two weeks of fevers that weren't going away and weren't getting any better, I'm back in the hospital again. I waited out the weekend and called the clinic on Monday because I spiked up to 102.5 F again on Sunday night despite my mom's best efforts to cool my body with cold packs and wet washcloths. The interventional radiology (IR) folks also called me on Monday and said the CT scan showed a pocket of fluid in the liver that could be an abscess, so they wanted me to come in and have a tube put in the liver to drain out the fluid. Meanwhile, the oncology team wanted me to come in and be admitted to get IV antibiotics, and so began my latest stay at Hotel Stanford.

Shaky Shaky

So Monday night they started dosing me with Zosyn and Vancomycin, and on Tuesday the IR folks went ahead with the drain placement. Again I was awake for the procedure with some happy juice to make me woozy (Fentanyl and Versed). I think they gave me a little more than usual, though, because I don't remember much of what happened. What I do remember is that part way through I started shaking like crazy, and apparently my heart rate shot up to 180 bpm (normal is 60-80ish). Apparently this is pretty common when they put in drainage tubes, because some of whatever's in the pocket you're trying to drain can get out into the bloodstream and cause the body to react badly. I guess the IR doc was concerned about this episode leading to sepsis - I still don't really know what this is, but it seems super bad - so I got to spend the night in the ICU again. This time around wasn't so bad, since my pain wasn't as bad as before, and I actually ended up chatting with the night nurse a bit (If you'll recall, the ICU here has two connected rooms with two beds each, and one nurse per two patients, so there's a lot of attention. But there's a bit of downtime as well, since in this case the other patient couldn't really talk.).

Waity Waity

After the one night they moved me back to E Ground, where I continue to wait for things to get better. The drain has been giving more output than the docs originally expected, so they keep waiting for the output to come down. The first couple of days it was outputting almost a liter a day, now it's down to a couple hundred mL, but they'd like to see it down to <20 mL or so. It's mostly frustrating because no one can seem to make a decision about what to do. The IR folks say they could possibly do another procedure, but it's unclear that that would help anything. The surgeons don't want to operate, and the oncologists aren't sure what to do since there's no infection.


Sharon U. said...

Oh, what a bummer to be stuck in the hospital again! You know, Thaddeus had a liver abscess about 1.5 years ago--had the unexplained fevers that came, spiked, and went, as well as some other bizarre symptoms. He wound up having a drainage tube put in and spent a couple nights in the hospital for the same concern you mentioned about the bad bacteria getting into the bloodstream when the wall of the abscess was punctured by the drainage tube. Anyway, I'm sorry you're dealing with this on top of other issues; I know that in Thaddeus's case it was unpleasant but he recovered in a few weeks, so I'll be rooting for you to do the same. Hang tough!

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Theo said...

Alex, I am praying for you that soon you should start having a normal life because I am affected by the condition you are in. You being my role model, you mean everything in my life. Please get well Soon!!!!