Saturday, April 6, 2013

Good News and Bad News

The GOOD news is that little James was taken off the ventilator, started breathing with a bit of help, and has been holding his own.

The chest X-Rays still indicate he has pneumonia, but his lungs are slooooowly clearing up.

He apparently will NOT need a permanent tracheotomy, which would deprive him of his ability to make the sounds that he uses to interact with his family.

My wife just left to see him, and says they're planning on taking him off the "special" oxygen they're giving him through the little plastic "nose tubes" like you see on TV, and giving him "normal" oxygen.

From doing some Wikipedia reading, I think what they're going to do is reduce the flow rate, rather than change to source/concentration of the oxygen.

So for now, he remains is "Closely Guarded" condition, still in the ICU, but has surprised every one, including the doctors.

Now for the "bad" news........

While the MRSA wound on my tummy (around the belt line....OUCH!) is healing very nicely, and the one on my leg is just a fading red splotch, my finger aint doin so good.

At my follow up yesterday, my Doctor (great guy!) express concern that by not draining, the infection could conceivably get into my bloodstream, with disastrous results.

Namely, it can settle on your heart valves, and that would be a Very Bad Thing.

So, he got out this really neat little "pocket cauterizer", which looked somewhat like a large flashlight, and explained the operation to me.

Since your finger nails have no nerve endings, he was going to *carefully* burn through to the nail bed in an attempt to get the abscess to continue draining. The original incision made when I went to the walk-in clinic has healed/sealed back up, and it did that before the antibiotics had fully knocked out and stomped on the MRSA infection that started this whole thing.

Hmmmmm....didn't work.

So, he then proceeded to "block" the nerves in my finger with Lidocaine injections (NOT pleasant) so that he could make another incision to allow the abscess to properly drain.

He couldn't numb the finger out enough to where he was positive it wouldn't cause me considerable discomfort while he worked on it.

We had an "interesting" conversation about all the nerves and tendons in the hand and fingers while I was gritting my teeth and doing my best to flatten a tennis ball in my left hand while he made injections in my right index finger, and I learned quite a bit about the mechanics of the hand while waiting for the Lidocaine to take effect.

After 45 minutes, and with an unacceptable amount of sensation remaining in my finger, he decided that he wasn't going to be able to properly perform the procedure, as he didn't want to inject any more anesthetic than he already had.

SO....we went to "Plan B".

He extended the length of time I'll be taking the antibiotics, and we'll wait a few days to see if the infection gets stomped down enough so that the normal blood flow can flush out the dead cells. If things don't look any better on Monday afternoon when I have my next follow-up visit, he'll refer me to a hand surgeon who has much more experience with blocking the nerves, and tinkering with fingers.

And I'm still not cleared to return to work.........



  1. Glad to hear about the wee sprout!

    Sounds like you're in for some more hurt, unfortunately....

  2. Wow, that's a miracle with the little guy. Praying for your swift and complete healing as well.

  3. Glad the boy is doing better! And make DAMN SURE you follow up on your treatment!

  4. WILD HORSES couldn't make me miss my follow up!

    A couple of wild redheads???

    Well, *that* might be different.....;-)

  5. MRSA is genuinely scary sh*t. It's not just heart valves, it can screw up your kidneys, or really just generally screw you up terribly. Do everything you can to get rid of that. At one time, they'd hospitalize you and give you IV antibiotics (vancomycin) - the "antibiotic of last resort".


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