A week ago last Wednesday I had a doctors appointment in New Braunfels and Desiree and Maxx were my taxi team. I was really close to driving but it was only five weeks since the big surgery and I just wasn’t quite ready. I woke up feeling weird and by the time Desi and Maxx picked me up at 8:00, I had a bad lower backache and the beginnings of a headache. By the time I finished the doctor appointment about my knee, I was hurting pretty badly so I asked D&M Taxi Service to please drop me at the Emergency Room of the new hospital in New Braunfels. I have had kidney stones 3 times in my life and I really thought that was the case on this day. I was put into an ER room pretty quickly. They took blood and urine, ordered a CT Scan and gave me some pain medicine. I called Hollis to let him know where I was and told him that if I was right, I would get some pain meds and D&M would give me a ride home. He elected to come to the ER anyway.
Not long after he arrived, I was taken for the CT Scan and the doctor came in to say that my white blood cell count was up over 30,000 and that it should be under 10,000. A few minutes after that, a lady came into the room and said that she had my transfer paperwork and once I signed it, the ambulance would be picking me up in about 10 minutes to transport me to Methodist Hospital where I had had my big surgery five weeks ago. I was still in awful pain so they put more morphine in my IV and loaded me up. Hollis went home to grab lunch and some things I might need if I got admitted. When the EMT’s took me into the ER at Methodist, there was much conversation about where to put me. Finally one nurse said that I was pre-admitted and that I needed to be taken to Sub Level 2. Now this was not great news. Sub Level 2 is the surgery floor of Methodist. They said Dr. Pisano – my plastic surgeon – was in the building and would come see me shortly. When he came in he told me that I had an infected seroma. A seroma is a pocket of fluid. He said he would be opening up my belly incision, flushing out the infection and sewing me up and that I would probably go home Friday. Hollis was sent to the waiting room and off I went for surgery. I woke up, sort of, in the recovery room and then was taken to the same floor of the hospital where I was after my big surgery.
Thursday morning Dr. Pisano came in to tell me some freaky stuff! He said the fluid was not pus and that it was not yet to the point of abscess but that if I had gone home instead of to the ER, I would have been septic in anywhere from 2-12 hours. He ordered a culture of the fluid so they could be sure it was a non-resistant form of bacteria. He also said that he would not decide about releasing me Friday until he had more information and could see how I was doing. They had me on broad spectrum antibiotics and he wanted to narrow the meds according to the type of infection. Hollis came Thursday morning to bring my quilt and pillow and a couple of other things. The rest of Thursday is a blur. Wonderful friends visited but I was pretty out of it.
Then things got even more fun. The culture came back as staph and they changed my antibiotic. Within an hour of the first IV infusion, I began getting hives on the left side of my face and my upper left thigh – I know! Right?? They tried another high powered antibiotic and BAM – another reaction. Now the infectious disease doctors on the case want to know if the staph is resistant to treatment or non-resistant. The weekend dragged on. I had more great visits! I really love my village! Reactions are just a little scary. Benadryl fixed them but I really wanted good medicine and my walking papers.
Monday arrived and the infectious disease doctor made an executive decision, put me on a bigger dose of the antibiotic I took after my big surgery and send me home. I was happy to be on my way out the door. Fortunately, I did not have any reaction to this oral antibiotic. Hollis stayed home with me Tuesday and then my wonderful sister came from Tyler to be on sister/princess-sitting duty for Wednesday and Thursday. This included cooking, cleaning, organizing and keeping me company. She was amazing! Though I was not nearly wiped out as from my big surgery, a 12” belly incision, fighting an infection and 5 unplanned days in the hospital will wear you out!
The whining paragraph (read at your own risk): 1. I miss driving! I have not driven my car since October 24th. My nurse Kathleen says that when the last surgical drain comes out Monday that I need to start driving. Okay! I will! 2. I am so ridiculously behind on Christmas! I hope I feel up to decorating this week and based on stamina, shopping will probably be seriously curbed. We will have small group here for Christmas Eve and maybe H and I will make it to church that night. Last one – I really want my life back! I am so very grateful to be cured and I want to get the rest of my plan over with so that grandkids and quilt shops take up most of my time.
Thank you all for all the support! I truly could not have gotten through this without my husband, family, friends, quilting sisters and all who have encouraged, prayed for and entertained me these last couple of months. You are all precious to me beyond words!