Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blood work

Kevin again.

We now know the reason for the shakes Michael was having Friday morning: he has an E. Coli infection in his blood. According to the infectious disease doc, this is not surprising given the number of surgeries he had. They actually had pretty much figured this out on Saturday, but at that point all they were sure of was that there was a "gram-negative rod bacillus" in his blood. Bacteria take longer to show up in bloodwork, since you have to culture them -- as the doc said "they have to grow before you can figure out what they are."

We also know that these bacteria are resistant to the antibiotic they gave Michael on Saturday. Boo! But it turns out that the antibiotic they gave him on Friday is the right one. Yay!

The course of action is 7 days of treatment with Rocephin (the new antibiotic), which has to be administered intravenously. Fortunately, that does not mean Michael has to stay in the hospital for 7 days - he can do IV drugs at home, probably with the help of a home health aide. We still don't have an ETA for his release, but we're hoping that tomorrow will bring a consultation with the hospitalist and a plan for getting home.

He's looking good, although still very fatigued and in a lot of pain from his lower back, which is aggravated by lying in a hospital bed. Putting on a pair of sweatpants is enough effort that it leaves him trying to catch his breath, which is worrying.

Once he does get home, he needs to get back in for a PET/CT scan to assess progress of the cancer; that apparently can't be done as part of his hospital stay but needs to be done outpatient after he's released. American healthcare is wonderful, but our insurance system is pretty screwed up.

- Kevin


Cathy Crea said...

Thank goodness there is an antibiotic that is working against the infection. Michael's support team, take care of yourselves, too. You have an army of helpers--take advantage of us.

Ms. Hoffman-Dachelet said...

Glad to hear Mike will be coming home soon. He will be coming home to a super clean house! Tuesday and Thursday this week are pretty full with school stuff, but I am available to help on the other days.


Anonymous said...

Finally catching up on my reading from the last couple of months...all I can say is:
Wow Wow Wow Yikes Wow Whew.

I am so glad that Michael has the support that he has. You all are awesome.

Mike, keep on keeping on.

Kari said...

I hope Mike is able to get home and feeling better soon. His support system is fantastic, and that will help immensely.

Amy Burge said...

Thanks for keeping up with the blog to keep everyone informed. I finally signed up for email notification, so hopefully I will be in the loop even more.
As always, love and hugs to everyone.

Wendy said...

I am catching up too and saw that I can subscribe via email, so I'll be be more up to date :)

I saw Kevin a few times over these events and I just want to remind everyone that hugs go so far... so, all you fabulous Mike caretakers, know you are loved and cared for and if you ever need a hand, just *hint* and I'll be there.


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