Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things are definitely looking up.

Could it be b/c I am looking up? Well, technically down...on my knees that is. It's not just me, I am so thankful for all my prayer warriors out there. I just want everyone to know that I am immensely blessed by each one of you.

As of today, I only have a couple more days & I can get my IV out. Oh did I mention I am infection-free? Yep, so says my last cultures. I am officially off the meds that have made me so nauseous & sick lately, & the new one so far hasn't done any damage to my appetite. Yes, I can eat! I love it! I missed it!

I have an appt. with my surgeon tomorrow, but I know it is gonna be a good one. I am probably looking at 16 more O2 treatments, but that's what I get for being a big-time movie watcher, lots of boring time to watch movies.

Guess, I can go back to being a lazy blogger, nah! Well, maybe. I sure hope I don't have anything interesting to report, not anything scary or dire anyways. I do have a testimony I have been working on though, that God has been working on. I cannot wait to share!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another Fri. (2wks post-hospital)

Yesterday was my worst day in a little while, & I am praying that it is never repeated. I "think" I may actually keep something down today. Still waiting for my cultures to come back on Monday, so maybe I can get off these meds. Also, I am doing some research on Betadine/Iodine sensitivity or chemical burns, which is my newest theory regarding my newest ailment. I stopped using the Betadine, just in case, so my nurse gave me the Dakins recipe (bleach/water) to try. They used this in the hospital the most, so I know I can handle it, plus I only have to put it where my wound is open.

I am just very very nauseous, tired, & missing my kiddos. Hyperbaric O2 therapy is going well. I get so bored being in there & it is such a pain to go downtown each day for 2hrs. When I get home I am pooped & want to sleep all day. I'm sure you can guess where the puns are intended. :P All in all, I am surviving & sorta healing. The wound is healing on the outside more than the inside, but it's just gonna take some more time & a lot more patience. I could use some prayers for all these side effects of the medicine for sure. I will definitely update when I get results on Monday, or Tues. after my Dr. appt at the latest.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded, YOU NEED TO PERSEVERE so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm stitch-less!

Too bad, I am not completely itch-less, but oh well!

The swelling was worse this morning & definitely red, so before heading to the ER I called my Drs. My ID doc sent me for a stat CT scan, & my surgeon wanted to see me in his office. The last CT scan I had was the day I went to the ER & had my 1st surgery. As fas as the orignal infection goes, the CT scan showed that the site was remarkably better. They didn't say anything about anything new. I will have to take it a bit easier for a little while, b/c my surgeon took out my stitches & took a few deep swabs to send in for cultures. So, I just wait & watch. The test results should be in by Mon. & my hyperbaric treatment begin tomorrow. Any new swelling, a fever, or anything of concern & I will go straight to the ER.

Thanks for the extra lifting up! <><

Edited to add: My surgeon says it is normal for a wound site as serious as mine to take some time to heal, & take steps back sometimes. So that is reassuring. Also, I do have to pack my wound a little (w/gauze & betadine) since it is slighty open, but I have all confidence in my healing.

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not so great, not too bad (Appt. update)

Last night, I noticed some swelling near/around some of my stitches, but no fever, redness, or anything to cause panic. I saw my Infectious Disease Dr. today at my weekly appt. & he thinks there might be a secondary infection, even though the rest of the stitches look very good. I am now on 2 more antibiotics, but these are in pill form. He thinks that broader coverage, as far as meds go, will be beneficial, seeing as they don't know for sure what is going on. Both meds are appetite suppresants which given my intake lately, are not too good for me. Most people report a metallic taste from one of the meds & nausea w/ both, surely not fun. Ahh the wonders of modern medicine, I must feel worse to get better.

So far the hot flashes are back, along w/ a little nausea, but no allergic reactions, which I have to be careful of b/c my med allergy count is at 6. I am keeping a close eye on the area & also taking my temperature. Still no cause for alarm, or an ER trip, but I think I have everything in order just in case. So please say a prayer for some newer quicker healing, very little side effects, & everything else you can muster.

I do feel like I have been rocked a little by all this new stuff going on, but my faith is strong & I am very optimistic. I joke & say I am in the "humor stage" of grief. Nothing like a little laughter to lighten the situation. =)

Love, T

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sometimes they sugarcoat it...

Sometimes they just have to tell you like it is. It's scary, I am not "out of the woods." The woods may come back at any time & kill me. It's just not something I wanted to hear. I have been knocked to my knees often these last couple days. I know the Lord won't give me more than I can handle, but I find myself crying out "Please Lord, no more!"

My surgeon was not as pleasant as I was hoping for yesterday. I know he has a less-than-perfect bedside manner, but I have been told 20x over, that he is the best. He has had so much experience with these kind of wounds/infections. The face that 50% of his patients with necrotizing faciitis do not survive, has rocked me. If they (all of my Drs) are not aggressive enough, I may die. Usually it is the reoccurence of the infection that leaves them w/out any options, or hope. I have hope, lots of it, but I think I have put more trust in the Drs, than the Great Physician. I can honestly say, I am scared & I am leaning on Him more now than ever.

I want to see my kids grow up, see them all accept Jesus, grow old w/ my husband, love my family & my Jesus till the end of my days. I just don't want for those days to come so soon. Sorry for such a somber message, I don't like to make people cry, but I wanted to share a little bit of the grief that finds me a little depressed today. The fact that I am in bed, away from the girls, on only ibuprofen, just adds to it.

Don't worry, I'm not defeated, just a little distressed. Satan has been at my door, but I am not letting him in, not ever. Please don't think I am giving up or giving in, I am holding on to my hope, my faith, I will be healed. I am just learning an all new level of patience. Praise the Lord!

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 NIV

If you want to read more about MRSA or NF, here is a good link to articles, including the one linked above. Here is an article talking about how common MRSA infections are & how rare it is that it turns into NF.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Update from home

I love my husband! He has not only taken on the role of Daddy, Mommy, UPS Manager, Housekeeper, etc. (really I could go on all day), he is now my wonderful Nurse. He takes such good care of me (even if I make him take 100 trips around the house), makes me eat (which I have to do tons of), & he gives me my IV meds (like a medical professional.) Words cannot express how much I love this man & how proud I am.

Me, I am doing well. I have been lounging around as much as I can, but sometimes I am naughty & scrub a wall or dish here & there. I totally cannot help it, it's just part of my nature. I did have a Dr appt. today. My IV site looks good, once again thanks to Casey. I am keeping my wound site clean, no pink/red or swelling, which is good. There is just one area of concern where my skin is hard/tough. So, instead of switching to antibiotic pills soon, I am going to remain getting them through my IV for a little while longer. I really thought I was out of the fighting stage & into just the healing, which is a bummer, but I am trying not to feel down. Just means more praying. =) I see my surgeon tomorrow at the Wound Care Center, so hopefully I will get a little more insight into how I am healing & talk pain meds before I run out. There will probably be nothing to report, but if there is, y'all will know.

I know I have said this so many times, but thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the prayers, food, gifts, flowers, child care, & everything else. I am so grateful for all the help, it has certainly lifted me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fri. 3/6 ~ The Finale

What started as a tiny bump, turned into emergency surgery 4 days later, 2 more surgeries & 17 days later, here & I am going to be discharged! (Did I mention the isolation? I nearly went insane!)

I got the pain control figured out. A whopping 15mg of Percocet every 4hrs, keeps me happy. I will be getting antibiotics through my IV line each night. Thank God for insurance, b/c each tiny bag is $300. My stitches look good, kinda like a baseball. I have to take it really easy, it was not a 3-layer closure, so I am fragile & I absolutely do not want to bust anything! But, I feel good & I am so darn happy to be alive & getting well. I did come in here w/ 3 medicinal allergies, but now I have 6, & my arm itches like crazy all the time b/c of all the tape that keeps my IV are clean. We have tried every tape here, for this & that, but I am sensitive to it all. It's nothing a little benadryl & a nap won't help.

My diet is high protein & lots of calories to regrow the tissue between the stitches. (I usually would say wound, rather than incision b/c literally, there was a huge gap there.) So, don't be surprised if I have gained 50lbs by the time you see me. Not that I mind, it will just mean more of me to love! I have learned to drink a ton of water, which is a good habit for me, I just liked it better when I was on the catheter.

Oh yea, when you see me walking, the shuffle will probably be my normal gait for a while, b/c he had to sew my leg in a little & it is weird to walk. Like if I wanted to sit on the floor indian style (or yoga pose) my left leg wouldn't (& shouldn't yet) lay flat against the floor. It's gonna take lots of healing, then a while of stretching, but I am up to the challenge.

This hospital has been super awesome, the Drs, the nurses (all besides one), all the way down the to housekeeping & food service employees. I love them all! I can't thank you all enough, as well, for all of the support, food, visits, flowers, calls, gifts, prayers, you name it! I am going to be writing up a testimony in the coming weeks & by God's grace I want to share it with you all.

Okay, I am going to stop my rambling now, I see I have been all over the place, but I am just so excited...& my coffee is not here yet. Lots of love & prayers of thanksgiving! ~T

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tues. 3/3 ~ Week3

Sorry for the lack of updates, I had a really rough day yesterday. My surgery was early in the morning, took a good bit of anesthesia to get me under, but I did great. My wound was closed (not too tight so it could still drain) & my Dr said it looked really healthy, w/ only a little bit of debriding done. In recovery though, the pain was awful. The nurses gave me everything they could & I was still clinging to the side of the bed crying. They called anesthesia back to okay some more pain meds & something to calm me down. I felt better enough to be moved back to my room. I had ice bags & pillows everywhere, but still had a hard time getting comfortable. Just when I had my pain meds on a fairly good rotation Demerol, then 2hrs later Morphine, the night nurse was late half an hour on delivering them. So the next meds didn't work as good as long, then he let me sleep too long & I was another hour late for my demerol. Well, then the medicine didn't touch the pain by then, but I needed to eat breakfast before I had more, so I didn't get sick. Needless to say I am typing this too you on Morphine, Demerol, Zofran (for the nausea), 2 ice bags, & about 6 pillows. Hopefully, the Wound Care nurse will be in soon for the "big reveal", when I get to see my new stitches. I did get an update from my Hyperbaric Dr. & it looks like I won't have to go downstairs anymore for treatment, as my wound looked pretty healthy of bacteria (in surgery) & it was healing just right. The latest tissue culture should be back by the end of the week & I will know if the Staph is still present. My surgeon has Friday set as my tentative release date, which should give me enough time to start walking, lose the Cath, & get down to just the Percocet for pain meds.

(BTW: I still <3 my nurses, pain meds or not, they have been super-awesome!)

Off to rest! Love, Tara

Monday, March 2, 2009

Small Surgery Update

I'll write the full update later when I can sit up longer, but I made it through surgery, my wound is loosely closed, & I am on bedrest for the day. The pain is considerably more than I have ever felt, but the Lord is definitely supplying me with strength & the nurses are supplying me w/ lots of Morphine & Demerol. My surgeon would like me to stay until Friday, which I am totally fine with, but the GP who sees me thinks I will be ready to go home sooner. I will contest that if need be. Just wanted to let you all know that I am alive, but I have turned my room phone off, since it is so loud. You can call me or text my cell if you want, but it may take a bit to answer or call back, depending on if ppl are in the room, how far my phone is, & whatnot. I appreciate all the well wishes & words of encouragement & I can never thank you all enough for the prayers!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sun. 3/1

I am never as thirsty as I am when I can't have something to drink. Same goes for being hungry. At midnight I am NPO (nothing by mouth) & that includes my Percocet. So, I am might just be waking up every 2hrs for some Demerol. I have no idea when I am going under the knife, just that it will be sometime in the morning. I can't even tell you what time I went in last time, I seem to lose most of my memory from surgery days.

The good news is my wound is really healing, has great blood supply, & the necrotic (dead) tissue area has not gotten bigger. I am excited for a semi-closed wound w/ no more dressing changes that include packing it w/ bleach water & gauze. I have no idea what to expect as far as how it will look or scar, but I expect it will be rather itchy if they tape it up really good (my skin reacts to tape), but also kind of painful, at least for a few more days. Then it should heal even faster & I can eventually wean myself off the pain meds. I know that it won't be an overnight thing, but I have definitely learned to have a lot more patience than I used to have.

I have to tell you, I have made such good friends out of my nurses. One in particular, Brenda, has really brightened my days w/ her cheerfulness & kindness. I know I have probably had at least 20 in my last 12 days here, but I remember each one so fondly. Some are faster than others, some more assertive, some just plain old sweet as could be.

Saw the girls today, that was fun. Sorry if you missed them at church, everything is fine, just wanted to keep them germ-freer (haha made that word up) so that I wouldn't chance getting sick when I saw them. You'd think I was the snack lady though, all the food they consumed in my room. My MIL, Sue, made me a large posterboard w/ lots of family pics on it. I really love it! Makes me smile every time I look over there.

Anyways, I will try to update tomorrow as soon as I am feeling up to it, or I can send a text maybe, but I probably won't be up to talking on the phone much. Especially if my head finds the garbage can as it did last time. Please pray for my Drs, my nurses, my surgery, & especially my nerves. I have peace that it will all be alright, it is just all the uncertainties that have me up late. Well, that & my last gulp of water at 11:59. =)