“You look SO much better than the last time I saw you!” is something that is encouraging to hear after a string of hospitalizations.
Except, I think you lose points when someone says it…in the emergency room…as you’re admitted for yet another medical issue.
On Monday I had chills and a mild fever (101.6) so I went to the ER at Westerly Hospital. In active treatment you are advised to come in if you experience a fever over 100.4.
Now I must pause the story to say that after being so used to a women’s hospital full of oncology patients and expectant mothers, it was especially jarring to overhear an intake person say: “Sir! SIR! ARE YOUR FINGERS STILL ATTACHED?”
They did some blood tests and took a chest xray. They chalked it up to a virus and were able to send me home a few hours later.
Tuesday I woke up with a fever of 100.4 but I felt fine otherwise. Tylenol brought the temperature back down to normal and I carried on with my day. It was a great day, really. The visiting nurse took my vitals and blood pressure was great, no fever. Sheila also came over and I made scrambled eggs. That’s right MY FIRST SOLID FOOD IN WEEKS.
Yep, that’s the face of a happy girl eating real food. It’s also the face of someone that was not expecting a phone call hours later from Westerly Hospital notifying me that they found bacteria in my blood and I needed to come back to the emergency room.
The bacteria was identified in the blood cultures. Labs watch blood cultures over 5 days to see if bacteria grows. In my case it had in 4/4 viles which made it evident that it was a real infection and not just a contaminant.
It was made clear to me that I should expect to stay overnight. Knowing that I ultimately decided to make the slightly longer trip to Women and Infants and be treated there. Cory drove up with me and stayed with me in the ER until almost midnight when they confirmed I’d be admitted. He also drove about 200 miles that day for work so he’s a real trooper.
So since Tuesday night, I’ve been here receiving IV antibiotic. By Wednesday the type of bacteria was identified and apparently its a common bacteria found on everyone’s skin. They are guessing it got in through my accessed port. Luckily it was described to me as “wimpy” by the infectious disease doctor.
Once identified I was switched to an antibiotic called vancomycin. I’m tolerating it pretty well but I did have a pseudo-reaction during the last two infusions where my face and chest became red and warm.
Fun fact- the medical name for that kind of reaction is ‘Red Man Syndrome’. Here’s to hoping that ‘Method Man Syndrome’ is a real thing too.
Hopefully, I can go home tomorrow. My fingers are crossed. Since I’ve been here I haven’t had a fever or anything. That said as a precaution no chemo this week.
All in all in good spirits but definitely want to get home and get better. I’m confident that I’ll bounce back soon.