Monday, January 16, 2012

Good News. Bad News. Cautiously Optimistic News.

Good News. Skip's surgery went very well. In fact, they didn't have to grab donor flesh from her thigh to fill in the gap where the scar tissue had been. Not sure how they filled it in, but there's only one incision so no second site to cause pain, worry about, and have to heal.

Bad News. On Saturday afternoon when I was visiting, an infectious disease doctor came in. Not a good sign; they don't just visit to make nice-nice. Turns out the small wound actually had a tunnel that had gone down to bone and, while open to the world, the bone had gotten infected. We were glad the infection had been found so it could be treated rather than increase unchecked, but the news filled us with dread. After all, when Skip had the monster pressure sore two years ago, the bone infection she had then landed her in acute rehab for 28 days of twice daily IV antibiotics. Further, my understanding is that Medicare will not pay for IV administration in the home. Instead, you have to be in the hospital or rehab to receive it (to me, this makes no sense. It has to be much cheaper to have a visiting nurse come and administer the IV in the home rather than pay for all the trappings of a hospital or rehab setting.).

We were told that the bacteria was being cultured and, until the culture yielded results, they didn't know what the right next steps should be. It could be as easy as treatment with an oral antibiotic or as bad as IV antibiotics.

The potential of further hospitalization to treat the infection sent Skip into a tailspin. The plastic surgery residents told her she'd need to stay in the hospital until the results were known and a game plan devised. She was quite depressed while we waited 24-48 hour for further word of the culture results. The infectious disease doc stopped by yesterday afternoon while I was visiting to let us know the culture still hadn't yielded results.

Cautiously Optimistic News. This morning, Skip called me and she sounded surprisingly perky. Apparently, one of the plastic surgery residents had stopped by to tell her that the culture was in and it looked like it wasn't a superbad bug and treatment would be oral antibiotics. And, it was possible she could go home today; the release decisions are made around noon, so she'd get an update this afternoon. She was in great spirits as a result. I, for one, want to hear what the infectious disease doc has to say about the infection first, but I am cautiously optimistic for the simplest way to resolve the infection.

We'll know more in a few short hours.


Muffie said...

Fingers crossed that the infection is small, oral antibiotics will work, and Skip is soon back home! Then you can watch football together next week and watch your Pats win and go on to the Super Bowl! Good luck!

Josie said...

Hopefully the resident knew what he was talking about. Regardless, I think it's good news that they found it in an early stage before it could grow.

I'm sure Skip will be home with you before you know it. You are a good person. Me, I would be loving having time off from all the responsibility. :)

Have Myelin? said...

Oh my gosh - I'm so sorry, I am hoping everything goes well. You are such a wonderful caregiver.

Take care of yourself.

Gary said...

Good to hear the good news. Skip'll be home before you know it.

steve said...

All this talk of butt surgery and skin flaps brings to mind The Human Centipede. Awful movie. Thanks a lot, Cranky.

I'm going to be more than cautiously optimistic. I'm going to little miss bloody sunshine and say Yipee! Going home!



kmilyun said...

Oh my - I will second Steve (hiya!) and believe that Skip will be home.

Take care

Webster said...

Thank God we live in the age of antibiotics, and not early in the last century. Also, it's good that the surgeons were careful and checked everything out "to the bone," otherwise this might have been missed.

Hoping Skip gets hope soon and all gets back to normal.

Cranky said...

Muffie - thanks for the good wishes! They tried IV antibiotics yesterday, so it looks like that'll be the approach. But, everyone is talking about Skip having them administered at home.

VJ - Well, shucks. I am enjoying the break from all the chores of caregiving.

Sherry - thanks! I wish I was a wonderful caregiver, but I'm too cranky for that! :-)

Gary - Greetings! I'm pretty sure she'll be home today.

Steve - hi! The Human Centipede, eh? Glad I missed that one.

Jan - me three!

Webster - so true about antibiotics. Too bad we've overused them so that the cooties are becoming stronger than them in many cases. And, yes, I could definitely use a little normalcy.

Gary said...

How true you are regarding the overuse of antibiotics. People with colds run to the doctor looking for antibiotics, thinking somehow that they'll magically start working on viruses. And the doctors just hold their noses and write the prescription because they don't want to expend any effort educating a patient, or buddha forbid angering them, lest they lose them.