Army of Mom

So this is how liberty dies ... with thunderous applause.


Ragtime blues

I kept waiting for the third bad thing to happen today. The first two happened within a short time frame. The third occurred tonight about 9 p.m. when I started my period. It is a few days late, but this has been a stressful week.

Was going to the doctor today for a follow-up. After the seroma burst open about 10 days ago, we were checking up to see the results of the cultures testing for infections and just to check my general progress. As was the case last week, the doctor wasn't in. He was delayed with surgery and while I like to know that he takes his time, I really needed him today. The nurse sits me down and informs me the doctor is delayed and she'll let me know how much longer. Once she realizes that he is going to be a few hours down the road, she comes in and informs me of my lab results which just came in today. I have enterococcus something (sounded like species) group D strain of infection. Evidently this isn't very common and it is pretty strong. The standard course of therapy is penicillian or vancomycin IV therapy. Since I'm allergic to penicillian, the vancomycin it will be. I found this story about antibiotics, which touches on the vancomycin IV therapy that I'll be undergoing. This paragraph from the Mayo Clinic article is sort of scary:

For years, the potent intravenous antibiotic vancomycin (Vancocin) provided a reliable last defense against some infections, notably those caused by staphylococcus and enterococcus bacteria. But in recent years, some superbugs have even figured out how to resist vancomycin. A strain of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) first appeared in the late 1980s and has thrived ever since. Scientists worry that VRE not only will continue to multiply but will share its genetic secrets for survival with other bacteria.


So, then, the nurse goes on to tell me that this stuff is so strong that giving it to someone in full IV is bad. I haven't found out why and didn't think to ask. When the nurse says "It is too strong for full IVs" it doesn't really matter to me why. Bad is not what I want to hear right now. So, the decision is that I will have a catheter inserted into my chest for the medicine to be given to me that way sort of like a chemo patient would do. The nurse seems surprised that I know so much about what she is telling me. Being a childhood cancer patient teaches you more than you ever wanted to know about methods of treatment and procedures.

She tells me the doctor is still behind and seeing patients, but that he'll call me tonight and talk to me. He really is a nice guy. He called this evening and told me that I'll go see an infectious diseases doctor on Friday. I need to call that doctor in the morning and make the appointment. My plastic surgeon is going to call the surgeon I'm seeing for the lump in my left breast and then his office will call me about scheduling the procedure to insert the catheter into my chest. Thank God, I'll be put under anesthesia for this. I'm not sure if it will be outpatient or not. I was just happy to know that I wouldn't be awake for it.

I asked the doctor if this infection could be the result of the infection we were trying to get rid of by cutting out the c-section scar and that loose skin and fat. He said, maybe. Apparently, some people have bacteria that live in them and never cause a problem until something like the surgery happens and they find a weak spot and colonize. But, he assured me that we would kill this infection and I'd be good as new. I only wish I had his confidence. He said the infectious diseases doctor, who has some foreign name that makes me spit when I say it, will go over the course of treatment - how many doses over how many days, etc - on Friday. I don't know when I'll have the catheter done. It could be Friday or next week. I asked the doctor if waiting is going to make it worse and he assures me that as long as I treat it, I will be fine. I wonder if he is trying to soothe me or convince himself. We were planning a trip to Sea World this weekend, but I don't know if that will happen or not. He told me to ask the doctor on Friday.

This all hasn't helped my useless feelings. It reminds me of when I found out about Pickle's CAH. I felt defective then and I feel defective now. I've been so strong and gone through so much.

My pity party is really bad right now. But, to put it all in perspective I made a checklist of my blessings:
I'm not dead - check
My kids are healthy - check
I'm not likely to die from this - check
I'm skinnier than before - check
I don't have a tree in my neck - check (swear to God, I saw this dude with a tree limb from one shoulder through his neck to the other shoulder on some Secrets of the ER show on Discovery tonight - suddenly the port cath doesn't seem quite so bad as having a birdfeeder hanging off my shoulder.)

Oh yeah, you're wondering what my other bad thing was. Remember when I was getting my oil changed today? Well, they checked my AC earlier this year and couldn't find why it was leaking and put some dye in it. Today, the found the leak in the evaporator core. They apparently have to remove the dashboard to get to the AC unit to replace it. Will only cost about $1000. That doesn't even factor in what this medical fiasco is going to cost.

But, at least I'll have my health. Dammit. Ok, so I won't have my health. But, at least my stomach is flat.


  • At 2:44 AM, June 16, 2005, Blogger cashin said…

    Evaporator core? that blows, if there's one thing you don't want to break on ur AC thats definitely it. They're expensive and so tough to get to. Still, 1000 is a bit steep for such a repair, then again labor costs half as much up here ;)

  • At 7:04 AM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    Cashin is such a guy - he fixates on the AC. I was actually going to email you and ask you what you thought. The shop dude told me that he gave me an inflated estimate and expected it to be less than what he told me, but he'd rather tell me too high than have to bump it later. He is good about that, actually.

    And, thanks Alli. Prayers are appreciated.

  • At 8:55 AM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Gadfly said…

    A lot of people have a certain bug that their immune systems is just kind of ... fine with. That sucks.

    But the Vanc should knock it out in short order.

    Keep the faith

  • At 11:17 PM, June 16, 2005, Blogger Army of Mom said…

    Thanks Gadfly. I appreciate it. I'm just scared and not looking forward to this. I hate the unknown. The codependent control freak in me is just aching to know what is going to happen so I can prepare for it and figure out how to deal with it and still take care of everyone else's needs first.


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