UPDATE mystery unraveling

Pulmonary came yesterday to remove the catheter from my lung. It started out with an amusing moment when the pulmonologist asked me how much pain can I handle. He is known for his dry sense of humor, so I said, what kind of question is that to ask a patient before you are about to perform a procedure. He did not seem to see that it was a funny question to me.

The removal went smoothly with no complications. When he pulled it out, though, it was a weird sensation of suction inside my lung, not painful, just weird. But it was quick and over in a few seconds. They cut off a piece of the catheter and prepared it for culturing, and the three of them left.

Maybe thirty minutes later I had a vile cough and trouble breathing, and I developed chills though my fever had not yet risen. When it did, it spiked right up to 102.9. This lasted a few hours and demanded a lot of attention from my medical team, Up till then I was expecting to go home, but instead they said I would not be leaving yet. More blood cultures both from the port and peripheral veins and a trip in my bed to get chest x-rays. At least the woman who came to do the peripheral cultures was a skilled phlebotomist and got a vein quickly and efficiently. The previous night they did a peripheral draw in my wrist that was so painful I cried. It felt like he hit a nerve. I think I will request only a phlebotomist to do my peripheral blood draws because the state of my veins is so poor most nursing staff are unable to get a vein without a lot of trauma to me.

Now, after all the previous suppositions that the lung catheter was not contaminated, it looks like it had a gram positive (staph?) infection. When they pulled the catheter, it ended up spreading the bacteria into my lung, which went into my system, which is the reason for my body’s reaction. Again, it makes me think that our bodies are quite excellent at detecting these kinds of bugs and acting upon them immediately, which is exactly what happened to me.

The infectious diseases team is following me again along with my medical and oncology teams. They have prescribed two additional antibiotics, Vancomycin® and another that I have to look up. I am supposed to be resting and sleeping as much as possible, though that is nearly impossible with the number of people coming and going from my room.

For now I’m following the doctors’ orders, taking my breathing treatments and so many pills I can no longer follow which is which. I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday, and so far I have not had a fever. This seems like good progress under the circumstances.

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© 2004–12 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

10 responses to “UPDATE mystery unraveling

  1. It sounds to me like you are finally headed in the correct direction, Donna. I sure hope so. As always ~hugs and hope eternal.

  2. So Strange Donna, but I think that they have finally found what’s been causing the fevers. If I understand what you are saying finding this infection could be the cause of some of you symptoms. In any event even though you are not going home, I am so glad you seem to be receiving excellent care there. Thank you for keeping us posted and you are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and XoXoXo-Susan

  3. Sounds as though they have finally found the problem. Thank goodness! Bet you really will be heading home soon. Then, you’ll be able to finally get some much-needed rest and sleep. There’s justs no place like home~

  4. Some positive info for you. It certainly is about time for a bit of good news. Hope this has been your problem and the meds will clear it up. Disappointing to not yet be going home but you know you are where you should be. Prayers and hugs 🙂

  5. I know getting some understanding of the problem is good…I really wish you didn’t have to get another dose of the bacteria in the process but am really glad that the medication is working for you. Prayers.

  6. Just a little set back but they have found your problem praise the Lord !!
    waiting to hear you are going home will continue to ask GOD to watch
    over you and Marvin . havent pull off the steeltoe shoes LOL
    we love you precious Lady

  7. While we all wish you didn’t have an infection and that you were going home, it sounds as though the hospital is the best place to be for now.
    Sending love & prayers,

  8. Sorry to hear you didn’t make it home yet, but you will be soon. Glad to hear you are feeling better today after all that. Love and hug’s too you.

  9. So interesting how the body works. This possibly explains the fevers but sounds like you’re right, the removal probably caused the contamination. Fever kills bacteria, let’s hope it’s a short and sweet battle and you’ll be feeling better soon Donna. You are in my thoughts and prayers tonight, I just saw that Marvin posted on FB you’re fever’s at 103 as of a half hour ago. I hope it doesn’t last long. It would be nice to be out of there and home for Thanksgiving.
    Much love always,

  10. Hugs hugs and more hugs…hope you will soon be sleeping in your own bed in a quiet home where you don’t have a parade of people coming in and out to disrupt your rest…


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