Friday, February 22, 2013


Well, my brain is a wee bit fried right now, so I think the easiest way to update you on this soap opera we are living is to give you the main highlights of the constant text-messaging that has been going back and forth between my BFF and myself. Here goes:

11:26AM - Becky - Well, I don't know what to think. Good news - it's not MRSA, just ordinary staph. Bad news - he seems weaker than he did yesterday, his breathing isn't good, and his blood pressure was a little high. They are going to do a sonogram of his heart later. Still don't know where the staph originated from.

5:02 PM - Paula - Have you got heart test results?
Becky - No, not yet. He seems a bit better though.

11:28 Paula - How is John today? Have they given test results?
Becky - Well, we just had visits from his cardiologist, and from an infectious disease specialist! The Echo came back ok, but apparently that doesn't guarantee that there is no bacteria on the pacemaker or its wires. They are switching him to a different antibiotic and running his cultures again. If the cultures keep coming back positive, they will do a heart image where they go down through his throat, and may end up removing his pacemaker.
Paula - We will be praying new antibiotic works.
Becky - Kinda freaked me out when this really cute guy wearing jeans and a vest sauntered in and said "Hi, I'm the infectious disease guy. Your doctors asked me to lend a hand." Feels like we're in a movie or TV show!
Paula - Is John feeling better, or still crappy? At least doc is cute!
Becky - He's a little better today, but still way too weak.
2:57 PM Paula - So sorry! Hope new meds work, and fast! Tim said a guy at TMPA got staph from hospital and was not getting better, but once the infectious medicine doc got involved, they found the right antibiotic and he finally got well. Let's hope this one can get it right first try!
Becky - They just started a drip with the new antibiotic - oxycillin this time - and he will get it every six hours instead of every twelve. Also, they have ordered the transesophageal echocardiogram for tomorrow morning.

So now you know everything I know, except that, as I was typing this, John called to say they weren't able to schedule the procedure until Monday morning, so he's gonna be there a while longer. I could tell by his voice though that he's already feeling better, so fingers crossed and positive vibes ever-buddy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


When he called to say goodnight Tuesday, my hubby mentioned that the elastic in all his boxers was shot, and they kept trying to fall off. I surprised him with several new pairs yesterday, and for the briefest of moments, I caught a glimpse of his goofy old self.

I may even have seen him smile!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


You hang out in a hospital long enough, you pick up all kinds of interesting stuff. Of course, most times it's stuff you were happier not knowing. For instance, common procedure at St. David's now is to swab every new patient's nose, right off the bat. Why? To check for MRSA, one of those super bugs we created by insisting that our doctors give us antibiotics for every little thing under the sun, whether we really needed them or not!

I've learned a lot about swabs and cultures and bacteria in the last few days. Remember I told you one of Hubby's cultures came back positive for something called gram positive cocci in clusters? From that info they new to start him on an antibiotic called Vancomycin, but that was just the beginning. Apparently gpc can go in a couple of different directions -- strep or staph. After another 24 hrs. or so they were able to tell us that John's was definitely a staff infection -- the kind many people pick up in hospitals and such. They didn't stop there, however. The nurse told us they'd have to let it "cook a while longer", until they knew for sure whether it was MRSA or not. Yikes! I guess the panic showed on my face, because she hurried to assure me that it didn't mean they couldn't knock it out. It just meant they'd have to work a bit harder to do it. She also told us that John's original nose swab they took when he was admitted had come back negative for MRSA, "so that's probably a good sign." I pray she's right! Meanwhile, John just called me a little while ago to tell me they were planning to move him to a different room. I immediately thought "OMG, they're putting him in isolation!", be he said no, they were just moving him out of Intermediary Care and into a regular room, either tonight or tomorrow morning. I'll take that as another good sign!

Not really here nor there, but kind of a funny coincidence, is the fact that our son's hunny bunny has just recently resigned from her position as a chemistry teacher in order to go to grad school. Why? Because she's dying to do research on neat stuff like drug-resistant bacteria!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Remember all that grousing I've been doing this week about hospitals and prima donna doctors? Well I take it back -- every last word! Sometimes, a prima donna is just what you need and, as it turns out, the hospital is precisely where my hubby was meant to go yesterday. You see, it wasn't a tummy bug that was ailing him. It was a blood bug! One that goes by the name "gram positive cocci." This morning we got word that one of John's blood cultures came back positive for this nasty little cocci sucker, probably picked up last time he was in the hospital. And, if we hadn't caught it as soon as we did, it might have gone septic, colonizing its way throughout his bloodstream.  Fortunately, a course of very special antibiotics -- a controlled substance that requires careful administration and a few more days in the hospital -- should have him feeling much perkier in no time. So, lets hear it for the prima donnas! I bow down in AWE to you!


Well, you'll never guess where we've been since yesterday afternoon. Why yes, we have been at the hospital! How on earth did you know? Don't panic though, because I'm still fairly certain that dear hubby has nothing more than a virus. Buuuuuut, because his fever had stayed pretty high for three days solid, despite all the Tylenol he was taking (too much!), and because the fever was messing with his BP and heart rates, and because any invasive procedure -- even one as simple as putting in a pacemaker -- comes with the risk of infection, I put in a call to his cardiologist. And, of course, he was out of town. And, of course, the doctor on call decided, just to be safe, we should head over to the E.R. at St. David's South (the hospital his cardio. operates out of) to let them run a few cultures, just to make sure he hadn't picked up some kind of respiratory infection or something. And, of course, the E.R. was absolute BEDLAM yesterday!

Hubby spent most of the afternoon on a cart in the hallway, shivering to death, but they finally got the cultures and a chest x-ray done around 9:00, and told us it would take about three days to get the results back, and they would call us. The x-ray looked okay, but because I'd made the mistake of mentioning that Hubby's breathing seemed somewhat rapid and shallow, the E.R. doctor decided maybe they needed to do a test to check for blood clots or embolisms, which came out ok. But then, because they asked what else Hubby had been treated for lately, and John mentioned "brain bleed", they decided he needed a CAT scan too, which also came back perfectly okay. And, after all that, the doc tells us he's still a little concerned about John's low oxygen levels, and would like to run a few more tests, so they were going to admit John to the hospital. JEEZE LOUISE! My hubby's been kidnapped!

By the time they got him a room (not a normal one, but a fancy one in Intermediary Care) it was around 12:30am, and I was way too exhausted to make the long deer-dodging drive back to Wimberley, so I just spent the night in that miserable little chair. I've just run home to take a shower, and pick up a few things hubby needs, then I'm headed back. Pray that they finally let him go on home today, and don't make him stay until the blood culture results come back a couple of days from now, cause I'm thinking we're already getting close to having the world's most expensive tummy bug! As if that weren't bad enough? His blood pressure and pulse rate -- the things that prompted us to call the cardio in the first place -- have been perfectly normal ever since he got to the hospital!

Monday, February 18, 2013


HUBBY'S FLU/VIRUS + MY "WEATHER'S CHANGING" SINUS HEADACHE = PISS-POOR BLOG FODDER (or at least, not anything you really want to hear about)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


OOPS! I'm guessing the temps must've dipped below freezing night before last, for this is what greeted me when I stepped out the door yesterday morning.

Hubby's new fountain -- which he had up and running within a day or two of being released from the hospital.

Ah well, c'est la vie! At least none of the new spring plants we bought seem to be too much worse for wear.