Friday, October 12, 2018

Isolation

Jennifer the nurse came in around lunchtime and announced the results of the swab had come back on my suppurating wound on my lower hip. When she told me I had MRSA in the dying tissue of the wound I felt a chasm open under me which hasn’t yet closed as I write this. I haven’t Googled the bacterium known in the US as “mersa” because the results are I am advised not great reading.  However as far as I can tell the facility is interested in keeping itself MRSA free. Hence the instructions on the door to suit up as demonstrated elegantly by last night’s nurse’s aide: 

Yeah.  Here I am in Ebola ward. Does not feel great. It seems antibiotics will treat the infection and as the doctor said my life was in far more danger during my original operation than now which is I suppose some comfort. However dying of a tissue rotting inside out disease like MRSA seems, on the scale of things, a tad bit less clean and heroic than expiring of a driver’s distraction on the highway. Your thoughts and prayers as always much appreciated. My freshly installed door warning waiting to be filled with moonsuits: 



Now before people tap elegantly on my door I hear the scratching sounds of ten thousand ravenous rats at the door as the container sways and taps as arrivals pull down protective gear and suit up. Then the tentative tap at the door as though they are reluctant to enter the  leprosarium and as though I the leper, had no idea they were there.  Lord love us!  Two weeks of this...the mysterious plastic wrapped shadow. Sigh. 

The very good news is I have no fever (yet) and the wound is not suppurating a river of pus. What I am told is that some clear fluid is oozing slightly and as long as it is contained by the dressing I am free to attend therapy sessions. That was a piece of excellent news in a dramatic and fearsome afternoon. Fear filled might be more accurate. I focused on the good and after a delayed start for the medical conference I went  to try walking with Eddy and Elias and Natalie.

I sat in my wheelchair with Eddy to my right, Elias to my left and Natalie keeping the chair under my bum. I practiced standing and keeping weight off my left leg. Not easy. Then Eddy said it was time to walk. I took that as meaning I was doing better and I was. I was calm and determined and I focused on his precise instructions. I stood up left foot forward right foot back ready to push me up. Up I went with a little help from my friends. I stood straight. It felt good. A few of those and then we walked. With greater or lesser success I kept weight off my left foot and progressed across the empty gym. In several hours I covered by Eddy’s estimate a total of 14 feet. He was delighted. Witness his smile (and sweet hearted Natalie):

Elias my Occupational (upper body) therapist was also delighted:

Indeed it was a great ending to a crappy day. These people care about me and I am honored by their support. It felt good! 

10 comments:

Celia Bowman said...

What a relief to hear you were able to have your regular PT and OT and keep on progressing. Your team is amazing. I don't know if you've tried mindful meditation, but it helps stress and healing, even 5 mun a day. There are meditation apps, guided and just bells to mark the time with focusing on your breathing. The busy mind takes over, but you keep coming back to your breath. No right way to do it. Jon Kabat-Zinn has a program at a hospital in Massachusetts. He has guided meditation downloads. I learned about it in a class at Kaiser hospital in San Francisco. Just a thought.

Unknown said...

Despite the crappy lab report, there are some positives in that you have no fever, no pus and you can continue your therapy. I hope the doctor is treating the bug aggressively to kill it off before it can get ugly. Sounds like they caught it early. Just a bump in the road. You'll beat this, Michael. The power of positive thinking and mindful meditation is amazing. Keep up the good work. We're all in your corner. KWBound

Conchscooter said...

I shall try zinn. Thanks.

Jay Dulaney said...

That walker looks exactly like the one I left the hospital with when I was released, and you may not realize it yet, but you are on your way(albeit with a small setback) to a new understanding about your life, it’s meaning, and your future. All the hard, hard work in therapy is an investment for your future success, and lots of people are following your progress and cheering you on, Michael. You will emerge from this a better man, for having gone through it. Perhaps not physically, but you will undoubtedly see life in a new and enhanced way after these trials and tribulations have ended, and more acutely appreciate what you are able to do. Many positive thoughts are coming your way, and keep the faith that all you are doing now will benefit you down the line, when you will once again be able to take Rusty on rambles to his, and your, heart’s content. Keep positive and know that you are not alone in that hospital room, there are many who are rooting for your full recovery and recuperation.

Anonymous said...

Well done on the walking! Bummer about the MRSA. :( Both of my parents popped positive for it during various hospital stays; we all had to do the gown-glove-mask thing. Fun times. :P But this too shall pass and you’ll be out of there and back with your fam, hopefully without any delay. :)

Conchscooter said...

Layne’s difficulty is her arthritis impaired immune system. She does not need
to be exposed. No Rusty. The future looks bleak.
except it will be filled with physical therapy.

Terri Kohler said...

Keep positive thoughts and glad that you are still making good progress.

Unknown said...

Up side of 2 weeks without seeing Layne & Rusty: You'll probably be walking well enough to walk with them outside in the sunshine and breezes by then :) KWBound

MyamuhNative said...

My first thought was oh no, no Rusty visits ( can't really wipe a dog down with bleach). Agree Layne doesn't need exposure. But the good thing is that
You will be well observed and treated. Infection control doesn't like to have to report MERSA even though it is so widespread these days.
Don't let it worry you too much you seem to be in good hands.

Steve Williams said...

From your description of progress and the smile on your face it's hard to wrap my head around a "bleak" future. You're the rider who rises to adversity on the road -- wind and rain and dark of night. I expect you're the same patient on these medical adventures. Recovery, MRSA, and whatever other stuff you encounter I suspect will yield the same smiling countenance.

The dark part -- not seeking Layne and Rusty for a bit of time. But those concerns will fade when you find yourself filling days with PT. Before you know it you'll be wandering the keys with Rusty again...