12 February 2009

Thursday Afternoon Medical Update

I was sleeping really well last night. Then they woke me up at 2:00a for vitals and blood cultures. And of course I couldn't go back to sleep. I'm really sick of the bed (not that I can lay down, If I try to do that I can't breathe because of all the fluids), so I moved to a chair and turned on the History channel. There were some interesting programs about Abraham Lincolon. There I was thinking I might be doing much better today. Alas, that was not to be the case.

I have been incredibly nauseous all day, But in the beginning I was lucid enough to figure out that I started feeling so sick ALL the time when they doubled my dose of Vancomycin the other day. Now instead of 1000 whatever units, I'm getting 2000 whatever units, every 8 hours. I'm still getting all the other drugs, too.

Since we've figured out the progression of how I feel, we've a new take on the meds that hopefully make me feel better. As soon as I start feeling nauseous, I get a shot of Zofran in the IV. I also get a couple of Lortabs. Zofran is then given every 6 hours and 2 Lortabs every four hours. This is the first time I have felt like sitting up since this morning. So I wouldn't say any of this is making me feel better, but rather it's keeping me from feeling as bad as I could feel. Now it's about time for the next dose of vanco, so the cycle will start again.

Today, they doubled the dose of Lasix, and it has worked some. I probably need a higher dose tomorrow as I am still quite puffy. But at least I can bend my fingers now.

My reds and platelets are still holding from the last transfusions, so I didn't need any of those today. Probably platelets tomorrow. My infectious disease doctor is the one who upped the vanco, as it seems to be killing off the mystery bacteria. When she came by she said she's not yet heard back from Mayo. Perhaps tomorrow, but likely not till Monday or Tuesday.

Now, ladies and gentlemen. Are you sitting down? Colour me a Pointer Sister! I'M SO EXCITED. AND I CAN'T DENY IT..... My white count. I actually now have a white count. The neutrophil count is 0.04. In actuality, that number is abysmal. But for me it's like the sun finding a hole through the clouds. Now that we know I can still produce some white blood cells, I'm hopeful I can produce enough to be able to leave the hospital. Ideally they want the neutrophil count to be at least 0.5 before then. That is a number that I haven't had since before Christmas. (Just an FYI. the normal neutrophil count is 1.20-3.40. I haven't had a normal count in well over a year.) So keep on visualising!

Apparently I am having hallucinations or lucid dreaming or something - probably side effects of the Lortab. Mike says I talk, even though I am asleep. Not normal talking in your sleep, but it's like he's hearing one side of a conversation. If he talks to me, then I answer him and go back to the other conversation. This morning he thought I said something to him and he asked me if I was OK. I said, "Oh yes. They're not taking me to the dungeon anymore. I'm flying high just fine up here now." At this point he knew it was one of those weird things, so he didn't talk anymore. But apparently I discussed flying and such. A couple of times, I've thought someone is talking to me. I answer and when I open my eyes there is no one there.

My picc line is still not drawing properly. Last night the nurse got blood by having me hold my arm over my head and coughing. Every time I would cough she could get some blood. There must be a kink in it somewhere, so I've written myself a note to talk with my doc about it when he comes by in the morning. Much better to get it fixed whilst I am here in the hospital than to have to come back. They have sick people here!

So the long term prognosis has not changed, but I may have turned a corner such that I will get well enough to go home. There have been some times that I have wondered.
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Joanie said...

Your sense of humor and strength are such an inspiration to me. I can't wait for you to be able to go back home. I'm thrilled to hear that your neutra count is coming up. That's the best news I've heard all day. {{{hugs}}}} Congratulations on your DD's induction to the National Honour Society yesterday! You must be so proud. Sleep well sweet Becky.
love, Joanie

Kristen said...

Becky... as Joanie said you are an inspiration.
I have been keeping you in prayer. I was glad to hear about your white count. You keep getting stronger friend!
Love you,

Cora (Cora Cooks) said...

Becky, thanks for tapping out your good news with those big fat fingers. I'm overwhelmed by your clear and lucid writing, even as you hallucinate and fly around the room. And way to go DD#2! I was the college counselor at my son's school, and NHS advisor -- I know how hard a kid has to work for those honors. Well done! Both of you keep up the good work. Vancomycin saved my son from a mysterious bout of osteomyelitis during his senior year in high school. Long process, but good results. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers that your counts keep going up and the infection goes away. Healing hugs and good wishes!

Alison said...

Becky - we're all thinking of you at the CK board. I hope you feel better and get to go home soon to enjoy the spring weather!

Linda said...

The prayers continue...each and every day...hang in there girl...
I hope you are seeing beautiful places when you are flying....
L xoxox
This is in English and a transliteration in Hebrew...this prayer is being said for you daily...
A Prayer
Mi sheberakh avoteinu mekor habrakha l’imoteinu
May the Source of strength
Who blessed the ones before us
Help us find the courage
To make our lives a blessing,
And let us say: Amen.
Mi sheberakh imoteinu mekor habrakha l’avoteinu
Bless those in need of healing With refuah shleima:
The renewal of body,
The renewal of spirit,
And let us say: Amen

and this one too....this is called the Mi Sheberach ...the Hebrew prayer for healing....

May the One who blessed our ancestors, Sarah and Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac, Leah, Rachel and Jacob bless Becky along with all of the ill among us. Grant insight to those who bring healing, courage and faith to those who are sick, love and strength to us and to all who love them. God, let your spirit rest upon all who are ill and comfort them. May they and we soon know a time of complete healing, a healing of the body and a healing of the spirit and let us say: Amen.

Hilary said...


Wishing you only happy hallucinations and way to go on the counts increasing! Keep the faith and the positive attitude!