Monday, August 16, 2010

When Will This Misery End?

Howdy, folks!

I bet with a post title like that you are guessing that something major is up. And you would be very correct!  I hate to say this, but FRANKIE IS BACK IN THE HOSPITAL AGAIN!!  

Let me start the story out by saying that we think he has an infection in the JP drain in his abdomen.  A few days ago, he standing up by me and I noticed that his drain looked funny to me.  It hanging almost upside down.  I started to feel the tubing when I realized that the drain had come apart and the tubing connector was loose enough to not be able to hold the other end of the tubing in place.  So, he was walking around for God knows how long with the drain open like that!  Any germ could crawl around in there!!  I swabbed it with alcohol really good and reconnected it.  But I still worried about it and unfortunately, I think my worries have come true about the infection part.

Anyway, a few days ago he started sweating profusely in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday night.  That is so UNLIKE him to sweat. I'm the one who sweats like a pig and looks like I just came from a water fight!  So, my mother-in-law and I made him drink, drink, drink....and Powerade, no less, which he doesn't like but drank it anyway.  With two women standing over him, he had no choice in the matter!!  He couldn't go back to bed until he drank the proper amount of fluids.

And then yesterday, he replaced the sweating profusely with the shaking chills.  He shook the whole bed, like one of those beds in some motels where you put the quarter in and it will "massage" you.  I kept checking his temp and it would read 97.3 one time and then 96.3 the other time.  His blood pressure was OK, but his heart rate was 150.  I looked at him closely and he was still very pale with deep, dark circles until his eyes.  His eyes looked sunken in his head.  My poor baby. I just feel so damn helpless!!  WHEN WILL THIS MISERY END???????????

I called my mother-in-law first, who was over at a friend's house having pizza.  She suggested to call the visiting nurse first, which was my thinking too.  Tim, the visiting nurse, can get to the doctors better than a "lay person" that goes through the answering service and gets absolutely no where.  Been there, done that, don't want to do it again!  So I called Tim and told him the situation.  I told him that for a day now I have noticed a foul odor from the drainage when I'd empty the drain.  It had a "mildewy" smell to it and was very strong.  I thought it looked cloudy, too, but mixed with blood, it's hard to tell.  The drainage didn't look like it did before when he first came home from the hospital.  He also was having some brown crusty drainage from the exit site on the drain on his abdomen.  And he only had out 10cc's the past two days.  I don't know if that's a good thing (meaning the hematoma has resolved itself) or a bad thing (meaning it's clogged and needs to be replaced again).  It flushed beautifully and fluid would return right back out like it was supposed to.  Tim thought I should take him to the Urgent Care because of the drainage issue and probably a high temp would be coming on very soon.  I agreed and took Frankie to the Urgent Care.

The doctor at the Urgent Care was very nice and said, "he's had a big surgery and a complicated case. He should go back to the facility where all this happened and have them work it up."  He asked Frankie if he was OK to go by private vehicle and Frankie was.  The doctor said he would call ahead to the hospital and let them know we are coming.  So back into the car we went to the friendly neighborhood ER.  I was hoping to stay away from the ER, but no doing.  At the ER, his temp had climbed to 101.6.  They gave him some Tylenol, did two EKG's (because his heart rate persisted in the 150's range - probably because of the temperature.)  They cultured his blood and the fluid in the drain. They gave him 2 liters of IV fluids to rehydrate him. And he had yet ANOTHER CT scan of his abdomen to look for "pockets of pus" that would indicate abdominal infection.

By the time he a room on the 5th floor, it was nearing midnight and I was exhausted.  My right leg was cramping every five minutes and I think I have plantar fascitis forming in my left foot.  I had it a few years back in my other foot and they gave me a cortisone shot with lidocaine and it worked like a charm.  It even went away and I haven't had a problem with it since.  I'm not looking forward to needles in my heel, but you "gotta do what you gotta do" is my new motto!!!  And when I think about my hubby going through all he's gone through this summer, that problem just pales in comparison!  But yet he is always thinking and worrying about me.  He asks a million times how I am holding up with all this.  Anyway, as I was leaving the emergency room, I went the wrong way and had to re-route myself the right way.  By that time, my feet were just absolutely screaming!  I had tears in my eyes it hurt so bad.  Finally I got to the car and plopped down in the driver's seat - after I wrangled my walker into the trunk.

I still just feel positively exhausted, and I did manage to sleep a little last night.  I hope he won't be in the hospital for too long. You should have seen his face when the ER doc said he should stay, just to be on the safe side.  But what can you do?  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. LOL! A little humor among all the bleakness!!!

I should get ready to go to the hospital. Hope you all are well. I will keep you posted on the situation just I know it.  Thank you for all your kind thoughts & prayers.  We really appreciate it.

Until next post,

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