Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel . . .

Surgery is now on Monday. The wires and the unit are coming out. I am so done fighting this infection. It has taken so much out of me in such a short time. I mentioned that a month ago, I had ran to and from that appointment for about 11-12K at one of my fastest paces. Today, I could hardly make it to the office from the parking lot.

I don't know how much longer I could have waited. I probably would be dead.

Monday, November 23, 2009

911 call . . .

So here's the backstory in case anyone wants to know.

I've been having fevers and feeling weaker steadily since Thursday. Saturday night, everything went to hell. I started in full rigors, shaking, clenching teeth, the whole thing. I started taking acetaminophen to try and break the fever all night and started burning up in fever. I almost considered calling 911 during the night, but I figured that if I got some tylenol in me, I could get a handle on this.

By the morning, the fever was broken and I was drenched in sweat, but got up and let the dogs up when I passed out in the kitchen. Oops! The room was still spinning when I let the dogs in and fed them from the sitting position on the floor. I got up to find the phone just in case and fell again. Oops! This time, I knew the infection was probably in my blood. I wasn't sure how much time I had to be conscious, especially if this was sepsis so I had to make a decision. Time to call in the professionals. I unlocked the front door, put the dogs in the spare bedroom, went to go lay down and called 911. They were there within the minute from what it seemed to me. I had 4 fairly good looking guys all in my bedroom staring down on me. Of course, when something like this happens, your house is a mess (more messy than usual). I was just soaked in sweat. I looked sooo sick. They took me to the hospital right away. I was in an ER bed being treated within 30 minutes of calling 911.

Tons of blood tests, wound swabs, IV antibiotic and fluids, CT and chest x-ray later, the infection has finally spread to the lymph/blood. It took awhile! Just shows how stubborn I am. I kept an infection at bay (with IV antibiotic help) for two weeks. The infection still hasn't spread to my brain or my lungs yet and they wanted to admit me for more IV antibiotics (there are no beds in the hospital so I would have spend a couple of days in the ER), but I can do this at home (hell, I do it for a living). So now, I'm giving myself the IV Vanco and the IV meropenum. Home care and the pharmacy were a little upset I was being discharged, but everything is going well so far this morning and I feel weak, but no fever. The pain is worse around the wound and the lymph nodes around it are particularly sensitive, but the T#3s are okay for now. The great thing is my surgery will be moved up and I expect a call soon.

I have a whole team of unofficial home care nurses that are hard asses on me and a few official ones. Right now, I'm just laying low and waiting. Thanks for everyone's support. I'm just planning my next training programme and readjusting my goals. I'm planning on restarting this 100 runs in 100 days starting January 1st!

I will not let this get me down!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A little downturn . . .

I was half awake with a lot of wound pain and a fever all night. I might be pushing myself a little too much. I just finished working two shifts in a row, and maybe that is not such a great idea, but it really helps my psyche with this crap. I like putting my problems on the backburner and showing myself and my co-workers that this is nothing, that I can easily deal with this with humour and ease. But today is not such a good day. I feel really, really weak and shaky after last night. I took a T#3 for the pain this morning and am hoping it is helping with the feverish feeling. I have to walk to the nursing clinic and I am hoping I can do that with stubborn pride for myself at least. I thought Vanco and doxy could kill everything driving me down right now, but I guess this infection is going to take a lot out of me. I just wish this shit wouldn't just keep happening to me. I can only take so much before I break.

I have absolutely no appetite today except for coffee.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trying to help out Lorne & Mich!

This is for Lorne & Mich, to try and get the web bots to find their site. They raise and sell beautiful birds.

Check them out so the web bots will find them! Their new site isn't being picked up by search engines yet.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This just hasn't all sunk in yet . . .

I really don't think my situation has sunk in yet. I think it sneaks in every once in awhile. I tear up every once awhile when I think about it, then I pocket it away when I realize what is going on. I try and find a way to make this all the "new normal" and take pride in making all of this just part of my everyday life. But how can you?
A picture of my new PICC line in my upper right arm.

I got a PICC line put in on Monday. Everything went fine, but I was nervous leading up to it. I had to spend most of the day at the hospital for the PICC line insertion, then going to the ID clinic for my first dose of IV Vanco and doxycycline. The IV Vanco took 90 minutes! I wish I had brought a book or something though, because the time went by soooo slowly. I have not felt like reading lately, but maybe I should start ordering some books and start on them. Home Care came and saw me and said that all my equipment would be coming to the house. It arrived shortly after I got home. Medical supplies have taken over my house. Boxes and boxes. The bags of IV Vanco have taken over the fridge. I have an annoying little CADD IV pump that is easy to use (I've already found out the code and adjusted the times), but is really a pain to lug around.

The home care nurses are supposed to come and attach the IV CADD pump, change the dressings and the idea is to leave the IV attached to the PICC line for 24 hours and it is supposed to give me my two 12 hour doses, plus a TKVO dose during the day, but I can't handle having the little blood pusher attached to me all day, so I disconnect it and flush my own PICC line so I can try and live as normal as possible. I don't think the home care nurses have a problem with this (that I have encountered so far), since they know what I do for a living and they are too busy as it is, but I am trying to work as close to the surgery date as possible (a date I have not gotten yet).

I worked one shift with the PICC line in and I gave myself the Vanco during evening shift. An arm warmer helped hide the existence of the PICC line very sufficiently. My great co-workers changed my PICC line dressing for me also.

I am really, really sad and frustrated at the fact that I had to stop running Sunday. The pain is too great and you can feel the ripping through the skin of the chest, no matter what I wear on top of it. I am replacing that with speedwalking, but it just not seem to be the same. I just hope I can start running as quickly as possible after all of this is done. I am trying to keep up my milage just the same, but of course it's going to drop from the last month (my highest month and weeks ever were just previous). I would like to keep myself above 30K no matter what.

This is how far the stimulator has come out since my last dressing change.

PS: I woke up with absolutely no pain this morning! *cross fingers, cross fingers* I can hardly believe it. It's such a beautiful day outside too. I am sooooo very tempted to disconnect myself from the IV and go for a run. Really. Later on this afternoon though, when the IV is done and my next dressing change is done, I might just get into my running clothes and do another speedwalk around the neighbourhood and see how it goes and maybe do a light jog if things remain the way they are. I am just feeling so wound up I could really use a run for sanity.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fantastic weather . . .

It got up to 9 deg Celsius today so I had a great 9+K trail run. I wish I wasn't in so much pain though, I might have enjoyed it more. I'm going to have to take a hit and stop running trails and keep all the runs short and easy now because the pain is just too much right now.

Updated picture below. You can see the stimulator quite clearly now through my chest.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Where the runnin's at . . . .

Well, here in the middle of the sick cesspool, I tread water. I am determined to keep up the 100 day challenge (100 runs in 100 days) even through this health crisis mess that I find myself imbroiled in now. It's funny, how I look to the beginning of this blog, that my running started as a result of my last health emergency and it got me through that and made me a better person for it, and now I find running as a soliste to get through this one.

Today though, I pulled off 7+Km but I don't know how. The pain over the stimulator is insane right now. The small hole that all the drainage was coming out of has gotten bigger and you can actually see the stimulator through the hole in my chest pretty clearly. I don't know if the pain if from the drainage or the hole actually ripping, but it pretty much stops you in your tracks when you are running. Everything is pretty much bundled up pretty tight on my chest so there is no "bouncing" to aggravate the stimulator area, but I think the stimulator is doing its own bouncing in there in amongst its pool of filth that it is festering in. Uggh.

I promise to myself though, that if I do finally break this challenge, that I pretty much have to be dialing 9-1-1 while doing it. I have ran myself to the ER before though!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The New Verdict . . .

Went to see the Infectious Disease clinic guys and had an awesome talk with the MD there. I am to have a PICC line started on Monday first thing, get my first dose of Vanco, and get set up by the home care nurses bing, bang, boom. I will give my own doses, but I think they just want to arrange for my dressing changes and supplies.

The plan is to be on IV vanco and po doxy for two weeks, have the surgery to remove the stimulator but save the leads, go without the stimulator for about a month and continue with the IV meds, get reimplanted with the stimulator, continue with the IV antibx, until officially clear. That is awesome!

Here is the newest pic (warning to Joanne at this point . . . . )