Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fasten your Seatbelts Kids

Fasten your Seatbelts Kids

How can it only have been four days since I took the time to blog. How can only four days have gone by when so much has happened? I just don’t slow down, not even for four days to happen.

We spent Wednesday night in our new “home away from home” Sinai Hospital. I got a little bored/antsy and took some pictures of the room. I know, how weird is that? My room is huge (compared to most hospital rooms) besides there just being a bed and side table for me there is a complete sitting area with couch and chair. In the stand up closet there are four folding chairs and even with these out, there would still be room for more. One really great thing, (and very convenient for the nurses I would think) is there is a nurse work station in each room. Each patient’s room has a station for the nurse equipped with a computer and basic supplies. Instead of having to trudge back to the nurse’s desk to check something, they can just check it right in your room.

To start with Thursday morning I had a CT scan. You will start to see a theme with me and CT’s so don’t worry it’s not a typo. Then the dreaded Spinal Tap/Lumbar Puncture. I will not go into to many details, because frankly I don’t want to relive that even in my head again. My opening pressure from the LP was 31. Whoooooooo…..Not Good….Really Not good. If you remember most “normal” peoples opening pressure is between 10 and 18. Not 31.

This is when I knew, this is when all the thoughts and concerns I had were confirmed.
I am sure some people thought I was insane or panicking for being back in Baltimore so soon. I am sure the thoughts crossed everyone’s mind when a little over a week ago I started complaining about my neck being sore, or just feeling crappy like I had the flu. At home I would randomly run a low grade fever of 99 or 100, discussions were had about that not being a “real fever”. I am sure everyone thought I just need to get a hold of my self, after all it had not been that long since I had the revision surgery. But with an opening pressure of 31 I knew that I was validated with my concerns. If there is one thing I have learned it is to trust your body. I know one heck of a lot more than anyone else about it.

So now that we have blood drawn and spinal fluid drawn it is a wait and see game. We wait and see if any infection or bacteria grow within the sample. This could take 3-4 days. By this point my neck has become my worst enemy..LOL…seriously. I never knew that my neck could possibly hurt as much as it did but WOW. It is to the point that I have very little range of motion and it just throbs. Friday morning brings another CT scan, okay strange. The Doctors now want to send me over to the Keager Eye Center for a full eye exam. This is connected right beside Sinai Hospital and I and my transportation friend hit the halls. Know let me remind you that I just had a lumbar puncture yesterday…that is a very important point right now. My transportation friend drops me off (I am in a wheelchair and stay sitting there) in the waiting room, signs me in, hands over my medical chart and I sit. I sit, and sit some more. Now let me just say that my Nurse had some into my room right before I left and told me the Eye Doctor wanted to se me know!! So I figured I would go in wait maybe 10-15 minutes and then be seen. As I sit in my wheel chair I have found a clock on the wall, you know just to glance at every now and then. But as I sit in the wheelchair I start to get hot, and that old familiar feeling of slight pain runs across my forehead. I also feel sharp pain in my back. Hmmmm, lets see I have just had a lumbar puncture less than a day ago and here I am trying to sit up in a chair…Guess what folks? It really does not work that way. I look at the clock 30 minutes have passed. I sit there and honestly try to tell myself I can do this, but my body is saying otherwise. I look at the clock and 45 minuets have passed, I can’t so this anymore. I am in a cold sweet, my head is pounding so bad that I am unable to keep one eye open anymore, my back is starting to arch and worst of all I am extremely nauseas. Thankfully this is when a nurse sees me and tells reception that I need to get back to my room. There is some flash of argument that I will be seen really soon, but thankfully the nurse will hear none of this. By the time I got back to my room, I was a mess. In complete tears already, seeing Mom, Dad and Wes sent me into hysterics. I can’t remember the last time I was in that degree of pain. I know all this is due to the lumbar puncture but still geesh… I will save you all the details of the rest of this day because #1- they are not pleasant and #2- the Charge Nurse ended up having to be called into this mess and really strong narcotics were needed to make this nightmare stop.
To say the least, the rest of the day…..I have not clue what happened. I woke up and it was Saturday.

Saturday came and I was off for another CT, this time with contrast. What is going on with all these CT’s, I am not sure, but intend to find out. We met with Dr. D and she let us know that the cultures from the blood and from the LP were not growing anything yet, which was somewhat surprising. To be on the safe side though she wanted to get a CSF fluid sample closer to the brain, and that would be in the shunt reservoir. She felt like she needed to get a clean sample. She cleaned to top of my head with bedodine and after draping she used a long needle and pulled the fluid out of the reservoir.

The rest of the day was pretty mindless and we all thought that nothing would happen (surgically) for three or four days. After all, it would take that long for the new fluid sample to show any infection Wes was scheduled for a three trip so he went home to get ready for that and Mom and Dad planed for Dad to fly home on Sunday night.

Sunday came and I was off to another CT. What gives, what’s up with all the head CT’s? Turns out they are using these to also watch for infection by changes in the brain….DUH.
So the day is mostly going by pretty boring? Mom had just gotten the confirmation on Dad’s flight home when my room door opens and Dr. D’s PA comes in. She bypass’s everyone and looks at me and says “When and what was the last time you ate”. Well, the last time at ate was at 9:30 and I had a blueberry muffin and coffee. I guess the obvious question of “Why” is on my face. The sample culture from my shunt reservoir has started to grow, it is an infection. This means that my shunt is infected and is way to close to my brain and this sucker has to come out fast. She tells me she has to check in with Dr. D. and let me know. I stand there with a look of shock on my face for about a minute and thinking wow this is happening really quick.

First things first. I have to call Wes and let him know. When I call him he is ten minutes away from the airport and fifteen minutes from checking in. I gave him a brief run down of what was going on and wham he was off the phone with me to make calls. About that time Dr. D’s PA came back in to let us know that surgery would be sometime after 2 o’clock on Monday. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight. What a long night that was.

Monday I tried to stay calm, key word try. So as I am sitting there cruising on the internet and out of the corner of my eye I see someone walk into my room. When I look up guess who I see? Trey, my big brother…can you believe he drove all the way from North Carolina just to see me! Know let me re-phrase that. I can believe he would do something like that because that is just the type of person/brother he is. But still, he was there. He was there to cheer me on. It almost made me cry. I had to get out of bed and give him a huge hug!!!!

So we wait, and wait and wait. 12 o’clock turns into 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock turns the corner into three. Now my nurse has told me that they will give me an hour or so “heads up” before they come get me. HA HA…yea right. Mom and I are talking about something and there is a knock on the door. Two ladies dresses in OR scrubs are there and say they are ready to take me to surgery!! So much for that hours heads up, LOL.

I will continue the rest of this and tell you about the surgery in the next blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment