Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Valley Fever Whipped? Hug! Mission Impossible 3

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Much more good than bad news today!

THE GOOD: Latest tests for the presence of cocci (the Valley Fever fungus) came back empty. So it looks like that infection may finally be whipped. I assume they will keep her on the meds & do another culture or two in the future, just to be sure. The only other confirmed infection that we're currently dealing with is clostridium difficile, which has been detected in the stools (those of you sitting in chairs need not worry, I guess). I got the impression that it is something that can be dealt with and is not life-threatening at this point, as Denise is in no danger of dehydration. If I understood correctly, the only things she's currently taking for the infections are Amphotericin B and Fluconazole. The fancy ventilator that Denise was on has done all it can for her... she's been changed over to a more conventional vent mode (PRVC) on a different ventilator and so far is doing OK. This evening I was told by the respiratory therapist that today's arterial blood gas workup was perfect (essentially normal, as in a reasonably healthy person). The chest x-rays have improved. We can focus on rehabilitation and weaning from the ventilator. It's not currently thought that she has septic pelvic thromboflibitis (SPT). The fluid & ab swelling is most likely from lack of protein (think of what we've seen with starving children in Africa) rather than SPT. Someone from the Los Angeles County Health Department paid a visit to our house today. What's dealing with a government entity doing here among the good news? The rep was very, very nice. We were trying to pin down specific dates & places in relation to contracting the Valley Fever. The financial counsellor at the hospital said that it looks like we're covered 100% (Whew!).
My favorite thing: I got a hug! Denise flopped her arm over the side of the bed and was trying to hang onto me. I asked if she was trying to get a hug & she nodded. Pretty awkward with all the hoses & wires, but I was happy!

THE BAD: A couple of blood transfusions (while the blood gas was good, the blood composition is still very low in hemoglobin). Same colitis. Same massive protein requirements. More coughing than usual (it gets the crud up & out of her lungs, but it's really uncomfy for her). And of course, we still have months to go in the hospital.

On a side note, a movie scene will be filmed at the hospital overnight. They have palm trees in the parking lot, but the movie crew tied pine trees to them (a worker said the hospital is supposed to look like it's in Maryland). They also covered the hospital's sign at the car dropoff with a fake sign (I didn't see the name... it's covered). A volunteer told me that the movie is Mission Impossible 3 (hardcore fans of the TV series may be wondering why I didn't include this news of this movie sequel with the "bad news" paragraph above).
A nurse indicated that Tom Cruise would be there.
Filming starts at 4am Thursday.
Shhhh... don't tell anyone.


Blogger Sue said...

Fantastic news! It sounds like things are really starting to turn.

I had c. diff in 2003 and was in ICU from it. It is serious, but fully beatable. I am quite sure your doctors will be able to get Denise through that complication.

Take care and more prayers and well wishes on their way.

August 24, 2005 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is FANTASTIC!!! We were jumping up and down reading the improvements with Denise! Praise God! I truly feel that He heard our yelling and screaming Denise's name.

Please tell Denise that we say hello and that we miss her.

Rachel and Matt Treydte

August 24, 2005 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What wonderful news. We are so happy that everything is looking up. Hope the movie making doesn't disturb Denise. Just don't let Tom Cruise in to see her. That is liable to set her back some.

August 24, 2005 11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about that last note. I think Tom Cruise might do her good. :) You know he is PRETTY hot stuff. Ha! Ha!
I am thrilled to hear the GREAT news about Denise. Keep up the good work.
We are praying for you all. See you soon.

August 25, 2005 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing Grace!! What wonderful news. God is answering prayers in such a positive way. I don't know Denise, but she shows such a strong spirit. A beautiful woman.

The prayers keep coming.

Anita C.
Issaquah, WA

August 25, 2005 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Brigid Nelson said...

This is GREAT news. Denise is one tough cookie. I knew she would pull thru! Tell her I love her and the rest of the family. The Nelson Family all says that we love you guys and wish we could be there. God Bless!

August 25, 2005 11:10 AM  
Anonymous alyson and paul metzdorff said...

now joe can lbows for sure. I am so happy to hear about denise, all the doctors and nurses hardwork and the praying is really pulled off and of course we all knew it would. hope everything at the homefront is calling down a bit as well. we love you and we all miss you, be sure to hug and kiss denise for us. god bless.
alyson,paul and isabella

August 26, 2005 8:37 AM  
Anonymous alyson and paul metzdorf said...

sorry about the errors in the previous post...its a bit hard to type with a one year old sitting on your chest blocking the labtop screen

August 26, 2005 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is so wonderful that you are beating this Valley Fever. It's great that Tom Cruise is going to be in the Hospital but don't get to excited, Phil may get jelious. Ha Ha !!!
Were all praying for you Denise.
Phil you and the kids are in our thoughts.

Michele & Espie

August 26, 2005 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Hang tough and concentrate all your energy on getting better so you can go home and be with Phil and those two wonderful children you adore so much. I love you very much! Remind Phil or your Mom and Dad to call me when it's my turn to come out and help with everything. Preferrably when you are at home already and need "pampering". That way I can annoy you and you won't be able to get away from me. Ha! Ha!


August 26, 2005 12:52 PM  

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