Thursday, October 13, 2005

Amphoterrible started, Past MRSA mentioned

Denise was off the vent a long time and talking again today, but was a little more tired than yesterday. I can't blame her, with all the strides she's been making. I felt important... I got to pop the speaking valve on & off, inflate & deflate the tracheostomy cuff (though when I left, I think it might have had a leak... I hope I didn't break it). I also got to help hoist her from the chair into the bed. During suctioning of the mouth, she said, "I don't need your help... I'll do it." She held the sucky thingie and vacuumed her own mouth out. While my nurse aunt & I went for lunch, the prayer moms from my school showed up to have mid-week church at Denise's bed side. She's been looking forward to that for several days. Denise was pretty tuckered out by the time they were leaving. She said that their visit was wonderful and she felt special. Then she started dozing. She was put back on the vent at 4pm, with the intent to keep her on until midnight. At that time, they'll take her off the vent and see how she does. The doctor wanted to be sure to be there when she got tired.

Doctor today said that he heard Denise chatting up a storm, and he though, "Gee, there is a person in there." Hearing her speak seemed to allay his concerns about her mental state. Good. The straight-up Amphotericin (not Ampho B) is going to start. They're going to try to get a gram of the stuff into her, going at 60mg per day. That'll take over two weeks, and she'll be feeling pretty lousy the whole time, as this version of Ampho has harsh side-effects. He thought her two biggest issues now are the heart & the fungemia. No fungus is culturing out right now. But he said that a small percentage of autopsies showed that patients died with a fungal infection that never showed up in cultures. So he's not taking chances with Denise. The lungs seem OK, no pneumonia. He also made mention that she had MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) in the sputum on admission, but it's not there anymore, according to the I.D. doctor. This is the first that I recall hearing about that. Scary, but I'm glad it's apparently over. The I.D. doctor said she's on Primaxin & Amikacin to cover the bacterial infections, and on Vfend & Ampho for the fungal infections.

Heart rate was still high (130s-140s), REALLY high tonight (150), and the nurse was on the phone to the doctor. Blood pressure was great all day. Fevers were below 101 the whole time I was with her, but was up to 103 tonight... possibly partly due to the Amphoterrible.

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that the school parent that works as a surgeon at USC popped by to check Denise while I was was there (he does rounds every day; we just miss each other quite a lot). He's a really upbeat guy, and it greatly encouraged Denise to hear from him all the progress that she'd made. He wears a white coat, which in Denise's mind gives him more credibilitythan me in my cheerleading costume, saying "Atta girl!"). Between that and the ability to speak, she had a much better day yesterday than the previous two days, in which she felt that she'd never get better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news! I'm here in Coalinga praying.

October 14, 2005 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Methodist Hospital employee and had the pleasure meeting Denise in the very beginning of her illness. I speak for many of us over at Methodist - your entire family is in our thoughts and prayers and every day many of us read your blog and cheer with you that she is doing better. Atta Girl and you definetly get an atta boy!!!

October 14, 2005 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"PRAISE THE LORD!" What a joy to hear of so many improvements Denise...I'll keep praying and praising the Lord, and you keep improving!

Phil, it is such a blessing to see what a wonderful husband/father God has guided you to be...keep leaning on Him and I'll keep praying for you all.

Athens, GA

October 14, 2005 6:46 PM  

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