B is the word.

By , on June 19, 2010

C Word

As I reported, on Wednesday I went back into the hospital with some bug and was clearly pretty sick.  “I suspect something Gram-negative” said the doc at SCCA, which would not be good.  Cultures were started while broad-range antibiotics were applied.  My temps continued to be high.  “It could be a virus” said the doc at UW, so I was put on contact isolation, meaning that anyone coming into the room had to wear mask, gown, and gloves, and I wasn’t allowed out of the room at all.  This handling is not conducive to feeling healthy and well-connected, let me assure you.

But like magic the antibiotics did the trick.  Within a day my temps were normal and stable, as were the other vital signs.  White counts were revving up.  I got four units of red cells over two days, which always helps. Blood cultures were positive for plain old staph (which is Gram-positive), but only that, so that was deemed to be the problem, and is well-known to be fixed by the antibiotics I’m on (primarily vancomycin, aka “vanco”).  Cultures after the first day have been negative.

With all of that suddenly I’m feeling rather … normal.  The most obvious improvement is in eating, where I had never eaten anything close to a proper meal after coming off the tube feeding over a week ago.  Now I can actually clean my plate, which with hospital food indicates an almost desperate appetite (though I have to say the Thursday night prime rib special was not too bad).  I had come to the hospital with a rather disturbing cough which had started during my previous stay.  That has cleared up too.  My energy level is good, especially when shouting at the TV regarding outrageous officiating mistakes.  I can march about the hallways dragging my rack behind me.

So where did the staph come from?  Was it due to profoundly poor house-cleaning by my caregiver, despite constant wiping of surfaces with bleach solution and nagging everyone to disinfect their hands?  Was it that dodgy deep-fried tofu?  Was it dog poop in the park, or too much exposure to people from Colorado?  None of those, said the docs, these bacteria live on the skin and can get into the blood in any number of ways.  Just one of those things, happens all the time, now that white counts are high it shouldn’t be a problem.  Breath easy, everyone.

It looks like I’ll be going home shortly (this is Day 24).  We’ll have to administer IV antibiotics (more vanco) at home for a few days which will be new but shouldn’t be onerous. There will be daily clinic visits for a while I guess, but with any luck this was the last hospital stay for a long time.  I’ve got pretty good at the hospital routine, but I won’t miss it.

Now begins the long climb up.  While going through all of this I have lost quite a bit of weight, and due to all the lying about it’s clearly mostly loss of muscle.  My poor arms and legs are rather skinny and flabby (though my fingers are strong and nimble due to all the blogging).  I can’t wait to get back on my bike, but will have to settle for the exercise bike for a while.  Lots of walks are in order.  I suspect the New Normal won’t be quite like the Old Normal, but I’ll take it in any case.

Also I have about 10,000 email messages to catch up on.

14 Comments to “Normalcy: I can see it from here”

  1. Mary says:

    That didn’t sound very warm and fuzzy, in retrospect. Hugs! Warm wishes! Good feelings! Laughs! All of the above and good food!!! Thinking of you!!! We’ll see you soon,
    M & B

  2. Mary and Bob says:

    Heya, Bob,
    Glad we are not email contributors cluttering up your account. We’d be up for scrabble when you and Eve are. Let us know when you’re feeling better,

  3. Brendan Bellina says:

    Yes, just forget about the 10,000 email. Or at least the 9,900 that are not from me 😉

    Glad to hear you are eating well again. Perhaps you’ll find that kneading dough is a decent arm workout.

  4. jane perara says:

    Who but you could entertain us from the hospital!
    So happy to hear you are feeling better!! Keep that supply of handy wipes available.. What a great wife you have!

  5. =JeffH says:

    Great news indeed. And in fact RLBob /is/ at home now (mon 21-Jun).

  6. Paul says:

    Welcome home, we’re all glad to hear it.

  7. rlbob says:

    New prediction: Final pits Uruguay v Paraguay. After 120 minutes and 50 PKs it is still a draw. Desperate for a conclusion the two countries decide to merge, creating a single champion, Puraguay.

  8. KevinM says:

    You might be able to see normalcy from your perch, but colleagues in France, Italy, England, and Germany need a new view. This is incredible! Can anything be counted upon anymore? What a tourney so far.

    Be good. Thinking about you.

  9. Butch Butler says:

    Hey cuz, people from CO are okay! All that clean mountain air and the like.

    Glad to hear you are doing well. And forget the 10,000. Ughh.

  10. Molly says:

    Uncle Bob,

    Can you believe this world cup? I am going nuts. Especially after just hearing all the drama surrounding the French! Drogba just scored against Brasil. Pretty exciting. Hope you continue to feel better!


  11. Bonnie says:

    Good news is!

  12. Lucy says:

    Much better! Several days with no blogging makes your friends worry! In Brussels for the ISOC Board where the Algerians party’ed all night after the UK draw.

  13. Judith says:

    phew!! (Breathing sigh of relief.) Hey, how about an elliptical machine. Good for arms and legs. Very nice. We’re thinking of you everyday. Love Judith and Arlen

  14. Arlen says:

    Whew! been holding our collective breath…

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