Medical update – 111909

I just got the heebie-jeebies scared outta me.

Pop has a bacteria nicknamed MRSA. By definition, MRSA (pro: MER-sa) is resistant to antibiotics. It is usually carried on the skin. Sometimes it jumps on an abrasion or cut and grows to a big blister. It’s highly contagious. It can be treated. The unanswered question in the medical community is whether or not the infection actually ever goes away even after “successful” treatment.

From this point forward, any medical facility in the Moses Cone Hospital System will treat Pop as if he has an active case. He has it in his urine. It has not manifest itself in any outward or other way.

When the test result came back with MRSA, the hospital staff began to enter the room only with gloves and gowns. That was just after I left for a few hours to do errands, visit Mom and some staff at Piedmont Place, and visit Lisa at home.

Pop had an irrational afternoon (not uncommon in this setting), and I returned in time for the kickoff of the Carolina/Miami game only to find that it’s not available on broadcast TV. Instead, I spent time with the charge nurse learning about MRSA, and wishing I had known more before leaving early this afternoon.

So I’ve been watching the staff this evening and how they’re dealing with this. They don’t seem scared at all: just careful. Any time they deal with Pop’s urine (as I did all last night), they’re gloved and gowned. And tonight, I will be, too. That and hand-washing with soap after each contact even with just his skin, and frequent use of hand sanitizer.

That’s the main story of the day. Otherwise, Pop had a good night last night (apart from hourly potty breaks), and he seems to be responding well to his meds. Fluid samples were routinely taken at 5am. An ultrasound was performed on his kidney, and an x-ray was taken of his chest. This was followed by visits by the hospitalist and the urologist. All this before 7am. Then the Administrator of P-Place dropped in on Pop and brought a nice “Get Well” balloon.  Her visit was much appreciated by Pop and by me.

When he sleeps deeply, Pop makes motions with his hands that appear to be knitting. He also appears to put something into his mouth, then directly throws that something away from him. Interesting.

As for the snoring, it really wasn’t much of an issue last night; just a mild high-pitched wheezing/gurgling sound. Actually, Pop said that I was making that sound. It turned out to be the sound made by the IV apparatus.

On the more serious side, he’s been asleep for a couple of hours as I’ve been writing this. Pop has a bad case of sleep apnea. I would guess that his airway blocks about once each minute for maybe 20 seconds.

I have a lot more yet to learn about this MRSA thing and about how to act and react. On one hand, it is definitely serious. On the other hand, it’s not the end of the world.

Pleasant thoughts, huh? Fred

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About FredMarx

Old enough to have wisdom; young enough to learn.
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