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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dr.'s Rx = Rest and More Rest

Regarding Megan:

Friday evening Megan's tunneled central line was removed because of the bacterial infection it acquired. They placed a "temporary style" central line to give us access to administer the antibiotics that she will need for the 14 days after the daily blood cultures sampled return negative for further bacterial growth.

Our hope was that after the infected line was removed that subsequent blood cultures would no longer grow the bacteria because the infection appeared to be isolated to the central line catheter. The initial blood culture taken from a vein in her foot showed no bacterial growth.

Yesterday (Monday), we were told that the earliest we would be able to come home would be June 23 because that date is two weeks from when the infected line was removed. However, we found out this morning that new cultures taken over the weekend once again showed bacterial growth. These new samples were from the new "temporary style" central line they placed on Friday evening. Because of this, we will not be able to count the two weeks of antibiotics until future blood cultures stop showing bacterial growth.

As I mentioned in my post on Friday, the Infectious Disease doctors recommended placing a picc line instead of the "temporary style" central line. A central line was placed instead because Megan's surgery to remove the tunneled line was performed in an operating room during the evening hours. Picc lines are placed in flouroscopy (real-time x-ray) and the lab was already closed for the weekend. They decided it was better to go with the central line rather than try to use a smaller peripheral access because of the problems Megan has keeping them functional. It seems now though that since the new central line has also picked up this bacteria that we may go ahead and remove it also and place the picc line sometime this week.

The doctors are watching Megan's symptoms very closely and ordered an echocardiogram (ultrasound of her heart) and chest x-ray this evening to make sure the infection has not damaged her heart or lung function thus far. We do not have any evidence that this is the case. Megan looks good and has been resting peacefully. She even giggled a bit yesterday after they replaced her GJ tube (without any sedation) in flouroscopy.

Regarding Lori:

I found myself at the immediate care clinic yesterday because of complications with my bronchitis. After resting all weekend (I literally did not get out of bed), I was still short of breath, coughing, and very fatigued. I had a chest x-ray and found out that I do not have pneumonia. (Thank you, Lord!) I do, however, have a severe case of bronchitis. I was prescribed an antibiotic, some stronger cough syrup, as well as a rescue inhaler for my "coughing attacks."

Dr. K told me this morning that I need to get as much rest as I can while Megan is in the hospital so that I can get better for when Megan is ultimately discharged. Her exact words were "I already know you are a great parent. You don't have to prove anything to me by not leaving her (Megan's) side. This is going to be a long waiting game and you need to relax and get better." (Easier said than done, Dr. K.) However, I am trying my best. Tonight will be the fourth night in a row that I have not slept at Megan's bedside. It is not very easy for me to leave my baby, but the nurses have been good about calling me if they have a question or if Megan needs something.

My mom brought Monica for a visit last night (Monday) and will be going back home tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. While they were here, we learned how to SKYPE with my laptop. We spoke with my dad, Ken (who went home this afternoon to go back to work), my grandma, and our puppies. We were also able to show my dad and my grandma how Megan looked in her new pajamas in her hospital bed. It was really awesome to see and talk to them - the nurses were awed by our technology and thought it was really cool. We are so blessed that God has enabled us to utilize this service while we are away from home. I can still see the faces of my family members and feel comfort knowing that they are only just a simple "log-in" away.

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