Wednesday, April 12, 2006

And the saga continues on.....


So it is of course now Wed the 12th and the past week has been a whirlwind of crazy news, emergency surgery, and major setbacks with my leg. The story goes something like this so I thought I had a sprained ankle, right?, well it wasn't! By Saturday the 8th I couldn't handle the pain so I called my primary care family on-call doctor and she told me to go back to the ER and get my leg re-evaluated because I had a large red goose egg where the scar on my shin was. So back to Harborview around 12:45 and it took only an hour to get into the ER, it helped telling them I am a volunteer FF and an EMT. By the time I went back into the ER my nurse felt my leg and it was very warm to the touch. She ordered pre-op labs and started the ball rolling she was able to give me the right kind of pain meds to reduce the level of my pain. I had more x-rays and Ortho came down and checked me out. They made the decision to admit me and that I had to have surgery because I had a real nasty infection. The surgeons opened me to find the wound full of puss and infection. They cleaned me out and placed some anti-biotic beads to help fight the infection. I went up to my room after recovery and low and behold it was the same room that I was in back in October after my bone graft surgery in the East hospital wing room 618 this time bed two. So I was told that they were culturing my infection so that it could be targeted specifically and that I might have to have the "nail" (this is the rod that runs the length of my tibia holding it together) removed as the bacteria tends to bond to metal with no way to wash it off or remove it from the nail. So Monday the docs where too busy with traumas to get to me so I saw visitors and tried to manage my pain. Tuesday morning I was taken down to pre-op and my surgeons explained they found a strain of Staph bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus that is, what they explained as, a slow burning or slow building infection. It could have been laying dormant for months and my slip on Thursday may have burst a small blood vessel around my fracture site and bacteria loves and needs blood to grow and manifest itself??!!?? So my surgeons told me they were going to go in and clean out the wound, remove the nail (because it was coated with the nasty) and possibly either replace the nail with a new nail or with an external fixator (a halo, not an option I wanted at all!!) When I woke up they explained that were able to replace the nail, they bored out my tibia to get to new fresh bone and placed a slightly larger nail in place along with some antibiotic beads that they will remove when they redo the bone graph in a month or two. I am going to receive what is called a "PICC Line" or a semi-permanent Intravenous Line. The PICC line is a long iv catheter inserted in the brachial vein and threaded into the subclavian vein to allow central infusion of medication, in my case anitbiotics. The Infectious Disease (I.D.) doctors came by last night and laid it all out for me, no weight bearing of course, when I get discharged I will be on IV antibiotics for SIX weeks three times a day via the PICC line from home!!!
The good news in all of this crazy crazyness is that my Surgeon Dr. Lisa Taitsman has been on board and performed the nail replacement. She said she was now going to start to take an agressive approach to the healing of my leg! 1. Replace the nail with a slightly bigger (2mm) and stronger nail extending the fatiuge life of the weight bearing hardware. 2. Eliminate the infection with EXTREME prejudice via the IV antibiotic Nafcillin. 3. As soon as the infection is gone for good 6 to 8 weeks and I get the ok from the I.D. docs I go back under the knife for a new bone graph taken from my own bone out of my Femur, which should heal faster than the previous procedure using donor bone and my bone marrow.
Dr. Taitsman just came to visit and the last thing she said was that absolutely nothing I did or did not do contributed to or caused the events that have led to where I am today. Just that we are going to move forward from here. And looking back she wouldn't have done anything different than she has done up to this point.

I also found out I lost a very good friend, Brad Lewis, on Sunday to a heart attack. I will make a post for him soon....

2 comments:

TheJules said...

I don't get it - when do you get a break, man? You and Christy both; major kudos for your overall upbeat attitudes and ability to stick together through all the stuff you two have been through over the past few years.
--Da Jules.

Brandon said...

Jules Thanks so much for you comments, it helps! I figure that Karma is either gettin' me bad big time OR we have something really good in our future coming to us??