This is an almost-quick summary of things here since my last update on Sunday, 9/13.
I saw my surgeon for a check-up that Tuesday, and she was concerned to see that the abdominal cellulitis really hadn’t improved, and seemed possibly even a little worse. She was also worried to hear that my GI issues had continued to worsen.
On Thursday, I talked with my Infectious Diseases specialist, and the stomach issues had worsened enough that he felt we should test for C. diff, but he also decided to stop my oral antibiotic since we all felt it was the most likely culprit causing those problems. I was very sick that day, but I did manage to get in for a therapy session for my neck. That pain had gotten so bad that I was struggling to sleep or even sit still. I have lost quite a bit of ground in the treatment of my subluxated vertebrae, but that session helped quite a bit.
On Friday, I had to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. By this time, the fatigue I’ve been struggling with was so severe that just getting showered and dressed left me too tired to even talk. I caught my breath a little on the drive to the hospital, but just walking into the hospital, once again, left me completely exhausted and caused every staff member who saw me to ask if I needed a wheelchair. It was really hard to feel so helpless and weak, and I was beginning to feel a little scared about what everyone might be missing as part of my diagnosis. It just didn’t make sense for me to be that tired.
I was taken into an OR, where they used fluoroscopy to get a good look at the drain and the deep abscess. And we finally got some good news.
That nasty abscess had cooperated beautifully with the drain and the antibiotics, and was almost completely gone. They were able to remove the drain. This was great!
I got a call from my surgeon on the way home. She and my ID doctor had talked and decided to stop all of the antibiotics, based on the results of the imaging. They reasoned that the medications had done their job on the deep space infection/abscess, and that continuing them wasn’t doing anything to address the remaining cellulitis in the abdominal tissues. Also, they thought that the high doses of such powerful antibiotics just might be what was causing the fatigue to be so bad. So I had no antibiotics at all yesterday or today. Just before I went to sleep last night, I also got more good news. The test results for C. diff were negative. Yay!
I couldn’t believe the difference in my energy levels already today! Even the kids noticed that I walked differently and had more color. I’m still very tired, the stomach issues are still with me, and the pain and bruising from the cellulitis remain, but I feel so much better! Scott and I actually did a slow, gentle twenty-minute walk in the neighborhood this afternoon, and I spent time resting in my beloved porch swing, just breathing in the fall air. And then another great thing happened.
My home health care agency sent a nurse to our house to remove my PICC line. I’m feeling more human by the hour now.
The plan is to just wait and see how my body handles everything in the coming week. I am scheduled to see both doctors on Monday, 9/28, and they want to see if, just maybe, my body will resolve the remaining swelling, bruising, and pain from the cellulitis if we give it a rest from the drain and all the strong medications. If things should get worse before then, I’m to call them immediately. Otherwise, we’ll see what things look like on the 28th, and figure out next steps then, if necessary.
God has continued caring and providing for us little by little. Someone anonymously left twenty pounds of sausage and twenty pounds of meatballs on our front porch, and this will help so much with our grocery budget in the coming week.
Another friend delivered tons of treats and groceries to our house today, and this was a huge blessing.
A dear friend from Scott’s and my newlywed days had these very special gifts sent to me just as an expression of love and concern.
I feel confident that yesterday finally marked a very real and official Day One toward healing, and I’m ready to keep moving forward.
And I hope to spend more hours in my porch swing in the coming days as my body tries to heal itself. Thank you more than I can say for all of the prayers and messages of love.