Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Better news for a change

Hi everyone:

Since it always seems we're sharing news that's either bad, terrible or even worse, let's depart from the norm for once and offer some good news. It appears that Patty has conquered the infection that brought her to the hospital on Sunday. Her last couple of rounds of cultures have been entirely clean of the bacteria klebsiella pneumoniae; the speed of her response to antibiotics has surprised even her doctors. Barring any major setbacks, Patty should have her PICC line re-implanted tomorrow, and could be released before the weekend.

In hindsight, we are so glad that the decision was made to admit Patty on Sunday evening; had she gone home to tough things out, we might be facing a much different situation right now. From what I have been able to research about this particular bacteria, its impact on the body is not a pleasant one, and its presence can quickly make a person suffer greatly. I'll spare you the gory details, since they no longer seem relevant. Thankfully, Patty was able to mostly dodge that bullet -- although I will be happy never to again witness what I saw Sunday evening.

Of course, all silver linings for Patty these days are a bit frayed and in danger of tearing, so here are a few of the not-so-joyous aspects of her current state. She has been battling crushing headaches, which doctors believe are the result of her body thinking it still needs to combat an illness that is no longer there. They will be increasing her pain medication for the shorter term to give her some relief; this will include an IV medication that Patty can control the amount of, to a certain extent. As a precaution, doctors plan to do another CT scan of her brain and neck to rule out any other problems.

She has been taken off Cytoxan, which her transplant team believes suppressed her immune system enough to leave her vulnerable to infection. This choice likely will have some implications in terms of reducing her antibodies, but that's an issue best left for another day.

Our neighbor Trish graciously brought the kids to the hospital for a visit last night, and sat with Patty for a visit (even though Patty dozed through much of it, as is her wont.) Kathleen continues to be on hand to help in every way possible, both at the hospital and in our home. Neil has been visiting for yesterday and today, and has proven once again to be a confidante when I need to be a bit weaker in my perspective on the world. Patty has also been visited by five of her students, which I think has helped her feel connected to her life before talk of transplants and such.

Tomorrow, I'm taking the kids to the Barenaked Ladies concert. Originally, Patty had planned to attend the show, but clearly now will not be able to go, under the circumstances. Management for the band very generously agreed not only to allow the kids to attend the show, but also agreed to a meet-and-greet before the band takes the stage. I hope this will be a pleasant distraction for the kids, because the past few days have been hard on them. I'm really wishing the show was happening while Devin and Colin were in town, but I've learned that you can't control everything in life, in spite of your wishes.

That's all I have to report for now. Thanks again to all for your kind thoughts and gestures.



Trish said...

I am so happy for you and your family!! You are such a tough lady Patty and all that know you, I am confident, feel the same way. Although your hospital room is georgeous, and appears to be somewhat of a high end hotel room, as you say, it is still a hospital. I know that being at home with your family is the greatest comfort to you. So once again, you have left your doctors heads spinning, I would expect nothing less. We look forward to your return home and pray that the next time it is necessary for you to be hospitalized, it will be to receive the "perfect heart"!!!!

Denise said...

Great News!! Lord knows you guys certainly were overdue for some of that.

So, now that you may be home for the weekend Patty, got any cravings?? Brownies, Cookies, Chocolate or perhaps something savory like my Mom's Italian gravy with some pasta?? You just let me know......A promise is a promise!

Connor was telling me this morning about the concert tonight, he certainly seems to be looking forward to it.

Keep getting better!!

Kevin said...

I didn't know you could get pneumonia from kielbasa. I'm glad Italian sausage apparently isn't as dangerous. I'm glad the infection is cleared up, especially since the last time I saw Patty she was decked out ala Butch Cassidy with her mask.

Shari & Ron Kaad said...

We're sorry to hear about the infection but so glad to here you, once again, came out OK!!! Patty you are one tough lady!!! Remind me to never mess with you... You have been challenged so many times and have impressively come thru. Your will to survive is truly an inspiration. Brian and I spoke about a week or so ago about getting together. We will defintely need to plan something when your stronger. Perhaps sometime between Thxgiving and Xmas. We'll give you a call and you decide what and when you feel like doing. Everyone misses you at the club. Brian's like a lost puppy dog without you! His love for you is so strong--you just feel it when he talks about you.

As always, are thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Love, Shari & Ron

Ashley said...

It was so good to see you guy's. Just wish it would have been under better circumstances.