Survived Another Ordeal
Last Thursday Gorman’s incision began leaking. I nearly had a heart attack. After several hours of emails back and forth with Dr. Markert’s nurse practitioner, she said to go to the ER but she knew Dr. Markert would want us at UAB. So after five hours at the local ER, they transferred us to UAB. We politely refused the ambulance and drove to Birmingham, arriving at 3:30 Fri. morning. They drew blood and did blood cultures to begin looking for infection. Those cultures take several days to reveal anything so they began IVs of antibiotics and there we were over the weekend. His white count was ok so we were very hopeful. Dr. Markert talked about surgery to go in and “clean out” the area but Gorman had had an Avastin infusion two weeks ago and Avastin inhibits the body’s ability to heal so that pretty much ruled out surgery, fine by us. The Infectious Disease docs were called in. We were so hoping there would be no infection but on Monday the cultures showed some type of staph infection. This was quite a blow. Poor Gorman was so glum; both his arms were black and blue from blown out IVs and numerous blood draws. The decision was made to change his antibiotics, have a PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) line put in and send him home on antibiotics. This rig is amazing: a tube was inserted in his upper arm and the tip ends in a large blood vessel just above the heart. On the outside of his arm is a tube running to a little round ball that administers the drug to his system 24/7. I have learned how to change out the medication ball every day and we will have a home health nurse come once a week.
While in the hospital, he had bad headaches but now they’re under control with Advil and Lortab if necessary. More good news: he had an MRI Monday night and it looked good and clear; what a relief. So we were discharged last night and have to return in two weeks for check-up. The antibiotics will continue for six weeks.
After five days in the hospital, Gorman was so funny. We were driving to the drug store and he marveled at how green all the trees were and the beautiful sunset and fluffy white clouds. He said, “This must be what it feels like when someone gets out of prison”. We stayed in the hotel in Birmingham last night, both slept sooo soundly it was heaven, then headed home today.
Please pray that these antibiotics will rid Gorman of this infection. We all hear about the drug-resistant bugs out there and I’m trying not to think about that. Once again, our Lord sustained us through this ordeal. When things would get really bad, I would climb up on the bed with him, where he was covered in his prayer quilt, and we would hold on to each other and pray together and the peace would come.