June 02, 2010

Way to Normal

Things are just now starting to get back to normal for Melissa and I. We've spent the majority of the month in the ICU of Gwinnett Medical Center - Duluth, including our 12th Anniversary and Mother's Day. So not the most appropriate place for celebration.

She went in on Saturday the 8th because she was still spiking 102 fevers and having upper respiratory symptoms, even after four days on Zithromax (one of the strongest oral antibiotics out there) so they told us to come into the hospital for an X-ray of her lungs to rule out Pneumonia. Guess what? Yeah, it was. So we had to check into the ICU. I had to stay with her of course, due to her ALS. So it was a week sentence for both of us. A couple days later we got the labs back and found out that it was MRSA, a drug-resistant infection caught mostly in.. you guessed it... HOSPITALS. So our extended stay in March probably gave her this as a parting gift and it's just been biding it's time. Luckily, it was the lung form of it, not the nasty skin lesion kinds, which was easier to treat. (But still not easy.)

I told the nurses that I'd heard of Viral campaigns to get people's return business, but never a BACTERIAL one! Heh. Hmph. Well, it seemed funnier when we were stuck back in quarantine.

Long story short: She got better, they released us on Friday, she got worse and we came back on Sunday. Stayed on the other side of the ICU floor from Sunday through the next Tuesday getting rid of ALL the nasty infection with some serious ass-kicking antibiotics that ended up kicking Melissa's ass along with the MRSA.

As I FaceBook'd, "The Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name should probably not be the local Hospital ICU". We got to know most of the nursing staff at that hospital, as most of them had us for at least one shift. I even sprained my foot jumping out of that awful hospital recliner I was sleeping in, when one of her alarms went off during the night, and when the tech came out to fetch me for the X-Ray of my foot, she said "Well, Hello Mr. Kern!" She apparently did some of those great 4 AM in-room X-Rays of Melissa during our stay there.

I was able to work half-days from the hospital thanks to an INCREDIBLY understanding boss and some awesome co-workers that had my back. And to tend to Melissa for that time, some members of our church choir came out to tend to Melissa and keep her company, which she really enjoyed. I also read the first two Percy Jackson and the Olympians Books (Love them!), and Melissa watched more back-to-back episodes of Law and Order and NCIS than anyone under 60 should ever watch.

In any case, we're home now, and I'm almost caught up at work. They had to play around with Mel's meds to allow the Uber-AntiBiotics, and the shake-out of that is never pretty, but we're starting to see the shores of Normal again.

My big gripe with the whole stay now? Besides the debt of sleep that I'm still working on, I gained 6 pounds eating cafeteria and vending machine food for two weeks. Ugh.

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