Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The View From Oklahoma Heart Hospital

The Gadfly:
The View From
Oklahoma Heart Hospital
By Mike McCarville

TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Walked out of Oklahoma Heart Hospital at 8:30 tonight. Examination does not indicate any compromise of bovine valve. Will be on antibiotic at home for six weeks.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I am admonished: Carry this antibacterial hand sanitizing gel with you and use it every time you touch anything, human or not; wash often with soap and hot water; avoid crowds. At 4 p.m. today: a TransEsophageal Echocardiogram (TEE), which may tell us if my bovine heart valve has been compromised.

UPDATE: I have been diagnosed with MRSA, methicillin resistant staph aureus...in other words, a serious staph infection that the usual antibotics won't kill. Prognosis: More time here, then a PIC line (semi-permanent IV) for home health administration of antibiotics for God knows how long.

It is now Day 3 of my Third Stay at Oklahoma Heart Hospital since open heart surgery on July 6th. I've previously shared details of my previous two stays (1st stay, 12 days; 2nd stay 6 days), the second and this one due to complications.

This stay began on Friday morning with cold chills and a fever. Fever, of course, indicates infection and infection can do serious damage to the replacement (bovine) valve in my heart. When you've had open heart surgery, fever is a quick ticket to the ER.

I expected an overnight stay. Hasn't turned out that way. Antibiotics haven't yet killed the infection, the source of which we don't know. All my other vitals are good, but until we locate and kill the infection, I suspect I'll be here at the mercy of those in the medical field.

The last day I felt like myself was July 5th, the day before the open heart surgery. Nausea, dizziness, lethargy have been on my back. I've ascribed all that to the myriad drugs I am taking since I had no such problems prior to July 6th.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, I'll keep you posted on any important developments; have no intention of boring you with minor details.


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