Susan Kosmailed me at 2 a.m. this morning with this news:
I just got to check my mail and found your post and then your diary. I am still in tears as I type this, tears of gratitude and comfort.As some of you know, Susan from 29's husband Ed had a sore back that was misdiagnosed as muscle strain three times before they went to the E.R. due to unbearable pain, where another x-ray showed a fractured vertebra.
First, I am in good shape financially, and we have both Medicare and Tricare for Life insurance to cover all of Ed's care, as well as any co-pays or deductibles. And, his adult daughter drove out from Chicago three weeks ago to help. She is still here and has been a treasure who has two cats at home and an English Bulldog that came with her. My cats aren't quite sure what to make of the dog, but they love the daughter. We also have close friends in the area and his family nearby.
The TEE was cancelled as Ed became hypoxic before they could insert the camera probe into his esophagus. Full body scan with radioactive isotopes was done that showed a concentration of the infection in the thorax area, around the heart. He has a metal aortic heart valve that MRSA has an affinity for. Since they were unable to do a simple TEE, he is not a candidate for another valve replacement.
Tonight a new chest X-ray showed that the infection has attacked his lungs, making the valve replacement a moot point. I'm not sure how long we have left, but I plan on returning to the hospital tomorrow morning, early.
It has occurred to me that if hospitals had to pay for the cost of treating this hospital borne infection, perhaps out of CEO salaries and corporate dividends, we would probably see a lot less of it.
Irony: the reason that three doctors diagnosed muscle pull was that he had a full body bone scan on Feb 12th, looking for cancer mets as a routine part of his prostate cancer care. The scan came back negative for metastasis and did not show the compression fracture. There was no reason to suspect that it was anything more than a muscle pull. It was only when the pain became so intense that the ER doc looked for trauma to the spine and wanted another X ray. Bad timing. And then bad luck to pick up the MRSA.
Thank you for the diary and for all of the amazing support the commenters provided. It will make tomorrow much easier. I hope to be able to share it with Ed.
BTW, yes, we do hail from THE 29 Palms, known and loved/hated by all Marines. Someday I'd like to write a diary about the Marine who married the hippie and lived happily ever after.
Thank you again for that wonderful diary that will mean so much, not just to me and Ed, but also to the family. I'll keep you posted.
Surgery on Ed was scheduled. This is from Thursday, March 22:
The surgery on Ed's back turned up another infection, an abscess inside the bone. He is now on more IV antibiotics and I am spending my time in hospital with him.And on Monday, March 26:
The MRSA infection has pushed him into congestive heart failure. I don't have a prognosis yet.And yesterday, March 30:
His MRSA has failed to respond to four out of six possible antibiotics that are supposed to cure it. We are waiting on further tests to see if there are other abscesses hiding out in other organs and his heart was examined during a transesophegeal echocardiogram this afternoon. Results on that may be in tomorrow.She did tell me to feel free to share this with you all, so let's invite The Great Orange to start using its formidable supportive and healing powers. Songs, prayers, dance, cookies, warm thoughts, cold beer - whatever you use for positive energy, please extend it toward Ed and Susan.
My focus has been laser-like on his well being, and I am either at the hospital or driving the two hours back and forth every day.
I don't know if there is a financial need; if so I'll add a call and link.
Since I'm not very good at this, it would be great if you could republish this to any groups you may think will appreciate it.