Saturday, November 22, 2008

will this nightmare never end?

So I'm home! Yay, right?

I was home for maybe a half hour when a doctor called. They'd just missed me with this news: My latest blood culture showed an infection for something called gram-positive cocci. I probably got it through my Hickman. What's interesting is that when I was tested for this on Monday night, it was negative. When tested last night, it was positive. So I must have gotten it sometime during my stay in the hospital.

Here's some info from the Internet: Many gram-positive cocci are commensal organisms that cause infection only when they find their way into normally sterile areas. They are the most common cause of skin infections and a frequent cause of pneumonia and septicemia. Although generally susceptible to a broad range of antibiotics, certain strains have developed resistance to every available antimicrobial agent.

And can you guess the name of one strain of gram-positive cocci? Yes ... MRSA. We don't know that's what it is, but the fact that it's a possibility does not sit well with me.

This &%$#ing sucks.

What sucks more is that I have to go back to the hospital now and get an antibiotic through an IV. If it weren't the weekend, I could maybe do it outpatient, but I need the antibiotic infusion twice a day. Maybe ... I come home again tomorrow? I really hope so. My heart is breaking at the thought of leaving this warm, lovely home for another night (at least) at the hospital.)

I am just beyond angry about this. I really believe I picked up this infection at the hospital. Do I have any legal recourse here? Lawyers, please let me know.


LutherLiz said...

That does %&$@*ing suck! You are in your prayers and I'll check with Chris about legal stuff. He can do some research for you. In the meantime I hope it isn't MRSA.

battynurse said...

Definitely sucky. I don't know about legal recourse but my understanding is that if you pick up a nosocomial (hospital acquired) infection the insurance does not pay and basically the hospital has to cover the subsequent bills.

Almamay said...

Oh no. I hope the antibiotics do thier job. Keep strong and sending you love.

Can't help on the legal side as I'm a UK solicitor.

Cibele said...

I am so sorry. I hope that the antibiotics work and you can go back home as soon as possible. HUGS

APB said...

Oh Emilie.
Let me be angry for use good/positive thoughts to get well quickly! I'm so sorry this is happening.

Madwoman of Preserve Path said...

Emilie: Hang in there, honey. You're probably not feeling like the strong woman everyone tells you that you are. But you ARE strong in ways none of us has ever experienced. In this season of thanksgiving, I praise you for showing us humor, love and persistence throughout this ordeal. How you do it, I don't know. I know it stinks to have to go back to the hospital, but they can help you lick that infection so you can have a happier holiday. If there's anything you need (sappy comedies? a good "beach read"? a massage by these inexperienced hands?), don't hesitate to ask.

liz said...

Oh no! I really hope it's not MRSA - horrible. I'm not well-versed in Minnesota health care law but I would think you should definitely consult an attorney who is. Many hugs & prayers...

Katie said...

Oh, Emelie. ugh. I'm so sorry & frustrated for you. I continue to say lots of prayers for you.

Emily said...

How incredibly frustrating! Some choice words certainly come to mind for me as well (which I will refrain from posting here). I hope that the antibiotics work quickly so that you can go home ASAP. As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Ames said...

Oh no! That sucks big time. I hope the antibiotics do the trick.

Yes you CAN sue if you contracted MRSA from a hospital. And you have an even more solid case because they tested you and it was negative and then they tested again and it was positive. Most people don't get tested twice so it's hard to prove they would have contracted it from the the hospital usually has the upper hand in a lawsuit. But your case is different!

Sue their balls off I say! :) OK did I make you smile yet?
Em I have so much to say but I don't want to take up all of your comment space! BLAH!

OK talk to you soon!


Michele (Moosh) said...

Oh no! Oh no oh no oh no! What next???

OK, surely the bad stuff must come to an end now---you're on your way up!!!

Damnit. I'm going to call Gregory House STAT. He's intelligent, witty and hot. Try to overlook his poor bedside manner. ;-) You'll be so busy coming up with comebacks that you won't have time to focus on any of this stuff!


Us plus 3 said...

Grrrr - a good grr and a scowl on my face - damn this sucks to hear, and I know it sucks even more to have to live through it - So as always, I'm thinking of and praying for you and those 3 boys of yours! Hugs, kisses and warm wishes! :+)
Heather H

Barbara said...

Oh no! This is just unreal, just one thing after another. From what I've read, I gather a large percentage of people who get things like MRSA (which I'm praying it's not) pick it up in the hospital, because that's where superbugs like to hang out. Nice to go into the hospital to get better and wind up sicker, because of said hospital.

Sue their pants off. But more importantly, get well, honey, so you can go home to all three of your boys. Thanks for keeping us posted. You are, of course, in my prayers, and Fiona sends big sloppy wet doggie kisses.

Stacey said...

You can absolutely sue for medical negligence/malpractice for acquiring MRSA in a hospital. And you would have a decent case at proving you got it at the hospital. You usually have 2 years to sue on this kind of case, but I'm not a medical malpractice lawyer. I'm not practicing law anymore, but I could help refer you to someone. (from St. Paul Mothers & More group). Spending time in litigation can be pretty horrible, but this might be the kind of thing where they would settle reasonably quickly.

Julie said...

Hang in there, Emilie! This, too, shall pass. I know it really stinks right now. I don't blame you for being angry especially since you just got home and now have to return. I'm so sorry! I'm praying that the antibiotics do the trick and that you're back home soon.

Betty M said...

Oh that really sucks. Even if it is not MRSA it is still one thing you didn't need. You probably do have a good case (the US and UK legal systems aren't too far apart in this field) but one thing I would suggest is to get someone else to get involved with the hospital legal lot - you don't want to be doing that as well as fighting off the infection and dealing with chemo etc. - the lawyers are basically interested in keeping the hospital payouts low so it is not necessarily in their interests to make the process painless.

Amy M said...

Emilie - I am so sorry to hear about this and hope it isn't MRSA. I hope you are home again soon. It must be beyond frustrating for you. You have been such a trooper this week.

L said...

Emilie, I'm SG's wife from I've been following your blog, along with Joshua's -- I feel like we share a crazy kinship. What's with this rare, venomous cancer with a predilection for the incredibly loving parents of small children? (I sense we'd all like each other anyway, writers and zealous Obama supporters -- couldn't we have just met at a conference or something without THIS?) My heart unspools a little more with each piece of your news. So, with little else, I just wanted to offer that if you or your husband (or, Josh, maybe Kim?) want to get in touch with someone in this too email me through SG at his blog. I'm open to sad thoughts, crazy rants, whatever.

FYI, regarding MRSA, I realize this might not apply to you, but if it eases the fear at all, it's been omnipresent in my family since this began (even the kids and I have gotten infections); it's been quite treatable, not the total monster it's made out to be.

Spinning a "nightmare" as you say into anything else is not exactly my forte. But a recent quote from my new hero did suddenly come to mind: "While we breath, we hope."



Sue said...

What a cruel twist. I hope they are able to get you home again soon.

otrey3 said...

Groan! Well, they caught it early and can treat it quickly and aggressively, even though it meant another overnight (hoping only one).

This sounds like it belongs in the "You're F-n kidding me?" category of your life, doesn't it? So I like the comment to let us be angry for you and you focus on the good things, like the boys and Steve and going home and the soft grey light outside today.

Oh, and my sister got yelled at by a nurse there last year when she tried to change a diaper on the floor due to space constrictions in the room, and a nurse passed her a note (???) telling her the hospital had staph and to get the baby off the floor right away.

Wouldn't ya think a good bleach cleaning between patients was in order?

Anyhow, I'm taking up too much room again.

--Laura S.

Lisa said...

Ugh! You can't catch a frickin' break! You're in my thoughts, and the thoughts of all the folks on the board that formed post MSN-TTC. Stay strong, Emilie!

MrsSpock said...

The legal ramifications I don't know, but I can tell you that most hospitals have terrible problems with resistant bugs.

What all docs and nurses should be doing: washing their hands and applying gloves before contact with you (especially since you have cancer), washing their hands before leaving your room, wiping their stethoscope off with alcohol before using it on you, wiping off your IV port before every IV push or IV hookup.

It is totally OK to say, "Excuse me, but you need to wash your hands."

A big problem with MRSA is that it's becoming endemic in the community now, and people have been leaving the hospital unknowingly infected with it and then getting readmitted. In my most recent ICU, we had started testing people on admission, to catch it before it can be spread all over. Most hospitals are likely moving toward doing this- the sooner the better.

You should not have to lose a moment of being with your boys.

I hope you get to go home soon!