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Good News. Bad News. Cautiously Optimistic News.

Posted Jan 16 2012 10:33am
Good News. Skip's surgery went very well. In fact, they didn't have to grab donor flesh from her thigh to fill in the gap where the scar tissue had been. Not sure how they filled it in, but there's only one incision so no second site to cause pain, worry about, and have to heal.

Bad News. On Saturday afternoon when I was visiting, an infectious disease doctor came in. Not a good sign; they don't just visit to make nice-nice. Turns out the small wound actually had a tunnel that had gone down to bone and, while open to the world, the bone had gotten infected. We were glad the infection had been found so it could be treated rather than increase unchecked, but the news filled us with dread. After all, when Skip had the monster pressure sore two years ago, the bone infection she had then landed her in acute rehab for 28 days of twice daily IV antibiotics. Further, my understanding is that Medicare will not pay for IV administration in the home. Instead, you have to be in the hospital or rehab to receive it (to me, this makes no sense. It has to be much cheaper to have a visiting nurse come and administer the IV in the home rather than pay for all the trappings of a hospital or rehab setting.).

We were told that the bacteria was being cultured and, until the culture yielded results, they didn't know what the right next steps should be. It could be as easy as treatment with an oral antibiotic or as bad as IV antibiotics.

The potential of further hospitalization to treat the infection sent Skip into a tailspin. The plastic surgery residents told her she'd need to stay in the hospital until the results were known and a game plan devised. She was quite depressed while we waited 24-48 hour for further word of the culture results. The infectious disease doc stopped by yesterday afternoon while I was visiting to let us know the culture still hadn't yielded results.

Cautiously Optimistic News. This morning, Skip called me and she sounded surprisingly perky. Apparently, one of the plastic surgery residents had stopped by to tell her that the culture was in and it looked like it wasn't a superbad bug and treatment would be oral antibiotics. And, it was possible she could go home today; the release decisions are made around noon, so she'd get an update this afternoon. She was in great spirits as a result. I, for one, want to hear what the infectious disease doc has to say about the infection first, but I am cautiously optimistic for the simplest way to resolve the infection.

We'll know more in a few short hours.
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