Sunday, April 06, 2003


Stardate 56040.6 (4/6/2003)
The last entry was cut short by a phone call. I’m going to discuss that call and the results in detail in this entry. I will finish what I was doing before in another entry.
The phone call was from IHC. A Dr. Middleton stated the culture from my foot had grown out something ‘strange’, his exact words. From him I learned a new term; MRSA. I’ll have to look up the exact meaning of the acronym, but basically, it means the staph infection is antibiotic resistant. He told me to get to an emergency room now. I immediately started thinking of the things I needed to do for this. He must have interpreted my silence as reluctance, because he told me I had to go. I called my wife April home from work. She called a friend to watch the kids and we went to the hospital.

The ER staff looked over my foot, and the ER doc, Les Greenwood, talked to Dr. Middleton. Since all my vitals (temperature, blood pressure) were fine, they were puzzled. For the first of many times, I was asked if I was diabetic, had been in the hospital in the last year, and how much it hurt (which was not at all). I was checked into the hospital and at 2 am was started on three powerful antibiotics, to be repeated every twelve hours.

The next new term I learned was contact isolation. This meant anyone coming in the room was supposed to have a gown and gloves on. Nothing taken into the room could be taken out again. This was for the protection of other people admitted to Ray Meyer tried to bring some games, but the staff would not let him. He did bring some ADVOTs. This went a long way to relieve the boredom for the first two days. I also brought a book, The Eugenics Wars, Volume 2, by Greg Cox. It turns out this was a mistake on my part.
The puzzlement continued. The same questions above were asked repeatedly. I got the impression I was supposed to be very sick, and they could not understand why I was not. I also heard various tales about what was wrong. April said some of the people in the lab were thinking I would lose the small toe. I heard it was a necrotizing bacterium, the flesh-eating bacteria. This was mentioned as a weapon Khan intended to use in the book, hence the poor choice of title for escape.

The worst part was the needles. Most people hate being poked with needles. I get uncontrollable shivers. They moved the IV needle twice. First from my right arm to my left hand. I asked repeatedly to not do this, because this is the hand I write with. So day two I worked on the ADVOT’s with a needle in my hand. By the 2 am IV time, my hand hurt badly. I mentioned this to the CNA, and he proceeded to stick a new one in my other hand, LEAVING THE ONE IN MY LEFT. The duty nurse yanked (and I mean yanked, I saw the needle bend) the one out of my left. So much for doing the ADVOTs. My hand hurt just moving my arm. It still hurts now, just not as bad. I used to think my fear was silly, but not anymore.

I was in contact isolation in a room with two beds. This does not make sense from an economic standpoint, since they could not put anyone in the other bed. So they moved me to a room with a single bed. They did not inform anyone of this. Therefore, a number of friends were calling around trying to find me, and my dinner came late, because they delivered it to the old room.

Friday I was released. They arranged to continue the IV at home. At least I could watch some TV. The TV in the rooms did not work very well. I tried watching CSI, but all I could see was blobs. I missed a new episode of Enterprise. I’m not big on watching TV, but there are a few things I like to watch if I get the chance. Fortunately, April recorded CSI, and Enterprise repeats tonight.

Saturday was the best day. All the lab tests turned up was a run of the mill staph infection, easily treatable with oral antibiotics. No more needles. April received the privilege of removing the IV. She did better than anyone else.

And that’s the story. I’d like to commend Ray Meyer for braving the gown and gloves each day to visit me, and my wife, family, and friends for all the support.

End of log entry.

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