Catch-22

August 7, 2009

home sweet home

It’s true what they say. There ain’t no place like home. After four long weeks spent in shared hospital wards, it’s heaven to be back in my own bedroom, in my own bed. No more doctors’ rounds, no more observations taken and no more drips to endure. Peace and quiet at last. I owe a lot of people, a lot of thanks.

Firstly, to the surgical team whom I could not fault. They saw me every day, usually twice a day, throughout those many weeks and my respect for them grew with each passing day. These non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) work incredibly hard and frankly, I don’t know how they stick the conditions they endure. The consultant surgeon is fantastic but he’s just the icing on the cake. The NCHDs are the ones who should really take a bow.

My final diagnosis was osteomyelitis of the frontal bone plus orbital cellulitis following complex surgery on my skull last June. Both conditions had the potential to be life threatening. Prevention and treatment is heavily dependent on antibiotics. I suffer from a form of microscopic colitis called collagenous colitis (CC) which has developed in response to antibiotic treatment for my head over many years. It’s a catch-22 situation. Antibiotics are needed to keep me alive but they also produce side effects which limit treatment. Treatment over the last four weeks, has been a delicate balance of IV drugs and I owe big thanks to the microbiology team at the hospital who devised (and revised) a treatment plan to suit my personal needs. I also owe thanks to the gastroenterology team who came to my rescue when the bottom fell out of my world, quite literally. My overall condition has now stabilised and I’ve been able to return home on oral treatments.

The last few weeks have really made me realise how much my family and friends, and especially my blogging friends, mean to me. It’s been a real privilege to turn on my laptop and know that there is always companionship available. Grannymar was there for me every day on instant messenger and I can’t thank her enough. Lily sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to brighten up my world. Such a kind gesture! Baino kept me entertained with funny emails and Annb sent gorgeous pics of the West of Ireland, my favourite place. It’s been really fantastic to receive so many supportive emails and comments on my blog. Thank you to one and all :D

Lastly, but not least, to my husband Jaimie who has stuck by me through thick and thin. I owe him a definite holiday.


Hot off the press

August 4, 2009

Steph might be going home from hospital tomorrow. No kidding! I mean home to stay, to sleep in my own bed. The osteomyelitis is in retreat and I’m on the fast road out of here.

roadrunner

The surgical team paid a visit early this morning to review my blood tests and discuss the plan to change from intra-venous to oral antibiotics. Within an hour, my head had been examined endoscopically and the surgeon reported back that good progress had been made. The raw bone inside my head is covered with granulation tissue, a sign that normal healing is taking place.

By lunchtime, microbiology had approved a change onto oral antibiotics and my current treatment for colitis had been reviewed by the gastroenterology team. Matilda now sits forlorn beside my bed, no longer required. Instead, I’ve a feast of antibiotics to swallow at regular periods throughout the day.  A  24-hour test run is underway to see if the colitis can withstand the new regime. If I maintain a stable path overnight, the central line to my chest will be removed and I will be allowed home by tomorrow evening to continue treatment from the comfort of my own home.

I just thought you might like to know.  Fingers (and legs) crossed.

UPDATE: (Wednesday 11 am) It’s for definite! The central line is now out of my chest and I’m on my way home today. Yabba, dabba do! Next post from home.


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