Friday, October 17, 2008

My favorite PICC

I think this is how it is supposed to work. Feel sick, get medicine, get better. Both times I've had infections on my right knee, I've treated them antibiotics, and in both cases, the first treatment of the bacteria have failed. As it was four years ago, the second treatment of the infection feels to be working. Finally, today, I feel better than I did yesterday. And yesterday I felt better than the day before. I'm finding wood to knock on, but I do believe that tomorrow I shall feel even better than I do today. I'm actually scheduled to go home tomorrow . . . . sometime.

So why is the second-time around so different? Well, the doctors are treating it more aggressively. As my infectious disease doctor said, she's treating my infection now like it's osteomyelitis. When I go home tomorrow, I will have an infusion company deliver the same powerful antibiotics I have been getting here in the hospital: Vancomycin and Zyvox. To administer these medicines, I had my PICC line inserted this morning, my third in my lifetime. Twice a day for each medicine, I'll have to connect a pressurized ball containing the medicine to the catheter in my arm. Over a period of about an hour for each dose, the medicine will trickle directly into the superior vena cava in my heart. Sounds pretty cool, huh? Regular IVs would "blow out" or become scarred (not unlike my knee) if they are used for extended periods of time. By trickling the medicine directly into my hear where it can immediately be distributed, the line can be left in place for long periods of time, possibly 6 weeks in my case.

Of all the monotony and routine boardem at the hospital, I have to say the the 40 minute procedure to have my PICC line installed was thrilling! Not only were the nurses so very friendly, one of whom was kin to me, but they were playing classic rock, just as I remembered from 4 years ago. The radiologist doing the procedure was impressed that I remembered him from 4 years ago, but I assured him that I it's not easy to forget a cool, layed-back professional who stuck a tube into your heart while we sang Van Morrison songs together. And just like the first time, we sang songs and played "name the tune and band" the whole time. I won. I was actually a little sad that the procedure didn't last longer and that I'd have to return to the white, stale, monotony of my room. At least my wife would be there waiting.

Back in the room, watching the latest Sportscenter on ESPN, I heard that New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, who underwent ACL replacement surgery 10 days ago after a season-ending surgery, had to go back into surgery this past Wednesday because of an INFECTION!!!! If that news alone didn't make me feel better, to know that even the best quarterback in professional football who is getting, no doubt, the best care in the world, suffered the same unexplicable, painful affliction, I soon got more consolation news. It turns out that Payton Manning, the Colts QB, the OTHER best quarterback in the NFL who had knee surgery this summer, admitted to having another surgery just 4 weeks before training camp because HE too had an INFECTION!!! Wow! Now Tom, Payton, and I have more in common than just playing quarterback for our middle school football teams . . . . we're all three quarterbacks (or former quarterbacks) who have had post-op knee infections. Of course, I still have one up on them in that I had two to their one.

Anyway, I'm very excited about the Texas vs. Missouri game tomorrow night. I'm even more excited about watching in from the comfort, yes COMFORT, from my own living room, just me, my wife, my kids, the TV, and my PICC line. I'll be sitting by the phone just in case Tom Brady wants to call and ask for advice. I'll be sure to mention the "shampoo cap."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the picture and explanation. I know you will feel great when you get back home.

We are thinking of you. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I miss a few days and you are back in the hospital and out again. I truly hope you are feeling better, no one should have to endure what you have with your knee. Get better!