|Our awesome Valentine's day. I took him a pizza and chocolate|
covered strawberries that he pretty much barfed up after two bites.
So some people have asked to hear the details of Jeff's recent (now not so recent) illness. I will try to remember dates and such but it is getting a little bit blurry. I got sick with the flu on a Wednesday February 6th. I remember because I was at the mall walking with my friend and I had to go pick Kenna up from preschool but I felt soooo awful. I called and cancelled a playdate that I had set up for lunch. I originally thought that it was a cold because my throat got really sore. I was taking 4 ibuprofen every 6 hours because it hurt so bad. I never checked my temperature because I guess I wasn't curious to know. Thankfully I have wonderful friends who went and got groceries for me and cough drops and brought over some dinners because I didn't leave the house for a week. Jeff was on a really busy rotation at the VA hospital and I could drum up enough energy to keep my kids fed and turn on a movies until Jeff got home at night. It was miserable. All the kids ended up having fevers, (they all got their flu-vaccines so they were pretty mild) that week-end, but that made it a little easier because they were sleeping more. Jeff got his fever on Sunday and stayed home from work. On Sunday night he couldn't lay down because it hurt his ribs too bad. So on Monday he went to the doctor because he was pretty certain that he had pneumonia. He was pretty dehydrated so they ran some IV fluids through him, and an x-ray showed a small spot on his lungs so the Dr. prescribed some anti-biotics. That night he still couldn't lay down and even sitting was really painful. Tuesday morning he called his Dr. and asked for Morphine for the pain. By the time I got home with the medicine (my first trip out since I was sick) he thought he was going to die. I thought he was being such a wuss. I asked him if he wanted me to take him the emergency room and he walked down to the garage and sat in the car. I called my friend Misha and asked if I could drop my kids off at her house in approximately three minutes and she happily took my sick kids. I left Jeff at the E.R. because he said he was fine and it was going to take a while and I had a dermatology appointment that I had waited 6 weeks for so I went to that. Picked up my kids and went to see Jeff. He was already in a hospital room. The x-ray just 24 hours later showed his entire left lung infected and the bottom half of his right lung. The sputum test showed that it was MRSA and it was in his bloodstream too, which can quickly spread the infection to other organs. So he was put on three different anti-biotics all with good MRSA coverage. Luckily he was started on IV antibiotics soon enough that the infection didn't go to his heart valves. I called his parents that night and let them know that Jeff was in the hospital. On Friday he still had a lot of fluid in his lungs and they thought there was a pus filled sore in the lining of his lungs. So they put in a chest tube (a tube inserted through his back and put into the lining of his lungs that is attached to a vacuum to suck the fluid out). I didn't know about this procedure. Jeff was pretty out of it in general and he couldn't talk much because of the pain and effort that it took. But anyway when they were doing a CAT scan earlier in the morning apparently they gave him lots of drugs to get him to lie flat so when they decided that they needed to put in a chest tube no on told me. Jeff was pretty much knocked out and he never answered his phone when I called to see how his CAT scan went. I finally called the hospital and had them connect me his room and finally he answered after like 20 rings and all I could get him to do was mumble. So I was a little freaked out but felt better that he answered the phone. My neighbor called a couple of hours later and said that she and her husband went to see him before they left from work (they both work at the hospital) and they told me that he was really sick and that I should probably go see him So I was totally freaked out and had already arranged for a babysitter anyway so on the way to the hospital I was planning Jeff's funeral in my head and wondering how long it would be before I started dating. When I got there Jeff was coherent enough to tell me what was happening. It took him 30 minutes with five naps in between. I didn't know how long Jeff was going to be in the hospital but it was clear that he was going to be there for a little while longer and I couldn't do much more by myself. Jeff's parents got here on Saturday afternoon to help take care of us. It was really nice because they would go see Jeff in the morning and then they would watch the kids so I could go spend time with him at night.
So all in all Jeff was in the hospital for nine days and his chest tube got out 4 liters of fluid from his lungs (after a dose of some blood thinners, the gunk was too thick to be vacuumed out at first). There were two kind of ironic things about Jeff's illness. He was in the infectious disease unit of the hospital (which means we had to wear masks, gowns and gloves when we went to see him) which was the same rotation that he had just finished. And the second ironic thing was that his internal medicine program director happened to be doing that rotation and was Jeff's doctor. Dr. Vogelman was the reason that Jeff decided on Wisconsin. Jeff said he was an amazing doctor and an amazing person. I am happy that it was him who was taking care of Jeff. I know that made him feel more comfortable about his illness. I was never really as worried as I should have been I suppose. In my mind Jeff was where he always is: the hospital. After he got released he told me that if he had waited just a few more hours to go to the ER he could have permanent organ damage. His recovery was pretty slow. It was over a week after he got home that he could start helping out. And he was on IV anti-biotics for four weeks that he hooked himself up two twice a day.
We feel so blessed to be somewhere where people took care of us. Our friends would bring meals without being asked, one of the doctors that Jeff works for at clinic came to our house with a bag of groceries for us. Everyone was so generous with their time and efforts and really made this potentially stressful event in our lives a much smoother one. Now if there would have been anyway for my brain to function better and to not have locked my keys in the car while picking up a pizza that would have been appreciated, but everything worked out fine.