Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#3 went well.

Procedure #3 went well. It really only lasted about an hour from the time they took her back to the OR till the time she was back in pre-op (It was really late so they just used that instead of the PACU). I panicked at first when I got a call. They just debrieded her wound and left it open to heal from the inside out. It's packed with a wick like material and the wick is hanging out a little bit.

Amy's in good spirits, all things considered. She's getting really sick of the hospital and having to keep going back to the hospital. I'm getting sick of the hospital as well. Good thing we have a week vacation coming up...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surgery again. Third time's a charm?

Today (Monday), when Amy woke up, I looked at her incision and noticed a hole about 1 cm X .5 cm and about .5 cm deep (that was the PA's measurement). She called the surgery clinic, they told her to go to the ER, they triaged her to Urgent Care, and she saw her neuro team (the chief resident who did her initial procedure and the PA who's been a part of the team throughout the whole process as well).

They admitted her and are going to have to do a minor surgery tomorrow (Tuesday) to open her back up and try a new way to close her wound/incision. Long story short, between the ridge of her skull (which is there cuz they removed the plate) that is putting extra tension on her skin and her skin being weakened by infection, the sutures weren't holding. The surgery's scheduled for 4 PM tomorrow, since she was a late add-on. There is a chance it could be moved up sooner, which would be nice since she can't eat after midnight. We shall see.

We shall see...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Update: The Good, The Bad, and The Weird

It's been awhile since I've updated. So here you go!

The Good:
The antibiotics are working wonders on my head and my infection.

When I am awake I'm feeling pretty darn good. My pain is quite a bit less than the original surgery (probably because I don't have much of an infection anymore).

Plus, my Grandma Harfst is here to take good care of me (some would say spoil) and drive me to my appointments when Erin is a work, school, or whatever.

The Bad:
The antibiotics make me tired and nauseous, it tastes SO bad and I've been sleeping for about 12 hours a day on average.

I got some of my stitches taken out today but somehow the scabs from my incision had grown over some of them. Getting those stitches taken out was quite painful.

The Weird:
I'm actually taking two antibiotics, one through a "hone catheter" or a central line through my neck, and the other is just a pill I take by mouth three times a day.

Right before I was going to get my stitches out I asked my doctor if I should be worried about a squishing noise that I heard when I would dry off my incision after a shower. He said not to be worried because it was probably just my brain squishing around behind my skin where the skull is missing (I guess that was supposed to make me feel better). However when the nurse began to take the stitches out he got to a certain point my head began leaking fluid like a dripping faucet. Erin ran and grabbed gauze for my head, Grandma ran and grabbed paper towels for my neck and hands that were getting leaked on. Ends up that I had two major sections of my head that were not healing but rather just holding fluid (so much for not worrying). They removed the stitches that they could and re-stitched the sections that were not healing pulling them even tighter (OUCH). And I also learned I'm going to have to keep taking the antibiotics for and extra week since my head hasn't been healing correctly.

If you have any questions comment, email, text, call!

Much Love!

Monday, November 9, 2009 least it's not MRSA

Hey Everyone,

Amy came home on Friday and is taking it much easier this time around. She's on IV antibiotics that are dispensed through a baby bottle-like thing that she changes out every 24 hours. It's pretty easy.

Her official diagnosis was MSSA (Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus), which isn't as bad as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Basically, they grew cultures and tested them to see what type of antibiotics would work best on them, and came up with a combo of 2 - one oral and one in IV form. She has a central line and had her drain taken out of her head on Thursday.

She's a lot more tired this time around, most likely because of the infection and the antibiotics. Her grandmother is coming back into town tonight to help out again for the week. Thanks Grandma!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Post Secondary Surgery Update

Hey, It's Amy!

So I just wanted to update everyone real quick. So they (the doctors and such) say I have some kind of staph infection, still trying to narrow down exactly what type. I'm probably getting discharged tomorrow (Thursday) but I will need to continue taking IV antibiotics for about two weeks. Which means I'm going to have a "catheter" (sp?) in my shoulder that I will be able to get IV antibiotics at home. (They will teach Erin and I how to give them before we leave the hospital.) That way I can get the best medicine at home for the amount of time that I need!!!

I'm walking pretty much on my own but I do need someone with me still just because after awhile I get a bit light-headed and I would hate to fall or something crazy like that. I've been feeling pretty good and really lively today. I have a lot more energy than the last few days and I've been up and walking around (at least 4 times a day as prescribed by my nurse).

Thank You for all the continued support. I could not do all of this without all of your love, support, prayers, juju, etc!

Love and hugs!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Amy's in her room, ate real food for dinner, isn't on oxygen, and is pretty feisty and funny. She has a tube draining all the fun stuff from her head (as you can see in the picture), and I've started calling it her tail. She's in really good spirits and her pain seems to be managed pretty well right now (knock on wood).

Thanks for all the prayers/love/etc!

Surgery #2 DONE!

Amy's in the recovery room and the surgery went well. She definitely had an infection (duh?) and they cleaned her out and stitched her up. They removed all foreign objects as well (dissolving sutures, mesh plate). They say she might need to have surgery again to put in a new plate once everything heals but more will be revealed with that one.

We'll update more tonight/tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Surgery...Again :-(

Hey Everyone,

It's Erin again (Amy says she's "too crabby to type"). Got some not so good news. Amy's incision is pretty infected, so they admitted her to the hospital again this afternoon and are going to do surgery tomorrow to debride the infected area under her incision. Basically, that means they're going to open her up along the same incision, clean out everything, remove the mesh "plate" covering the hole in her skull, irrigate it (wash it out), and sew her back up. Her attending surgeon says that the mesh plate is more cosmetic than anything, and that she can have surgery again in the future to put a mesh plate in if she wants it. They didn't say the plate was the cause of the infection, but they want to remove any foreign materials to help ease the healing process.

Basically what happened: on Saturday morning, Amy woke up with a little yellowish drainage around her incision site. It wasn't pus per se, but wasn't normal. Throughout the day, her temperature became elevated to 99.8 (not a fever technically, but higher than normal). Finally at 8 PM we went to the ER because she was showing some beginning signs of infection. She had a CT scan done and met with one of her neuro residents, and they decided that she was sort of on the edge of infection but not clinically infected at that point. Her labs were a little on the abnormal side but not enough to indicate infection. They sent her home with oral antibiotics and more pain meds. Then Sunday evening, Amy's temp jumped to a fever, but she didn't want to go to the ER because she didn't want to pay her copay just to be sent home again. We decided to wait till this morning (Monday). When we went in, Amy's temp was over 102 and her pulse was really high. Her entire neuro team that did her surgery initially ended up coming in to see her in the ER and decided another procedure was the best way to go.

We don't know the time of Amy's procedure yet but we'll let you know one way or another.

That's all for now.