Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hooray for Heather!

Kudos to Heather! She is now teaching at a private school in Park City, Utah - The Colby School. This is an awesome opportunity for her - go to the link to visit their website. The Colby School features the Tribes Learning Community. Heather will be teaching Physical Education to a small student body of less than 200 students grades K-8. Her curriculum will include fun things like cross country skiing!

Good for you Heather! That piece of paper is paying off!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lyme Disease

What do you think? The Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Dermatologists, and Janitors at U Penn think this might be what Larish has. Do you concur?
He has had a blood test, and is now on his third antibiotic.
My guess is it is Lyme Disease, and the headache is what tips "Precious" off. (Anyone read the Ladies #1 Detective Agency"? I AM Precious) Mind you, I am making my diagnosis from 2000+ miles away.
I would post the pic, which almost matches the internet pics I have found, but frankly, it is too gross for the general blogosphere!

Here is the CDC scoop:

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful in the later stages of disease. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

And this is the part that freaks me out the most:

Most cases of Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics, especially if treatment is begun early in the course of illness. However, a small percentage of patients with Lyme disease have symptoms that last months to years after treatment with antibiotics. These symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, arthritis, cognitive defects, sleep disturbance, or fatigue. The cause of these symptoms is not known. There is some evidence that they result from an autoimmune response, in which a person's immune system continues to respond even after the infection has been cleared.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Enough with the hospitals already!

While I love the "steamy trashy I shouldn't be watching" show Grey's Anatomy, and I have always loved the drama of ER, I am really not much of a hospital person.

So why so many hospital experiences in 17 days?

First Larry's Dad was admitted to the hospital in Blue Hill Maine. Now there is a nice little hospital (Larish was born there, his mom was a nurse there for years). They gave Pops excellent care for the last few days of his life.

Shortly after arriving in Philadelphia, I get a phone call that my dear friend has been taken to the hospital with a heart attack. Later I learn that while it was not a heart attack after all, it involved not one hospital but two, and an ambulance ride to boot! Alls well that ends well, but not a great experience when you are 3000 miles away from home as this friend was.
Are you counting? That is 3 so far.

As hospitals go, the one in Chestnut Hill PA where Kelley delivered Lillian was pretty nice and a much better experience than her last birth in the swanky upscale Walnut Creek hospital in California. The downside I believe was the dietary department. There seemed to be a language barrier and while they put a lot of options on the menu, you generally got whatever they felt like putting on the tray. It usually included coffee, and never included toast or english muffins. Right, Kel? Then of course there was the nurse who insisted that Kelley drink coffee or tea to improve her digestive processes, and got quite huffy when Kelley refused.

Heber City Utah is a cowboy town and reminds me a lot of a western Ellsworth Maine. I am learning to love it here, and I especially love the little hospital. Where else could you have 6 additional people in the delivery room cheering you on, plus your hubby!?! Overall this was a very nice hospital stay for Katie. The one complaint? You know those lovely mesh panties assigned to new mom's? They have much nicer ones in Philadelphia and in California! While there was only one nurse at any given time, and an aide covered the nursery, it was great cause there was only one patient, well two once Olivia joined the group.
We're up to 5.

Back to Philadelphia. Dear sweet hubby flew to Philly on Wednesday to take my place as new mommy helper since Kelley's was a Csection. He mostly was going to play with Alexander, but also to fix meals and such. Well, that was the plan.

He called me shortly before boarding the plane to say he wasn't feeling great and thought he might have gotten bitten by a spider or bug the day before. He felt a little like he was getting the flu.

By the next morning in Philly, he was really sick. REALLY sick. Head to the ER sick.
Long story short - they sent him home from Roxborough Hospital with a big hole in the side of his chest packed with gauze, a prescription for antibiotics and a diagnosis: Cellulitis. They would get back to him when they had the test results for what exactly was or was not causing this infection. (Ever heard the term MRSA, or flesh eating bacteria? not good!)

48 hours of sleeping, shivering, sweating, and suffering from a 103 degree fever, he called the consulting nurse from our insurance and she suggested he head back to a hospital to be rechecked and the bandages redone.

Since Larish was certain the Dr. who cut him open the first time was on his first week on the job, another hospital was chosen. A local Dr. recommended that he go to U Penn ER in the city, so Brian and Larry headed in to the city. U Penn ER is a Level One Trauma ER and you can imagine the wait on a Saturday night in Philadelphia. They saw a lot of ambulances and bodies roll by before they saw a Dr. My understanding is the care was thorough. He didn't see a Dr. for hours but he was triaged and tests began shortly after his arrival. Every hour they brought him in and checked his vitals to make sure he was ok. After about 5 hours he finally was seen by a very nice Dr. who he felt was very competent. When he mentioned the first ER doc and that he was sure this Dr. was only one week on the job, the Dr. replied "2". When Larry questioned her, she said new Dr.'s come on the first of July - so this Doc was no doubt in his second week. That might explain why Larry felt that doc had never held a knife before.

Well, Larish is now a patient at U Penn. He was admitted for a course of IV antibiotics and some hydration, but the fever has already broken and he is on the mend. He should be released tomorrow night and the doc says he will probably feel well enough to go home and take care of the new mom and his grandson. When I talked to him tonight he sounded more like himself than he had since before he flew to Philly, so I think he really is getting better.
So how many? 7 hospitals from July 17th to August 2nd.
I say that is about 5 too many!