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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bacteria ID'd & PICC line

The cultures from her face came back today, and specified e coli and candida as the two main culprits infecting Katie's face.  That kind of surprised me - I'd never heard of contracting e coli other than from eating undercooked food!  However, in researching it a bit, "These bacteria can also cause infection of the prostate gland (prostatitis), gallbladder infection, infections that develop after appendicitis and diverticulitis, wound infections (including wounds made during surgery), infections in pressure sores, foot infections in people with diabetes, pneumonia, meningitis in newborns, and bloodstream infections. Many E. coli infections affecting areas outside the digestive tract develop in people who are debilitated, who are staying in a health care facility, or who have taken antibiotics." (Merck Manual).  I guess it is definitely contractable from surgery.

So they changed her antibiotics to target these two bugs very specifically.  It has wiped her out - she had no energy at all today, though I did finally convince her to take a short walk this evening.  Then we played a game of chess and watched a movie, plus a sweet video of Cami's family that she sent to us.  She's started wanting to drink, but can only swallow very small droplets of water from a straw at a time.

She got her PICC line inserted today, as she'll have to be on these antibiotics for 6-8 weeks.  We have to be very aware of any nausea, because since her mouth is wired shut, vomiting would be dangerous, as she could inhale it through her trach.  So we have a pair of wire cutters by the bed, and if she has to vomit, we are to cut the mouth open to allow proper expulsion.  But they want to avoid that at all costs!

Katie is still very discouraged - any notes of encouragement directed to her personally would be appreciated.  You can Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, email, text, or use any other form of contact.  She likes getting messages on her phone.  Email me if you'd like her contact info:  whick@juno.com. 

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