5-23-10

Your primary source reporting.  Let me reaffirm what Lisa had said about your wonderful comments.  While I can’t respond to each one, I do read each one (most more than once.)

Status:  8.0/10.  Busy exchanging one set of symptoms for another.  We sat down with the pharmacist and Resident and went over a detailed Excel spreadsheet with timing and duration of all my drugs.  The major issue had been nausea and vomiting, but only subdued with enough anti-nausea drugs that left me stuporous.  At one point, a nurse who I had never seen before came into my pitch black room at 4 AM and asked me if the Zosyn (big-time IV antibiotic) should be given over 30 min or 45 min!  Was she asking for a consult?  Giving me a mini-mental status exam?  Or asking for a half-grapefruit in the puss?  Hint:  if a nurse sings to herself or hums a song while attending to a sick and sleep-needy patient, fire her on the spot.  No questions asked.  Your place in heaven has been secured.

   Spent most the day without nausea, but making quick trips to the bathroom.  It’s amazing and quite compassionate that your GI tract generally only insults you one end at a time.  Occasionally you can suffer two at once.  I remember having that experience during a bout of Salmonella.  I remember it … because some things you just don’t forget. 

Events:  Weekends are calmer – they tend not to schedule tests.  After being here 5 weeks, I can say with some confidence that the nursing staff is not up to par with the weekday shifts.  And please don’t even get me started with the person who answers your call button.

  The kids were up for a short time, Rachel after an exciting year-end school visit to NYC.  Sister-in-law Wendy Stark flew ‘cross country to help out.  And had a surprise visit from Ruth and Ken Zwick with an authentic DVD of Hemo the Magnificient.  Never thought I’d know this many people for more than 40 years!

 Comments:  I await a C. difficile culture before they can put me on Imodium.  Swear if I can get out of here, I’m going to be their national spokesperson.  Docs keep hinting that my neutrophils should be coming up.  That would solve a lot of problems, and decrease my drugs by half!  Looking forward to this being my good week.

Love

-Bruce

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22 Responses to “”

  1. Judy and Larry Says:

    Bruce
    I absolutely love reading your blogs and want to thank you so much for taking the time to keep us all updated on a daily basis. Although what you are going through is terrible, it is definitely a learning experience for us. Hopefully, none of us will ever have to know from it personally. I hope and pray that this week will be a better week for you.
    I am presently in Chicago to attend the candy/snack food show. It will be nice when you can eat the good candy and enjoy tasting it.
    Love to you and your family.
    Love, Judy

  2. Hopie Says:

    Here’s Hopeing for another even better day tomorrow.Love you!
    Lots of Hopes

  3. Charlie dan Says:

    Hi Bruce. Charlie Dan here, one of your many cousins.

    My dad (Ray) pointed me to your blog – he reads it every day, and now I do too. I subscribe to over 100 blogs in my Google Reader, but there are only a handful that I really look forward to each post, including yours.

    And that isn’t because I care about how you’re doing (I do, by the way). It’s because your blog is both informative and entertaining!

    Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better. It sounds like the last couple weeks have been rough, so that will make this one all that much sweeter. Have a sno cone for me (I like piña colada).

    Love, and hope for a swift recovery.

  4. Bill Israel and Eileen Breslin Says:

    Bruce –

    The magic movement comes between 7.5 and 8 — the point at which you recover not only a bit of your own sensation, but your remarkable sense of humor. Thanks for the belly laughs this round. Eileen says she’s ready to come in and start blasting nurses herself.

    Big Hugs–

    Bill and Eileen

  5. Art Ulene Says:

    Damn, you write well, Bruce. Ever thought of doing it for a living? Reading between the lines (I’ve always done that)….. It’s clear to me that you are getting better. Keep it up. We send our love…. ART

  6. wendy Says:

    Did I hear correctly that Art volunteered to do the next LP? Art- expecting on the best for my Bro- wendy

  7. Donna Hill Howes Says:

    OK, this nurse might be offended by your “F” grade for nursing care (at least some of it), were it not for the fact that I fully agree with you!! Both the medical and nursing professions stand to learn a ton from your blogs…..thanks for that!
    So glad you got to see the kids today, if only briefly….food for the heart and soul.
    I’ll be making another swing from CA to D.C. in early June and fully expect to be making my visit to you in Bethesda, and NOT Baltimore….carry on, brave soldier….we keep you in our hearts and prayers.
    Love,
    Donna

  8. Susan Says:

    You are starting to “sound” a bit better…. hopefully so. As a hospital employee I am relating well to your observations. I do hope this week is better for you. love Susie

  9. Sheryl Stolberg Says:

    An 8!
    So glad to have you back.

  10. Marsha & Larry Ritterband Says:

    Dear Bruce –

    We have been following your blog for weeks, and your past 10 days or so on Bactrim have had me holding my breath – but your report today makes it necessary for me to write you.

    Seven years ago, after being given a series of antibiotics – to clear up a non-healing rug burn on my leg – I was given either Bactrim or Bacitracin (now I’m not sure which) and ended up a couple of weeks later in intensive care with Clostridium difficile. Darned near killed me. The solution (for me) to kill the c’diff was Flagyl, pumped in through a catheter in my neck.

    Not that I want you to have to increase your list of 18 meds to 19, but the c’diff blocked my digestive system from absorbing anything – food or regular medications, so I know that you have to get rid of it immediately.

    Larry and I are praying for you and your family – that you may be blessed with a quick and complete recovery.

    Marsha

  11. Barbara Lehman Says:

    It is a good morning when I see you are feeling better. Have a good day and hope to hear you will be out of there soon. Love Barbara

  12. Paula Jacobson Says:

    Dear Bruce and Lisa,
    I have been reading your daily blogs and keeping up with your courageous battle. Just as every one of your hundreds (thousands) of friends, I am praying for your complete recovery and return to your home with your family.

    I read your narratives and smile, knowing that your intellect and curiosity come through. Working in a healthcare system, I love your comments on care–we, all over the country, look to Hopkins for their leadership. It’s good to know all are human.

    I wish for you better days, less nausea and weakness and more and more strength. You will get there, I know.

    Take care,
    Paula

  13. Margot Mahoney Says:

    Did you really write that at 1 AM? If so, you write and “sound” better than most people do at that hour.
    I hope you are napping when the nurses aren’t invading.
    Did Rachel have her Statue of Liberty attire on – she looked quite statuesque in it (no pun intended – really)?
    Jay and I were lucky enough to see Ethan play baseball on Friday and he was very impressive – all around – pitching, batting and fielding! You certainly have 2 children to be proud of!
    Have a good day and we looking forward to hearing that your drugs are being cut in half – sooner rather than later!

  14. Tom Linden Says:

    Bruce, your line (“your GI tract generally only insults you one end at a time”) made my laugh. One of the best lines I’ve read in a while. I hope there’s a direct correlation between your sense of humor and your feeling better.
    My family and I send our love, Tom.

  15. Catherine Says:

    Whew! I was gone for the weekend and went straight to your blog this morning. I read the postings I missed from the bottom up (with no peaking ahead at your #’s) and was greatly relieved to see you back at an 8! I am always thinking of you.

    Love,
    Catherine

  16. Judie Davidson Says:

    While cycling this morning, I passed a lone donkey trotting in the opposite direction with a very determined look on his face. I take this as a sign that you will start feeling much better very soon (sure hope so). Hugs. Judie

  17. joel steinberg Says:

    You sound just a mite better. Any progress is good. Hope you don’t have C. dificile. But there is a drug for that, too. Your blog is both depressing and uplifting at the same time. How can that be? Joel and Margaret S.

  18. Laurie Samuels Says:

    Bruce… It is so good to see those numbers creeping up (you were and always will be a 10!) Continue to feel better and better and know we are looking forward to reading that you will be headed home soon. There is nothing like your own bathroom, shower and bed.

    Better days ahead…
    Laurie

  19. Lynn Oliver Says:

    Bruce,
    When you hit bottom (pun intended) there is only one direction to go…and it sounds like you are creeping back up…even though you can’t tell, I follow your blog every day. Nausea is far worse than pain. I only wish your reformation of our health care system and its failure to include patients in the currently popular and PC term “Patient Centered Medicine” weren’t occurring at your expense.

    You are loved and admired! Lynn

  20. Ashby Beal Says:

    Dear Bruce,
    I would be curious about the hospital’s reaction to your blog. It obvioulsy should be required reading for administrators, attendings, residents and nurses. To be honest, I couldn’t really stand singing nuns, much less singing (or humming) nurses. But if you can get to 8 in spite of that, 9 and 10 can’t be too much further off. And as some of those less musically inclined nuns might say, rather than sing, “deep peace at the end of the evening to you.”

  21. Steve Seekins Says:

    Bruce, our prayers continue for you and your family with all that you are working through. Blessings, my friend. Steve

  22. Jill Stewart Says:

    OK: you have to promise when all this is behind you (no pun, really) you will become a patient advocate. Who better than Doctor Dan to educate the profession about what it’s like to be in the bed? Thinking healthy thoughts and going for a 9. Love, Jill

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