- If it were a bone infection, I wanted to know how it was treated-was it treated surgically, via antibiotic therapy or something else? Dear Son is a high surgical risk since there is a risk of respiratory depression from sedation so if a surgery was required, this would present a huge risk. They explained to me that the treatment for osteomyelitis is antibiotics not surgery, unless an abscess is involved.
- Another concern was if this infection could spread to other areas of Dear Son's body. Specifically, I was worried about a lung infection since Dear Son can't clear his airways, has risks of aspiration, and because they don't think they can save him anymore if he gets a pneumonia. The response from the docs was that we shouldn't have to worry about the infection spreading since it most likely was contained by the antibiotics. Dear Son doesn't have a fever and isn't terribly sick otherwise, he'd be in the ICU. So the good news is that this doesn't appear to be a concern.
- I also needed more information on what healing would look like meaning how I would know if his foot was getting better. They had told me that his foot would take weeks to heal and that it wouldn't look better for several weeks. Since the color, swelling and bruising wouldn't go away, I needed to understand how I would know if things had gotten worse. So let's say we go home, I didn't want to assume the antibiotics were working and then find out the infection had spread. My biggest concern in this case was that I might miss the fact that the infection had spread and then we'd be in a situation that would require surgery or we'd have an infection so severe, they couldn't save Dear Son. Since I didn't have any experience with cellutilis or osteomyelitis, these were questions I had. As a mother, my main concern is that I need to be able to understand when I need to seek treatment for Dear Son and having a foot that won't look better for weeks makes that task harder.
- Additional tests. The bone scan summary included a recommendation of an MRI or white blood cell scan to confirm a bone infection. I was interested to see if there was a test to confirm specifically if he had a bone infection or not. We knew they couldn't do the MRI but after some discussion with the docs today, it was suggested that as long as they treat Dear Son for a bone infection with antibiotics for four weeks, that should resolve the issue. We'll have some discussions tomorrow with the Infectious Diseases Attending to see if there is anything else to be done.
They have indicated that they'd be comfortable sending him home with antibiotics via the gtube for four weeks so I suspect we may not be there much longer. I am not certain if they will consult Orthopedic Surgery again on Monday but it appears we are close to resolving this issue.
I just hope everything starts getting better. I am really tired after moving, issues with my Mom and these hospitalizations. I am anxious to settle into our new apartment and relax and most importantly, I hope Dear Son feels better soon.
Some notes of interest...One interesting thing happened last night. Our evening nurse was one that has taken care of Dear Son for years. We were talking and she said that all of the nurses had been talking and that I was considered the favorite patient (well, patient's Mom, lol) on the floor because of the good care and love I have for Dear Son.
The second thing that struck me in the hospital was when I read the bone scan summary. The clinical information on the summary described Dear Son as a "19 year old man"...I couldn't help but think, "What? When did this happen? This is my baby, lol." My how they grow so fast!
And finally, when Dear Son went in for his foot x-ray, the technician said was telling everyone that she remembered Dear Son when he was just a little baby. She's been there some twenty plus years and she's done multiple xrays on Dear Son. It's hard to believe how many of these people remember Dear Son. Even the resident we had in 2009, popped in to see us as well as one of the other techs that was passing by in the hallway. It is wonderful though.