After six days in the hospital and multiple lab tests to identify the nature of my ‘hospital acquired’ infection, luckily, it was not MRSA, but a methicillin ‘sensitive’ form of Staph infection that could possibly be controlled with antibiotics. However, they had to find the correct antibiotic as the first four they pumped into my body were not diminishing the infection.
On many occasions, I’ve told friends I felt I lost a week and a half of my life during that hospital stay. I sincerely don’t remember much about it except I was extremely dizzy and in physical pain. I needed help climbing in and out of the hospital bed as the infection had also migrated to my abdomen, so I still had no core strength. I do remember waking up to see flowers in my hospital room and briefly speaking with my significant other, Phil, but otherwise, I don’t remember much else. There is a part of me which believes I don’t want to remember what happened, but the other part chooses to believe my lack of memory is due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because the ordeal was so frightening. Maybe it was best (at the time) I didn’t realize how sick I was. It was only later when my friends were concerned I would not pull through; something that didn’t cross my mind at the time.
I do however believe that the team of physicians knew all along that the infection was severe enough it would be difficult to overcome. A couple of times the infectious disease doctor mentioned that in most circumstances, when implanted objects become infected, they are normally ever “right,” and the patient continues to have issues. Not knowing what he meant at the time, I just said “ok.”
After nine days in the hospital, the infectious disease physician came into my room, sat down, and said they could not get the infection under control. They would need to surgically remove the left tissue expander, immediately. At that point, I lost every bit of emotional strength I had. Even typing this Blog, I have a nervous feeling in my stomach and am tearing up. I had tried so hard to be strong after the diagnosis; strong when I went through the mastectomy, and stay strong when I became sick, but I had no more emotional strength when I found out I had to go through yet another surgery with unknown consequences.
Upon the doctor exiting, my nurse came in, set down on my bed, and asked if I was familiar with Xanax. Since I was in the throes of my emotional breakdown, I couldn’t speak so I just nodded. She said she would order a strong dose STAT.
I knew enough about these types of infections to know this was the beginning of a long complicated process. I was right.
Lisa F. Crites
Shower Shirt Principal/Inventor
Corporate Healthcare Consultant
Health/Medical Broadcast Journalist