Posted by: mommyq | December 18, 2007

This is the WORST form of torture.

So, after a pretty decent and relaxing weekend (who am I kidding, I slept through most of it), we have hit another snag in the road.  I had to have my IV re-sited yesterday since it was starting to get sore and, they really only last about 4-5 days.  She hit the vein on the first try and, it felt good however, things change so quickly.  My CADD pump (which delivers my antibiotics every 12 hours) starts at 10:30am and 10:30pm.  Since I take the Benadryl and hour before, I am usually out cold when it starts.  Same went for last night, I was dozing off at about 10:30 while it started going off.  I awoke an hour and a half later and, my arm felt numb and tingly….sort of like when you fall asleep on your arm.  I went into the washroom to take a look and, my entire hand and arm till about my elbow was swollen to about double the size.  My hand looked like I had taken those latex gloves and blown it up.  I am guessing that the vein collapsed at an early point in the medication process and, I slept on while the antibiotic filled my skin tissue.  I immediately turned off the pump and removed the IV site (the tape holding it in was sort of digging into my wrist) and called Telehealth.  She confirmed what I had thought but, also said I should go into the ER since with this antibiotic, tissue necrosis.  So, I left Pat and Syd home sleeping and, drove off to the ER to get myself checked out.  Thankfully, it was a slow night and, I was only in for 3 hours total! 😦  After they got the arm looked and and, determined that it was fine and that I would just ahve to wait a few days for the swelling to go away completely, they tried to re-site the IV.  Obviously since my one arm was out of commission, there wasn’t many options.  I had 3 previous IV sites on the arm that they were trying to use as well as several needle punctures from previous attempts and blood draws so, after 3 tries, I was done, finished and told them I just wanted to go home.  Now, I am a fairly tolerant person but, I have been pushed and sent to my limits with this several times so, I called in this morning and, told the nurse to have the Dr. call me.  I told her what had happened and that I wanted to discuss alternate treatments since I was DONE with having any further or future IVs.  It took them most of the day to consult with each other and figure out what to do with me and, basically, at the end of the day, my options are pretty limited.  I can eithe go in tomorrow (I will have to be admitted) and have a Picc Line inserted.  It is used often in cancer patients or anyone that requires an IV site for an extended period of time.  It looks like an IV block from the outside but, the tube that is internal is inserted into a very deep vein close to your heart.  The process and idea of this honestly makes me sick to my stomach.  They can also admit me for 7 days and try another peripheral IV to administer the Vanco and hope that with consistant observation, we won’t have as many issues.  This would put me in the hospital until Christmas so, that option is not one I will consider.  Finally, I can stop taking the Vanco and, hope that the doses that I have already received were enought to have cleared up the infection and, keep an eye on my foot to ensure that it doesn’t get worse.

Now, with the vein compression, it is very possible that my foot will not get any better in terms of swelling/redness but, if it gets worse again, I run the risk of becoming septic and/or, being admitted at a later date for either the Picc Line or the IV administration of the antibiotics.  Unfortunately, there are no other antibiotic options.  Vanco IS available in a pill format however, it is NEVER used because it is completely ineffective and, often passes through the system unabsorbed.  And, Vanco is the only antibiotic that works if this is MRSA.

Now, having said all of that, I am seriously leaning towards just watching and seeing what happens.  My MRSA swabs came back and both were negative but, it is possible to have negative swabs and STILL have the infection. (what the point is….I am not sure) and, I honestly find that putting my foot up seems to have more effect over the redness and swelling than the antibiotics every did.  But, on the flip side, both the Infectious Diseases team and the OB Medicine team feel that they want to run the Vanco for 7 days.

I have the night to think about it and talk it over with Pat and, they will be calling me tomorrow afternoon to find out how I want to proceed.  GOd, I really, really REALLY hate this.



  1. Sue, I really don’t know what I would do.

    I totally understand how you can be absolutely DONE with the IV antis. This is unbelievable!!!!!

    I wish we were closer so we could at least help you out, or I could have come with you to the hospital.

    Let me know if Oli or I can help in any way…

    {{HUGS}} and kisses for you Suzie. ♥

  2. Sue, I am so sorry you are having such a rough time!!! I have been wondering why they didn’t just put a PICC in you! I’m glad they are finally mentioning it! Ya know, they can also draw blood off of it instead of poking you as well as putting the medication in it. I hope the end of this torture is near!!!!

  3. Oh Suzie. I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. We are all praying and thinking of you. Keep us posted.

  4. Suzie – I have no clue what I would do either. I’m thinking about you and wishing you the best today. What a horrible ordeal!! I’m so sorry you are going through this.

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