Thursday, November 01, 2007

148 A superbug is eating my daddy

Turns out that while my dad was in the hospital last time, he picked up that nasty drug-resistant infection (MRSA-the so-called Superbug). No one bothered to tell us this of course. So that explains his 102 degree fever for almost a week that they can't get to come down. My mom's uncle died of a MRSA infection after a hip transplant, and so did one of her cousins after a different surgery.
My mom and I went to a care consultation meeting yesterday, to talk about his state and what to do. We advocated getting rid of his Alzheimer's medicine and reiterated that he was supposed to be off his heart medicine by the end of September. But the staff doctor there won't take him off the heart medicine, and he has to see a psychiatrist for a psych consult before they will take him off the Alzheimer's meds. Is that not outrageous? He is almost totally non-functional. What is the point of giving him these medicines? Let him have a heart attack! Let his brain rot more! Can he really get any worse without dying? (Please, those of you who know the answer, kindly refrain from telling me if the answer is "yes"!)
His eyes are going in two different directions and one of them has gone all blood red. The head nurse thinks he is still bleeding from the intracranial hemorrhage--brain swelling and pressure would do that to his eyes. He was unresponsive, head down as far as it would go, drooling, both times we went to see him. He held our hands for a moment. His skin was so hot it was uncomfortable to touch.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. this is torture for you, I know. How can doctors be so cruel and uncaring? They don't care about their patients' quality of life, or non-life. They just don't want to get sued, the cowards.
Can you have your father moved to a hospice? They could keep him comfortable without giving him all those useless drugs. I hope you have a DNR and I hope every one of those inhuman jerks in white coats gets what's coming to them.

Marilyn said...

Is there no palliative care there? This sounds outrageous! I would ask to meet with the ethics committe or whatever they have there that can help you manage your dad's care in a sensible way!My heart goes out to you and your mom!

e said...

I am completely uninformed about hospice or palliative care, but both of those comments sound reasonable to me. Hospice is supposed to be pain control only, I think.
That comment about the ethics committee seems like the way to go.
Best of luck.

Anonymous said...


So sorry you and your family are going through this - what a nightmare.


Patty McNally Doherty said...

Hi Bert,

I am going to write about the power Alzheimer's has to transform the lives of those who come in contact with it. You mention not wanting to know if things can get worse, but that's the crux of what happens with an untreatable disease, it always gets worse.

The good news is, one day, Alzheimer's disease will be gone, and we can look at ourselves as the generation to end it. It is more than a son or daughter can endure - the suffering of our mothers and fathers - and our inability to do a damn thing about it.

You are a sister in many ways, Bert, though we have totally different lives. What you're going through now is familiar territory to a growing number of us. Your brave telling of the story blesses us all. I am so grateful to you for your words, your feelings, and your eloquent way of telling the truth with them.

Hang in there, kiddo.


Marvel said...

Hugs Bert and bless you for writing this all down!

Reading this latest blog entry has me in tears. Tears of sympathy for you and your family having to watch this ongoing horror-show. Tears for your father and his suffering. Tears of anger for your situation. My question to the medical professionals is why are they just getting around to your father's psyche evaluation NOW? He needed that while he was strapped to a gurney for four days! Now he needs hospice care, not being force-fed useless medications. If anything, they should be trying to rid him of the raging infection he got from the hospital.

Mauigirl said...

Bert, am so sorry to read of this latest development in your dad's condition. Ask them to give him Vancomycin if they haven't already. I recently blogged about MRSA on my medical site, Medicana, and in doing the research learned there are still some drugs that work against MRSA. I hope they're using them for your dad. It's possible his nonfunctionality at this point is due partly to the infection itself.

I'm thinking of you and your family and feel terrible you are all going through this torture.