PICC Lines and Emergency Rooms
What appeared to be a simple urinary tract infection, likely due to the fact that the prostatectomy left me with a bit of incontinence which continues with varying degrees of severity, turns out to be a highly resistent strain of echoli, one requiring a fourteen day course of iv infusion therapy with the one antibiotic to which I am not allergic. This meant that I spent the bulk of yesterday morning having a PICC line inserted in my left arm. When the PICC was inserted and the first round of antibiotic was administered, a blood draw was done right before the line was bandaged. I thought I was done but that would be too much to expect at this point. I was home for about an hour when I got an urgent call from the infectious disease doc overseeing the treatment of the echoli infection. “Hurry,” she said, “go to the ER immediately. Your potassium levels are alarmingly high and your kidney function numbers are way out of whack.”
And so it was that I wound up in the Emergency Room where I was treated with a drug to help reduce the potassium in my system and was administered fluids to drive my kidney function back to normal levels before I was discharged from the hospital just in time to see the Blackhawks lose for only the second time to their closest rival, the Anaheim Ducks.
I had the second dose of the antibiotic this morning. When I arrived at the office for my appointment the receptionist told me that my doc wanted to see me earlier than Friday when I was already scheduled to see her. By next Monday she will have the results of the ultrasound of my kidneys and bladder and we’ll see what the next step will be. Of course, the ER doc handed me a sheet describing End Stage Kidney Failure but told me it was just a precaution and that the problem I was suffering was likely due to the echoli infection I was already being treated for. ESRF looks a lot like the effects of the particular antibiotic I am being infused with and it should clear up as the treatment kills off the bacteria in my system.
Still, as a cancer survivor, it is a bit disconcerting to learn that I might be sicker than I ever imagined. I mean, seriously, beating one disease only to have a second potentially life threatening illness take its place is simply not what I had in mind. Of course, looking on the good side, if I do require kidney dialysis, at least I have a central line already installed in my arm, making the whole process easier to deal with.