Saturday, December 17, 2011

December disaster

Well so far I could really have done without December, and that's before I've even started thinking about Christmas. I had an awful head cold that rapidly went to my chest. So off to Papworth I went and got two weeks of Tazocin and Colomycin, annoying but necessary. It meant that I had to have a line in at the G and S ball, not really an accessory I'd chose to wear to a white tie event, but at least I got to go. The drugs didn't really fully get me better, so I was expecting to have to do another week. What I was not expecting was that a sputum sample I gave them at day seven of the drugs would come back as MRSA positive and that the doctors wanted to admit me for two weeks of three antibiotics to eradicate it.... Argh! Now MRSA in itself is not that much of danger to people with CF as it does not cause a massive decline to the lungs. However it's not something I really want lurking so I could see why the consultants wanted to be so aggressive in their treatment. What is really annoying is that by having an instance of MRSA I was immediately banned from the CF unit because of the risk of infection to the rest of the unit... So I had to have a side room on a different ward. Fortunately, the room was very nice and ensuite, sadly the air conditioning within was incredibly noisy and I could not turn it off. On the first night I was freezing and ended up with an awful headache. Also, the staff are just not the same as the CF nurses, who I've known for years, are experts in CF care and let you sleep undisturbed. They also don't quibble about heating up food that you've brought in yourself, home cooked or bought. As I was being barrier nursed the housekeepers simply woud not heat up anything for me... Apparently once something has been into a barrier nursed room it is not allowed out again, even if it's going to me nuked in a microwave! However, this was not a protocol observed by all of them, some of them would, some of them lectured me on infection control and would not! I've lost quite a bit of weight as a result which will result in the dietician yelling at me! Being barrier nursed is just frustrating!

To my further annoyance five days into the treatment the docs tell me that actually I might not have MRSA! Apparently as the lab has moved from Papwroth to Addenbrookes some communication issues have sprung up. The lab did not ring up the CF nurse to tell them of this MRSA as they are meant to, it just popped up on the computer when they checked for the results. So Sam the CF specialist nurse rang up and they confirmed it was MRSA. However, because the lab has had a few mix ups in the aftermath of the move my consultants got the consultant microbiologist to re-evaluate my results to make sure the diagnosis was correct. So possibly hurrah I don't have MRSA! Eventually the consultant got back to them saying that the initial pattern of growth for my sputum looked like MRSA but after a while of continued growing it didn't! So they are resending several of my samples to be more thoroughly tested to try and get a definitive result. So they know it's definitely staphaureous, which I have grown occasionally for years, the question is, is it methicillin resistant or not??? Apparently it is an 'unusual organism' and they need more data to decide. In the meantime I am left with all this to-ing and fro-ing as to whether all this treatment was actually needed. This regime is pretty hard core, ciprofloxicillin, fosfomycin and teicoplanin are all very strong. But I'm carrying on with it just in case, but it's only cos the lovely Dr Barker is very understanding, that she let me out after a week of incarceration and dropped the dose of fosfomycin from four doses to three. Doing a dose every six hours results in very little sleep and near hysteria! I also may not have needed to be barrier nursed at all if I don't have it, what a waste of bloody time that would have been. Darn microbiologists! I don't think they realise that the bugs are actually from people and how much stress messing up causes them...

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