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Rob Hospital Stay Day 42 and a new battle


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Hello Everyone,

This story started June 26, 2003 for a lobectomy of the left lung and my husband was healthy, muscular and no outwardly signs of this early detected lung cancer. Today he is down 55 pounds!!! and is weak and this week end they found he had an infection in the left lung!!!. He had to have another tube (smaller drain system) inserted yesterday via a CT Scan procedure done by the radiologist to drain this abscess in the lung. The condition is called empyima and can be a deadly bacteria. The infectious disease doctor that they called in last week had been treating him for an unknown infection because he had a fever last Monday that spiked at 104!! Well they siphoned off some of the fluid from the Pleura Vac on the left lung Saturday that was producing non-stop fluid and lo and behold they found the staph infection.

Today he has fluid on the right lung and some still on the left lung, however the big chest tube was dislodged on Sunday by a transport person that handled it wrong (which could have been a fatal error) but God was looking out. She came to take him down for an ultrasound and he told her he would handle the chest tube, and she say oh no I have handled these before and the woman, put the chest tube over the arm of the wheel chair and Rob being medicated and sleepy sat in the chair under her guidance and it was pulled!!! Then the dayuum Utlrasound Tech, made him lie on the left side so she could do the ultra sound after he told her he was in pain from the pull of the chest tube and anyway, he was not suppose to lay on the left side. Well she said just lay on it as much as you can, so when he was returned to his room, the nurse looked at the chest tube box and screamed there is blood in there, it was bright red!! She went to call the doctor after getting on the transport person, because Rob had told her he had a very "rough" experience going for the ultrasound. While the nurse went to call the doctor, Rob went into a bad coughing spell and when he opened his eyes, the chest tube was laying on the floor, came out the chest, bandage and everything!!! The nurse really freaked and put him in the bed in a sitting position, made sure the petroleum seal was over the hole, and packed the side with towels. They doctors ordered a stat X-ray and the lungs wasn't filled up with enough fluid to warrant reinsertion. So I say God all knowing about the infection and another chest tube coming, decided this man needs a break from this chest tube. Remember it was the one that never would stop draining enough to pull it. Later that day (sunday) we got early reports that there was an infection in the lung. The new chest tube is a small catheter size that is right over the area of his heart, he was awake when they pulled out the abscess and he said it was thick and yellow!! That is probably what has been slowly taking my husband down, his oncologist was on vacation for 2 and 1/2 weeks and came in yesterday and was absolutely shocked about the amount of weight and muscle my husband had loss.

He said there is no evidence the cancer was back and he believes my husbands lymphatic system has been altered somewhat by the radiation, which is why the fluid build up keeps happening. But he has ordered nutritionist in to help build my husband back up and he ordered something called Megace for his appetite. The oncologist also said if these strong antibiotics don't clear up this infection, the next step is surgery to remove the infected tissue, and if my husband has to have surgery, he would not make it through with the state his body is in now.

This has been a hospital stay from HELL, all my husbands organs have had some sort of problem since he had the lobectomy. Hhis liver enzymes were up, his kidney was going into failure from so much lasix, his heart was going in and out of atrial fibilllation, they found he has Hepatis C exposure, which he said was discovered in 98, but it was not treated, his white cell count was up to 28, and should be around 11!! The GI doctor said he is not a candidate for treatment of the Hepatitis C, because of all the other things going on with his body. But I guess the good news out of all this is the cancer is not back and not showing up on any of the cytology reports of all the fluids. I was scared because all his symptoms indicated cancer, the ones like, nausea, weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc. I just don't know why with all these specialists, no one thought to look for this condition, because everything I have read about it on the internet, it happens to people that have had chest surgery or wounds to the chest!! They were so busy looking for cancer they overlooked this issue. I kept crying and telling them my husband is slowly slipping away from me!! They all kept saying this is a complex case and were all befuddled, now I truly understand the term "PRACTICE OF MEDICINE"

If anyone has experience with this condition called empyima, please let me know how it was corrected and if it has to be treated for weeks?? aND MOST IMPORTANTLY PLEASE KEEP MY HUSBAND IN YOUR PRAYERS. Also thank you all that allow me to post this mini-drama's. I pray for healthy loved ones and the care takers for all that are here. May God continue to bless us all.



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Wow. Just when you think it won't get any worse! My heart goes out to you!! I thought my hospital stay was rough - mine was a picnic compared to his!! Staph infection - I think I've read where a huge number of people get those from being in the hospital/operating room -

Hopefully it hasn't gone on for too long - hopefully it will respond to the antibiotics and he can start coming up out of all this. Bless his heart!!

It sounds like it was TIME for the chest tube to come out - I remember well how much it hurt and how the longer it was in there, the MORE it would hurt each day. I remember the pleurovacs, the tubes, the draining, the stupid bubble in the pleurovac that would never go away, the doctor yelling at me that I wasn't walking any or else I'd have healed up by then (I walked the halls up and down, up and down, just as I was told to do)....I remember the food tasting TERRIBLE.......I could not stomach the food there at all - they started me on vitamin shakes etc, but nothing helped until the antidepressant kicked in - THEN I started eating as the food began to taste decent again. I remember how I LONGED to be out of that hospital and back at home. I wanted to go home so bad I ACHED for home.

I hope everything will get better for you and yours now, and that you all can soon go home and return to "normal". How quickly things change -being able to be home, and just do "normal" things becomes a luxury, a privilege.

May God bless you and yours richly, with good health and an abundance of the things you like.

And may we all remember to give Him thanks. :)

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"...now I truly understand the term 'PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.' "

What you have just described sounds more like MALPRACTICE of medicine. I strongly urge you to make a written report of these events, from beginning to end, just as you have written about them here, to the CEO of the hospital, and to do it ASAP. Send it registered mail with a return receipt.

I had a few problems with this kind of thing while in the hospital after my pneumonectomy, and it is better to have an investigation going on early rather than later.

It is common to pick up a staph infection while in hospital, if proper sanitary procedures are not followed. And after what happened with the Ultrasound Tech I think you're safe in assuming that there is a problem at this facility with following proper procedure.

There is no excuse for what you have described. NONE. So don't accept any.

I am praying that they can treat this infection and that he will be on the mend very soon.

Fay A.

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Thanks to those that have shared thoughts, concerns, and prayers, the lung doctors are now saying he may still need more surgery to scrape the tissue and remove the abcess. The lung doctor says he wants to watch the drainage over the weekend.

I hope they can concur on something soon. Everything I have read about this empyima, is that it can be fatal, especially to people with lung cancer or low immune systems. All this is wearing me out, I can only imagine what my husband must be feeling.

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