Friday, May 25, 2012

The Flesh Eating Bacteria Story (I)

(Disclosure: GRAPHIC PICTURES OF WOUNDS. If you can't handle gross, be warned, this is NOT for you!)

As many of you know, Jacob bumped his foot on a car door on March 5th.  Within 2 hours he had a fever and cold chills. The foot had a small red spot the size of a dime that we were not concerned with at the time. We thought he was just getting sick, as sickness had been going around. By the time we went to bed that night, his foot was sore and slightly more red. When we woke up in the morning he still had a fever and it was much higher at 102.7. His foot was hurting more, and he was limping. That day was a Tuesday; he went to work and by lunch time his fever was so bad that he could not write with a pen to do work orders. It was 75* outside and he had 4 heaters on him as he sat on his toolbox shivering. It was time to go home early. Jacob came home from work, his fever was 104. Again, we still were not connecting the foot and the fever. At this point his foot didn't look too bad. I suggested we make an appointment to have it X-rayed because he was limping on it more. The Dr. could see up the next morning at 8:30am. Dr. Geideman was thorough with the X-rays and found no broken bone, so he told Jacob that he was sure that he had an infection in his foot and prescribed him antibiotics. We were told after taking 2 rounds the antibiotic should make a good difference, and he should be feeling better. This is the first time we put the foot and fever together. Makes sense now, right?!

Jacob took the antibiotics around 11am. By 1pm, there was no change. The bruised look on the foot had spread some, but not at an alarming rate. Dr. Geideman had drawn a circle on Jacob's foot for a "safety zone". If any redness spread outside the area we were instructed to go to the ER immediately. By 2pm, after the 2nd dose of antibiotics and 1 round of Ibuprofen, Jacob's temperature had jumped. I took his temp and it was 105.4* F. He was laying on the couch shivering like crazy. I have never seen him so sick. I called the Dr. immediately knowing this was not an appropriate temperature considering the meds he had taken. The nurse called me back 2 hours later instructing me to make a gut call, either go to the ER or call your family DR. That is what she said. Two completely different ends of the spectrum. I chose to call the family Dr. first. It took a while for them to get back to me, because they really have no record of Jacob other than a typical physical. By this time I had administered 800mg of Ibuprofen to bring the fever down; it had come down to 99.0. The nurse told me if the fever goes higher than 99 again to go straight to the ER. Just before bedtime, I took Jacob's temp again, it was 98.9. So we decided to go to bed and if the fever woke him or the pain in his foot woke him, we would go to the ER; otherwise wait til morning when we could put kids on the school bus and get a sitter. The foot itself was still just looking bruised and the redness had not traveled outside the "safety zone."

I slept with one eye and one ear on call all night. My mind was not asleep because I was praying all night long for my husband to be ok. I know God heard my prayers.

At 6:00am, our alarm went off. Immediately I reached for Jacob's forehead and found it to be warmer than what I thought it should be. I told him "you have a  fever." Let me see your foot. I rolled the blanket away, and saw what I knew was not good at all. Jacob's foot had swelled to 3x normal size all the way up past his ankle. It appeared as though he had stepped in 6 inches of red Kool-aid. There were 2 lines running up his leg to his knee as though someone took a Crayola marker and drew a road. I immediately told him we are going to the hospital. I got the kids up and ready for school. And made a few phone calls before I got a sitter. Then I took his temp and it was 102.7. We left our house at 7:15am to go to the hospital after dropping our kids off with a friend. We were not sure what was going to happen next.

We arrived at the hospital and were brought to a triage room where the nurse took vitals. Jacob's blood pressure (BP) was much higher than normal. His temp was still hovering at 102.7 and he could not walk at all. Once we were placed in a curtain room, nurses came to draw blood. They took 3 sites to find blood first, and then had a hard time vacuuming it out. Jacob was getting a little tired of being a pin cushion. The ER Dr. came in about an hour after we got there. He told us that without the bloodwork he could not determine what had caused the problem, or what type of infection it was, just that it obviously was not responsive to the antibiotics and he had Cellulitis as a complication in addition. He felt it best to admit Jacob to the hospital for observation til the bloodwork came back and to administer IV antibiotics to see which one the infection would be responsive to.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 9:30am
Bracelets on. Name and birthdate at the tip of the tongue. A little anxiety in our hearts. We started a journey I will never forget. Here is a picture of the foot that morning.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Chastity Gomez said...

Glad you are writing it all down- you will never want to forget this journey and what God did thru it !