The week before last, we had both our security alarm and our CO2 alarms go off because of low batteries and age respectively. Still, It felt like things were getting on an even keel. Last Monday we had a fun evening with some new friends from out of town. Phil planned a bike ride during the week and one on the weekend. We also started going to our Mexican place again. Since opening the artery on his arm, blood flow to Phil’s hand has been good, and the visible evidence of the circulation problems has disappeared. There was some pain, but even that was getting tolerable without pain pills.
Saturday while Phil was at dialysis, I went to the birthday party of a friend. When I came home, Phil was complaining about a twinge in his shoulder when ordering groceries on the computer. Neither of us slept well. I didn’t realize my sleep equipment needed to be replaced, and the shoulder pain kept getting worse. I woke Sunday morning to the sound our thermometer makes when it registers a fever. Then I understood. Another catheter infection. I had to immediately start to get Phil to realize that he couldn’t go bike riding with a fever. He cancelled with his pilot. Then the major battle began. I tried to tell him that the sooner he got a cab to the hospital, the sooner medical staff would deal with it. Also it wouldn’t be able to take hold. He wanted to hold out until Monday morning when he could get a referral from the transplant clinic rather than going through the ER, but I knew we wouldn’t be waiting that long. Groceries were scheduled for 4:15, which was also the time my ride to the Malt Shop was due. He asked me to cancel going to the Malt Shop and stay home to help him put away groceries. Then he went to bed. Instead I called and cancelled grocery delivery, because I was pretty sure we wouldn’t want to deal with that.
Two hours later, Phil woke in severe pain from his shoulders to his hips. He couldn’t move because of the pain, and his fever had risen so much he was hallucinating and stuttering. I had called our friend Lisa, and she called back. She and her husband came over, took one look at Phil and asked me to call an ambulance. We got the dogs outside when the ambulance showed up. Phil walked to the stretcher, which they brought as far as they could give the narrow confines of some areas of our house. Lisa and her husband took Garron home to “camp puppy”. They have two other dogs, and Garron always seems to have a good time when he’s over there. I think the other dogs keep him entertained and distracted from thinking about Phil.
Zane and I went to the Malt Shop as normal. Before going, I talked to Phil’s nurse and a doctor. Doctor’s really seemed to listen to me. Phil told me his fever was down to about 100 last night. He’s receiving antibiotics through his catheter.
When the cultures come back, they are going to find infection in it, and that will have to come out. We just don’t know what happens after the infection clears. He’s scheduled for an artificial graft to put in his leg on November 15th. Phil hopes the infection can be cleared and then the surgery will be moved up, rather than trying to find another place to put a catheter. The Reality is they’ll probably have to place another catheter for the three weeks between now and November 15.
I’ll keep you updated on what happens next. Thank you for reading.