News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Phil’s meaning of Life.

One dear friend wrote and told me that she doesn’t know what to say, and I’ve had people tell me this on the phone too. We don’t expect anyone to have answers to these extremely complicated questions. But we have yet another complicated question to add to the mix today.

Phil is currently taking an antibiotic by IV for the blood infection every six hours at the hospital. Doctors are recommending that Phil move to a rehab center for four weeks in order to get the IV antibiotic every six hours. Under most circumstances, someone — either the patient or a relative in the home — could be trained to do this. But we don’t have a situation like this. It’s not something either one of us can do, because we can’t see the stuff going out of the tube or watch for bubbles in the tubing. If I was the patient, I would comply with the doctor’s wishes. If I had a job, I’d see how much of it I could do by computer and phone for the time I’m there. But I am not the patient. Phil has said he absolutely can’t endure four weeks of institutionalization. He wants to be able to come home and be at work as much as possible. He basically feels pretty good, so slowing hinm down is not something in which he’s interested.

I’ve always said I would support decisions like this even if they are risky. Would I do the same thing in his shoes? Probably not. But the restrictions this would entail are too much for himk, so I’m supporting him in taking chances.

The tricky thing about this blood infection is that it can kill, and it can do it quickly. He was asked if he understood it was risking his life, he said yes. Being basically imprisoned and away from me, his dog, his home, and his work site isn’t life for him. He is asking for them to come up with an alternative solution. He’s willing to go into the infusion center for treatment if that’s an option.

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Comments on: "Phil’s meaning of Life." (2)

  1. Jeanie Vejil said:

    Hi Rebecca.

    For me, this is not a tough issue. I was in a position back in 2001/2002 when I had had a right simple skin-sparing mastectomy and had to have vancomycin I think every 12 hours. I had visiting nurses at home and a central line that was placed near my collar bone before I left the hospital. I had a choice of a PICC line or a central line catheter, and since the PICC line would have had to go in my left arm, I chose the central line near my collar bone so as to not interfere with Trudy’s work.

    That stuff is so wicked that it would cause my veins to burn as I have very small ones. The visiting nurse would come in the morning after my morning dose would have run through automatically, and she’d put in two more doses, one for the nighttime dose and another one for my next morning dose the next day. This was a continuous process, probably for two or three weeks running.

    She tried to give me a 3-day supply, but the bag was too heavy for me since I’d just had the mastectomy and then it had to be undone due to infection. We had to go back to twice daily refills of the antibiotic bag, which I wore around my neck pinned to a lenghwise folded pillow case or hand towel so that when it was time for the next dose of vanco, I had to do nothing but let it go in. I was never tethered to an IV pole.

    Couldn’t this be done for Phil also? Of course, he gets his medication more often than I did, but there should be some way visiting nurses could work it out for him. Life threatening, yes, I’m sure it is just that, and without warning is a little scary, but Phil’s an adult, and with the proper care, this should be able to be worked out as long as their are willing visiting nurses and willing doctors to set this up for Phil.

    I’m like Phil in that being imprisoned in a rehab center for no reason other than antibiotics, kept away from my faithful loving guide and my spouse just wwouldn’t be quality of life for me, not for one day, let alone four or five weeks.

    I sure hope something can be worked out for Phil that will be agreeable with him.

    You hang in their my friend and things will get better.

    Hugs,

    Jeanie and Trudy

  2. Besides all of the cooperative entities you named, there’s one more. The cooperative insurrance company. Apparently you have to be home bound to use nurses like that, and Phil would be going to work as much as he could.

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