My husband, John, has been in the hospital a lot recently. I've lost track of the number of times, but I think he's had six hospitalizations in the past few months.
His immune system never came back after his bone marrow transplant. He's just one of the few who had that complication. So he just keeps catching things this year, even with his IVIG treatments. I guess his IVIG treatments -- 9 hours at a time in the chemo room -- just aren't enough to keep sickness at bay. His cancers are definitely NOT back -- he just hasn't quit catching things this year.
Three of John's hospitalizations were for graham negative and graham positive infections.
During the last hospital stay John actually got sepsis. He had a graham positive infection in his blood.
The doctor took me aside and told me there was a chance John wouldn't make it. She went over to his bedside and explained to him that he must fight very hard. She sort of explained the situation to him.
Her telling John the truth of his situation really surprised me, as I am not used to John's local doctors, as a whole, dealing with us in such a straight forward way. I was most grateful, however, for her straightforwardness, as was John. It allowed John the information he needed to have to fight, and the ability to do so if that's what he chose to do.
I explained to him a little more of what the doctor had said to me while he had been sleeping. "Krissy, I'm going to do it. I'm going to fight," John said to me, looking at me weakly, but in his determined way.
"OK," I said. "I'm going to be quiet then, and let you go into your survival mode, and do whatever you do when you do this, then."
"OK," John said quietly.
"I love you, Honey," I said, and gave him a quick kiss. Then I leaned over and drew a little cross on his forehead. "Good night."
"I love you too," he said. "Good night."
Then he quickly shut his eyes, and with a very determined look on his face, John slipped off into that "survival zone" he goes to when he fights to stay alive. I've seen him do it many times before. He's working hard to stay alive there in that place. Nobody can distract him from that task. Nobody can reach him there until he's ready to come back. Not even his wife. I can't distract him there. He can't hear me. But somehow I think he knows I'm at his bedside.
I have no desire to distract him when he's fighting to survive. He needs all his energy. When he's fought himself safely through he'll be back to talk to me. I can wait. I always wait. Because it's always worth it. Do what you need to do, John, until you're done. Whether you're awake or asleep -- stay in "the zone". I can wait. I always wait.
So I wait for him to come back. To let me know he's going to live. And like each time before this one, he does a stellar job again. Just because he wants to live. Which is more than reason enough.
But I think I made it all sound too easy!
It was scary when he was first sick. In my heart I knew he'd make it, but sometimes I was a little scared.
The first night John's temperature shot up so high that they put him under a "cooling blanket". It was basically a sheet with ice packs sewn into it. He was under that thing for about a day.
At first John didn't respond to any antibiotics they gave him -- I guess the graham positive infection, which had since become sepsis (blood poisoning), was now antibiotic-resistent. But then after a day or two the doctor found an IV antibiotic that worked. Dactomycin.
So after several days of Dactomycin, some time under an ice blanket, and lots of old-fashioned just fighting to survive -- John was good as new.
Except you're never as good as new after these things. It always takes a toll on you. And you need some time to recover. From something or the other. John's latest something or the other is something called "encephalopathy". He got it as the result of the sepsis. It effects his cognition. But that's a subject for another post. That post will come soon enough. I think I've already given you more than enough to read about for today!
I just wanted to let you all know what's going on. I'll keep you updated.
I hope everyone is doing ok. Thanks for continuing to read and comment. God bless you all! :)