Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Post-Op 1 Year!

We went to see the doctor for CJ's 1-year follow-up.  An x-ray was taken, and the doctor confirmed that the bar is still in place where it needs to be.  We are free and clear for another year!

The time table for now is as follows:
--A 2-year post-op follow-up in 2016
--Removal of the bar 3 years after the insertion in 2017

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

CJ had appointments this morning with the Infectious Diseases doctor and the surgeon.  For the last 6 weeks, we've been taking CJ to the hospital to have blood drawn.  He continued his oral antibiotics.  Our hope was that since his blood work has been within normal levels the last several times, CJ would be released from the ID doctor's care.  We were ALL tired of antibiotics!

Happily, Dr. Han agreed to let CJ discontinue his antibiotics.  He wants CJ to have some blood drawn in a month to make sure the levels are staying within normal range and the infection isn't coming back.  Yay!

When we checked in to the surgeon's office, they sent us for an X-ray.  After looking at it, Dr. Dassinger said every thing looked great, and he was pleased with CJ's progress.  Of course, he hates that we were the 1% that has to deal with an infection, but he was glad to hear CJ had been able to discontinue antibiotics.

So, we go back for blood work the first week of November, and hopefully, the results will show that we truly are finished with the staph infection.  We love Dr. Han, but we really don't want to see him again!  LOL!

Unless problems arise, we are on a normal post-op schedule with the surgeon.  We'll see him in May 2015 at the year mark of the bar insertion.  Assuming all is well, we won't see him again until May 2016.

I'll post again when we hear about the blood work next month.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Quick Update

Just a quick update to say that CJ is continuing to do well!  He's still on the oral antibiotic 3 times a day, and the healing at the incision sites is progressing.  His last lab work showed everything staying in normal ranges.  We go back to the Infectious Diseases doctor next week.  I'll post again after that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Freedom! And summer finally begins!

CJ had an appointment with his ID doctor today, and we were VERY hopeful that the PICC line would be removed.  The lab work showed everything within normal ranges!  And since the incisions were closed and not draining, we had every reason to have that hope.  CJ was so confident, he actually wore his swim suit to the doctor's office, so I could drop him off at the pool on the way home!  Remember, he hasn't been able to swim yet this summer.  And he usually practically lives at the pool during the summer.

The doctor came in and talked to us.  He asked if there had been any fever or pain.  We were pleased to be able to answer no.  He then asked both of us if we were comfortable with removing the PICC.  We both said yes.  Then the doctor said those words we were longing to hear:  he was going to pull the PICC!

CJ had been really nervous that the process of pulling the PICC.  He was worried it would hurt.  That was the only apprehension he was feeling when the nurse came in to pull the line. 

When the nurse came in, it took a few minutes for her to get set up and remove the tape & stuff securing the line into the arm.  When that was done, she told CJ to take a deep breath.  He looked away and took the breath.  What he didn't know, was that while he was breathing in, the nurse was pulling the line, wrapping it around her hand like yarn.  As CJ let out his breath, the nurse said, "OK.  That's it."  CJ's eyes got wide, and he was completely surprised that it was already done!  I really wish I had a picture of his face; it was priceless.  Obviously, it didn't hurt; it was a quick and painless procedure. 

Here's a picture of the PICC line:

While CJ held a cotton ball on the hole where the line was, the nurse measured the length of the PICC line.  It's important that the length of the line that was pulled out equals the length of the line that was inserted; obviously, no one wants any pieces of the line left in the body.  I'm not sure what would happen if the measurement didn't match; thankfully, ours was spot-on.

The doctor prescribed CJ an oral antibiotic that he'll take for another 2 months.  It's a hefty dose:  1000mg cephalexin 3 times a day.  Unfortunately, we are still on a 6:00AM, 2:00PM, 10:00PM medication schedule, but at least it's just quickly swallowing a couple of pills instead of a 30-minute hook-up.

CJ was so excited about the PICC line being out!  Then came the words that completely deflated him.  The doctor said he didn't want CJ swimming for another couple of days while to make sure the site for the line was healed.

As we left the doctor's office, CJ's attitude was on a downhill slide.  He wanted me to just drop him off at the pool anyway; he'd waited to swim long enough.  I was afraid we were about to have a long argument, when a thunderstorm rolled in to the area.  Thankfully, this took care of the problem; the storm closed the pool for the rest of the day. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recovery Continues

Got a couple of great reports today!

First, we got a call from Dr. Han with the results of this week's blood work.  Everything looks really good!  All the inflammatory markers are back within normal range!  We're hoping that since his incision finally closed up, the doctor will pull the PICC line next week when we see him.

Secondly, we went for a follow-up visit with our surgeon today.  CJ had a couple of x-rays taken, then we saw the doctor.  Dr. Dassinger was happy with where CJ is in his recovery, and he was glad to see both incisions had finally closed.  The x-rays looked good.

The doctor said that CJ was free to do whatever activities he felt comfortable with, except things like organized football and, of course, no swimming with the PICC line.  Normally, he would have us come back in 6 months, but since CJ had the bar infection, he wants us to come back in 3 months.

That's about all for now.  Hopefully, next week, I'll be able to report that the PICC line is out, and CJ is able to enjoy the rest of his summer without any limitations!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Quick update with good news

Just wanted to post a quick update.  Last night, CJ's right incision finally scabbed over!!!  We really are on the road to healing now!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Post-Camp Report

CJ spent last week at camp and did great!  He enjoyed himself, rode his bike, and even went a couple of days without pain medication at all.  By the end of the week, he was starting to feel it, though, and decided to come home Friday night instead of Saturday morning.  Sleeping on the cot, and more specifically, getting up from it was his chief complaint.  He continued his IV infusions all week, never missing a dose.

It only took a couple of good nights' sleep at home to recover, and CJ was regaining his activity level.  He's continuing to ride his bike and feel better overall.

On Monday, the home health nurse came by to change out CJ's PICC wrappings & valve and to draw blood for labwork.  During the week at camp, CJ's left incision closed up.  The nurse took a look at the incisions, and changed out the bandage on the right side.

Today, we went to see the infectious diseases doctor for a check-up & got the results of the labs.  CJ's labwork looked good.  His inflammatory markers were all normal.  Dr. Han said that he probably would've discontinued the IVs and gone to oral antibiotics, but since one of the incisions is still open and draining, he feels we need to continue the IV.  We'll see him again in 2 weeks & reevaluate.  He was going to email Dr. Dassinger & update him, just in case he wanted to see us before our scheduled appointment next week.