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.