Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Family News

My mother's in the hospital recovering from an accidental fall (what a stupid phrase - as if she'd do it on purpose or something) in a bowling alley of all places. She's quite banged up from head to toe and one wound is particularly severe, having torn most of the flesh from an area just below her left knee. She was taken to a hospital emergency room where she was cleaned, bandaged, and given an antibiotic and told to see her family physician because they, the hospital, weren't equipped to deal with it. Her family physician sent her to a wound clinic, which sent her to another hospital, where, after a day of waiting, she finally saw a plastic surgeon and an infectious disease fellow. She's now receiving antibiotics orally and intravenously. The plastic surgeon has her "pencilled in" for surgery this Friday (it will involve a skin graft), on the condition that the infectious disease specialist has gotten the infection under sufficient control. Prayers are needed because, if he cannot, the alternative - the only alternative - is not a pleasant one.

I'm trying my best to understand how it is that a patient suffering a severe wound must go on a four day physician-hopping sabbatical before the appropriately qualified one is brought to her - while in the meantime her body serves as a petrie dish of infectious culture. Should that aforementioned alternative become the only one available, I'm in the mood for one hell of a lawsuit.

In other news, the LPGA will be in California this week, more precisely at the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, and (Jeff Culbreath might be interested to know), the following week, in Sacramento. Here's a photo gallery.
Here's a photo: [deleted - link gone dead]


In more other news, Elizabeth (the Dancing Queen - see photo in post below) has been cast as the female lead in the Chicago Ballet's Christmas performance of "The Gift." That will happen in early December, with more specifics as the time approaches. If you live in the area, try to go see it. You won't be sorry. Her dancing, apparently a purely physical act, elevates the mind.

7 comments:

Peony Moss said...

....hospital emergency room where she was cleaned, bandaged, and given an antibiotic and told to see her family physician because they, the hospital, weren't equipped to deal with it.

WHAT?!

So what are they equipped to deal with?!

I love the smell of litigation in the morning.

TS said...

Will pray Bill.

I've learned never to be surprised at incompetance. (intentional sic; drumroll) But where that is particularly heinous is in emergency situations where you can't quickly get second (or third) opinions. Yikes.

William Luse said...

Thanks, TS, and Peony, my question precisely.

alicia said...

This is what I fear on a daily basis. I am not in general medicine, but I find that I end up patching up broken and dysfunctional bits of our health care chaos. We pay more per capita for health care that has some of the poorest outcomes in the industrialized world. And we pay even more in terms of lawsuits for botched care and poor communications.
Any idea what organism she is infected with? MRSA? (that is one of the newer 'superbugs').
BTW - the best wound care is to be found at hospitals with burn units...
Does your mom also have diabetes or other circulatory impairment? If so, she should probably have been admitted overnight for IV antibiotics right off the bat.
email me if you want to pick my medical brain a bit - I'm not a doc nor do I play one on TV but I do have a pretty broad background in health care.

Willliam Luse said...

she should probably have been admitted overnight for IV antibiotics right off the bat.
My thought too, and just due to the nature of the wound and the fact that she's old. Don't know the bug (or bugs) but they've been dripping antibios into her, which caused an allergic reaction (itchy rash), so they've had to change those. The good news is (as of today) that the surgeon's going in tomorrow to clean out the wound with some kind of vacuum tool. If it's not too deep, he'll go ahead with the skin graft. If it is, he'll wait a few days. So he must have thought that it's looking somewhat improved. None of this will be know for sure until tomorrow.

alicia said...

I'll keep praying!

William Luse said...

He did only the cleaning today. The skin graft will have to wait till next week. So at least he seems to have decided to go ahead with the surgery rather than...that other thing.