BR woke up with a lot of blood in his urine this morning. Oh, no. Here we go again...
December 13, 2007: BR had just taken possession of his brand new iBOT. I had gone to work in Palo Alto, and after stopping to pick up some condom catheters, made my way home to the Castro. There I found BR in his iBOT in the living room, in obvious pain.
He related a story of an in-dwelling catheter insertion gone wrong. A home nurse had come for a routine visit, as he had just been released from the hospital the day before after a severe bladder infection. At that time, BR's biggest complaint was incontinence. He had been trained to use an intermittent catheter every 4 hours, yet still he leaked. Being the charmer that he is, he convinced the nurse to give him an in-dwelling catheter.
Now normally the catheter is inserted through the penis and into the bladder. Then a balloon is inflated in the bladder to keep the catheter in place. Well, for whatever reason, this nurse did not fully insert the catheter before inflating the balloon. [Insert expletive here]
BR bled from his penis through the evening and into the night. His GP told him that if the bleeding didn't stop by morning, or if he started to run a high fever, he should call 911. At midnight, he was still bleeding, and his fever hit 104. A short ambulance ride later, we were in the ER, and BR was diagnosed with sepsis. He spent five days in the CCU and another three in acute care before being released a much weaker man.
Fast forward to this past Wednesday. The home nurse had come to change BR's suprapubic catheter, as she does every three weeks. This time it didn't go so well. BR experienced painful bladder spasms every ten minutes the entire day. We called the nurse back out the next morning, she replace the catheter with another, and everything seemed fine. That is until I saw the blood in the tube and bag. [Insert expletive here]
Untreated sepsis is a quick death. BR and I discussed whether or not to call 911. After careful thought, he decided that if he should get a high fever, he didn't want emergency care. I promised to respect his wishes, and reminded him that he could change his mind at any time if he wanted to.
God did not call him today. The blood cleared, and there is no sign of fever.