Friday, July 3, 2009

Saint Peter Number 2

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.

I'm exhausted.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you averted another ER visit and possible hospital visit.

After seeing blood the second time and knowing what he went through the last time, for me -- the first sign of blood would send me to the ER.

Waiting for the fever might be waiting too long because of being already susceptible to sepsis. Glad it worked out ok, but I guess one can't ever be tooooo careful.

Have a great 4th of July.

steve said...

Hi Anne -

You understand exactly what was going through our heads. But it wasn't just an effort to avoid the ER/hospital. When God calls, BR is ready to go. No more emergency care.

Cranky said...

Steve - I hope you're able to get some rest. Have you found a day-to-day replacement for your aide who left by mutual agreement?

steve said...

Hi Cranky -

Jordan is staying with us until Labor Day. She's the best thing to happen to us since we hired the first caregiver in January 2008.

With the help of an Ativan, I was able to sleep well. We have a big day ahead of us!

Happy 4th!

Anonymous said...

God bless all of you!!!!Jordan IS the BEST!!!!!Happy 4th and keep me posted. Much love, Dede

Kim said...

What an awful fright. I'm glad things seem to be ok for the moment. You two are on my mind constantly. Sending you lots of love,