– So, we’re still in the ICU. This morning, we thought we’d probably be transferred to the regular Peds floor tonight but tonight, we’re not sure what’s being planned! And so it goes when you’re in the hospital —
– Emily’s blood pressure medicine was turned off at 7:00 this morning(!) – and her blood pressures have been good all day!
– Emily was running a lowgrade temp for several hours today – up to 100.2 – and looking kind of puny – sluggish and droopy eyes – but her temp is ok now and she’s playing games on Momma’s phone. Her heart rate has been increased for a good part of the day and she’s had an intermittent headache but she does have a continuing infection in her system so that could be the cause. We’re just keeping a close eye on her.
– We finally have definite results for the lab cultures on what type of gram negative bacteria have invaded her system – Serratia and “presumed positive” for Pseudomonas. We’re a little unclear whether the Pseudomonas is “presumed” because it has started to grow or because it’s usually there, but they definitely said Pseudomonas. We (Momma and Grammie) asked how usual it is for someone to have two bacteria invading their bloodstream but we never got a definite answer! Both bacteria can be common inside the body so we still don’t know if this bacteria originated from inside of her and, for whatever reason, got into her blood stream – or if it was a contamination from outside of her.
– The doctors have started ethanol locks (for five days) in her Broviac catheter, the central line that comes out of her chest. Bacteria like to attach to things and sometimes they will stick to the walls of a catheter and “colonize” it, or start to live there. Ethanol will kill gram negative bacteria if left in contact long enough; therefore, the nurses inject a precise amount of ethanol into each of the lumens (or lines) of her catheter, leave it there for four hours, then withdraw it. If this clears the bacteria and she no longer tests positive for it, they may be able to save her central line. If she continues to test positive for bacteria, she may need to have the line removed. And just in case you’re wondering about whether the ethanol will get into her blood stream and be toxic to her, the nurses inject only enough to fill each catheter lumen, but not to go out of them and into the blood stream, and then they withdraw the same amount.
– Best part of today – other than getting rid of the blood pressure med – was that she got to start solid food!!! She downed a McDonald’s chicken nugget Happy Meal and then immediately went to sleep! We also got to go for a walk around the PICU halls! Just a little bitty taste of freedom!
P.S. The nurses have just said that the plan is to do the first ethanol lock here, in the PICU, and that even if the doctors had written an order for her to be transferred to the regular Peds floor, which they have not, there is no room for her now. So, maybe we’ll learn to like these gowns and gloves –!
P.S.S. 10:00 pm – Just got word from the night doctor that her lab cultures from earlier today came back positive for bacteria again – Serratia and Pseudomonas – so the IV antibiotics alone haven’t yet cleared it out. The lab is still running the Culture and Sensitivity that will show which specific antibiotics will finish the bacteria off. And the doctor said, as we have read online, that the ethanol locks along with IV antibiotics can be a wonder combination.