Whew! Well the past couple of weeks have been crazy and stressful, to say the least, but we made it! Here’s the saga…
As most of you know, last week Jeff spent 4 nights in the less-than-luxurious Carolinas Medical Center-University (they were wonderful to us, but for the money we’ll be paying, I’d much rather have gone somewhere tropical…) with MRSA. It was scary, but we are so thankful (once again!) for modern medicine, good doctors, and incredibly supportive family & friends.
A few weeks ago, Jeff got what we thought was a pimple (which was weird, because he never gets them) that blew up and made the entire right side of his face swell up. We all mocked him for “picking his zit” and he ended up getting put on antibiotics & steroids to clear up his “Phantom of the Opera” face. Little did we know…
This happened twice more – but they went away without medication. Unrelated, or so we thought, his knee started bothering him, but he figured it was an injury from working out. On the advice of a couple ortho buddies, he decided to rest it a few days and then get an MRI if it didn’t improve.
On Sunday, he noticed it was getting worse, and also red and hot to the touch. When talking to his sister (a PA), she said it sounded like it could be infected and put him on a very strong antibiotic, which should clear up his newest face wound as well.
By the next day it was only getting worse, so we texted our ortho friend who doubled his dose of medicines and got us in first thing Tuesday morning. He quickly realized it wasn’t a knee issue at all – it was probably a staph infection, most likely MRSA, and we tried to decide whether or not to try one more day on the antibiotic or go straight to the hospital. We opted to go see his primary care physician (who wasn’t available, so we saw another doctor from his practice) – who ended up draining all the wounds and lancing his knee (the anesthesia didn’t work– as you can imagine, poor Jeff states it was the worst pain he’s ever felt) and telling him just to keep on the antibiotics and if anything got worse, to go to the ER.
Well, just a few hours later, he spiked a fever again, the redness in his knee had spread down his calf, and he felt AWFUL. I’ve never seen him look that miserable. Thankfully, my precious friend Katie was already here bringing us dinner & helping with the boys, so we were able to just hop in the car & go to the ER.
Once there, he was admitted in about 2 seconds. In fact, in triage the guy next to him (who had no idea what Jeff was there for) said jokingly to him, “I wonder how fast they’d admit us if we told them we had MRSA?!” Jeff got taken back almost immediately and really wanted to shout back “THAT fast!” 😉
That night he was quickly put on two different IV antibiotics, painkillers, a nasal swab, and nausea medication. The cultures eventually confirmed that it was MRSA (not the kind you get from the hospital, but the kind that actually lives on 30-40% of the general population, they just don’t know it and may never get it. Crazy!) He was certainly very sick, and I hated seeing him like that. Over the course of the next four days, he was put on a new IV med for the remainder and had to be given “decolonization showers” with a surgical scrub (ironically the same scrub I had the horrible allergic reaction to when I had my shoulder surgery–so I had to glove up to help scrub him down!) once a day. He also nearly got sent to the OR to open up his knee, but they were able to just do it in his room and pack it to help it drain.
FINALLY, on Saturday, he was discharged. Hallelujah!!! Such relief. The timing was really hard as I was in a wedding on Saturday (one of my oldest and dearest friends, so I didn’t want to miss it even though it killed me to leave him, and Jeff said he’d be ticked at me if I didn’t go–so I went, tears and all 😉 ) but rode right back with my parents on Saturday night to be with him, all of us finally under the same roof again.
Though the timing with the wedding was hard (Jeff had to be replaced as the wedding emcee & I can’t remember the last time I went to a wedding solo! Glad I had some fabulous girlfriends to be my dates ;), there were some really helpful parts as well. It was summer, so my mom was home & off work to help us (I would not have survived the past week without her and my dad, I promise you). Jeff’s sister was on maternity leave & able to come help us out at a moment’s notice (and scrub my house down, thank you very much Kristen!), and his parents were already planning to come down for the weekend to keep the boys while we went to the wedding, so they just came a little early. Our friends took SUCH good care of us – helping babysit the boys, dropping off coffee/food for us at the hospital, bringing meals, more than I can even say. Thank God for COMMUNITY. We are so SO grateful to each and every one of you who prayed/called/texted/emailed/helped/fed/visited us! We couldn’t have made it through without y’all – honestly.
Jeff is doing so much better today. Yesterday was a big turning point to me. He is up and around a lot better today, and his nausea is mostly gone. We’re hoping home health will discharge him from visits after tomorrow. His knee is healing very quickly and we’re both looking forward to being done with am/pm knee packing & dressing changes! (I keep joking all of this is payback for him having to take care of me after my c-section and shoulder surgery! Guess it was my turn 🙂 )
Oh and I have to tell this story – this Sunday afternoon, 20+ of Jeff’s F3 buddies showed up to help finish our backyard landscaping (we had built a patio and were in the middle of a bunch of landscaping projects–aiming to finish by the boys’ birthday on the 26th, so we could party in our backyard). They planted their shovel flag and overwhelmed us with their kindness and servant hearts. You should see our backyard, it looks so good! How awesome is that? They knew he’d be out of commission for a while and wanted to minister to him by taking care of it for us. SUCH great guys and you can tell how much they love their buddy “Shazam”! THANK YOU GUYS!
Tomorrow is the boys’ fourth birthday and we’re so grateful to have him home with us to celebrate! He was such a trooper – never complaining, always just wishing he could get up & help. Typical Jeffrey T. Pyles. So glad we serve the Great Physician – he truly healed Jeff.