Sunday, December 21, 2008


It's official. Steve's current condition has been caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA.

MRSA is possibly the meanest form of staph. Most antibiotics are powerless in its path.

The antibiotic Vancomycin, which he has been taking via IV since Thursday, is often effective in fighting MRSA. He'll continue receiving that drug.

There are some precautions in place for visitors. The hospital recommends that anyone who touches Steve wear a mask, robe and gloves. That seems to be more for the visitor's protection than the other way around. The nurse says that as long as you don't hug all over him, you should be safe. I know that he's irresistible, but we'll have to restrain ourselves for now!

The current plan is to remove the port from the right side of his chest then have a new port placed on the left side of his chest.

The staff here is working on getting him on the surgery schedule for Monday. There is a slight chance he could go home Monday; Tuesday seems more likely.

After he gets home, a home health care service will be responsible for administering the antibiotics through the newly placed port.

Steve is just wiped out. He's not sleeping well here (though right now he is taking a little nap) -- but that's almost always the case in hospitals.

The kids and I arrived home last night to find that Julie had worked her magic -- folding laundry, cleaning dishes, making beds, straightening piles. She and Meghan are in charge of Margie (the dog) while we're gone.

Uncle Jim kept Steve company this morning (and Jackie and the Earwoods dropped by) while Cooper, Katie and I were at church for the last Sunday in Advent.

Katie and fellow preschool singers were adorable during the prelude. Cooper and I had a front-row seat for the singing and wiggling.

They are now with Aunt Mel, Uncle Greg, Brooke and Molli for a cousins sleepover.

I'm staying the night at St. Paul so that I don't miss rounds in the morning or Steve's surgery.

We appreciate your continued prayers.

1 comment:

Rob Cook said...

Steve and Tyra,
I've followed your story online here as an old friend but thought that since ports and their complications are a part of my practice and I see a huge amount of MRSA, that I should comment and calm your fears a little. First off, MRSA is the predominant form of Staph in our community here- I can't comment for the Dallas area but it should be similar. I wouldn't let the the "resistant" part of the name scare you. It responds to lots of antibiotics just not penicillins and cephalosporins. It is universally resonsive to vancomycin, so that is usually the first line of treatment until cultures are available. There are some old cheap standards that work well but in Steve's case, I would use a big gun like Vanc, although Zyvox is available in oral form and just as effective, if not moreso, if you're insurance will approve it- it's $$$$ but cheaper than Vanc + home health. Personally, I would remove the port ASAP and go without a port for about a week before putting a new one. The new one will be seeded with the bacteria if a new one is placed right away.
As for whether MRSA is scary to everyone else, that is just not true. In the hospital, these patients are isolated because the nurses and doctors will leave Steve's room to go to another room and handle the patient's IV, wounds, etc. It can only be spread from open wound to open wound. You should wash the towels and sheets but otherwise everyone should be OK. I see at least 7-8 patients a week with MRSA and have for the last 9-10 years. I've never had it. The only person in my office that has had it is my nurse who mans the phones and never sees patients. I wash my hands alot and wear gloves when I touch their wounds but that's about it.

Hang in there, I know this probably doesn't make you feel much better but there's alot of scary stuff in the media nowadays (damn media) and I wanted to clear things up a little.

Y'all are always in my prayers.

Rob Cook