Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Update on my brother

News on Steve. As some of you know, he spent last night in the ICU. The good news is that he's just been moved back to a regular room. The bad news is that they don't know what the heck is wrong.

Basically, what happened yesterday - he’s got an unidentified blood infection that they’ve been treating with antibiotics. They had decided yesterday that they were going to put in a PICC line and send him home, and for the next couple weeks he’d use this PICC line (which I guess is basically a more substantial IV) to give himself the antibiotics every day at home. But while they were doing the procedure in the OR, he had what they’re calling “an episode” where he started feeling funny, his vision got cloudy, he got shaky and freezing cold and then passed out, couldn't breathe when he woke up. They rushed him to the ICU (which is when they called me) and got him stabilized and did a bunch of tests.

It was quite a scare yesterday, especially when I walked in and saw him. He looked so terrible - very, very tired, but mostly it was these dark circles around his eyes. It looked like he had two black eyes - reminded me of Uncle Fester. Those are looking better now but very disconcerting and I still don't know what that was. Also, when Dad and I were with Steve yesterday, he was twitching really badly and seeing things. At one point, he waved to somebody that wasn't there. He seemed like he was fine mentally, so maybe that was just a side effect of the pain meds he's still taking. Very scary. We told the nurse and they did a CT of his head at the same time as the did the one on his torso just to make sure everything was ok.

At this point, all the tests show that nothing is wrong and so they’re guessing maybe it was a reaction to one of the medications they used, which would not be unusual for him, given the skin reaction he had after surgery last summer and is having again this time. They’re going to keep a closer eye on him for a while, so who knows when they’ll send him home. It’s so frustrating not to have any answers at all, it just makes it all the more easy to worry about him.

He says he feels great right now – good enough to go home if they’d let him. But since the doctors still can’t figure out what happened yesterday, I don’t think he’ll be going home any time soon. He's been there two weeks now already and I know he must be going crazy. I wish there was something more I could do.

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