“Gonna leave you on this bug juice”

My guess is that that’s doctor-speak for “we’re going to continue to administer these same antibiotics (Vancomycin and Cefepime) to you” – that’s what the Infectious Disease doctor said on his way out the door, after telling us that the more recent blood cultures have been negative for the past two days. That means that the infections in her blood have been cleared out. Her initial blood cultures, from right after her transplant, showed an initial MRSA infection; that the more recent cultures – those taken over the past two days – are negative, which means that the antibiotics have done their job.

Beth slept well most of the night, although she’s continuing to have symptoms – vomiting, body aches, and a low-grade fever (100.8). On the blood numbers front, Beth’s LDH (“the disease process”) has fallen to 232 on the most recent lab results – 212 is the high normal number for that , though we’ve been told that her old marrow will continue to die (and I would think, to be present in the blood for some time), contributing to that number not being quite normal. (And her white blood count – where the normal is 5.5-11, was 0.03 this morning).

A visit from the Infectious Disease Doctor

The Infectious Disease doctor dropped by around 8:00 am, and looked at Beth and talked with her.

I mentioned below that there was some possibility that the source of infection may have come from the stem cells, but that has been ruled out. The cultures that they took of the stem cells are still negative. So that leaves the catheter as a culprit. They will replace that line on Monday, and do some further tests to confirm or rule out that it was the source of infection.

It is a MRSA infection – that is, a “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type (strain) of staph bacteria that does not respond to some antibiotics that are commonly used to treat staph infections.” Beth had some positive tests for this in an earlier hospital visit. Because she had worked in a nursing home, it is likely that she became exposed to the infection there, and just retained it in her body. They are giving her the antibiotic Vancomycin, and a fairly hefty dosage of it, which is more than capable of handling this infection.

The kids (the three youngest) will be spending the weekend with my brother. I’ve brought a stack of books to the hospital, and a stack of DVD movies. I’m here for the duration.