Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Different Hospital Stay

**If you're here for the exercise challenge: 30 minute walk, or 30 minutes of 5 minute walk 1 minute run cycle; 25 box jumps; 20 push-ups; 3 sets of wall sits. Also, I need suggestions from those who are up for the challenge. What's the best way to present the challenge each and every day. I want to do it in a way that works for you guys!!**

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

You know what one of the best feelings in the world is? Your first shower after getting discharged from the hospital. I don't know if it's the confining space, lack of water pressure or ever-changing temperature - but hospital showers just don't compare to home showers.

Anywho, wanted to give you guys an overview of the strange hospital stay that I just had. I say strange because it felt different and was shorter than any stay in the Hole that I can remember for quite some time. I don't have any official numbers on this, but I don't believe that a 13 day hospital stay has happened for me in at least the last 10 years. And I've got to say; Man, it feels good!

One important thing to point out is that I didn't go in super sick. Rarely do I wait until I feel super sick, but this time I was even more proactive. Sure, I had increased sputum, increased fatigue, increased cough and darker mucus, but...as always, I gave them a call when my workouts just didn't have the results that they normally do. Even if I pushed it, it was so much harder to get through my daily routine. For me, that's a sign that I'll be in sooner rather than later, so instead of waiting for later (and inevitably getting more sick), I chose earlier. They say my baseline FEV1 is about 75% (up from 60% 3 years ago) and going into the stay it was at 67%. So as you see, I wasn't exactly "suffering". But my doc agreed, get in and get out before I get worse (I love those guys).

My first week in the hospital is always the worst. I think it's a combination of the antibiotics causing me to have an upset stomach as well as being sore and achy all over my body. This generally leads to more rest, which leads to little exercise, which leads to more achiness, which leads to less exercise, which leads to a drop in lung function. Get that? Almost every single time I'm in the Hole, my lung function drops the first week that I'm in there. It's not always a severe drop (usually not more than 10%), but always a drop nonetheless. Well this time, I actually had a 5% increase! Yeah I know, weird. But there may be an explanation...

I only felt like a truck ran me over for like a day and a half. Instead of the normal 7 days, the antibiotic blues were only with me for about 36 hours. We're not exactly sure why this happened, but I have my theory. Now, it could have been mental. It could have been the fact that there wasn't as much time to sit around now that I have a daughter. It could have been the fact that I had to go and walk around with Mckenna attached to me so she would go to sleep. I guess it could have been a lot of things, but my guess is...a switch in the antibiotic schedule.

I'm always on the same cocktail of drugs when I'm in the Hole. IV Vancomycin, IV Meropenem and oral cipro. They kept that exactly the same, but this time, switched the delivery time of Mero. Usually it's given 3 times a day for 30 minutes, but this time they gave it 3 times a day for THREE HOURS (they said more would be absorbed and not peed out)!! Yeah, I know. I was hooked up to my IV line for all day everyday pretty much (when you include my 2 hour Vanco sessions), but I really think that was the difference for me. Other than working out a time I could get unhooked in order to exercise, I loved the new antibiotic schedule (because I think it worked)! I could be proven to be wrong, but for now, I'll go with it.

With my antibiotic blues time being so much shorter, I was able to get up and out of bed quicker and onto my exercise routine faster. It also helped that I walked Mckenna around in her carrier for multiple hours per day! Since I was able to move around more, I coughed crud up daily and quite a bit of it. I think this all snowballed on itself and was the reason I had such a short stay. I'm already crossing my fingers and hoping that it works out this way next time!

So in summary, why do I think it was such a short stay this time?
1. Change in the med schedule
2. Shorter antibiotic blues
3. Hours of walking per day with a weight attached to my chest
4. Getting to my workouts sooner in the stay
5. Daily prayer that I would continue to get better :)
6. Not waiting until I was sick to go in

So there you have it! It feels so good to be home and back with my girls. I want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for your kind words of support while I was in the Hole, and you'll never know how much it they mean to me.