A hundred times better than Xmas morning, I woke up this morning to a message on the board that reads “change to antibiotic pills, then discharge! Per infectious disease physician.” Hallelujah! I get to go home to my baby!
Sadly my joy was short lived. I waited all morning to be discharged. Then in the early afternoon I received a visit from an infectious disease doctor. She pulled up a chair next to my bed as if she was going to tell me a bedtime story. I should have known then it was bad news. Instead I just thought she was personable, which I am sure she is. She asked a few questions about my medical history and then she begun. As it turns out, they found two bacteria in my blood culture. One is called actinomyces, commonly associated with IUDs, which I had for 8-9 years before this pregnancy. I most likely have had this bacteria for sometime, even years, without knowing it. The bacteria was contained within my uterus until the c section, when it was released into my blood stream and eventually caused an abscess in my spleen. This revelation drastically changes the course of treatment. With blood infection, they need to have me stay on IV for weeks followed by months of oral antibiotic with follow up appointments and testing in between. A radiologist needs to put in a PICC line in order for me to administer the IV at home. A health care nurse will be set up to visit me each week to change the dressing and to take blood samples. At the moment they’re looking at six more weeks of IV and eight to ten months of oral antibiotic.
My head nodded. My heart sunk. The doctor looked at me intently and asked what my profession was and how I was able to follow her with so much understanding. I guess if there’s anything I can do is to process information. Despite my calm demeanor on the outside, I was overwhelmed with anxiety on the inside. What antibiotic? What about breastfeeding? I want to see my baby. I can’t stop breastfeeding for that long. How will we travel? What about our plan to hike the PCT?
I can’t remember how long after she left room before my tears fell. I cried and cried. It seems like this hospital stay is crushing one dream after another. The nurse asked if I wanted xanax. I said no, so she brought me ice cream. I texted a few friends and talked to Rose over the phone. She’s always good at listening and cheering me up even at the worst moments. By the time I hung up the phone I was smiling again. With a burst of renewed energy and optimism, I started to look into the antibiotic’s compatibility to breastfeeding. It looked questionable at first but my midwife and her lactation consultant confirmed Unasyn is breastfeeding compatible. That brought a sense of relief. There’s no promise that I will get the PICC line in tomorrow but I suppose now that they have a clear action plan, my release has to be imminent. But for now, one more night without my baby.