Potluck Feeling Under The Weather Again

We wanted you to know that Potluck is not feeling very well right now. Potluck had MRSA in 2008. That is an antibiotic resistant form of staph. In Potluck’s case it resulted in a massive systemic form of blood poisoning, for want of a better description, which nearly killed him. He survived but it left him with major damage to most of his body systems.

It caused a heart attack and shredded a heart valve necessitating open heart surgery. The doctors were able to replace the valve but could not bypass the damage to his left ventricle because it was located too low on the apex of his heart. He had to have a pacemaker installed after the surgery to regulate his heart beat. One of the doctors told me that he had spent the whole 8 hours of the surgery picking dead MRSA bacteria out of Potluck’s heart. Unfortunately they found 25 live bacteria on the valve which had been removed and they had to start administering Vancomycin to try to protect the new valve. He could not have survived another surgery at that point. The Vanomycin did its job, fortunately, but Potluck had an anaphylactic reaction to it resulting in kidney and liver damage.

His lungs were also scarred by the MRSA and it attacked his bone marrow resulting in a virtual shutdown of his immune system and reduction of his red blood values and platelets. The immune system mostly restored itself after the worst of the MRSA infection was put down, but Potluck will always have a frailty in the damaged areas of his body. He ran a 105 fever most of the time he had the MRSA and had 3 blood transfusions which helped only slightly. He also came out of the infection with neurological damage which affects his balance and ability to walk which his neurological consult noted but could not explain. He lost his ability to walk except for short distances with the help of a walker and seems to have acquired a virulent form of arthritis which is acutely painful. Potluck cannot take many medications because of his liver damage and that includes pain medications. Right now the arthritis is affecting his knee and he is in a great deal of pain and having a lot of difficulty getting around.

We were very fortunate that he lived and that we were taken by the EMTs to a hospital which knew how to treat MRSA. Not many do. It is relatively rare and usually contracted in a hospital setting. In this case however the hospital had 20 cases in their ICU contagion rooms and they told me it was out in the community. The epidemiologist they called in was unable to track its source, and it is as contagious as the flu. Potluck always advises people to wash their hands well, as MRSA can live for a time on environmental surfaces.

We will be checking the blog daily as always. Potluck will answer your questions as quickly as he can. Right now it hurts him a lot to bend his knee or sit. I will take very good care of him and will answer the posts that I can answer and refer the others to Potluck for when he feels well enough to type. The last time this happened the arthritis was in his wrist. One of our visitors was afraid we would abandon the blog. That won’t happen. We are both very committed to providing information to you and answering your questions. We may be a bit slow, but we are steady and here to stay. Thank you for your understanding.

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16 Responses to Potluck Feeling Under The Weather Again

  1. ooosillyme says:

    Thank you for the update. I hope that he feels better soon….what a hellish experience.

    • revenuer says:

      Thank you, OSM. It was a terrible experience. He was in the hospital for 17 weeks, counting the 6 weeks of physical therapy they gave him to teach him how to cope with his limited mobility. His fevers were so high that he could barely stay awake and he remembers almost nothing.

      The important thing is that he is alive and home with me. This month is our 37th anniversary. He is the love of my life and I cannot imagine life without him.

      • Poppi Panama says:

        Happy Anniversary! Best wishes and keep the hope and faith and continue to perservere with a pure heart and humbleness daily. My prayers will be with you both daily and I hope and pray he feels better each day and gets stronger.

    • Chuck says:

      I am new to ssd and recently found your blog.I am sorry to heard about the MRSA.Hopefuly, the good Lord will ease potluck’s pain.
      My question is as follows:Given all the pre data will have been receiving for Sept, what is the expectation for Sept. Cpi-w?Finaly, what will this do to our “Expected” COLA for Jan. 2012? If you could venture a number I would appreciate it.( 2% increase etc.)

      • revenuer says:

        Chuck,

        Potluck says that the CPI-w data may be a little higher than it was last month, but he doesn’t expect it to be high enough to affect a proposed COLA.
        There is no way yet to say definitely what the COLA amount would be, but Potluck thinks it will be between 3 and 3.5%.

        We all have to wait for the spitwads in Washington to make an announcement before we will know for sure.

  2. Poppi Panama says:

    Best wishes to all the pain and sufferings Potluck. My prayers are with you daily.

    • revenuer says:

      Thank you very much Panama. It is very kind of you to think of us and to offer us the best you have to give. We all need to take care of each other. As we are all learning, all we have is each other.

  3. darla says:

    Thank you for the update – I don’t know if it would work for his arthritis, but my mother has had great luck with taking a herbal remedy called Humphrey’s #15 for arthritis. She has severe arthritis to the point of being in a wheelchair, but this greatly helps.

    • revenuer says:

      Thank you for the suggestion, Darla. Due to his liver damage Potluck has to have everything he takes approved by his doctor. Herbs, as you point out can be strong medicine and we have to be really careful to watch for anything that might cause liver or kidney damage.

      His doctor prescribes and recommends which vitamins he can take and a panel of doctors from the hospital created his heart and blood pressure regimen. It is very delicate. He also takes a blood thinner to keep his pacemaker from throwing off clots.

      We do have a very good doctor. He is informed about and familiar with the type of MRSA Potluck had. Many doctors don’t know that much about it. The internist we went to before Potluck got sick told me after he was released from the hospital that we would have to find another doctor. She didn’t have any idea how to treat him and she was afraid she might harm him. I respect her for telling us. A lot of doctors would not have.

      For Potluck’s hands and the arthritis that affects them we found some gloves through the Arthritis Foundation. They don’t have finger tips so Potluck can type and do other small intricate tasks and they provide gentle support and warmth which eases his pain. Very good to have even if you can take medication.

      • Judy Reynolds says:

        Wow, I’d say that was quite an amazing story of survival and perserverance! Hope Potluck is feeling much better soon. His contributions at this site are invaluable and unequaled. I thank him so much for the information he gives and explains so clearly. And, congratulations on your wedding anniversary!

      • revenuer says:

        Thank you very much, Judy. He has already improved a great deal since he came out of the hospital but he remains fragile and his general health will always be of great concern. He is a very determined fellow. His Cardiologist told me just before Potluck was discharged from the hospital that he had never treated a patient who was that sick who had lived. He said it was Potluck’s sheer determination that brought him through. He never thought Potluck would make it. I am very glad he did.

  4. Mike says:

    I may not agree with everything on “S.S.Potluck’s” political viewpoints, but I still appreciate the Information and analysis done on COLA’S , etc and I will keep you both in my Prayers….I hope he gets some relief and makes the best recovery possible…..and for you for the strength to keep on helping him…..I do know that can be a daunting task…..

    Take Care,
    Mike

    • revenuer says:

      Mike,

      Thank you so much for your post and prayers and good wishes. Even though our opinions may differ on many things it doesn’t mean that we value your input any less. It would be a very dull world if everyone thought alike. We like different ideas here. Even though we may argue at times it isn’t a bad thing. I’m an old Quaker woman who appreciates a good discussion. 😉

      My prayer for you, Mike, is that God hold you in the light and give you his love.

  5. John says:

    I’m really sorry to hear about Potluck not feeling well and being so ill. I had no idea it was so bad. I sure am grateful for his fine and very noble contributions here,and his friend keeping us updated. This site has done much to help me understand things.

    Potluck, I hope you start feeling better real soon. As I’ve said before, take your time and good care of yourself. Your health is top priority above all. Take as much time to heal and recover as it takes. And remember that you have so many people out here hoping for your well-being and good health. Rest assured we will keep checking in, hoping to hear you are feeling better. Everyone here knows you deserve the best. Above all, make sure you are taking some time to cherish some happiness every day and find some joy. Sometimes we have to be reminded to look for the little bits of happiness right in front of us; I know I do. I hope you are at least enjoying some well-earned peace and comfort. I have no doubts that your strength and determination has been built over life and is now there to ensure the defense of your body from illnesses. That investment of character is now paying off, and is inspiring.

    Thank you again and your kind friend for keeping us updated; I am humbly grateful.

    Best of luck and warmest wishes.

  6. John says:

    Boy I feel silly. I just realized Potluck’s friend that I was referencing is his wife, if I’m reading this page right (and I’ll feel sillier if I’m wrong). It takes me a while sometimes 😛

    Well many thanks for taking good care of Potluck and keeping us filled in. It’s nice to know he has someone to take care of him. I’m very happy to hear that he is being taken care of and am all the more grateful. Bless you all.

    🙂

    • revenuer says:

      John,

      It’s alright. 😉 I think I am operating in slo mo myself because I didn’t consider the term “friend” to be anything other than interchangeable with “wife.” Potlluck is my very best friend. It is how we started before we fell in love and how we have continued. There is nothing better than being married to your best friend. Thank you for clarifying but don’t feel silly.

      Thanks for your comments, John, and Bless you too.

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