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.