It's just one thing after another. Eric is on SO MANY medications; at least three different antibiotics, steroids, (weaning off solumedrol, plus hydrocortisone), sedations ("low dose" IV pump fentynol and versed, plus PRN boluses). Some drugs can harm the kidneys and others the liver, so they have to monitor this. When he's on a ventilator, it's more comfortable for him to be slightly sedated, but when he's extubated, he has to suffer some withdrawl. When he has to wean off the sedation drugs, they give him methadone to ease the symptoms. They give him meds to counteract the effects of other meds. Saturday night when he had to be reintubated, they first gave him three different drugs to sedate him. This cocktail bottomed out his blood pressure to 40/20. I thought he was going to code right in front of me. So they pumped IV fluids, dopamine, and norepinephrine to get his BP up. Two days later, we're still trying to get him off these two drugs. And now he's started having PVCs (premature ventricular contractions, a mild but worrisome heart arrhythmia) They tell us now his lymphocyte count is low, that as a result, he's susceptable to many opportunistic infections. They're primarily worried about pneumocystis carinii (PCP). They did a broncho-alveolar lavage to obtain a sputum sample to rule this out, but there weren't enough cells, so they still don't know. They may have to do a bronchoscopy to get this sample. In the meantime, they want to treat prophylactically. Only two drugs treat PCP . . . Bactrim! Obviously, we're not going there, as we suspect that's what caused this whole disaster in the first place. And pentamidine, a hard core drug if you ask me. I find myself wanting to scream, "God, get us out of here!" We've been told, and indeed have witnessed first hand, ICUs are dangerous places, fraught with subjective human decisions, errors, drug reactions and interactions, GERMS. Don't get me wrong, the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, even the cleaning staff, are wonderful here. But still . . . it's a scary place. Sometimes I think my mouth is hurting, and then I realize, I've been gritting my teeth.
Anyway, as I mentioned in previous post, today there will be major meetings to determine the best course of action(s) for Eric. And I've been praying like crazy that our Divine Healer will be the physician in charge there, that he'll be present and give these doctors wisdom to know the right things to do.