Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Dreary Life of Daily Intercourse*

Antibiotic Ramblings

Life is returning to semi-normal. I'm on a full menu of antibiotics to cover all the inhabitants of the mutant bone booger. For breakfast, I start with a metronidazole tablet. (I really would like to strangle whoever came up with this formulation. How hard can it be to put on a little coating so it doesn't taste like Bitrex the minute it enters your mouth?) Then, Kathleen hooks my PICC line up so I can mainline some premium vancomycin for the next hour and a half. Lunch is light, but disgusting--another metronidazole. In the evening, I get an appetizer of IV ceftriaxone and another hit of vancomycin. Dessert is another metronidazole.

The technique of antibiotic choice in serious infection is to start by covering all likely pathogens until cultures can give you a more precise diagnosis. The menu is not exactly what was started in the hospital. Instead of ceftriaxone, I was originally on ciprofloxacin, but that made me a little hypomanic (a little happier than is good for me, but not over-the-top) and gave me nightmares filled with people who had a strange and disgusting disease that caused them to be completely covered (including their eyes) in black, lint-like hair and shrink to the size of dolls. They chased me around a haunted house begging me to cure them even though I couldn't help them and could catch the disease myself. For that, and, I surmise, because my cultures are not growing Pseudomonas**, I was switched to ceftriaxone.

I hope that further cultural developments, so to speak, will allow more narrowing of my regimen, specifically, I would love to get rid of the metronidazole. I am afraid that the vancomycin infusions are here to stay for at least five more weeks.

In other news, I inadvertently freaked my parents yesterday. I called to brag about what B's teacher had told me and Kathleen during our parent-teacher conference. My father answered. When I told him to put Mom on so I could tell them both about 'something', he practically wet himself thinking it was going to be bad news about pathology. The excitement of parenthood never ends.

*I stole that phrase from a high school classmate of my mother's. She was reciting the poem Tintern Abbey, by William Wordsworth. She stumbled over the line, "The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb. Our chearful faith that all which we behold," and created comedy gold.

**If Pseudomonas is bad, is Monas worse? I checked. The etymology was apparently not spelled out when the term was coined, so I can only speculate. Monas is a type of amoeba which bears no obvious resemblance to Pseudomonas and is not particularly pathogenic. The etymology of Monas may be from the Greek Monas, meaning 'unit', or may derive from Monad, which is an old way to refer to any single-cell organism or to Adolf Hitler. If this last is the case, I can say with certainty that a fake Hitler is less virulent that a real one.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, the title is still quite apropos if you append the phrase "if you know what I mean" to "Kathleen hooks my PICC line up"...