COPD and Other Stuff

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Posts Tagged ‘cellulitis’

One Face of MRSA, Resistance Bug, in Kitsap County

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

One Face of MRSA – What Does the Resistance Bug MRSA Look Like in Kitsap County?  Here is one face.Wounds

A Look at MRSA

 

Ignoring edema in your lower legs?
I did. Ask your doctor how to get rid of it – permanently…not just take water pills and forget it.

There is a reason edema develops for each person. Find out the cause, and, if possible – fix it. You do not want what I have.

Ask your partner – your doctor.
The latest recent culture of my open wound came back positive again – the second positive result since it began again in my lower left leg, October 2013..

“MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It causes a staph infection (pronounced “staff infection”) that is resistant to several common antibiotics. There are two types of infection. Hospital-associated MRSA happens to people in healthcare settings. Community-associated MRSA happens to people who have close skin-to-skin contact with others, such as athletes involved in football and wrestling.

Infection control is key to stopping MRSA in hospitals. To prevent community-associated MRSA

Practice good hygiene
Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed
Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages
Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors, or clothes
Wash soiled sheets, towels, and clothes in hot water with bleach and dry in a hot dryer

If a wound appears to be infected, see a health care provider. Treatments may include draining the infection and antibiotics.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases”

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mrsa.html

My opinion: (Test all patients and personnel in hospitals – stop the spread of MRSA)

Ignoring it – spreads it
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Harrison Medical Center Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine, Infusion Center
The understated low-slung buildings in the old Sheridan Village show a benign face to the wounded people who fight life and death wound care treatment inside.
Opening the door to the reception area brings a cheery “Hi! …Debbie knows your name.Debbie Knows Your Name and smiles a welcome!

Debbie Knows Your Name and smiles a welcome!

Debbie is usually the first introduction to the amazing friendly, competent and cheerful docs, nurses, technicians – all the great people working there. The patients reflect their environment as does the varied reading material offered. From deep sea training to bird reading …nothing ordinary about this place or the people in it – health care  or patients.
A minor breakthrough happened when I awoke a few mornings ago feeling nothing. An absence of pain in my leg – no pain anywhere….the apparent result of the new sulfur antibiotic for the escalating lymphedema/cellulitis/MRSA wounds in my left leg.
The pain gradually returned.

Debriding is done with a sharp razor after the wounds get surface Lidocaine to deaden the flesh. Most of the time it works.
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GOOD NEWS: I heard about an Ultrasonic Debridement machine – pain free that takes the place of a sharp razor and found a study on it in Ontario, Canada.
Efficacy Study of Ultrasound-Assisted Debridement to Influence Wound Healing (UltraHeal)
Principal Investigator: Christine A. Murphy, MClSc PhD(c) The Ottawa Hospital
Sponsor: Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The start date was December 2013 – Estimated completion December 2014.
Official Title ICMJE A Randomized Controlled Trial to Investigate if Application of Low Frequency Ultrasound-assisted Debridement May Improve Healing and Infection Outcomes for the Person With Vasculopathy and Recalcitrant Wounds of the Lower Extremity
Brief Summary The UltraHeal Study is a randomized controlled trial to compare healing response of low frequency contact ultrasonic-assisted debridement in addition to best practice wound care to best practice wound care alone in a Vascular Surgery Clinic patient population with wounds of the lower extremity.
Detailed Description The study will also investigate the bacterial tissue burden and protease activity to provide further insight into the infection and inflammation aspects of healing barriers in a challenging population.

IF the study proves out, we should be thinking about getting a Ultrasound  machine that uses new technology to debriding wounds and helps healing…

Harrison Medical Center Foundation – how can we help you help us get that machine if the study is successful?

1-IMG_37712-IMG_37695-IMG_3765

Thanks for listening… more later…
Sharon O’Hara, (familien1@comcast.net)


Dr. Halligan and Harrison Medical Center Angels, Part 1 of 3

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

I am writing this from a hospital bed on the cancer floor at Harrison Medical Center in hope someone will take note what edema can and may do to those who ignore it.

Also, I’m writing in heartfelt thanks to Dr. Halligan, Internist/Surgeon at Silverdale Doctor’s Clinic who saved my life and leg recently by taking over failed treatment for my Lymphedema/Cellulitis/Edema filled legs and painstakingly, day after day treated and changed leg wraps.

Dr. Halligan patiently explained my left leg needed debriding to remove the dead skin, much as burn victims and he couldn’t tell what was under the surface dead skin or how deep the dead tissue went. This four-month pain riddled sleep deprived patient gratefully lay in a bed at Harrison Bremerton 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. Four weeks total this Thursday.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I am moving to a rehab place for rehabilitation and further healing.

I battled without success since early September the Cellulitis/Edema in my left leg until my right leg reddened with infection and edema and began the water blisters that experience taught would lead to lymph fluid running down my lower legs, scalding the skin it touched and spreading the poison…

Chris Goss, MD, my lung doc at the University of Washington Medical Center straightened out the Restless Leg Syndrome medication problem so I could sleep if the pain eased.

Edema patients  – PLEASE – check out the following photos of the latest rise and fall of my edema filled legs and ask yourself if ignoring edema is worth it.

Dr. Halligan – thank you!

More next time on Harrison Medical Center’s Angels in disguise.

….thanks for reading.  Sharon O’Hara

Thanks for reading…Sharon O’Hara


Cellulitis and Lymphedema – Bah Humbug!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Cellulitis/Lymphedema is nasty.  Did I mention it is painful?  Moreover, it takes ‘forever’ to heal – or so it seems.  This time, the weeping sores have spread all the way around my lower left leg.

Seeing the blood on the old pads covering the wounds was new.  The blood was new but I was told by a medical person when I called the office that it meant the skin was healing and not to worry.  Well.  Okay.

I am not worried either that yesterday in the shower hunks of skin sloughed off my leg.  The stinging and burning was harsher than usual but I could not see what my husband was talking about until I saw the photos he took of my leg before he rewrapped it.

The medical person who told me my leg was healing might be wrong.  According to her, I should have healed last week.

Nothing, this time, resembles what has happened with prior cellulitis/lymphedema ‘attacks’.

What have other patients done to help heal cellulitis/lymphedema?  I don’t know what to do next.  What we’ve been doing isn’t working.

Beginning to feel like a monkey swinging off the end of a branch high up on a snag tree in the middle of a windstorm – I know storms abate and wounds heal!

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

 


COPD – the beginning. Pain – the end

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is not painful.  We simply cannot breathe easily.  Some of us are on supplement oxygen – others chug along noisily, some less noisy.

“Question: Is having pain in the lung typical of COPD?

Answer: Chronic lung pain is not commonly associated with COPD. However, pain can come from the wall of the chest and not directly from the lungs – this in fact can be seen in COPD. Pain in the chest can come from coughing very hard and straining the muscles of the chest. Pain in the chest can be due to a rib fracture from coughing hard. Pain in the back of the chest can come from osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. Check with your healthcare provider to find out the cause of your pain. If you have new chest pain, or have pain that frightens you, call 911 to go to the emergency room at the nearest hospital.”

 http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/copd-chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease/faq/

The problem for some of us is that COPD leads to other stuff – some of it painful – none of it desirable.  That is where I am – I have gathered a bunch of other stuff since my 1997 stay in Harrison Medical Center.

Do to inattention at putting on my stockings when I needed to – timing is crucial – the Cellulitis/Lymphedema is back and trying to heal.  It should have healed by now.  A brief stay in Harrison gave a great jump-start of healing my left leg but the healing has been set back and that means the pain is unrelenting.

A problem seems to be that the long homemade brush had an end tied cord that caught in the bristles of the soft baby brush and ripped the half healed sores open when I was in the shower to gently cleanse the wounds before my husband wrapped them again.

I did not know why it was so painful until I lifted the brush to rinse it and saw the cord end stuck in the soft bristles. I have recut the length of the cord so it cannot happen again.

Pain overtakes a life – it has taken over mine…and no blame except to me.   It has been over a year since my legs got bad and lymph fluid wept and the ‘blame’ is my own doorstep.  I let other stuff get in the way of getting my stockings on. I dropped the ball – as it’s turned out – on my own left foot.

I have never liked taking pain pills for any reason but for a lung patient – it is harmful.  Trouble is, right now – I do not care.  What good is saving your lungs when pain keeps you awake and in agony?  Crying in pain chokes off my airway and I still my mind to focus on deep breathing.  I take a pain pill to sleep and I take a pain pill to endure being awake waiting for my leg to heal.

Should I be afraid of becoming a drug addict?  At this point, I’m more afraid of not wanting to wake up to another day of the same pain.

Funny how drug abuse by drug addicts shut down pain relief for people who medically need it.  Doctors become afraid to prescribe pain pills for fear their patients will become addicted….and patients become afraid to take it.

Read the latest policy by the state – to track:

““Having a patient’s prescription history gives prescribers a more complete view of patient care when they prescribe or dispense controlled substances,” Washington State Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a press release. “This new service is another tool for patient care and safety.””

Read more: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/kitsap-crime/2011/10/14/state-to-begin-monitoring-prescriptions-for-pain-medication-in-2012/#ixzz1cT5a9dJ1

Josh Farley’s “State to begin monitoring prescriptions for pain medication in 2012” article is timely.

The only people tracked here are medical patients and their doctors.  The druggies and drug dealers remain in a dark, untracked place of anonymity.

If doctors are leery of writing scripts for pain medications for their patients – what will happen to those patients forced to endure unrelenting pain?

Yes, Josh – I think this is an invasion of people’s privacy.

Thanks for reading…. Sharon O’Hara


Does a hospital’s right to hire smokers trump a patient’s right to breathe clean air?

Friday, October 21st, 2011

I was recently in the hospital to get a head start on trying to control the leaky cellulitis/lymphedema/edema causing havoc and pain on my left leg and life.  For an entire day all my experiences in the hospital were incredibly good… until…

The new aide came closer to take vitals until she was close enough to smell cigarette smoke on her.  “Smoker”?  I asked – she said, “Yes” and continued to wrap the blood pressure cuff around my left arm and placed the thermometer into my mouth.

For whatever reason when she finished with the blood pressure, she held on to the handle of the thermometer and I smelled the smoke on her fingers held next to my nose.  My mouth was tight around the thermometer and now could not breathe without smelling her smoke and I pulled away and said, “Your fingers reek of cigarette smoke.”

She agreed and I suggested she wash her hands.  She said she did but the smoke smell did not come off.  I was trapped – a hospital patient forced to inhale cigarette smoke from a hospital worker.  She said she would get someone else to do my vitals.

Funny thing.  I was in that hospital because of a forty-year smoking habit and developed emphysema (COPD) due – probably – to smoking.

I stopped smoking in 1997 – a tough time that took me over two years to get over the gut wrenching addiction urge to smoke again…and here I was trapped in the hospital, forced to inhale smoke from a hospital employee reeking of cigarette smoke.  The irony of all their outside hospital signs proving they were a “Smoke-free” hospital and grounds was laughable.

I complained.  The hospital person I complained to told me they would get someone else to do my vitals…that I did not have to have a smoker helping me.  I asked about the other seniors – any patient – who would probably not complain of being forced to inhale the toxins of cigarette smoke from a hospital employee for fear of retaliation…no one seemed concerned about them.  Apparently, the issue is only an issue with me, an ex-smoker, as far as the hospital is concerned.

A few hours later, the RN came in with the vials of antibiotics and other meds that went directly into my veins.  He dropped one vial, hesitated, picked it up, hooked it into the devise going directly into my vein, and plunged the contents inside.  Neither of us said a word.  I remember thinking, isn’t this hospital floor dirty?  And hoped the contents of the vial stayed uncontaminated.

As an almost thirty year hairdresser, if I dropped a comb on the floor it was cleaned and re-sterilized before touching a patron.  Apparently, hospitals are different.

A while later it was time to hook up the oxygen tube to my bipap.  I pulled to get it for her but the end was stuck between the hospital bed wheel and the metal bedframe I’d just lowered.  I left to visit the bathroom and when I came back, the hospital employee had ‘fixed’ it.

I looked and she had placed the deformed tube end on my machine but had not pushed it on to secure it.  I did it and went to bed…wondering why an employee was allowed to reek of cigarette smoke and work around patients….wondered why an RN didn’t throw the vial away and get a new one for the patient when it dropped to the dirty floor…wondered why the tube end of the oxygen tube wasn’t replaced by a clean, sterile one when it had been lodged against the dirty hospital bed wheel.

To be clear…I do not care if the hospital person smokes.  I care when her/his right to smoke interferes with my right to breathe clean air – especially in a hospital.

I was discharged and came home the next day.

Am I overreacting and expecting too much from a hospital?

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


Cellulitis brings a new depth of being and the best shoes in Kitsap County

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease for many people is only the beginning of a series of medical conditions.  For me the latest is Cellulitis/Lymphedema – nasty painful stuff…you do not want.  Apparently, COPD trips the immune system for some of us leaving us open to whatever comes down the pike.  Lessons to be learned – do not let COPD develop.

Find a doctor willing to give a four-minute Spirometry test with annual physicals for early detection COPD and other issues, including asthma.  COPD leads down a path you might well avoid with early detection.

Cellulitis and Lymphedema can arrive by ignoring edema, as I did for years after my COPD diagnosis.  If you have edema, follow your doctor’s instructions to get rid of it.  Cut out the salt –whatever it takes – do it to avoid what is now for me, a chronic medical issue. Did I mention painful?  Do whatever it takes to avoid it…beginning with COPD early detection Spirometry.

The photos show the progression of this session of ER diagnosed Cellulitis and the good results from the quick action of the Harrison ER team, Dr. Jeffrey Morse, Tessie and Florida Girl.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001858/#adam_000855.disease.causes

Cellulitis pain is a great leveler…after days and weeks of it, I can’t find my notes from the ER.  Tessie and Florida Girl are RN’s working the shift and the care they give er patients is extraordinary.

The plus side – it has been over a year since the last open weeping and leg pain thanks to getting patient education and lessons on wrapping legs from Mellissa Mercogliano, PT, OCS at the Center for Orthopedic & Lymphatic Physical Therapy in Port Orchard.

No water workout until this stuff heals.