Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Roller Coaster ride continues......

Good Morning, All! I wanted to give everyone an update on Carter-Man. So.....he definitely had an infection. There was some bacteria in his sputum culture..the blood cultures were fine but the doctors believe that because the blood culture was done before the septic event, they did not do the culture at the right time. I did notice on Thursday afternoon that the area around his PICC line was red and inflamed. I showed the nurse and she had the resident and Attending look at it and sure enough it was infected. They took it out and placed another one. He has bounced back quicker than expected, which we are very thankful for..lots of prayer and positive thinking:) His blood counts are great!!! The EKG that was done did pick up on the irregularity of the heartbeat but it was a normal irregularity, whatever that may mean! We have not experienced that since that night. The doctor explained to us that it is like an unconditioned athlete running a marathon (which would be when Carter went septic) and then falling on the couch. The heart rate would drop and may beat irregularly. Thank goodness that his heart rate is better than it has been in weeks, his breathing is wonderful, and he has had no fever in days:) He is ready to get back to where we were before this event..going outside, taking walks, and happy! On a GREAT note, Skip and I and our team (Intensivist, Oncologist, Social Worker, Case Manager, Occupational Therapist, Head Nurse, Pulmonologist) here at INOVA had a meeting on Thursday to discuss going HOME....ahhhh......the sound of that makes my heart smile. There are some things that need to be ironed out and we need to finish this course of antibiotics (he is on 3 of them)to be sure the infection is long gone. We will have nursing at home for 16 hours per day in the beginning to help with his care. Skip and I have both learned how to change the trache and trache ties (Skip is a pro, I am still learning)!!! We have to iron out all of the medical equipment we will need and have it delivered. A HUGE thank you to Ellen and Al Sharpe for letting us use their hospital bed. We already have it placed in our family room! Gagee hung curtains to block out the sunlight in the family room so Carter can sleep and Barbara and Jenny helped me rearrange the room. We have organizers set up and are anxiously awaiting the Big Day!!! Carter is resting right now. He had a hard time getting settled last night..I truly believe that he has heard us talk about going home and now he is super anxious! WE ARE, TOO:)
As you have read, Skip and I see this journey as a roller coaster. There are twists and turns, ups and downs, long hills to climb, short hills to climb, some scary, some long, some fun, some short! We are taking each as they come. We enjoy the fun ones and dread the scary ones. We have been very blessed throughout this journey. Carter has been through some life-threatening events and each time, he pulls the Grace of God. He is a fighter..he is a true hero..he is an inspiration to us all....he is CARTER-MAN!!!!!!!!!!! He is the light of our life!!! We hope to bring him home in the next couple of weeks:) Please continue to pray for him and send positive thoughts!!!
By the way, Carter loves cards...he gets one several times a week from Belva and Jay Miller and Aunt Tina and Uncle Bill. HE LOVES THEM:) Thank you so much! Many have asked about sending them and just to let everyone know he loves when I bring them to him at the hospital.
His mailing address is
Carter-Man Harris
14 Glen Oak Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

Love to you all,