Posts Tagged ‘hospital


Salmon passing by…



hospital window…

from a hospital room and waiting….and all that goes with those moments of contemplating, replaying, rewinding, once again, looking out the window at the blustery sky, as blustery as the heart of late. Someone’s life, one’s own life in summation.

Brooding sky-clouds-hospital-SwittersB-3


Portland tram travel…

OHSU Aerial Tram



Waiting Room View

photography-sun rays-clouds-SwittersBWaiting, reflecting, praying, fearing, seeing, believing, doubting, sleeping, whispering, thinking & thinking.


Photography: Movement & Clarity

fountain cancer wing portland SB

 A lovely fountain in the foyer of a hospital. You pass this fountain, coming and going, to the cancer/critical care units above. I wonder how many people stop to contemplate the quiet beauty while their minds and hearts are full of realities that blur ones ability to focus, to see, to look beyond.


Flyfishers! Cuts & Sores (infections & consequences)

Previously, I wrote about arriving home from a Christmas Island trip and within a few days, I had a serious Staph/Strep infection erupting on the top of my left foot with a radiating, angry red streak. I had been fortunate enough to borrow flats boots, in an effort to save $100. You spend $3500-$4000 and worry about a $100. Of course, those $100. increments quickly mount for all manner of this and that.
Simms Flats Boots

Simms Flats Boots

But, I borrowed the boots and they were too big and often packed with sand and grit. i waded in the salt water and brackish water and walked about the Mini, all while having four or five open sores from the boots. I made an effort to keep the sores clean and covered. But, walking and shuffling over 10 hours a day made short work of my first aid efforts. Sand invaded beneath the wraps of tape and scoured away as much tissue as possible. I am not sure what I could have done beyond buying and wearing proper fitting boots. Once the abrasions had asserted themselves, I had used antiseptics, ointments, gauze and tape to feebly protect the sores. So, that was my experience with sores, sores’ care and the resultant angry infections.

Move forward nine months, and meet my son, Tony. For once out of flip flops and into rarely worn dress shoes. On a

Stiff Black Dress Shoes-Young Men Rarely Leave

Stiff Black Dress Shoes-Young Men Rarely Wear

Friday, he hoofs about town in casual business attire to test for a job and walks many miles in the ill fitting shoes (a theme, I see) and this results in an angry sore on the back of his left foot. Move forward to Monday, and he is trying his hand as a dancing bear on a skim board on the Columbia R. Great fun. Now, as the week progresses, he mentions to me that the darn sore on his heel is aggravated. He works, he works out with me..and on Friday morning, he awakens to hit the head and upon standing, WHOA!, Shit! that ankle is tight. He takes care of business and returns as all kids do to see if he can sleep beyond when adults think kids should be up because, well just because. He gets up at 8AM to get ready for work and then the swelling was considerable. By 10AM he is with a doctor, a specialist by Noon, and MRI by 2:30PM and admitted to the hospital by 4PM. Considerable anti-biotics and pain meds are dispensed for several days and the pain mounts and the swelling worsens. Lab results are not entirely conclusive as to cause. Sunday morning the surgeon says we are opening the ankle up to drain the tissues and joint and draw more samples (they cannot identify what is going on). The white count is high, the pain is up into the groin with earnest intent.


Pre-Op (Ready For Relief of Pain)

Post-Op (Ready For Relief of Pain)

So, surgery is done. No answers as to cause yet. A new source of pain now (invasion of the probing surgeon) along with the previous pain. Time will tell what is going to happen and perhaps why it all happened.

Post Op and Still Positive

Post Op and Still Positive

Two times, two pair of ill fitting shoes, blisters/sores, a delay and then infections or some form of infections. Bottom line, when you get a sore to one of your wheels take care of it. Being away is some form of a minor excuse. Being home affords no excuses to not care for the sores. Better yet, buy and wear shoes that are comfortable and can take a long walk in the sand, corral or downtown streets.

8 Hours Post Op w/ PICC line inserted..looking way better!

8 Hours Post Op w/ PICC line inserted..looking way better!

So, this infection business is scary. And, what is evident after 72+ hours of this, is what I have come to know via family emergencies, medicine is not precise in its’ certainty. It tries to be precise in its’ risk avoidance and liability reduction, hence procedures and policies and safeguards are ever more apparent. But those are not for the cure, only the reduction in mistakes and lawsuits. Good outcomes…not necessarily the cure. Again, we need to take care of ourselves as best as we can until we fall into the medical safety net. Then I pray solutions come easy and certain. Baffled looks on experienced physician’s faces is not reassuring, but sends home the reality. Yes, Tony looks pretty frisky now. But, he has had many hours to ponder the pain scale, feel the repetitive pokes of IV placements, feel the sheets turn wet from the fever induced sweat, feel the overwhelming sense that you are not in control of anything, answer constant assessment questions from doctors, nurses and loved ones. How, why, what?  This: there is creepy 3rd world shit out there (here) right now that is resistant to our wonder drugs. Take care.

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down~Violet

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down~Violet

No wonder he feels better.

Tony & McKenzie

Tony & McKenzie

Update August 12, 2008: Second surgery to insert tubes, inspect tissues again for damage or degeneration (none now), sew up and wrap well. Samples taken finally give definitive Streptococcus finding. This means the harsh anti-biotic cocktail can be scaled back to penicillins to attack Strep. No idea where it came from but it is everwhere. Some basic info re Strep: ” The lymph system is the complex network of vessels that carries waste products from the tissues back into the bloodstream. These vessels also carry foreign material to the lymph nodes to help promote an immune response against infection. The worry with strep infections in the lymph system is that they can linger in the vessels, causing local destruction before the immune system can be alerted to launch an effective defense. Alternatively, if strep passes out of the lymph system and invades the bloodstream, it can cause catastrophic illness without much local infection.”

More Info:

“Streptococcus bacteria, the cause of everyday strep throat, is among our most ancient, tenacious, and versatile bacterial enemies. Strep strains linger in the soil and on our skin, and their tricks are legion. Some can incite surface infections like strep throat and erysipelas. (The word erysipelas – Greek for “red skin” — refers to a more severe skin infection than cellulitis.) In other cases, they can invade lungs, heart valves, and spinal cords. A great opportunist, strep rampaged through nineteenth-century maternity wards as puerperal fever thanks to doctors who examined new mothers with unwashed hands between cases. Before penicillin, untreatable strep throat caused lethal epidemics of rheumatic fever via an evil biochemical mimicry. The strep provokes an antibody response that mistakes the sufferer’s own heart muscle and valves for the strep intruder.”

 “Most recently, strep reared its hydra-like head as “flesh-eating bacteria.” Headlines hyped it as a “new” plague, but 2,500 years ago Hippocrates described an erysipelas that led, gruesomely, to “flesh, sinews, and bones falling away in large quantities.” This horrifying condition is caused by strep strains that slip into tissue following an innocuous scrape or cut. If the infection is not treated, the bacteria can crank out enough enzymes and toxins to literally dissolve flesh. (“Tissue necrosis” is the official term.) Strep enzymes can dismantle connective tissue, blood clots, and other living fire-walls in its path. Strep toxins sabotage blood vessels and cell membranes….”  “A Lethal ScratchDiscover,  Feb, 1998  by Tony Dajer



No, Tony did not have flesh eating beserkness loose in his body. But, the doctors were pretty aggressive and concerned (even now a week later). It is nothing to mess with and it is evident that this stuff can rear its ugly head and stand toe to toe with modern medicine and sometimes win a battle or two causing destruction or death.

So, Tony is on the mend (home after 1o days in hospital). Two surgeries. Massive amounts of antibiotics still flowing in. Still a wait and see, day to day tone to everything. Weeks lay ahead of healing, a painful rehab and regrouping mentally to digest this entire experience. Missed trip to Alaska, missed traditional stillwater trips in September, missed career opportunity likely. It could have been far worse. Sobering what a damn blister can open the door to. (Please read this and related post as well….I find it immensely interesting)

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

August 2020

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