Hospitals are dull, dull, dull

I think it is time for hospitals to go for the holistic approach.  They supply medicine, they supply care, they supply food, but what about entertainment?

I’m not asking for much.  Would live shows every week and daily shopping outings be so hard to organize? 😉  We are boooorrred.

Boeta started with fevers yesterday.  Today it shot up to 39 degrees at one stage and he is on several antibiotics at the moment.  His blood culture came back positive and preliminary results show Gram positive cocci.  And now, to give you an idea of how dull hospitals are, I am going to teach you about Gram positive cocci. 

Bacteria are either round or rod-shaped.  The round ones are called coccus and the rod ones are called bacillus.  The coccus (multiple = cocci) ones usually occur in groups.  There can be twos (diplococci), bead-like chains (streptococci) or grape-like clusters (staphylococci).  Typical cocci infections are pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infections and throat infections.  There are many more but you get the picture.

Gram positive and negative describes the cell wall of the bacterium.  Gram negative bacteria have “plain” cell walls – picture a Smartie (or M&M for the non-South Africans).  If you want to get to the inside you merely have to get through the shell.  Crack it and the soft inside is yours.

Gram positives have a “slimy” layer on the outside (because of the high amount of peptidoglycan in the cell wall, but who is counting?).  So to get to its soft bits you first have to make your way through this protective covering.

The antibiotics that are needed are drastically different for Gram pos and neg strains.  Antibiotics that work against Gram negatives won’t make it through the slimy cover of the Gram positives.

So we are, in a way, happy for the positive blood culture as it means it is a bacterial infection and can get treated with antibiotics (viral infections can’t be treated with antibiotics) and it gives guidelines to which antibiotics should be used.

There is a but though.  It is also possible that it is a fungal infection instead of a bacterial one.  That would be bad news.  Fungi are horrible things to get rid of. 

See how dull that was?  Hospitals are 100x duller than an introductory microbiology lesson.

Either way, if the infection doesn’t start clearing within 48 hours from the start of the antibiotics Boeta’s Broviac line needs to be removed.  When the body is fighting an infection it will go into overdrive because of the foreign body (the Broviac) and “reject” it.  That would mean extremely high temperatures and other nasty things.  If the Broviac goes out it means Boeta will be pincushioned again with all drips, blood samples, etc needing a needle.  With the Broviac it all goes through the one port and it works painlessly and like a charm.

Here is our prayer request:  Please pray that the infection clears quickly and that the Broviac can stay in.  Also pray that Boeta can start eating and drinking again.  He still can’t keep anything in – he vomits everything out within 2 minutes.  He has very bad diarrhoea as well.  They are starting him on medication for that – please pray that it works.


4 Responses

  1. They have just re-done our cancer ward and it looks so beautiful. It was designed to keep in mind the emotional welbeing of kids and in particular teenagers too. But yes I agree hospitals are incredibly boring places, it’s almost like watching paint dry and cheering a snail in a snail race :-).

    I will be praying extra special hard for you!!!

  2. Really hoping and praying that he starts eating

  3. Sending lots of positive energy and cocci fighting love bubbles as well as prayers. It is again today raining blessings and grace! Thinking of you and yours!

  4. Thanks for the lesson, fascinating!

    Glad Boeta did start to get better and that the antibiotics started working. *HUGS*

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