Post-Surgery Update #2

by Brian Rigby, MS, CISSN

3 Replies


Hey everyone,

I wanted to get an article out this week—and perhaps it’ll still happen—but things have been going a bit rocky. Last Friday, I developed a headache and a fever. I had no fluid leakage (the main thing I’m supposed to be aware of), so didn’t think too much of it at first, but the headache eventually crescendoed into the most excruciating pain of my life. My wife drove me to the emergency room (for the pain meds more than anything else), and they transferred me back to the original hospital. I’m still here.

Rumor has it I may be released tomorrow, but that was the rumor for today as well. The main hold up is that they can’t find anything in particular¬†wrong with me. I’m not on pain meds anymore (except acetaminophen occasionally), but nothing grew on the cultures they took from me either. I still have a fever at times—mostly in the middle of the night—and because of that, the Infectious Disease team doesn’t want to release me.

My neurosurgeons think the whole thing was inflammation triggered by withdrawal from the steroids I was prescribed (my final dose was last Thursday). Infectious Disease thinks it’s some type of bacterial meningitis that got eliminated on the cultures by a poorly timed antibiotic—I received some antibiotics before I got a lumbar puncture, so they think maybe nothing is growing in the CSF because it was already eradicated. I’m starting to wonder if maybe this is all just really bad timing and I just have a cold or the flu. I mean, I feel sick all the time, but I don’t know how I “should” feel after surgery; maybe not like this!

With some luck, I’ll be released tomorrow morning, but I’m a bit worried by the Infectious Disease Team’s reticence to release me without knowing exactly what is wrong. I understand it’s for my best interest, but if nothing has grown and I continue to run a slight fever, then when do alternative possibilities begin to be explored? At any rate, I’ve got a PICC line installed in my left bicep now—it’s sort of like the least cool cyberpunk upgrade a person could want—so I can do my own IV treatment at home now when they finally decide what to do with me.



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