Monday, February 1, 2016

Craig's Crazy Leg Infection, Part 2

During his second hospital admittance a huge amount of tests were run as well as another ultrasound of his leg. His leg had gotten huge. Literally huge, and bright red with purple toes. It was also warm to the touch. We were told his skin was reaching max elasticity and the next step would be fluid oozing out. So gross and scary, too. He was on several iv antibiotics as well as iv fluid. The ER Dr was knowledgeable about this type of infection. He said anyone at the hospital would know this isn't Staph.  He explained that because the Urgent Care misdiagnosed, this infection was able to get out of hand. The med they gave him (Bactrim) does not treat Strep Cellulitis. The shot they gave in the glute at Urgent Care however, does treat Strep Cellulitis. This is why when he went home from Urgent Care the first time his temp dropped to about 100 but within 24 hours spiked to 104. The glute shot wore off and his body had nothing fighting the infection anymore. A proper diagnosis would have prevented this entirely. Craig was admitted this 2nd time and once stable was moved up from the ER to an actual room for several days. It was a relief to be there. It had been so scary being at home and seeing him get worse and worse. The first time the ER sent him home I literally knew we would be back.

For the next day or so it was a waiting game to see what his leg would do. His fever was under control, he was coherent again, and he could eat. He could not walk and his leg was very painful. I dropped the kids at my moms every morning and spent most of the day with him. It was a 40 min drive each way to the hospital. At dinner time I picked up the kids and brought them home for bed.

 I knew at this point we were about $20k deep and he was missing a week or more of work. It was a mess, but what could I do? I thought a lot about trying to look for work. In the 11 years we've been together, it has been a pretty constant stream of medical expenses. His employer-provided insurance has high deductibles and high out of pocket limits. If one of us gets sick or needs an ER or hospital, we don't stand a chance financially. It flatlines us for years. We have not been able to recover financially from one medical issue before another one happens. It is a constant stress and frustration for me. We also end up not going to the dr when we need to because we simply can't afford it.  

Anyway, on Sunday, he was finally discharged. A week after he got sick and 4 1/2 days in the hospital. Once home, he needed a couple more days off to be able to walk again. His leg was BAD. It is now almost 6 months after his hospital stay and his leg is still quite swollen. He needs a surgery to prevent the infection from happening again, but until his leg is healthy, the surgery will only make things worse. He wears a very tight compression sock on that leg every day. 

Looking back on the whole thing, I feel very frustrated abut the Urgent Care Dr misdiagnosing Craig. I tried to talk to another Dr at the clinic about it and they wouldn't say a word. I tried to talk to the billing department and asked to be given grace so we wouldn't have to pay $400 for a visit that actually made him worse and at death's door. I was in tears on the phone, explaining we have one income, 6 people we provide for, and owe $20k now. Zero grace was given, not even a discount. What a way to care for people, huh? This was The Doctor's Clinic in Poulsbo, Wa.

We still owe the hospital several thousand dollars and another $4k on our credit card for all the other people I had to pay that wouldn't take payments. Pretty insane. 

^This was at the Urgent Care the day the Dr said we needed to get to the hospital asap.
^Craig in the ER. His leg was scary and painful.
^Once his fever was gone and he could interact, we killed time
by watching Netflix.
^Us breaking out of the hospital!

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