Monday, March 12

Man Cat Monday and an update

I haven't had much opportunity to take pictures of the gang in the last several weeks. The other day, though, I just had to get one of TB snuggled up with Indigo (hoping to post it tomorrow for Cats on Tuesday) and while I was at it, I took pictures of everyone else in the room too. I really like this picture of Cubby. To me, he seems to be saying, "yes? May I help you?"

It's been really hectic here for a month now. Heidi's car wasn't repaired yet (we're hoping it will be done on Tuesday) and so I was getting her to and from the bus stop. That wasn't such a big deal but then came the ordeal with TB's toe. It became infected and didn't get well.

We're not sure exactly how it became infected. About six weeks ago, he was clipping his nails and that one bled, either because he cut too close or because of the infection. At any rate, we made an appointment for him to see the podiatrist. It gave me the heebie jeebies to look at it and I was sure it was infected. It was all swollen and discolored. The doctor told TB to soak his toe and to apply an antibiotic ointment. He was already on an oral antibiotic for a cat bite that became infected. See? It's never dull around here!

So things seemed okay for the next week. TB finished up the antibiotic from the cat bite and a few days later, he began to have pain radiating up his ankle. I looked at his leg and felt scared. The tip of his toe was black and it was very swollen. His foot was also swollen and red. There was a red line running up past his ankle toward his knee. His leg was hot to the touch. There was also a bit of a smell and that really scared me. I was scared he might have gangrene in his toe so off we went to the ER.

I was sure he was going to be admitted but he wasn't. The doctor ran blood tests and cultures and they gave TB a dose of antibiotics by IV. The doctor prescribed more augmentin and said TB should see the podiatrist or primary again in a few days. The podiatrist has some weird hours so we went to TB's primary care physician. There hadn't been a dramatic improvement in the toe so that doctor decided to add a prescription of cipro. We were to come back in 4 days to re-evaluate.

There was slight improvement when we went back but not enough to make the doctor satisfied so he sent TB for an MRI of his foot and ankle and also for bloodwork. When the MRI results came back the following day, all the doctors began calling but were in conflict with each other. The podiatrist thought TB should go to the ER again. The primary felt we should try another week of oral antibiotics but that going to the ER would not be "unreasonable". The primary thought it was possible TB would end up losing his toe. An orthopedic doctor was called in to consult and he agreed with the podiatrist.

Off we went to the ER again. This time the experience was awful. For whatever reason, the ER was crowded and the hospital was filled to capacity. While they tried to decide what to do with TB, the doctors warned him if he was admitted he'd spend the night on a stretcher in the ER. There was no way we wanted that!

After reviewing more blood work and cultures taken at this second ER, the doctors decided to give TB 3 doses of IV antibiotics and then have him report to a clinic almost 25 miles away every day for more IV antibiotics.

In the middle of all this, my niece was getting married in Baltimore. Originally I'd let her know that the whole family was coming. Now it was 2 days before the wedding and two of us would have to bail. Bill said he would drive TB for his antibiotics on Saturday and Sunday. Because of their rules, the clinic was really strict about what time TB could come so it wasn't like we could all go to MD after the Saturday dose and come back later Sunday for that dose.

So the girls and I went to MD and had a lovely time. It was a wonderful break from all the stress, getting to see my family. I'd forgotten my camera in NJ but got a disposable camera. I'm glad I did. I took pictures that are being developed now and will share them when I get them back.

All the extra driving has been causing a hardship because of the rising cost of gas. On top of all this, some of our prescriptions have become more expensive. They've jumped from $8 to $40 and all we get is some BS story from the insurance company. They claim the generic drug companies are playing games with supply and demand and causing steep price increases in some of the medications. It seems to be all the extended release meds. I had to change one of my prescriptions; TB has appealed on two of his.

TB is getting today's dose of IV antibiotics now. The doctor will see him again Wednesday to decide the next step. TB is actually on week 2. At the end of the first week, I saw a major improvement. His toe is no longer black at the tip and looks healthier. The doctor, though, wasn't impressed. She's concerned because the toe is still swollen and wants TB to see a podiatrist. Apparently podiatrists are also surgeons. Maybe this doctor that just saw TB thinks he might have to lose his toe too.

I pray that he doesn't but only time will tell.

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