Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not on Mt. Washington

We missed today's annual ATV ride up Mt. Washington. B and I had been looking forward to this ride since I took this picture last year but sadly we were stuck on a roller coaster ride from hell and now have to wait 'til next year to get up on the mountain again with the ATVs.

B had been in and out of the hospital for the past three weeks where they kept pushing him out with medications and antibiotics and a diagnosis for sinus headaches, then migraines, then maybe they thought it was cluster headaches. B and I knew it couldn't be just a headache. Could a sinus infection (sinusitis) be that bad? He kept getting worse and worse and they kept sending him back home. The last time they discharged him we were arguing with the doctors because he couldn't eat or drink and wasn't able to keep his medication down so how was it supposed to work and make him better if it didn't stay in his system more than 20 minutes?

When I got home from work last Thursday B was out of it, slurring his words, talking nonsense, babbling incoherently, I thought he was having a stroke. I rushed him back to the ER where they started going through the same routine as the last 5 times when they FINALLY agreed to do a lumbar puncture ("spinal tap"). Every time he went to the hospital over the past three weeks they would ask if he ever had this procedure but then they would say they didn't think it was necessary.

Come to find out, it was absolutely critical to make the correct diagnosis of B's severe headaches, nausea, stiff neck, etc. After three F'N weeks of suffering they finally figured out that he has meningitis. Initially they didn't know what type he had so they go on the assumption it's contagious so everyone had to wear masks and gloves. They suggested that anyone having close contact be tested and put such a scare into us about all the things that could happen, the worst being coma and/or death. To say I was a mess is a pathetic understatement. I was hysterical.

I'm so exhausted from being at the hospital and watching B suffer for so long. Then, of course, I started getting getting paranoid about every little ache and pain thinking I must have caught it too by kissing, drinking from the same cups, and being in close contact with him. They wanted me to have blood work done so they could check if I needed to have a lumbar puncture too. UUUUGHHH!

After doing another spinal tap Friday morning, they decided to transfer him to another hospital. B is now at a top notch facility where they have a team of meningitis specialists on staff and I think he is now finally getting proper treatment. Thankfully he is being seen by numerous neurologists and infectious disease specialists who seem to know what they are doing. It's about time.

They determined he has viral meningitis and also, the rarest form, fungal meningitis. Unfortunately, he keeps having to have the lumbar punctures which are painful but necessary to drain the fluid build up to take the pressure off his brain and optic nerves. They assured us he wasn't contagious and there was no need for me to be tested. There are nurses, doctors and specialists in and out of his room all day and night and they are taking good care of him but he is still in pain and has ups and downs but he's a tough guy, he'll get through it and we'll be able to get to the top of the mountain someday soon although we'll have to wait a year to go up on the ATVs.

Meningitis is such a serious illness that can have devastating consequences. We are very lucky he is going to be ok especially since the doctors dicked us around for three weeks. It heart breaking to watch him suffer but I know he'll pull through and we'll be able to go back to our same old boring routines. That day cannot come quick enough for me.
This is one summer I'm going to want to forget. I hope you are enjoying yours. Be thankful for those lazy, hazy days of summer as long as everyone is healthy.


  1. Shame on those doctors! Meningitis can be fatal and I cannot believe they let hime suffer in pain for so long.

    Thank God they finally went that extra step to diagnose him correctly.

    All the best to him and there is still a beautiful (I Hope) fall season ahead for you.

  2. You know, I wondered last week about meningitis, but I thought that surely they had tested him for it. Geez.

    The main thing is that he's in the right place getting treatment now and is on the road to recovery!

  3. Prayers and good thoughts being sent from Upstate NY.

  4. oh my goodness, I am so sorry to hear that! that is very scary. he definitely is lucky that they caught it and can do something about it, and that he has made it this far. you hang in there too and stay healthy yourself!

  5. Manuela: We are so lucky they finally diagnosed him properly. The nurses keep telling him how lucky he is now they have him stabilized. Looking forward to the fall foliage and the snow :)

    Cammy: They SHOULD have tested him considering he had all the classic symptoms. It is a long journey but he is on the right road now.

    Boilergrad: Thanks for the prayers - we can use all we can get. I loved Jennette's book too. Are you going to start a blog? I didn't see any on your profile page.

    Heather: It was absolutely terrifying but we are very lucky they finally did the right thing. I actually talked to a med-malpractice attorney I know and we may look into filing a claim but not now. We're just focusing on getting him better. Thanks.

  6. Oh man! I'm so sorry! Meningitis is SO not something to mess around with! He's very, very lucky!

    I can't help but wonder if they'd have treated it differently and checked for that sooner if he had been a child.

  7. Here by way of crankyfitness...I'm so glad for you and B that things are turning out OK. Hope by this time he's on the mend and you've gotten some rest.

    With all the talk about universal health care, there's not enough talk about quality of and access to that care. Is slipshod, marginally competent care better than none at all? I guess...but it's still wrenching to hear a story like yours when one standard test (albeit an invasive one) would have cleared things up much sooner, averted some of B's suffering and saved the f---ing hospital time and money in the end if that was their concern! Take care...

  8. See, I knew there were people who had seen that earlier post--just couldn't remember who!

    Did you love The Twilight Zone as much as I did? I think that Rod Serling was ahead of his time and a genius (remember Burgess Meredith wanting to read in peace and then he breaks his glasses? Ah, agony!)

  9. Adena: I still can't figure out why they were so reluctant to do the one test he needed. He had all the symptoms and I shouldn't have had to argue with the doctor about it. It was so frustrating.

    m.c.t.: The health care system in this country is so screwed up. It is sad to think that only the rich get quality care.

    Manuela: I usually got freaked out watching the Twilight Zone but it was like a car wreck, I couldn't look away. :)


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