Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Night with Stevens Johnson

Last night in the hospital wasn't too terribly bad.  I was glad to be able to spend it beside Pam's bed in one of those bed/recliner things.  I'd say it was probably a typical night.  We dozed on an off throughout the whole night and were awakened at shift change, IV change, BP readings, temperature readings, meds, etc.

The doctor came in around 1:30 PM this afternoon took a look at Pam.  This doctor is on call during the day and she was not ready to release her.  She wants to be sure that the steroids continue to reduce the swelling and redness.  If it situation isn't arrested and reduced things could get real bad.  Right now it is not something to mess around with so we were not terribly disappointed to hear we are staying another night.

Unfortunately Pam has a full fledged case Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS).  The ER doctor said she was at stage 1 (and it has four stages).  The doctor on call agreed it was SJS.  Looking back, Pam developed the classic symptoms which can be attributed to about seven thousand maladies:  fever, chills, nausea, aching, lack of strength etc.  Sometimes coughing, vomiting and diarreha.  The good news is that  Pam doesn't have any of that.

 On Friday night she thought she was coming down with a bladder infection.  She had one a year ago and it was no fun, so we searched out an Urgent Care doctor near our RV campground in New Hudson MI.

She started taking the antibiotic BacTrim and the bladder infection appeared to go away.  She continued taking the antibiotic but by Wednesday evening she was experiencing flu-like symptoms (and symptoms associated with a reaction to the drug).  She slept late on Thursday and made the 9 hour drive from New Hudson MI to Maynardville, TN.

On Friday, she thought she was just tired and didn't feel that great.  In the afternoon she started to develop a faint rash.  By Saturday morning it was all over her face and chest and back.  That is when I brought her into the ER.  The doctor on duty mentioned SJS but thought better of that diagnosis and attributed her illness to the reaction and we went back to Joan and Mike's.

By Sunday the rash had spread to her legs and her chest, back and arms were now one big red, sensitive area.  It was confluent with some first degree blistering where the skin had come off (sloughing) in one place.  Additional blisters are in her mouth, lips and nose which are a cause of lots of discomfort.

Here are some photos of the progression.
- First the rash
- Then it worsens, gets redder
- then confluence ~ it joins together.  In Pam's case, her torso, both front and back were almost solid red.
These are not photos of Pam, but they could be.  It looks a lot like her case of SJS.

She is getting a lot of IV fluids and is eating an all liquid diet.  The blisters in her mouth are still very painful as are her lips which look like a bad case of sunburn.

Hopefully we will see some progress in the coming days.  It is slow going though.  She is feeling a little stronger each day despite the sensitivity to touch on her skin.  They are doing their best to take care of her.  The doctor said she wanted to see that the rash is changing and getting better before she gets released so we'll be her another night at least.

That is about it for us here at the hospital.  We are looking forward to getting this behind us but for now God is teaching us patience and we are trying to learn it.  More later from that hospital...

For now, thanks for viewing and checking in on us at the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Note to self:  add Bactrim and all sulfa drugs to Pam's allergy list.

13 comments:

  1. We are so sorry to hear of Pam's condition, but are glad that good care is addressing her needs. We pray that she will have as speedy a recovery as possible. We only know you guys virtually, but enjoy keeping up with your ongoing travels and NOMAD work. Blessings, Linda and Craig

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  2. I'm glad they have identified what is really wrong with her. I will keep praying for God's hands on the Dr.'s and staff that are taking care of her!!
    Tell her from me..Get well soon Pam!!!

    Cindy and Walker

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  3. So sorry to hear of the ordeal you are going through!!! I'll be praying the Lord reach out and help you both through this. My goodness...you just never know...one day at a time!!! Love, Tricia

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  4. Wow Randy, know what those nights at your wife's side are like, Thank God you are able to be there. We are praying for a quick recovery and relief from her pain. Tell Pam we are hoping she feels better very soon. We send our prayers. Sam & Donna.

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  5. I've been offline for a couple of days and was shocked to read this post. I hope and pray that Pam will be healed and begin to feel better very soon.

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  6. Sorry to hear that you need to stay another night at the hospital but glad that Pam is getting good care and that the doctor is being thorough. Know that you are in my thoughts.

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  7. Sorry to hear that it's taking so long for Pam to heal, but at least it sounds like you are in a good place. Continue to stay patient and hopefully the drugs will start kicking in full force. Our prayers to both of you.

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  8. So sorry to hear Pam's been so ill - it's sounds like she could be on the mend. When you guys get thru this you'll need some to time get away rest up and recharge from all you've been through the last month. We'll say a prayer that her recovery is fast.

    Bob and Vicky

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  9. So sorry Pam is still experiencing some discomfort. Hopefully the doctor has it under control and she will be getting stronger and better each day.
    We will keep both of you in our prayers...hang in there.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

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  10. So sorry that Pam is ill - we are thinking of you both with all that you have gone through. Prayers for strong healing and recovery.

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  11. Would like to send many many HUGS to Pam, but the last thing she wants right now is a HUG??? Owie! Hoping things are getting better with the new day, and soon back to the RV and your life gets normal again....

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com

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  12. I didn't see this post until this morning, so I hope by now Pam is out of the hospital and is feeling much better. I'd never heard of SJS before but it looks like a nasty business.

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