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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 21 - My brother is one tough cookie

Sunday is normally my cross-training or long run day, but family matters came into the equation today so I wasn't able to get my workout in today. I really wish I had a bike because I could have ridden early this morning, but since I am relegated to riding the stationary bike at the gym, my options were limited. I have managed to eat well and got in some good stretching this evening though. Two rest days after yesterday's hilly 7 miles won't kill me.

Disclaimer: Don't read if you have a weak stomach.

Today I made another trip to Chickasha to see my younger brother who has been in the hospital since Wednesday. He contracted a staph infection which he first noticed last Sunday. At first, it was no big deal and they gave him some antibiotics and told him that should take care of it. Tuesday morning rolls around and his left arm is swollen, red, and hard. Apparently the infection had spread deep into his tissue of his left bicep area and they said he would need surgery to help drain the infection and to clean out the affected area. They cut a quarter-size hole in his bicep and drained most of the infection out and figured he would get to go home the next day. Thursday rolls around and the doctor informs him that the infection is still pretty severe and he needs to have whirlpool treatments to flush out his arm and remove the pus. He goes through the treatments and the prognosis is that he should get to home on Friday. Friday rolls around and much of the same story. His arm is still swollen and when they remove the bandage more pus is present and he is ordered to have more whirlpool treatments and another day in the hospital. Every day seems to be the same story.

Saturday rolls around and he hears much of the same. At this point, I think we all are beginning to worry a little bit, but my brother seems more annoyed than anything. He is 16 and wants to get out and do things. He doesn't really feel bad and he says the pain is manageable. Well, until today the pain was manageable. Here we are hanging out in his hospital room and in strolls the on-call doctor for the weekend. He takes off the bandage and starts poking around at the hole in his arm and informs my mom and the RN present that he needs to clean out the wound because it still isn't improving. Take into account my mom is also an RN and works at this very hospital in the ICU wing. We thought, oh no big deal, this will be just like any other time. It will hurt him for a bit, but nothing too drastic. The doctor orders the nurse to go get some supplies and asks for a local anesthetic. Odd, I thought, but hey I am no doctor. My mom asked a few questions and we were all under the impression he was going to swab the inside of his arm and the local anesthetic was to help numb some of the pain. In pops the nurse with some lidocaine and a suture removal kit. What was that? A suture removal kit?? He doesn't have any sutures so what does he need that for?? Again, I am no expert so I keep my mouth shut and so does my mother. The doctor pumps up the needle with lidocaine and starts injecting it into the area surrounding my brother's drainage hole. The next thing I know he grabs the suture removal scissors and starts cutting my brother's arm with them. Flesh!! His actual, living flesh!! My brother is awake and fully aware of what's going on. My mom is freaking out and you could tell her motherly instincts were kicking in and she looked worried. Michael is kicking the end of the bed in pain and looks as pale as a ghost. I could hear the skin popping as he cut 2-3 inches on each side of his current drainage hole. He turned the quarter-size hole into a star-shaped gaping wound! OH MY GOD! My brother's girlfriend and I sat horrified as they cut his arm. I couldn't believe this was happening in this room at this moment. It didn't make sense to me why they didn't knock his ass out and perform this surgical procedure in a sterile OR. After the doc finished, my mother was livid. She was threatening to do all kinds of things to this doctor the next time she sees him and is planning on talking to Michael's primary care doctor on this case in the morning. I felt so bad for Michael. It had to be the most painful thing he has endured and even though the lidocaine was present, the sound of your own flesh being cut would cause you to cry. I wanted to cry for him because I felt helpless and awful he was having to go through that much pain. He is a trooper though. He gathered himself together fairly quickly and got back to his normal smart-ass ways within 10 minutes. I know he has to be in pain, but he is taking it like a champ. I have all the respect in the world for him. He is being a trooper. I hope he gets good news tomorrow and gets to go home. In the meantime, I hope the cut-em-up doctor learns a little bedside manner and compassion for his patients. My lord, he is a 16-year old kid. Cut him some slack and knock his ass out next time. Keep my little bro in your thoughts and prayers.

As for me, this week is going to drag by I have a feeling. I am more than ready for next weekend in Stillwater. The running is going great and I am looking forward to another clean week ahead. I plan on running 9 miles this weekend at some point. Most likely on Sunday, because Friday and Saturday will be dedicated to all things OSU. Go Pokes! Have a great start to Orange Power week!

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