Friday, February 12, 2021

Re: Lynn's infected knee

So that I can remind myself later (and since no one reads this blog):  
To: Bay Leaf Irregulars
Sent: Saturday, January 2, 2021, 06:22:37 PM EST
Subject: Lynn

For those not randonneurs (or even if you are but haven't seen what I posted to the NC-rando-Facebook-group), New Year's Eve day, just before noon, Lynn was suddenly suffering excruciating pain in her left leg.  To shorten the story:  
  • I transported her to Wake north Ortho urgent care, and that included actually carrying her some of the distance to the car -- been a long time since I've lifted circa 130 lbs onto my shoulder, wasn't sure I could do it -- but in dire straights, one can sometimes do things -- and acting as a crutch as we slowly and agonizingly made our way down the ramp (built 4 1/2 years ago by the Bay Leaf Baptist Ch group that builds a ramp every Wednesday -- or at least that is what they did then).  Lynn loudly vocalizing the pain -- in all the years Lynn suffered from problems and pains in her hips and legs, from the pains associated with the knee replacements, from all the stuff from being bashed into by that vehicle in 2016, I never once heard Lynn call out in pain.  Oh, she would comment on it, there might be a grunt, but there was never a sound of agony -- this time, while I was carrying her, she was near screaming from the pain in her leg. 
  • We spent several hours at the Ortho urgent care.  35-mm of fluid was drained from the left knee.  After that, Lynn was still in agony, but not as severe as before.  At one point, waiting in the treatment room, Lynn commented that she had been run over by a car, but that had not hurt nearly as much as the knee and leg on this day. 
  • I picked up new meds from Harris Teeter at 4 pm.  Our thinking was that she would start to feel better as the new meds kicked in.  Naively we thought that the main treatments had been done. 
  • However, around 9:30 New Years' Eve, Lynn texted that a friend from down the street was transporting her to Duke Raleigh Hosp because the Wake Med people had called and told her to get to her Orthopedic docs at Duke pronto. 
  • Long wait at Duke Raleigh -- the on-call doctor could not be located, could not be located, could not be located, could not be located. 
  • 2 am, NYD, decision made that Lynn needed to go the Big Duke over in Durham. 
  • 2:30 am, but hosp can't arrange transport until 7 am.  
  • Lynn at Duke in Durham around 8 am. 
  • Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Lynn called -- not texted, but called -- right at noon; she was distraught because she was being ignored, including needing to pee. 
  • 2:30 pm -- supposedly on way to surgery on the knee. 
  • Surgery actually didn't start until 3:30 or 4 pm.  
  • Purpose was to wash out the infection in the knee, wash it off the metal parts of the artificial knee, AND to replace a plastic part in that knee. 
  • Bacteria cannot penetrate metal, but can and does penetrate even the hardest plastics. 
  • Finally done with surgery, mostly recovered from the anesthesia, and in a regular room by around 7 pm. 
  • She'll be at the hosp for at least several days while they culture the bacterium causing the trouble -- so they can use a targeted anti-bacterial agent instead of shot-gunning the process. 
  • Recent news is that the bacterium is growing quite slowly.  
  • Lynn's voice sounds strong.  She is disappointed / nearly distraught, but I reckon that she will let that emotion show to only a few. 
  • Prior to learning that she would need surgery, Lynn's biggest concerns during this epic was that she wouldn't be allowed to volunteer at Wake Med north (the only volunteer job being allowed these days is folding linens) and that she would lose her "Meals on Wheels" route.  Regarding that last, she even mentioned having me do the driving and taking the meal packages to the doors while she officially picked up the packages and rode along in the car.  I haven't spoken with Lynn since about 6:50 am today (Jan-02), but I suppose that the volunteer situations have dropped down the priority list of concerns.  (She did off-hand remark that it will be a long time before she rides a bicycle again.) 
  • She will be on anti-biotics for a long spell, again.  
Anyway, I thought that at least some of y'all might be interested, and hearing from close to the source would be better than hearing via a convoluted rumor-mill. 
Oh, I'll be dog-sitting (at least during the nights) until Lynn returns home. 

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