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Re: Valley Fever
PM grandmaofthree email grandmaofthree
Date: 5/21/2009 7:06:39 PM ( 4 year ago )
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We have been living in Bakersfield,Ca. for almost four years. My husband started working for the oilfield in September 08. In mid January,he came home complaining of severe backpains, he chalked it up to be from strenous liftinf on the job. This went on for days, he had to take a few days off from work and he could not get up to even use the bathroom without help. He was getting very high fevers. On the night of Jan 28th he was lying down and asked me to listen to his chest, I heard this weird sounding bubbling in his lung, he told me that he believes the problem is his right lung, so I gave him my asthma inhaler to use, he said it helped a little.On Jan.29th he went to work, with our oldest son and within hours they were back home. When I saw my husband, he was falling into doors and walls.We insisted he allow us to take him to the ER.The job said it got to the point where he could not even move a plastic cone from one spot to the other.We got to the Er and they saw him within minutes, his temp was up to 103, the Dr ordered a series of tests and came back, telling us, " we suspect Valley Fever" we are asking " what is valley fever? We had no idea, so she starts to explain and once she heard he was working in the oilfield, she shook her head and says yep, that would be where he would have contracted it. She told him, he was being admitted. he was and then transferred to another location. That night when we left him,I called to see how he was and was told they had to rush him to the ICU. He was having too much difficulty breathing. Our oldest son and I went flying back to that hospital, to see for ourselves what was happening. They had to bring his fever down and on Feb 4th 2009, he had to have surgery. The surgeon told us he was going to try an endoscopy first, to see if he could repair the damage, otherwise he'd have to go directly to his lung through his side. called a thorocotomy with lung decortication. During the course of the surgery he came out to see my mother in law and me and informed us that they had to do the latter of the, they went in through his throat but could not get to the lung properly. he told us that the right lung was collapsed and from the Valley Fever or Cocci it caused a peel to form over the lung. He told us that they removed 200CC's of fluid, there should be much more but what he found was the rest was gelatinous. Which tells him that the infection was there for 4 to 6 weeks prior to him getting ill. They were able to remove most of the peel, any more would caused further damage to the lung, they were also able to reinflate the right lung to 97% of it's capacity.After the surgery he was on a ventilator and had three drain tubes coming out his side, it was not a pretty sight at all, he spent almost 7 weeks in the hospital. While there he was on Amphotericin B an anti fungal medication that is given through a PICC Line ( a glorified Iv that, cathether that goes into the main vein and rests over your heart) The medication was described as caustic, toxic, a kiiler but what is needed to save a life. It affected his kidneys, his liver. He was having this medication daily at first then the last four weeks of being there it was down to three times weekly. Once they started administering the dosage he would start having convulsions, it was then they would administer Demerol to help the symptoms. We had no clue to his suffering, no one told us. We happened to be there when they were admistering the med's and when he started with the side effects I could not believe what he was going through. The ICU nurse told us we had to leave as it was their change of shift. I looked at her and said not even Jesus Christ could make me leave my husband. He was shaking uncontrollably, his eyes were rolling back in his head, he could barely breathe.His mom was at his feet, just holding on to them and massaging them, he ha dme hold his hand with the other on his chest by his lung, just pressing down, on it. When the DR witnessed for himself what he was experiencing, We told him but to see for himself was different. He ordered two pre meds for him 30 minutes prior to the Amphotericin B and that worked, he would only experience cold sweats. While in the hospital he developed a staph infection in the first PICC line, they had to remove that one and put in another in the left arm which through carelessness of an ICU nurse who was floating on the Telemetry floor, was very rough with it, he developed a DVT ( bloodclot)it had only been put in hours earlier. I had to tell her, "you know that is attached to someone's arm" She tells me sorry. Not me my dear, the person's arm who it is attached to. There were many mistakes made and at times he was treated very rudely. I ended up staying there with him for close to 4 weeks non stop. He is on Diflucan currently which is also and antifungal. He will be on that for 1 year thus far. he is on Coumadin because of the ICU nurse and her rough handling of the Picc line. Coumadin will be for 6 months. He is having a lot of pain, he is very weak, he is tired or in pain all the time. hge can't be bumped, bruised, cut or he can bleed out. TYhis had affected our lives in so many ways. The Pulmonologist and the Surgeon both told him that he is luck to be alive.The surgeon told him " we do not go to the patient and say, hey you ar egoing to die but we will operate anyway, we just do it and hope for the best" I was in shock when he said that. It brought home, how close I came to losing the man I was married to for 26 years, the father of my sons and grandfather to our beautiful grand babies.When it is windy, dusty or both, if you live in areas susceptible to Valley Fever, get inside or cover your face, we also learned that when you see the wild mushrooms growing, that is when the fungus is basically ripe for infecting. Minorities are most sesceptible to the Valley Fever Fungus, Caucasians do get it but not as bad. We were born in the Carribean Trinidad, we are Indians( not from India)we spent most of our lives in NY, the moved to CA the San Joaquin Valley, it is where Bakerfield is located. The air quality here is the worse, we are in a Valley. I have asthma that has been out of control since being here and I have been warned to wear a mask when being outside,especially if doing gardening. Right now we are just back from the doctor and after doing blood work they are saying it spread to his bones. With no further explainations. So here we are at a loss as to what to do or where we go. I just have to take a breath and get my thought together and see what happens.
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