Regional West Medical Center
I have been given a laptop while I heal in the hospital and so I have had time to try and bring everyone up to date. I’m Alive and making progress
I first of all want to thank all of you who have been so kind and supportive on this trek, and especially for the prayers offered on my behalf.
On Thursday night, the urgency of getting control of this rapidly spreading (unknown infection / reaction) sent me back to the hospital in Oskosh. Upon further examination by a different physician this time, a Dr. McCoy, it was in her opinion, and in our best interest to have me drive to the Scottsbluff hospital to where I would be admitted and administered to until we got an answer for this dilemma. After having a wonderful conversation with Dr. McCoy and the nursing staff, they sent me 60 miles down the road with blood vials and swab cultures in hand.
Upon arriving at about midnight, the Regional Center staff was waiting in anticipation and ready to start finding answers to this rapidly spreading problem. I had been taking photos of my leg for the last couple of days, not only to put on the web site but to see the rate of progression. The photos that I have presently posted don’t do justice to the condition that it is presently in. Earlier on that Thursday night I was trying to just gently wipe off some fuzz from a gauze pad that had been on there and the skin just easily wiped off from my leg, so I decided not to do that again. So when I arrived in Scottsbluff, a most thorough and knowledgeable Joe Jeter (Physicians Asst) was expecting the worst and had been doing research on the latest methods of treatment for necrophilia fasciitis, which is the flesh dissolving bacteria. A lot of the indicators at the beginning were pointing in that direction. They immediately took blood work and started me on a potent cocktail of antibiotics and in addition since then, they have added silver sulfadiazine cream which is used to treat large skin burn surfaces, because that is what my leg looks like now. It looks like it has been in a fire with the skin sloughing off, inflamed black and blue with water blister and blood oozing from the traumatized area. The good news is that after multiple doses of all of the above, this morning showed the first signs of stabilization. YAHOO! With the wonderfully skilled staff and the tenacity of Joe Jeter and the answered prayers of so many, I am making progress, so on Sunday morning, Joe will have a better idea of when I might be able to walk out of the hospital. There will still be recovery time after I leave, but at least we are going in the right direction. I can’t thank Mr. Jeter and the staff enough for their diligence in helping me recover. Joe is also a history enthusiast and is very interested in my trek. We have had wonderful discussions.
So… back to 1856 (remember why I (we) are doing this, what would have happened to the handcart pioneers in my situation? I have asked that question to Dr. McCoy, who has kindly phoned my room to see how my progress is, and I also asked Joe Jeter and they both agree that the pioneer would have / could have lost their life. The progression of events: picked choke cherries, received massive chigger bites, received inflammation and staph infection (see http://www.medicinenet.com/staph_infection/article.htm), systemic infection and eventual / potential death. At the beginning, this was the comparative road that I was on, but blood work showed that my markers were all as close to normal as could be with the trauma that the leg had suffered, so that was very encouraging.
As for the handcart, well it’s stuck at my last stop in Lisco, at the Lisco State Bank. I met a wonderful senior bank president, Tom Olson that allowed me to park it in