Sarah gets (very) sick :(  

  Shortly after our holiday to Umbria, Sarah planned a short writing retreat for a few days for herself just over the border into Germany.

Most of the family had gotten sick with a cold the week before. Her first night there, she sent a message that she was feeling ill.

The next day she was really feeling bad and had an intense pain in her pelvis and left leg and could hardly get to the bathroom by herself. Tony drove out to the AirBnB that day to take care of her. We got the most powerful pain and flu medicine we could get over the counter.

Sarah's pain was becoming so intense that she could not sit up or hardly move. We left the AirBnB and went straight to the hospital. The doctor examined her and determind a serious back strain and prescribed strong pain killers and muscle relaxers. We finished driving home and set up her bed in the living room.

Sarah was a little more comfortable at the beginning but after a few days, her pain overcame all the medication she was taking and we took her back to the hospital. The doctor who saw her agreed with the diagnosis of the first doctor and said it was most likely an SI joint strain. He upped the pain medication and we went home.

At this point it is difficult to describe how hard and painful it has been for Sarah. She has literally not been able to stand or get herself to the bathroom for nearly 7 days. Tony had a list of all the times and medicines for tracking in Trello and every day was a battle to just make it to the next pain medication.

After two more days (day 9 since the AirBnB), Sarah was hardly being able to sleep in the day or night and her pain had once again overcome the muscle relaxer and pain meds. Tony called the family doctor and he was very convernced. He changed pain med to oxycotin and said to take here to the emergency room if she gets worse. Otherwise, he wanted to see her first thing in the morning.

Tony had another length conversation with Sarah's dad, John, who is a retired doctor. Tony had been in contact daily with John over the past 9 days. John made a long list of tests which he advised the doctor needed to do, mostly around blood workup.

The next morning, we took Sarah to the family doctor. Noone had taken a blood sample and tested for infection or inflamitory markers because (1) Sarah had a recent history of back pain and (2) she had never registered a fever. The doctor did another examination and took a blood sample. He said he would rush the sample to the testing center and call us back. Again, if her condition got too bad, he advised to go to the emergency room.

A few hours later our doctor called my cell and said he had ordered an ambulance for Sarah. The results came back and there was evidence of an advanced stage internal infection.

The wait time for the ambulance was about an hour, so Tony ordered an Uber and got her straight there.

Our doctor had already sent ahead her file and they rushed her to a room where they set an IV and took a blood sample. Not knowing the cause of infection, they still put her in a wide-spectrum antibiotic right away while they waited for initial results.

Multiple MRI and CT scans were needed to understand what internal damage had been sustained and place physical multiple tubes to drain the abdominal abscesses (which happened to be the reason for pain on the spine, hip, and legs).

Without going into all the details of what happened over the next 2 weeks while she stayed in the hospital, suffice it to say that they ended up discovering the exact bactirial infection which had aggresivelly been multiplying in her body.

Because the bacteria has a high likelyhood of effecting the heart, they also did a lot of testing around that (e.g., echocardiogram, transesophageal echocardiogram, etc).

In the end, she was 10 days in excrutiating pain at home, 2 weeks in the hospital, and 3 more weeks of antibiotic via IV at home. The doctors believe that at the time she finally made it to the ER, she was about 24-48 hours before severe septic would have overtaken her body, shutting down vital organs. Luckily, there was not permanant damage to any vital organs.

Life is a gift. You never know when it will end. We are so happy that Sarah is still with is.


AirBnB in Germany

the writers' desk

Sarah texting the first night she was there

setting up bed in living room

renting greenwheels to take sarah to the doctor for the 3rd time

first night in Intensive Care Unit with monitoring

Tony made breakfast for the kids and stayed every day from opening to closing of visiting hours... 11am to 7:30pm

Heart Monkey was there the rest of the time

suction cup öctopus" marks from the echocardiogram

Sarah's hospital ward

Tony taking all his work calls from the hospital

watching netflix with Sarah during the day

visits from Axa and Raj

after 17 days without standing, Sarah starting to walk around with her IV and abscess drains

special visit from a friend with food from SLOWTH CAFE

participating in a medical class lecture

going home after 2 weeks in the hospital!

Lyra greets Sarah

Sarah makes it almost to the canal on her first walk

IV for 3 more weeks of antibiotics at home

a nurse came every day to clean PICC line and switch 24 hour antibiotic "ball"

going out to Happy Bull

re-building stregth

cafe (notice PICC line in arm)
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