June 20th marked the day when each course of antibiotics were stopped, both oral and via PICC Line. It was time to see how my leg would react to being without the support of the antibiotics on board. I had my worries hearing nightmare stories, but I needed to keep positive for the sake of my leg and body in trying to get this leg to heal.
My Infectious Disease doctor did tell me that pain would go away if I elevated my leg, stopped working out, and so forth to allow the leg to heal. However the pain has been increase and I am on a lesser form of Tylenol 3 known as Tylenol 1. It helps with the pain, but even it now is having the challenge of keeping the pain under control.
As we are also dealing with a summer heat wave, that causes more swelling in my already swollen leg. Summer is just not the right reason to deal with these issues. The wound on my bad leg looks better but I still question if it is ever going to heal or if doctors are going to have to intervene.
My Infectious Disease doctor, Dr. Richard Lester, just on June 20th had released me from the program as my leg was going a wonderful job and looking great. That Monday I was taken off all oral and antibiotics via PICC Line for the first time since April 2nd. I thought to myself, I was finally going to be getting some life back. As I was no longer going to need to go to Wound Care everyday, but rather just twice a week Thursday following that Monday was my first appointment. Sadly, the nurse on duty was already concerned about the infection returning due to the temperature in my leg and the redness moving up my left leg. So I got a hold on the pharmacist at Vancouver General Hospital that works along side my doctor and told her what was going on and she recommended that I see Dr. Lester as soon as possible. I am hoping for the best as always but prepared for the worst.
Not a fun time.
As my treatment for my Osteomyelitis started back on April 2nd, forcing me to enter a world of no showering and no working out, it was a tad devastating to be honest. Then my Infectious Disease doctor, Dr. Richard Lester at Vancouver General Hospital, and his team agreed to allow me to start walking on the treadmill, just 15 minutes a day. Everything was going well until my PICC Line dressing kept coming off due to sweat and a rash forming under the tape of the dressing. So the nurses at Wound Care agreed that the working out had to stop until we were given the all clear, meaning when the PICC Line came out.
After two months of no shower, just a sponge bath, and also getting back into my workout routine. YAY!
Osteomyelitis is a tough battle as you never know wheen it will flare up again, but hopefully never, ever again!
June 3rd, 2017
Dear Dr. C. Leung,
All this started the end of March, with the official diagnosis April 2nd, 2017, from Dr. Jan Hayjek. I expressed my concerns at the time about losing my leg, and he laughed it off as if it were a silly question, or something that was indeed not going to happen.
Here we are, going to enter my third IV treatment via PICC Line along with oral antibiotics as there has been little important. My leg is getting large, I am limited on what I can do in terms of physical activity due to my leg bone infection or the Osteomyelitis and actual leg wound, without causing more damage.
I do fear that this leg will not make it as I see professionals struggle to find the proper treatment to cure the infection raging in my leg. I know weighing 375lbs is not helping my situation, but also when I stress I binge eat. They go hand in hand.
I know I can only take it one day at a time, but it just seems so overwhelming right now.
On May 11th, 2017, I went for my follow-up appointment with the Infectious Disease Department with Dr. R. Lester at Vancouver General Hospital. He had become my primary doctor after Dr. J. Hajek headed to Africa to treat a bound of individuals with Ebola. Dr. Hajek was the first ID (Infectious Disease) doctor to diagnosis me with OM (Osteomylitis).
As there had been no follow up since my inital appointment on April 2nd, 2017, and my PICC Line via antibiotic treatment was running out, Dr. Lester took over my file and treatment plan which was a relief. As at this point my calve was still extremely swollen, red, and the wound itself was draining still, not a good sign. This time around I was also experiencing pain
It turns out that the infection was getting worse, so another six weeks of PICC Line via antibiotics were indeed ordered along with an oral antibiotic. My GP prescribed me some Tylenol 3 to help with the pain, which keeps it under control.
My next appointment with Dr. Lester is June 15th, at 10am. Then will see what the next step it.
This is Katiejane Elizabeth Morgan with Osteomyelitis diagnosed and confirmed April 2nd, by Infectious Disease doctor Dr. J. Hyjek. Immediately, I was started on a course of antibiotics via PICC Line with the course of treatment supposedly to end April 16th, 2017. Yet, with that date nearing and still little progress in some areas of my infection, I have some concerns, therefore, I am reaching out to you in hopes of someone listening to my outcries of need of attention and worries.
My left leg below the knee still is extremely swollen and in severe pain most of the time, a tell-tale sign that the infection has still not cleared. I keep my left elevated as much as possible, but with being on the go a lot it makes that tricky and so one quite can seem to suggest any other option to relieve the swelling.
The wound itself is still leaking fluid and has to keep bandaged at all times, requiring three to four dressing changes per week at the Health Unit. The wound lately has been burning and painful with no relief, so I live with it causing pain 24/7.
I personally think if we stop the antibiotics now that my bone infection will go back to square one as it does not feel any better than it did from the start.
I have had my issues with the Infectious Disease Department taking me off antibiotics too soon, or claiming an infection was not an infection when in the end it turned into now this bone infection or Osteomyelitis. So you cannot blame me for being cautious and somewhat nervous. But I honestly think my leg needs more time.
Katiejane E. Morgan
The Web MD definition of Osteomyelitis is as follows:
“Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone, a rare but serious condition. Bones can become infected in a number of ways: Infection in one part of the body may spread through the bloodstream into the bone, or an open fracture or surgery may expose the bone to infection.” – Web MD
Four years ago, in 2013, I was at my Mental Health Team for a regular visit with my psychiatrist and then case manager at the time. As the session was emotionally draining for me, I left the session rather upset and in tears and unfortunately was not paying attention to my whereabouts. As there is a staircase down to the lower platform, I was headed in that direction but had poor footing and lost my balance and fell down the entire rough concrete staircase of approximately twelve steps.I at the time thought I was lucky to just have sliced my left shin (lower left leg) open, but three years later did not realize I would be fighting for the existence of my lower left leg, as all these years later, those constant chronic infections of the wound on my lower left shin, and the wound never healing were linked to Osteomyelitis or a severe bone infection in my leg.I must also admit due to one of my mental illnesses, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, one of my compulsion is to pick my skin and at times eat the scabs, I know that is hard to hear, but it is the honest truth. However, regardless of the fact that I have had this condition since the age of two with no problems to any wound it made no sense that this wound on my shin was not healing. However, once I was referred to the specialists at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), all of them said to me that my skin picking could not have caused this infection.
As I was referred back to the Infectious Disease Team at VGH, the doctor I was assigned to, Dr. J. Hajek wanted to get me started on an antibiotic 24/7 treatment for the next 6 weeks. I would need to get a PICC Line inserted and connected up to a CADD Pump to receive my daily antibiotics.
I am officially in week two of my treatment and as my case if severe there is not much hope, but they wanted to give my leg a shot. If this antibiotic treatment does not work then amputation of my lower left leg will be required. Something nobody wants, but all I can do is pray to God.