According to WebMD, “MRSA is a ‘Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus’ which is caused by a type of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections. Most MRSA infections occur in people who’ve been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it’s known as healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.”

I came home from work on April 2nd to find John in excruciating pain.  He assumed he had slept in an awkward position the last couple of nights and felt as though he had a “kink” in his neck which was painful and getting worse.  He had not slept a wink the night before due to the severe spasms he was having. All I kept thinking was, “Lord, not another symptom to deal with!!” It seemed we took one step forward and then two steps backward. I can’t even begin to imagine what John was feeling emotionally! He was experiencing one problem after another and I was watching my beloved fading. He was declining, not only due to weight loss, but also mentally.  It’s like he was giving up.

That week, we tried a chiropractic adjustment to adjust his neck but this was way too painful for him. Instead, Dr. Joe recommended that he work the areas around as well as his spine but he would leave the neck alone until John was better. He told us how to treat the spasms and that it should be gone in the next few days. Sadly, the pain did not go away. I had such high hopes that this was all that was needed to clear this up. My daughter in law, Tori, was the one taking John to his appointments since I had started a new job. Thank God for the help of my family!  If it had not been for her, I would have had to quit this job as well.

On April 8th, Tori arrived to take John for another chiropractic adjustment.  When she arrived, John was not even dressed. She told me that he was acting strange and moving about very slowly. I told her to go ahead and take him to the appointment and to touch base with me once she got home. Upon their return back to the house, John was very listless. Tori said it literally took him about 20  minutes to get out of the car to enter the house! Oh dear Lord! Please Father, I begged. Please work this out!!! Tori wanted to wait until I got home from work before she left John. 

When I arrived, I noticed that he would not wake up but for a few seconds at a time.  I called Tripp and he convinced John to go to the ER. Our glucometer was reading that John’s blood sugar was over 300.  Tripp was concerned that he may be suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, which could be deadly. So off to the ER we went.  The blood count at the emergency room was 148 so we obviously had a malfunctioning glucometer at home. Numerous tests were being run at this point. Since it wasn’t his blood sugar, what in the world could it be? The ER doctor came to talk to us and told us that John’s white cell count was higher than it should be for a simple urinary tract infection. They gave him fluids and antibiotics to start with and we waited on test results in order to know what the next step would be.

His labs came back negative so they scheduled an MRI on his neck and decided to keep him overnight for observation.  They were very concerned due to John’s white cell count being high and he was now running a fever.  Something was going on in his body that needed to be attended to. An infectious disease doctor was also called in to help provide the medical team aid in diagnosing and understanding what possible infection this could be.  At the same time we got the MRI results, we also received the results of the blood work. Not only did John have MRSA in his blood but it also attacked his C3 and C4 vertebrae and neck muscles on both sides!!!  What????!!!! Where did this come from?  The doctor said John could have contracted MRSA anywhere.  It has a ten-day incubation so it could even have been contracted at the rehab facility. There was no way of telling.

At this point, my dear husband was a very sick man.  The MRI appeared to show a dark area at the base of his skull.  The doctors were afraid that he was developing an abscess and this hospital was not equipped to handle that type of illness.  John’s nurse had been a medic in the Marine Corps and Adam and he struck up some good conversations regarding MRSA and what John was going through. He put together a makeshift neck brace that would help keep his neck immobile. This helped tremendously and alleviated some of the severe pain he was experiencing, but not all. They also gave him oxycodone  and started treating the fever. They immediately began administering vancomycin and decided to transfer John to Fairfax Hospital. It is the only Level 1 hospital in Northern Virginia that could deal with this type of issue. He was transferred late that night and arrived in the wee hours of the morning. This would begin another round of events that would try our faith and fortitude. 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Isaiah 43:5 were such a great comfort because it reminded me that with all the uncertainty and fear we were facing at this very moment – we were not alone – God’s grace would sustain us yet again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.