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Sick in Montana? Pray you're a horse - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Sick in Montana? Pray you're a horse [Feb. 6th, 2010|12:19 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |irritatedirritated]

Some of you may remember last fall when my mother had surgery for a sinus infection that abscessed behind her eye. After her recovery and a spell of antibiotics, the infection came back and she had to do another round of antibiotics. Not unusual, given the nature of sinus infections. Then it came back a second time and another round of antibiotics.

The other day, her Facebook status read, " Well in the sinus saga the antibiotic they had me on they found out my infection is resistant to so now they have put me on a knock down strong one...."

Having known people who struggled aqainst resistant bacterial strains and therefore slightly alarmed, I gave her a call and asked her what she was on. She wasn't home and didn't remember the name, so I asked her what they had used before.

"Amoxicillin," she replied.

"And after that?"

"Just amoxicillin."

I'm not sure whether the barking laugh I let out stemmed from relief or outrage. I had to explain to my mother that amoxicillin is the antibiotic that hides out in its room because all the bacteria laugh at it and kick sand in its face.

I'm stunned that her doctor didn't put her on something stronger well before this. And I'm even more distressed that her system has been put through completely worthless antibiotic treatment three times in a row. But this is the same medical community that damned near killed my sister with overprescribing a few years back, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Disgusted, but not surprised.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jfargo
2010-02-06 05:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can see being annoyed at that. Still, glad to hear she'll be all right. Best of luck!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 05:27 pm (UTC)
She should be. I wish she lived somewhere with better medical facilities, though.
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[User Picture]From: laplor
2010-02-06 05:27 pm (UTC)
Ugh, my father was treated for YEARS by a "doctor" for what was suspected to be pneumonia. He kept giving him the same antibiotic over and over (I don't know which it was, but not a penicillin relative as he was allergic to them). I'm not a doctor, but logic suggests that if a treatment doesn't work, maybe it's time to try a different one.

When his lungs filled with fluid and Mom took him to the ER they finally diagnosed his cancer. (Mesothelioma)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 05:29 pm (UTC)
Oh, gods, how awful. He should have sued for malpractice.
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[User Picture]From: laplor
2010-02-06 05:33 pm (UTC)
Canadian, eh. It's not just that we aren't terribly inclined to sue, but it can be very hard to get the expert testimony that is required to prove the case.

I learned this when I wanted to sue an incompetent OB/Gyn when my son was born 8 days late because the assumption was made that I didn't know when I got pregnant.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 05:40 pm (UTC)
Was there a problem with your son's delivery? Eight days late otherwise shouldn't be a big deal.
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2010-02-06 05:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, the due date is +/- 2 weeks, right?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 06:08 pm (UTC)
Yup, though some doctors are not even letting women get to their due date before inducing them - no wonder our C-section rate is skyrocketing.
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[User Picture]From: laplor
2010-02-06 06:13 pm (UTC)
Based on conception date, he was due on the 8th. Based on the ultrasound he was due on the 22nd (two weeks later). When he wasn't born by the 22nd, they just changed the EDD to something like the 30th. I didn't realize how dangerous being late could be so just went along with it. When he was born, the neonatologist said at first that he looked like he should have been born the first week of the month, then she wouldn't talk to me and the paperwork said he was 8 days late.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 06:18 pm (UTC)
I was thinking he sounded much more than 8 days late. Good grief.
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[User Picture]From: laplor
2010-02-06 06:08 pm (UTC)
Fetal distress, meconium aspiration, atonal, dehydrated, under weight, no respiration. His cord was wrapped around him multiple times and he was born almost the colour of your bluebird. He had the head circumference and length of a nine pound baby, but weighed 6 lbs, 6 oz. He had APGARs of 1 at birth, and 3 at five minutes. The only reason he scored one was that his heartbeat was detectable though in fibrillations. By five minutes they had him on oxygen and his colour improved enough to give him a score of 3.

Then at 23 1/2 hours old he had an 8 minute general seizure.

Now, he's almost 18, 6'3 or so and about 260lbs. Graduating from high school soon - though he does have a moderate sloping to profound bilateral hearing impairment. Supposedly the hearing impairment is genetic, though he's only the second of something like 400 people in the combined pool of first cousins and their children to be identified with a hearing impairment before the age of 40 - and the other one was a very medically frail infant born before rhogam was introduced.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 06:13 pm (UTC)
Okay, yes, that's very distressed. Generally eight days late does not in and of itself indicate poor medical practice, but there must have been other things they were not detecting.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2010-02-06 07:00 pm (UTC)
My best friend had the same thing happen. They kept treating for six months for the lungs (asthma, pnuemonia,) and it was the cancerous growth in the stomach that was pressing against her lung. It was too far gone to remove it and she died 5 months later.
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2010-02-06 05:49 pm (UTC)
I'm suprised they didn't try a sulfa one after the first time round -- I haven't been posting much but K had a bit of a skin infection problem and after a few times, they checked for MRSA. (all clear, her problem is compliancy with meds, which we all knew)

But they explained to me that the sulfa ones are different than the amoxicillin type ones, and that they pick up different things (I think she had cipro too? I forget) and it's fuzzy but the point is, I liked the systematic approach they were taking. I love our practice.

It's weird, I think aspects of the whole training to be a doctor thing are off, and harsh, but some are incomplete, too. It's just too steeped in tradition that I think their really making some pretty bad doctors. They're making great ones, too, but it's just got to be different. (Even nursing school has some of that odd hazing type of aspect to it, I think. I was in school with a lot of people lacking in some important skills, and they somehow muddled through.)
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2010-02-06 06:29 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's crazy. My nursing school experiences (I left in the middle though) weren't anything like that. If anything, they made us paranoid about things like that. Which is understandable. My school REALLY drilled in the knowledge, but they also did things like freak out if the stuff around the holes that your laces go through are silver, and not white.

My SIL graduated med school in May and so far, no horror stories to worry me. (Maybe they don't want to scare me, ha!)

I can't believe they kept the professor, after that. I know there is a shortage, but damn. (It is one of the reasons the country has a nursing shortage. Not enough instructors. Waitlists for classes, so an associates takes 4 years.)

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From: (Anonymous)
2010-02-06 11:21 pm (UTC)
"the stuff around the holes that your laces go through"

Eyelets (sometimes grommets). The plastic or metal thingies on the end of the lace are aglets.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 06:07 pm (UTC)
It's pretty alarming that they didn't take her up a notch of some sort much earlier. And yeah, there are some definite deficits in medical training.
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2010-02-06 06:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah it's not even taking it up a notch as in different class of medicines, you know? It's not like going from 200mg to 1000 mg or whatever. It's just one class to another. Really makes me wonder. I'm glad they're good to me but I am also glad to ask questions. Also, I know my pharmacist and sometimes she talks about things with me like "ok, this is the sixth antibiotic your daughter is on, let's chat". Which is ok with me.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2010-02-06 06:51 pm (UTC)
gads! i'm glad your mama is getting a stronger antibiotic *now*. i'm blessed with good doctors at the moment, but i know its entirely too easy to get a bad one.

fast healing to your mother!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 09:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: fortuna_juvat
2010-02-06 07:17 pm (UTC)
But... that makes no sense. I can't think of a single antibiotic that they would have used before this, much less TWO that could be considered "weaker" than amoxicillin.

I mean, there's penicillin.... but we only use that for syphilis and culture proven strep throat.

Not to mention if the infection wasn't killed by any two other antibiotics (assuming they weren't giving her something completely jackass wrong, like ones that only cover gut bacteria) amoxicillin really ISN'T touch it.

.... they have the gunk. Who didn't culture the gunk?!?! ESPECIALLY in the setting of concern for bone infection.

Whoever your mother is seeing, they are dangerously incompetent when it comes to the typical bacteria and treatment of common skin/mucosal infections.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 09:04 pm (UTC)
Montana. What can I say. And my mother, like my sister, is about impossible to talk into changing doctors. I can only beat my head against that brick wall so many times.
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[User Picture]From: amberite
2010-02-07 03:53 am (UTC)
It sounds from the post like they prescribed her amoxicillin first, and *then* something broader-spectrum which she couldn't remember the name of...

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[User Picture]From: finding_helena
2010-02-08 04:52 am (UTC)
This, so very much.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2010-02-06 10:05 pm (UTC)
Are there no competent doctors in Montana?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-06 10:28 pm (UTC)
Could *I* find a competent doctor if I went out there and searched? Probably.

Can my mother, who won't do the searching? Not so much.

They are very good at trauma and sewing back on bits when people are injured doing outdoorsy things, but it's very Darwinian when it comes to disease.
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[User Picture]From: saraphina_marie
2010-02-07 01:10 am (UTC)
Whoa- Amoxicillin is for mild to moderate acne.
Clyndamiacin (what they've got me on for resistant strep-one more pill thank heavens, one more pill!!!) is more along the lines of what she needs.
CRAZY!
Someone needs to be smacked.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-07 12:44 pm (UTC)
Seriously. I don't know what they were thinking. But she appears to be getting well now.
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