The OF Blog: Annoying or worrisome?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Annoying or worrisome?

OK, this is one of my infrequent personal life posts. For those wanting me to talk about literature (or to respond to some of comments or other related matters), please be patient, as it'll be either tomorrow evening or Wednesday before I can get to those. I'm currently awake again after sleeping for most of the evening, and what I'm thinking about deals with the nuisance of not knowing enough to know what to expect.

Some of you will recall that three weeks ago, I had a blood and stool sample taken due to lung/ear infections and a possible reaction to the antibiotics I was taking. Well, I never received word of the lab results being back until last week, when I received a letter in the mail requesting that I call. This was about Wednesday, so on Thursday, I tried calling, but the clinic's receptionist was out that day and I was too busy on Friday to call. So I called today during my planning period break at school. Here is what I learned:

No harmful bacteria in the stool, but...


Elevated white blood count, something with the kidney, there was blood in the stool...

OK? What does this mean?

Well, the doctor left a note wanting to set up a consultation...

OK...when can I schedule this?

And due to a few other commitments this week, I won't know until this Friday. Could be anything from the antibiotics (Omnicef at the time, then Avalox after the samples were drawn) to more serious matters, but what, I have little idea. Don't think it'd be Type II diabetes (although I'm at high risk), but if it's an ulcer, I'm not going to be too pleased. And if my kidneys are failing...yeesh.

But I don't have much time for worrying, even if worrying and trying to create patterns of understanding out of the faintest shadows of information could lead to some very vivid imaginative exercises, I suppose. Could have been worse, though: I could have had to endure a student praising not just the Stephanie Meyer books to me (again! Gah!), but have some trying to get me to read Terry Goodkind...

In that case, I'd imagine dying of explosive bloody diarrhea might be a more merciful option.


Anonymous said...

Larry, sorry to hear you're going through all that. I do know how you feel, I've had a couple of similar experiences. Hate it. So far, everything has turned out alright, and I hope it will be the same for you.

Anonymous said...

Being a nurse rather than a doctor, I, of course, can't diagnose your problem, even if it could be done via blog posts. But I may be able to give you some helpful info to ally your fears. The Doctor probably just wants to repeat some of the lab work to make sure things are returning to normal. Are you beginning to feel better? Then they probably are.

First. Your labs were obtained while the infection was raging, so an elevated white blood cell count is to be expected. It's actually a good thing, since it indicates your immune system is working. White blood cells fight infection. You didn't say how high, but we won't worry about that right now.

Two. The omnicef caused colitis, which is inflammation of the colon. You should probably note this as a drug to avoid in the future. A little blood is not uncommon. Are you still having those symptoms? Can you see blood in your stool? If not, it's probably not an ulcer. Were there white blood cells in your stool? Another sign of infection. This will right itself as the infection clears.

3. Unfortunately, some antibiotics are hard on the kidneys. I looked up both Omnicef and Avelox on Renal failure was not listed as a side effect. Perhaps you were dehydrated (that will alter your test results). Still, you need follow up on this.

In the future, be proactive. Call the doctor's office and ask for your test results. Most don't take more than a day or two, though cultures may take up to a week.

I know. TMI. What can I say. I hope this was helpful.

Mary C RN

Larry said...

Thanks, Mary! I thought after a bit more sleep that dehydration very likely could be a likely culprit, since I am very bad at times about remaining hydrated properly at the best of times and when the drugs/infection were causing the other stuff, I guess it just exacerbated the dehydration tendency. Of course, taking on off a Friday is a mixed bag - had to rush a unit so I could give the test on Thursday, but I was going to need to stop by then or Monday about my still-current ear infection - but I guess three-day weekends aren't too bad, right? :P


Thanks for the well-wishes and hopefully things will indeed turn out for the best!

Charles said...

Hope it turns out for the best Larry.

Anonymous said...

I love 3-day weekends! Take care.

Mary C

felix said...

that sucks, larry

best of luck

Larry said...

Thanks everyone for the well-wishes. I went ahead and had the consultation moved up one day since I took today off due to the icy weather here in TN and had more blood drawn. I'll find out the results tomorrow and I'll have more to say then. Kidney is the least of my worries, I will say, though.

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