Author Topic: My Husbands Fight  (Read 4495 times)

Offline cherylp

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My Husbands Fight
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:40:48 PM »
My husband was diagnosed with Blasto last year. October 2012. He worked as a diamond driller's helper here in Northwestern Ontario. He had been off of work since early February of that year and had only just started working 2011 in this profession.
My husband had started feeling ill about a week before I had brought him into the emergency room, but seemed like just another flu! He was sleeping more, fevered a little but managable with tylenol, and also a bit of diarrea. The last 2 days of symptoms were what got me to finally bring him to the hospital. He stopped eating anything, he was trying to drink fluids with tylenol and as much as possible, but unable to keep down. And sleep he could not get due to not being able to lay down...he would go into coughing fits as if choking. I asked if he was coughing up anything and he said he was not...which led me to believe he could have pneumonia. He went to bathroom to puke after drinking some tea and upon his return he was totally winded. I then noticed that his skin color was almost grey looking. So off to Emergency we were!

Once in the emergency room the student doctor had my husband hooked up to oxygen because his oxygen levels were 65%, and having a level of 90% is considered to be too low. They continued to give him oxygen without any fact we were watching his levels slowly decrease. The doctor came to see @ request of student and ordered immediate x-ray. Which concluded that there was almost 0% oxygen levels being sustained in both lungs. The doctor told us that my husband would have to be put on a ventilator because his lungs were going to fail @ any time...I asked how long and he told me until his lungs got better...
Because we live in a small communtiy he would have to be flown out to Thunder Bay or Winnipeg Health Science facilities...whichever hospital agreed to take him as a patient. Once in Thunder Bay the doctor there treated him for any lung infections they could think of until they could diagnose what it was he had. His health continued to deteriorate even with all of the sedations and steroids they gave him for pain...he constantly had an elevated heart rate, fever, and blood pressure. Finally on the 4th day in hospitals...3rd day in amount of medication was calming him. The doctor pulled myself and my in-laws aside and told us that there was nothing more they could do for him...he was merely living hour to hour and all of there tests were coming up NEGATIVE. I sat with my husband crying and praying that he stay with me and our children...and the doctor poked her head in and asked to speak with me. I walked towards her and could tell by the look on her face that she had a diagnosis FINALLY! It was Blasto...a fungal infection in both lungs.

A medical team was flown out to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg Manitoba to transfer my husband to their better equipped facility. He already had a central I.V in the left side of his neck for all of the meds being pumped into him...but the team from winnipeg needed this line for the ECMO machine (also known as lung bypass machine) that my husband would be placed on. The heart surgeon was called in to insert another central line on the opposite side to replace the one that would be used. This in itself was a risk due to how grave his condition was already. Thankfully he survived this procedure.
Before we left T.bay he no longer was passing he was immediately placed on the Dialysis machine. His kidneys were now affected by the blasto.
My husbands fight continued...we would have 1 good day followed by 3 days of tears, fear and the unknown. I sat beside him everyday and watched every detail of what was going on with the readings on the machines and what the nurses and docs were saying. I asked 10 million questions about every test...and requested to look @ his daily x-rays although there was no change. I was trying to understand what it was that had my husband so ill.
Eventually he got better and better...slowly but gradually. He was on the ECMO machine for a total of 2 weeks...was on a continuous infusion of AMPHO B...@ the highest level they could give safely until the day before we were released. He was also put on Flucozanole @ the highest dose possible due to the spread of infection to his brain and he continued this orally for 6 months after being released. He was put on a potassium infusion as well due to extremely low potassium levels and they feared he could have a heart attack. His ventilator was attempted to be taken out with 2 fails and finally on the 3rd attempt he was able to breathe on his own!! Ventilator stayed in for 3 weeks and they allowed him to wake up just after they removed the ECMO machine. When he did wake up it was a struggle because we had no idea how the infection affected his brain...luckily he was able to move and understand requests.
The Blasto infection in total affected both lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and hair. When I brought my husband to emergency he weighed 220 lbs...when discharged from hospital he weighed 170 lbs. He lost 50 lbs in 1 month.

It has been almost 8 months since discharged from hospital and my husband is totally recovered. He has gone for follow-up x-rays, an MRI and blood far so good!! All of the doctors have told us if it wasn't for the physical shape he was in when he caught the BLasto...he very well could have died because his case was severe. His voice is not as loud but could be some damage from the ventilator tubes being in for so long.
There have been more and more guys that are in the same line of work as my husband who have had similar if not exact same symptoms and diagnosis but still where being contracted cannot be determined.

Offline bettyb

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Re: My Husbands Fight
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 08:17:39 PM »
WOW!!! So glad to hear your husband is a fighter and was able to overcome this blasto! Good luck to both of you!