Ahhh, lab results. We all anxiously await them, hoping for the best. In my case, we were waiting for the results of my latest culture, and hoping for it to be negative. However, I was not so lucky. If you don't recall, my doctor took a sample for a culture when she took my stitches out last week. We were hoping that once and for all the bacteria that caused the downfall of this expansion (Pseudomonas, pronounced sud-a-monas) would be gone. It wasn't.
What does this mean? The doctors believe it means the bacteria has "colonized" in my body. It doesn't appear that I have an active infection right now, so the bacteria are basically just "hanging out" and not active. Does it necessarily mean that they will become active? No. That is the good news. Can we get rid of it? No. That is the bad news.
What we've just learned is that the bottom line is we can treat it, but it will not eradicate the bacteria completely. At best, treatment will get rid of it temporarily. As I grow older, my system will eventually eliminate it. While this is not uncommon - most people have bacteria like this or another hanging out in their body - it is a big problem for me because it is difficult - and sometimes impossible - to go through expansion when older, and I can't simply "wait" for the bacteria to fade away.
Unfortunately, there are only 2 oral antibiotics that can help with this problem. And they both have very dangerous side effects for babies and toddlers. The alternative is to be admitted to the hospital and possibly begin a home regimen of IV antibiotics, which can last up to 6 weeks. So this is a very difficult decision for mom and dad to make. Treat? Or do nothing but pray that the bacteria don't become active with my next surgeries?
At this point, we are leaning towards doing nothing. The likelihood of getting rid of the bacteria entirely is low, so we don't see much of a point in putting me at risk for other health issues. My doctors are still researching this issue, but it's pretty clear where I stand. Dr. Bauer is not concerned that the bacteria will cause a problem with future surgeries, and boy we hope and pray he's right. We will have all the information we need to make this decision in a week or two. We'll keep ya posted...