Monday, August 25, 2008

MRSA update

We continue to be blessed, humbled and overwhelmed by your prayers and notes of encouragement! So many have asked how Madeline is doing and I was purposefully waiting until after today's doctor visit to share. It was not necessarily happy news, and so it has taken me most of the day to figure out how to write this. I don't want to give details for shock value, but only so you can pray more specifically.

Sunday we noticed our 4 year old had the same sores as her sister, on her thigh and on her face. Olivia said Madeline scratched her while trying to get a toy. This is consistent with how MRSA is spread, since it tends to live inside the nose and under fingernails and the skin has to be broken for the infection to get in. I took them both to the doctor first thing this morning. They took a culture of Olivia's sores and immediately put her on the same antibiotic as Madeline. The doctor was as sure as she could be without a culture, that Olivia has contracted the MRSA infection as well.

Madeline's rash had begun to clear up, but a new rash began to form yesterday. The doctor believes it is a yeast infection, in response to the antibiotics she is on. She prescribed an additional medication for the yeast. Then we noticed a new set of MRSA sores forming outside of her diaper area, traveling down her thigh. This is not a good development because now the sores are spreading in spite of the antibiotic and now they are in an area that is much more exposed. We were prescribed an additional topical version of the antibiotic to apply to the infection. As well as a medicated soap for all of us to cleanse with.

Our sitter also came with us, as she has an unexplained rash forming on her elbow and had to have a culture done as well. The results for the cultures will not come back for 6 days. The doctor also cultured myself, Olivia and later my husband, (through the nose) to see if we are carriers of MRSA. Apparently, you can carry the virus and never have symptoms, but you can spread infection to others and inadvertently be re-infecting the girls.

It is hard for me to get all the details on this type of infection and exactly how it works. It seems there are many variables. Basically, it's a strain of staph that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. There is a little more info here: I do know I have heard from 3 different doctors over the weekend, that it is not something to be messed with. They told us to take it very seriously, as MRSA is very difficult to beat and can be fatal. Not the most encouraging words for a mom or dad to hear. We were already aware that the next step if the antibiotics were not successful, was hospitalization for IV drugs.

To fight the MRSA, I was told to sanitize the girls sheets after every use (nap and night). Also every piece of clothing, towel and washcloth they touch. To bathe them daily in the medicated soap. Administer antibiotics 3 times a day. Apply alternating creams up to 6 times a day. Use strong cleaners under their fingernails a couple times a day. On top of that, I have to dress them in pants to try to keep the sores covered (it's 100 degrees here). I was told to cut out sugar from their diet, to inhibit the growth of the infection. This effectively cuts Madeline's available non-allergy food list in half. Then I have the natural solutions I am adding to our care plan, applying more ointments, essential oils, taking multiple supplements and vitamins 3-5 times a day to boost their immune system. I am just trying to fit it all in during the day.

On a more frivolous note, we had a week long houseboat vacation scheduled and are supposed to leave this Saturday. The doctor said if Madeline's infection does not improve, there is no way we can go. Even if it does, there are many details to work out, such as getting her re-cultured at the end of her 10 days of antibiotics (which is Sunday) while we are out of state. We just don't know if it's possible and it only adds to the uncertainty of this week. Also, the doctor was pretty certain her MRSA and the very rare Group C Beta-strep infections were probably acquired from a recent lake trip, through a fresh diaper rash. This would limit her ability to be in the water, which is the point of a houseboat trip. We need a clear answer as to what we are supposed to do.

It's a lot to take in and we are trying our best to do everything we can to fight this Superbug. We cherish your prayers and are believing God to continue to guide us every step of the way. I have read the opinions of some who have battled MRSA with their kids, who recommend seeking out an infectious disease pediatrician - we need wisdom to know if that's what we should do. Please agree with us that the girls' immune systems will continue to get strong enough to fight off this infection. And pray that we would not be distracted by discouragement.

1 comment:

Jenileigh said...

(((Rebecca))) What a battle you are fighting.

I bind this attack of the enemy in the mighty name of Jesus. I curse this infection at the root! Father God I beseech You to send guardian and warrior angels to fight this spiritual and physical battle going on with this family. Father keep Your hand upon them and show them clearly the steps that You want them to take. Father we need Your divine healing. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.