Thursday, November 5, 2009


If you follow me you know I had surgery and spent a week in the hospital when I arrived in Scotland. Oh, it was so naive of me to think I had a torn ligament and it would heal quickly when I left Oklahoma. I had much more than that and did not know it at all, I was septic in my right knee.

Septic arthritis is considered a medical emergency because of the damage it causes to bone as well as cartilage, and its potential for creating septic shock, which is a potentially fatal condition. It says on the Mayo Web site that it can totally ruin a joint in only 6 days. It was a good decision by the small town doctor in Banchory to send me to Aberdeen to the hospital for IV treatment of antibiotics . It was an even better decision they made at the Royal Aberdeen Hospital doctors to whisk me off to surgery immediately at 10 PM to wash out my knee joint and then get me on IV antibiotics. Removing the infected synovial fluid from your joint serves three purposes: It removes bacteria from your joint, reduces pressure on your joint, and gives your doctor a sample to test for bacteria and other organisms. The most common method of removing joint fluid is through arthroscopic surgery. During this surgery, tiny cameras and special surgical tools are inserted through small incisions around your joint to access and drain the fluid around the joint.

I came home from Scotland not aware that I still had the hardest part of my recovery from the septic arthritis to go. I had received just enough antibiotics to get me through the week of site seeing we did while there and then 3 more days before I ran out of oral medication.

The problem was I did not have nearly enough treatment in Scotland and when I ran out of antibiotic pills after I got home, the barn door was broken down so to speak. I did learn a lot about Socialized medicine while in the hospital in the UK system.

(Maybe that is why I got sick when I did to learn about what they want to implement here for us. Let me tell you we need some fixes, but not like the ones there. If you want to hear more about it leave me a comment and I will post more about it. I have learned much since I have been home from my friends I met in my ward who are still having problems with their care and lack of it. I have also learned it is a heated topic and I had lots of feedback good and some very UGLY to me because I wrote about my experience in an email to my friends who forwarded it on).

It was the mid week and I got a prescription from my doctor, but they did not have them at the pharmacy. They said they did not get those anymore, they were too old of a type and so by the time I got another prescription, it was the weekend and the same story! It had seemed like nothing I was doing was working and the pain was getting unbearable.

I became really sick and had to go to ER here at hometown. They drew fluid out of my knee again and cultured it. It came back again that I was still septic. This staph infection was going to plan on playing hardball in my body. The pain in my leg and hip was horrible and it was still really swollen. I was on so much pain medication I was worried I would become addicted!

I got into my orthopedic doctor in Tulsa and he hooked me up with a most wonderful infectious disease doctor in Tulsa. He drew up a plan of attack of this horrible monster inside of me and we were in it for the long haul together.

I was sent to get in PICC which is a intravenous catheter in my arm so we could give me high doses of antibiotics in IV form. I got them every 8 hours and and it would last from August 6 until October the 7th.
Our table set up with all my things to give me my antibiotic treatments every 8 hours

My hubby was the best nurse I could have asked for, he was always there to give me the medicine. I think I only had to give it to myself a couple of times.

I also had another surgery on my knee area where they irrigated the joint and then took out the infected bakers cyst behind my knee where my infection was dwelling. I was bed fast from about 5 days after I got home from Scotland until I recovered from my surgery. I could not stand the pain of sitting up in a chair. I had to stay sedated because the pain was so bad and my trips weekly to see the infectious disease doctor and the orthopedic surgeon were some of the worst trips I had to make. I just could not stand to sit up in the truck seat that hour to and from the doctor because my leg dangled and put pressure on my knee. I had to go everywhere in a wheelchair for some time and when and I had to use a walker to get to the bathroom at home.

That surgery to clean out my knee and remove the bakers cyst took 2.5 hours and was no easy task to get out. I am grateful my orthopedic surgeon was and is one of the top knee and hip doctors in the United States. He and my infectious disease doctor worked together for my outcome. I am sure we will never know exactly how or where the staph infection came from. I am just grateful that it is gone now and I am back to a normal life.

I did have a scare 2 weeks ago and got up one morning and could not walk on my right leg again shortly after I was off my IV antibiotics. I was rushed to see the orthopedic doctor in Tulsa. They drew fluid off my knee again and did a culture to see if it was back.
Well the good news it was free of staph infection, the bad news is my knee had to have another cortisone shot to get rid of the pain. I can only have a so many of those so I don't know what will happen when I am there at my limit and can't walk because of the pain. They will never know if the infection got into the bone in my leg, because if it is I will always have some live infection dormant there. If I have any leg trauma they say it could come back if it is there.

I have been very lucky to have had good doctors when I got home and a great husband, mother and 2 nurse maids (that bark)

My nursemaids

Zoe top, Jackie bottom

that took care of me night and day for pretty much of the 3 months I was sick.

This week I am able to smile and enjoy things again, I am blessed!


  1. Holy Hannah KT--- I did not realize things were so very bad. It must be a HUGE relief for you to be home, and gaining ground. Thank Heavens the first Dr in Scotland sent you on for treatment, and they found out the problem. Blog land sure would be lonely with out you here.

    Please take very good care of that leg!

    And yes, if you care to share, I'd love to learn more about the differences in care. I am totally against the push for socialized medicine, (*cough cough* thats my Libretatrian side showing again...)

    Its too bad that someone had to get nasty with you too.

    But long and short of it, you take good care. We're darn glad you are OK, and still with us!!

  2. That last picture is awesome! We have been waiting for that- love ya

  3. WOW! Nothing better than a couple furry friends to keep you company while you're recovering! Glad you're feeling better!

  4. I am so happy things are getting better, even if it's ever so slowly. At least it's the right direction, right?
    You've had quite the ordeal!! You are a trooper.

  5. I am really glad that you are feeling better and will pray that things stay good for you!

  6. Oh, I am so glad you are better. That sounded like such a horrible ordeal! Glad you had such great doctors, husband and furkids!

  7. I am so glad you are feeling better, I spent two months in the hosp after my brain tumor surgery, because my blood pressure kept crashing. Hospitals are not fun no matter where you are.

  8. OMG.. what an experience, take care of your self, my ex husband got a staph infection and had to have something similar called a Hickman Catheter. I gave him his med's just like your honey did for you for over a month.

    We were told it will just hide in you for years. We were told he got it in the hospital,

    Keep telling your story..the real experiences with socialized heath care needs to be heard.

    Hugs to you dear!!


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