Last night I hooked up Anna to her IV and then started cooking dinner, Parmesan Garlic Chicken, a favorite in our house. I also made Vesuvio Potatoes, another favorite, but they didn't turn out so great because I was interrupted and then had a slight freak out. (if you just want the recipe click here)

My husband had gone to the store to get some ingredients for the cupcakes I am making for my stepson's birthday party. Before he left he and I had gone through the tedious steps to make sure there was no air in the IV line, not a simple job for lay person. The IV pump is super sensitive and even though you think all the air is out it will not turn on until you have touched your nose three times while turning in a half circle and holding your right foot up in the air. Somehow the pump knows this has been completed because mysteriously after being turned on and off and just after paging the home health nurse it turns on.

Anyway, Anna was hooked up and she was watching TV with her stepsister. I was prepping and cooking. (Onions cooking in bacon grease before throwing in canned green beans smells awesome!) Suddenly I hear my name being yelled. Anna has decided she must immediately go to the bathroom and they had gotten the IV cord tangled up in a plant that fell over onto them as they were pushing the pump to the bathroom. I righted the plant let out a huge sigh and told Anna that I better not have to get air out of the line.

Next thing I know the pump is beeping and I start toward the bathroom with massive attitude and exasperation. That quickly changed into panic. Anna had gotten tangled up in the power cord and blood was flowing from her chest into the IV tube and up toward the bag. I FREAKED! I started yelling what the hell?! asking her why she left the power cord on top of her IV line?! Couldn't she feel it pull on her chest?!

Shaking I called my husband who was on his way home and told me to clamp her line and unhook her. He came in as I was flushing her central line and trying not to throw up. I realize that it was probably nothing and that back flush in an IV is normal but there is just something about seeing your kids blood flowing out of their body that will make you lose your shit,or maybe that is just me.

She got a stern lecture on the seriousness of her central line and how we are no longer in the hospital where someone can come quickly to save the day. I was crying, she was crying, my stepdaughter was crying, and my husband is taking control of the situation. I ended up apologizing and telling them both that moms are suppose to not freak out like that but that I loved them so much and that I was really scared. I think Anna now gets that her central line and IV is not to be treated like a purse. Something to sling around and play with.

Back to the kitchen. My potato wedges had been boiling to long and some of them would have made great mashed potatoes. I drained them anyway and drizzled olive oil and seasoning over all then put them into the oven to crisp.

The chicken turned out great and how could green beans cooked and simmered in garlic salt, pepper, two tablespoons of bacon grease with lightly browned onions be bad?

Easy Parmesan Garlic Chicken (from Good Seasonings ad for Italian Dressing Mix)
printable recipe
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 envelope Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of Miracle Whip (optional and not included in the original recipe but so good with it)
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix cheese, garlic powder, and dressing mix together.
Rinse and pat dry chicken and then lightly spread Miracle Whip overall.
Roll and coat in cheese mixture and place in a shallow baking dish.
My daughter's finger saga morphed quickly into a melodrama. On Friday, after the doctor rechecked her finger and I asked for outpatient IV therapy, she went to the brand new Children's Hospital and had her PICC line placed. This is not a quick procedure and since she has inherited my puny veins the first line was not successful but as luck would have it she has two arms.

We left the hospital at 6pm and the home health care nurse came to our house four hours later. It was then that I learned she would not be coming to our house every eight hours because she was going to teach us to run the IV of Vancomycin. Fun!

Anna got comfortable and our puppy kept her company for the two hour drip. This routine was short lived because on Sunday her finger was worse. We called her pediatrician who told us to go to the emergency room.

The redness had started to streak past her first knuckle and the black was getting larger. In addition to her finger, her PICC line was causing a red streak up her arm and really hurt Anna if you touched her upper arm. Based mostly on the fact that her PICC line was thought to be infected she was admitted.

We spent Sunday through Friday in the hospital. Her finger continued to get worse even with the increased dosage of Vancomycin and an additional broad spectrum antibiotic, Rosefrin. We left the hospital not knowing what she really has or how she got it.

She had an MRI on Tuesday that showed no infection in the bone, thank God. I had never had nor seen an MRI machine up close; those things are loud.

Her IVs were not stable because she has something called mechanical phlebitis and therefore she was stuck with needles more than her psyche could handle. She was beginning to freak out when they had to draw blood and when she saw them come in to flush her IV before and after the every three hour Vancomycin treatment she would start screaming and crying. It was horrible. At one point my mother and I had to hold her down and she screamed so much she threw up, which made me about throw up.

When they realized her second IV was going bad they scheduled her to be sedated so she could have another PICC line inserted. I pulled the mom card and begged for a central line instead. They decided that a central line would be best due to her weak veins and while they were under they cut out the necrotic part of her finger.

There was much drama with the lack of bedside manner with the hand surgeon who made it seem like keeping her finger might be in jeopardy. But after taking out the black part on Wednesday her finger started to improve. They cultured it and it came back positive for staph. They do not know at this time what strain of staph but her treatment is 600mg of Vancomycin every 12 hours for 2-4 weeks.

Right now we are on a 4 to 4 dosage but we will be moving that at half hour increments until we get to 6am and 6pm. Her finger already looks better, gross but better.

Janelle, your experience is so similar and thank you so much for your comments. And OHN, it really is amazing how prevelant MRSA is and how scary and dangerous too. Our family had so much suppport through this ordeal. We recently became official members at our church and my husband and I have said over and over again how wonderful our small group is. Each person came up to see Anna and the ones with kids brought their children so Anna could play X-Box with them.

My husband's ex-wife was great! She brought the kids every night and let them all play and walk around the hospital floor with Anna. My mother came every day and even spent the night with me. But the real trooper has been my husband. He came every morning with coffee for me and hot chocolate for Anna. He was there right after work and then even during work hours. He has been the one with the calm and reasoning voice, gently reminding me that the doctors never actually said she could go home Monday, then Tuesday, and especially Wednesday after the central line was placed. He was there and Anna and I both knew it.

It is now 8:20am Saturday morning and I have been up for four hours and home less than 24. Thank you so much for your prayers, support, phone calls, and comments. Remember, wash your hands!
After being on two antibiotics for over 48 hours her finger does not look any better. In fact, her finger looks worse. Since she does not have a fever and she feels fine I did not want her to be admitted to the hospital. Can you imagine a non-sick kid stuck in a hospital room? Call me selfish but I was not up for that. But she needs to be put on an IV of antibiotics for the treatment of MRSA so we are setting up a home health care nurse to come to our house three times a day to administer.

We also are trying to schedule a bone scan to rule out an infection in her bones. This should be done today.

It is amazing how one small little cut can turn into something so gruesome. I am just so thankful we did not wait any longer. Another thing to be thankful for is that she is in no pain. The finger only hurts when she accidentally bumps it. That's it for now we go up to our local hospital at 2:30 to have the IV pick line inserted, she is going to love that. Poor baby.
If this picture doesn't drive the message home for kids to wash their hands I don't know what will. I think it would be a good idea to post this picture in every elementary bathroom as a reminder that washing your hands with warm water and soap while singing Happy Birthday will help prevent the spread of MRSA and other general nastiness. Because the above picture of a finger with something that looks like gangrene is my eight year old daughter's ring finger on her left hand. I took this with my phone while waiting for her Rx at Target and trying not to throw up looking at it. (Holes completely freak me out)

It started out as a small blister then a week later looked like a blood vessel and then morphed into looking like she had been bit by a Brown Recluse spider. A week ago Wednesday night we took her to Urgent Care and they said it was not a spider bite but it was infected and resembled Herpetic Whitlow, which is not treatable with antibiotics. But because there was an infection they gave her a Rx for Bactrim to take two times a day and soak her finger in Epsom Salt.

Five days later her finger was looking worse so I took her to her pediatrician. The doctor x-rayed her finger to be sure the infection had not spread to her bone, it hasn't. Her doctor also ruled out Herpetic Whitow, thank God, and is sure it is the antibiotic resistant strand of Staph called MRSA. Lovely, but at least I can now stop the little voice in my head that was freaking out about Herpes and how in the hell she could have gotten it.

She is now on an additional antibiotic for MRSA and continuing the Bactrim. I take her back to the doctor Friday morning and I really hope this new antibiotic is working because I do not see a change. We picked up yogurt last night because I am sure all of her good flora growing in her intestine will be making a fast exit with the heavy dose of antibiotics.

My Public Service Announcement: Wash Your Hands!
Isn't it weird that my eight year old thinks she knows so much more than me and that I don't need to remind her because oh my gosh, she already knows, yet she can't seem to brush her teeth? She is going to love it when I have to physically sit on her and brush them for her. Bet she will feel real grown up then. Grrrrr. Nasty.