Caregiver not with MRSA but exposed to MRSA

chilibbq
chilibbq Member Posts: 30
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Corrine and I have seemed to arrive at a large speed bump. About 2 years ago, I invited a dear friend into my home. We have known each other for 32 years. She is disabled, cannot work and ran out of money. I have helped her financially, emotionally and sometimes physically. Although she has no outward signs now, she was diagnosed with MRSA after a procedure in the hospital. It is her doctors opinion, she probably recieved it at the hospital during her surgery. I have asked other doctors the chances of me (never have had any signs) of infecting Corrine. The common answer I recieved was staph is everywhere, including the hospitals. Maybe even more in hospitals. As long as proper hygene and frequent disinfecting of hands and face, it should not be a problem. Corrine's doctor has concerns with me being in contact with her while she is on chemo. Corrine is in the hospital now and may not be out for a couple of days. Why did the doctor not tell her she is in more danger in the hospital than anywhere else? Has anyone else gone through a similar situation? Ken

Comments

  • cruf
    cruf Member Posts: 908
    MRSA!
    Ken, the chances of you giving Corrine MRSA is slim! Unfortunately, it is everywhere! It's almost common for people who have been hospitalized, had surgery etc.. to come down with it esp. since their immune system is low. My husband, who is absolutely healthy and never had cancer, ,and wasn't hospitalized, developed MRSA on his hand out of nowhere. He was on a business trip and noticed a small bite(he thought),on the top of his hand. The next day his hand was swollen and it continued to get worse until it blistered and was a nightmare(and we had just flown to Aruba).He was treated with strong antibiotics for about 6 weeks and I helped nurse it back to health. Yes, the hospital has all sorts of germ and when the immune system is already low, you're better off at home away from all that. The MDs won't send her home if they don't think she is ready. Try to relax. You are doing an amazing job! Things will improve. HUGS!!! Cathy
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi Ken
    I work as a homecare nurse and have been since 1985. I cant tell you how many patients have been back and forth on services over the years that have been mrsa positive and we find out about it after the fact. Of course, we treat everyone like they have infection including gloving with procedures, good handwashing etc, but people with mrsa are treated with gowns and sometimes masks if the mrsa is in the sputum. How many times was I exposed when I didnt know the patient was positive???

    Before I had my surgery in May, the hospital does a routine mrsa screening and after being in the health care field since 1982 I tested negative.

    My opinion is your chances of infecting her are minimal and I personally think that it would be worse for you to not be there for her. If you want to be sure, why cant they do a nasal swab and screen you???

    Just a thought..
    Linda T
  • chilibbq
    chilibbq Member Posts: 30
    cruf said:

    MRSA!
    Ken, the chances of you giving Corrine MRSA is slim! Unfortunately, it is everywhere! It's almost common for people who have been hospitalized, had surgery etc.. to come down with it esp. since their immune system is low. My husband, who is absolutely healthy and never had cancer, ,and wasn't hospitalized, developed MRSA on his hand out of nowhere. He was on a business trip and noticed a small bite(he thought),on the top of his hand. The next day his hand was swollen and it continued to get worse until it blistered and was a nightmare(and we had just flown to Aruba).He was treated with strong antibiotics for about 6 weeks and I helped nurse it back to health. Yes, the hospital has all sorts of germ and when the immune system is already low, you're better off at home away from all that. The MDs won't send her home if they don't think she is ready. Try to relax. You are doing an amazing job! Things will improve. HUGS!!! Cathy

    Unfortunatley, Corrine is
    Unfortunatley, Corrine is taking her drs word as gospel, ignoring the research I have been doing all along to make sure I do not endanger Corrine. Reinforced by her family who has been there 2 out of the 3 times she has been hospitalized and rarely been there otherwise to do the daily things she needs, such as cooking, cleaning, emotional support, Dr appointments, emergency room, daughter's needs, landscape maintenance, etc. I was in the hospital room today when her family was there and I could not take the tension in the air. Corrine tried to get her mother and I to talk. I told her mother I was tired of being judged by people that do not know me. She started in on me and I told her this was about Corrine and nobody else. I could not continue the conversation for fear of upsetting Corrine and the things I wanted to say were not the Christian way to act, so I asked Corrine to call me when she was feeling up to it and I left. If I am not there, I do not know how much support she will get. But if Corrine and other drs beleive I could make her sick, I need to back off.
    I am no "Monk", but in the past I was a chef, even before that I have had a compulsion to always wash my hands and steralize surfaces. For years I was nick named Felix Unger. Is that enough?
    Ken
  • chilibbq
    chilibbq Member Posts: 30
    mlmjt1 said:

    Hi Ken
    I work as a homecare nurse and have been since 1985. I cant tell you how many patients have been back and forth on services over the years that have been mrsa positive and we find out about it after the fact. Of course, we treat everyone like they have infection including gloving with procedures, good handwashing etc, but people with mrsa are treated with gowns and sometimes masks if the mrsa is in the sputum. How many times was I exposed when I didnt know the patient was positive???

    Before I had my surgery in May, the hospital does a routine mrsa screening and after being in the health care field since 1982 I tested negative.

    My opinion is your chances of infecting her are minimal and I personally think that it would be worse for you to not be there for her. If you want to be sure, why cant they do a nasal swab and screen you???

    Just a thought..
    Linda T

    Linda, Excellent idea!!!
    Linda, Excellent idea!!! Thank you Ken
  • Aortus
    Aortus Member Posts: 967
    chilibbq said:

    Unfortunatley, Corrine is
    Unfortunatley, Corrine is taking her drs word as gospel, ignoring the research I have been doing all along to make sure I do not endanger Corrine. Reinforced by her family who has been there 2 out of the 3 times she has been hospitalized and rarely been there otherwise to do the daily things she needs, such as cooking, cleaning, emotional support, Dr appointments, emergency room, daughter's needs, landscape maintenance, etc. I was in the hospital room today when her family was there and I could not take the tension in the air. Corrine tried to get her mother and I to talk. I told her mother I was tired of being judged by people that do not know me. She started in on me and I told her this was about Corrine and nobody else. I could not continue the conversation for fear of upsetting Corrine and the things I wanted to say were not the Christian way to act, so I asked Corrine to call me when she was feeling up to it and I left. If I am not there, I do not know how much support she will get. But if Corrine and other drs beleive I could make her sick, I need to back off.
    I am no "Monk", but in the past I was a chef, even before that I have had a compulsion to always wash my hands and steralize surfaces. For years I was nick named Felix Unger. Is that enough?
    Ken

    Oscar Madison speaking
    Ken, I have been untidy - sometimes legendarily so - all my life. Mom used to joke that the first time I threw my rattle down I enjoyed it so much I never stopped throwing stuff on the floor.

    Joking aside, Corrine's concerns are well justified. But I can tell you that even a dedicated lifetime slob like me can practice completely effective hygiene. I did stop working out at the fitness club when Moopy began chemo because God only knows what kind of germs they have there. Outside of that, I sterilized and sanitized more often than I did in my entire life (which includes three years as a janitor).

    The week after Moopy's first chemo infusion I contracted the Rotavirus. Both ends going full speed, sometimes at the same time. I was so bad off I wanted to hop into the john and pull the handle on myself. Better that than give the Rotavirus to Moopy. Instead, I sanitized the entire bathroom, top to bottom, every time I used it. And guess what? Moopy didn't catch the Rotavirus or anything else, from me or our staff of three pooches.

    It's sad to say this, but I think you are following the right course. I hope that Corrine will see that you were right - the sooner the better. Perhaps you could have a woman present your case to Corrine: it's an established fact that the Moopster is usually much more willing to agree with another woman - any other woman - than with her awfully wedded husband. In any event, I wish you both the best!

    Joe
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    Dear Felix! ( OMG!) It
    Dear Felix! ( OMG!) It sadly wouldn't matter if you had morphed from Felix into Adrian Monk, the unfortunate common denominator is FEAR, and sadly you are now the designated target. Short of renting a HaxMat suit complete with respirator, it seems no one is in your corner right now. My sister in law is an RN and a chenmo RN at that, and she told me that we chemo types generally do NOT catch the common cold, etc from our family members.
    Hospitals of course are full of ewwwww...sick and infected people! So yeah, diseases are not uncommon there. Staph infections are high on that list. I think that Corinne's doctor is erring on the side of caution and being better safe than sorry. Our immune systems become depleted with the extreme drop in white cells during chemo, making it very hard to fight off infection. If there is any chance that MRSA is in your home, well...the Dr doesn't have it in for you, and I rather doubt he is singling you out! He is more likely caring for his first responsibility~ his patient. I don't know what to say to make things better for you. I hope that you and Corinne come to a good place physically and emotionally! Keep us posted! Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • lanie940
    lanie940 Member Posts: 490
    cruf said:

    MRSA!
    Ken, the chances of you giving Corrine MRSA is slim! Unfortunately, it is everywhere! It's almost common for people who have been hospitalized, had surgery etc.. to come down with it esp. since their immune system is low. My husband, who is absolutely healthy and never had cancer, ,and wasn't hospitalized, developed MRSA on his hand out of nowhere. He was on a business trip and noticed a small bite(he thought),on the top of his hand. The next day his hand was swollen and it continued to get worse until it blistered and was a nightmare(and we had just flown to Aruba).He was treated with strong antibiotics for about 6 weeks and I helped nurse it back to health. Yes, the hospital has all sorts of germ and when the immune system is already low, you're better off at home away from all that. The MDs won't send her home if they don't think she is ready. Try to relax. You are doing an amazing job! Things will improve. HUGS!!! Cathy

    Frequent handwashing and buy
    Frequent handwashing and buy some latex gloves, if you are allergic to laytex, I think there are non-latex. We used them all the time when I was a CNA.
  • chilibbq
    chilibbq Member Posts: 30
    chenheart said:

    Dear Felix! ( OMG!) It
    Dear Felix! ( OMG!) It sadly wouldn't matter if you had morphed from Felix into Adrian Monk, the unfortunate common denominator is FEAR, and sadly you are now the designated target. Short of renting a HaxMat suit complete with respirator, it seems no one is in your corner right now. My sister in law is an RN and a chenmo RN at that, and she told me that we chemo types generally do NOT catch the common cold, etc from our family members.
    Hospitals of course are full of ewwwww...sick and infected people! So yeah, diseases are not uncommon there. Staph infections are high on that list. I think that Corinne's doctor is erring on the side of caution and being better safe than sorry. Our immune systems become depleted with the extreme drop in white cells during chemo, making it very hard to fight off infection. If there is any chance that MRSA is in your home, well...the Dr doesn't have it in for you, and I rather doubt he is singling you out! He is more likely caring for his first responsibility~ his patient. I don't know what to say to make things better for you. I hope that you and Corinne come to a good place physically and emotionally! Keep us posted! Good luck!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥

    Chen,
    I immediatltey thought

    Chen,
    I immediatltey thought the same as you said; the doctor's main concern is for his patient. I admire him for that and do not take it personal. I only want what is best for Corrine as well. That is why I have been doing research on this well before her first operation and chemo. If there is MRSA in my home, like you said, then it is already in Corrine's home as well. I have spent almost as much time there than I have at my home. How does she minimize the risk even with me not there? Ken
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    chilibbq said:

    Chen,
    I immediatltey thought

    Chen,
    I immediatltey thought the same as you said; the doctor's main concern is for his patient. I admire him for that and do not take it personal. I only want what is best for Corrine as well. That is why I have been doing research on this well before her first operation and chemo. If there is MRSA in my home, like you said, then it is already in Corrine's home as well. I have spent almost as much time there than I have at my home. How does she minimize the risk even with me not there? Ken

    I wish I had the answers for
    I wish I had the answers for you...I only have theories! I can only suggest you ask the Dr what, if anything you can do to mimimize his fears as well as yours and Corinne's. And the MRSA test that someone else suggested sounds like a great idea, tell the Dr you are willing to do that as well! Good Luck to you!!!

    Chen♥