Serious but Stable
This past weekend, the doctors started giving Matt steroids to treat a "systemic multi-organ reaction" to the Vancomycin that he was taking for meningitis. Normally reactions to the drug are mild and easily treated, but in some rare cases can be quite severe. Normally this would be confirmed with a liver biopsy, but it would take 2-3 days to get Matt stable enough for a biopsy and doctors didn't feel they could wait that long. They have started him on the steroids and will continue to monitor his infection closely. If the steroids make the infection worse, they will discontinue them and re-evaluate things. They said that it will take several days for the steroids to improve his kidneys and liver and that they will be able to see they are on the right track when his blood work improves. It may take longer than that before Matt's confusion shows much change. Neurology and Infectious Diseases are still involved in Matt's treatment, but his care has been officially transferred to Medicine as clearing up this reaction is the most pressing concern at the moment.
I've also been contacted by a speech and language therapist and a dietician who are working together to get Matt eating more. They are are worried about the possibility of choking, so he is on a minced and pureed diet. He is eating mostly on his own, but is being helped a bit by nurses during meals to watch for choking and to help keep him focused. Hospital food is pretty terrible at the best of times, so I can only imagine what Matt thinks of the pureed version of their meals.
Yesterday he was pretty drowsy for most of the day but the nurse says he isn't complaining of any pain at the moment. I had a brief conversation with him on the phone but what I would like more than anything right now is to actually get to see him. Love and prayers and good energy and positive thoughts are wonderful, and I hope that everyone continues to send them his way, but there really is no substitute for getting to hug, or at the very least sit beside, the people you love.
No word yet on when the visitor policy might change at the hospital, but it can't change soon enough.