It was such a relief to confirm that the proverbial “Light at the End of the Tunnel” was not an oncoming train. It simply is the difference between what the letters “R” and “S” signify in the acronyms MRSA and MSSA. The former stands for “Resistant.” The latter stands for “Susceptible.” They are in fact exact opposites as far as bacterial behavioral patterns go.
The error was not borne of panic at what I earlier characterized to be a near-doomsday scenario. Rather, it was simply forgetting to apply the most popular of Reaganisms in Foreign Policy, namely, “Trust but Verify.” It all started with the tiny print in the thirteen-page “Clinical Report” from the hospital. When the home health care nurse read the diagnosis allowed as “high grade MRSA,” it sounded very similar to what I heard discussed about when I was in the Critical Care Unit ward at Stony Brook University Hospital.
Thanks to the feisty reaction by my wife, Krystyna, at the full implications of having to live with somebody infected with MRSA in the same household. It meant she had to maintain two sets of dishes and utensils, two sets of laundry, and to disinfect my footsteps with Clorox or Lysol anywhere I’d venture within the house. She adamantly felt that the health care system had no business sending me home if I had MRSA. I should have been institutionalized so that I did not become a threat to family and friends and the community-at-large.
She was prepared to do battle with anyone who disagreed with her when she telephoned my Infectious Diseases physician. The good doctor promptly assured her that somebody made a mistake somewhere because he was the one who wrote the “Clinical Report” and there was no mention of MRSA in it.
Independently, I started examining the fine print that I heretofore entrusted to the nurse. I was relieved to find no mention of MRSA therein but only MSSA. While this allows me to approach my 69th year in the sun on somewhat a different light, I’m getting more curious to hear from Rommel about his conversation with the attending physician at Stony Brook.
Someone somewhere in this entire episode failed to communicate accurately. No wonder my daughter, Renata, is sporting for a fight and busily looking for a medical malpractice lawyer she could rely on. Volunteers, or referrals anyone?