I just got home. Mom is not comfortable right now, and took her anti-inflammatory and pain pill, and she and my sister are putting ice on her back. She goes in sometime tomorrow, and then she will be in the hospital until FRI or possibly Sat. I will be retrained in the proper technique for the PICC line for when she goes home on IV antibiotics.
She is going to be admitted tomorrow to have a culture taken under CT Scan. There will be NO IV antibiotics started until after that culture is taken. Once that is started, they will insert the PICC line. If you want to know what a PICC line is, there is a good explanation here .
She will leave the hospital either late Friday, or Saturday on home IV therapy... and I am already trained in it, but it has been quite awhile, needs sterile technique and flushes in certain order. Once all of that is ready to go, she will come home.
It is not the C word, it is definitely an infection in the lower spine, and is localized, hence she has no pain 'radiating' down her leg or anyplace else. They will use a special bone bit to enter and extract the matter, and do a culture to find out what bacteria is causing this, and then use the right antibiotics to fight it.
This used to be cleaned out by surgery. They learned though, that to get to the site, they ended up removing good bone, and the remaining bone was the unhealthy bone. They now just try to use this procedure, and it is successfully done. IF this does not work, and IF the infection should not clear up, there is a VERY REMOTE possibility that she will need surgery to clear it. Dr said this is VERY VERY VERY VERY remote, but he will stand by if needed. Until then, he will work with the Infectious Disease Specialist who WILL be taking care of Mom.
She will be at the hospital sometime tomorrow... the time is not yet set. Dr has my brother's cell phone number, and will call him when it is set up.
Mom had the choice to stay overnight, and did not want to. She preferred going home tonight. Dr said that was fine, as they could not do anything tonight...but she DOES have to stay for the next few nights.
Mom worked in hospitals most of her life. As a worker, she did not mind it. As a patient, she is the LAST one to want to be there. But she has been complaining of back pain for several months, going all the way back to January, and is not as unwilling as she would be otherwise.
So that is the story for now.