Saturday, October 11, 2008

Septecemia - or "where I've been"

Where to start? Well, it's been a manic and crazy and slightly scary week- rollarcoaster in the best sense of the word.

It began last weekend, on Saturday night when we went to a family party and I wasn't feeling my best. I felt out of sorts- very cold and my throat hurt but after a couple of paracetamol I was grand again, if just a little bit tired. I was glad to see my bed at the end of the night.

And then came Sunday. I woke up at 6am getting sick. And I couldn't stop. I was shaking and in my head just needed to get back into bed. That would solve my sickness. And then it came again. Two hours later, it was the same story and my Mum found me, knowing something was seriously wrong. While I was back asleep she woke me to check my temperature. I felt so weak but told her I was sure it was fine. Unfortunately, it was 40.03 (104 something)- not good at all. We rang the hospital and were taken into the unit an hour later where I was hooked up to fluids and IVs.

I was pretty out of it (I mean, me in my right mind would never let someone *attempt* to give me fluids or IVs in anything but a PICC/long line) and just needed to sleep. I do remember trying to bargain with the Intern telling her I'd promise to drink a glass of water regularly if she didn't put me on fluids (a constant drip) though.

I was pretty much a puzzle to them. How I had ended up so sick so rapidly was anybody's guess. The diseases/syndromes/illnesses that were tossed about the first day included Meningitis, Tonsillitis, Pneumonia, Strep-something and a Gastric bug among a whole load of others which I can't remember.

For the medically speaking people, my CRP (infection markers- should be below 10-12?) were 193, although weirdly my White Blood Cells (Infection fighters) had fallen down. By Monday I was neutropenic meaning I didn't have enough White Blood Cells at all (Medic Speaky- they were about 1) so this meant it wasn't safe for me to be around anyone not gowned up in a sterile apron- so I was marked 'isolation'. I was taken off all my immunosupression drugs in a bid to get my body to start producing some sort of immunity again.

Tuesday (or Wednesday, not too sure on the days) the temperatures had settled to the mid 37 range (normal should be below 37) and i stopped spiking them. My mouth, however became very sore and it was too sore to eat. The couldn't treat it however because I was already 'taking too much stuff as it was', so I had to sit that one out. I was visited by the Haematologist who suggested I should start taking shots to encourage the bone marrow to start making WBCs. The Infectious Diseases doctor came along and he believed I had a Gastric Virus (something I disagree with). My Consultant spoke with my Dad and the actual diagnosis was that I had (have?? - pretty sure it's 'had' ) Septicemia, blood poisoning. And possibly Strep-Pneumonia as well? There's a lot of confusion still a bounty so I'm going to chat to the team next week and find out exactly what they'd document it as.

Luckily and so thankfully, I have improved. My CRP is down to 24, my White Blood Cells are now 2.2, my Neutrophils are 800 (I think normal is above 1500??), the temperatures have settled completely and I'm feeling a LOT better. I'm on and off my anti-rejection drugs and they're keeping a careful eye on my bloods. I'm still on IV meropenum, oral Azithromycin (I was on IV Ciproxin but it turns out I'm allergic to that one as evidence by a nice 'rash' reaction!)I'm hoping to be discharged early next week, all going well!

It just goes to show how quickly things can change. I just was incredibly unlucky and yet I know that I am so, so fortunate that I got treated correctly and in time too. I don't ever wish to be given a fright (or indeed, be giving others a fright) like that in a *loooooooooonnnnnnnnnnngggggggg* time! :P