T + 337 Wot No Flu? (PG)
Rated PG for discussion of vomit and pictures of rash.
After being discharged by the doc at about 11:00 last Monday due to waiting for tablets I didn't get to leave the ward until about 18:00. My ever present Taxi driver, Dad, came up during normal visiting at 14:00 and stayed with me whilst we waited.
It was a bit odd that, like the nurses who came into my room, he had to wear an apron and a mask:-
even though we were going to be driving home together once I had my meds. I guess the idea was just to stop it spreading on the ward I was on.
When I got back to the flat it looked liked I was not the only resident of College Road who wanted to take precautions (thanks Gareth ;o) :-
That evening I took my first dose of Tamiflu along with a ham sandwich. The leaflets warn that nausea and vomiting are common side effects of Tamiflu but usually only with the first dose and that effect is reduced if the tablets are taken with food. However all was well and I thought I was going to be ok.
The following morning I took my usual morning meds and then with breakfast I took my 2nd dose of Tamiflu. Half an hour later I was being sick and up came my frosties, along with, by the taste of it on the way up, some of my other meds.
This presented a problem as I would need to be able to keep my other meds down long enough for them to be absorbed. I tried a few sips of water and that came back about 10 mins later. I retired to bed for an hour and then tried some more water. This stayed down so I then took an anti-sickness tablet ( ondansetron) and waited an hour for this to take full effect. This is the first time in all my treatment that I have had to take anti-sickness outside of the hospital.
The anti-sickness did the trick and I was able to eat and take my next dose of meds in the normal way. So that set the pattern for the five days , take an anti-sickness twice a day an hour before having Tamiflu with food.
I have been up and down over the last week at times feeling queasy, low energy, unable to concentrate etc. and other times feeling ok. My temperature however has been back to normal throughout.
I have not logged on to work since the Sunday before I was admitted on the Monday and that is prolly just as well as concentration has been hard. Today was the first day I felt like reading a book. Instead I have been letting the Sky Plus box be my constant companion and let the TV wash over me. In particular I have caught up the 5th series of House which is tremendous fun though whenever they talk about bone marrow or GVHD I flinch at the gross errors they make.
Today I went to the transplant clinic for a follow up from my last appointment two weeks ago. From this I got the results from all my tests whilst I had been in hospital. My blood was clear for bacterial infections and I did not have any sort of flu (swine or otherwise ). There was however a "patch of infection" on my chest X-ray and it was prolly a viral infection I had/have. This is medical speak for "we don't know what you have but you've definitely got something".
My neutrophil count was still low and so my consultant prescribed some of the evil GCSF injections that gave me a funny turn back in October. We did discuss with the doc treating me then I could try a different formulation of the drug to see if that worked better, however my current consultant was not keen on that as the other formulation is fiddly to administer at home requiring stuff pulled from two phials and mixed in correct proportions. She felt as I had been fine before the transplant my reactions were probably because it was so close to my transplant ( only a few weeks in fact ) so could I try them again? She said I could get her struck off the medical register for being mean if I had more reactions.
I'll be taking my first injection tonight and hoping I feel ok. To avoid a psychosematic effect I am thinking positive and focussing on the bone pain I'm going to have when the drug starts taking its effect in a few days :o)
I'll be back at the clinic in three weeks when I will have a follow up chest X-ray. There is no point having one now apparently as the spot of infection can remain on X-rays quite a while after the infection is gone. I'll also get the results of the CRP test which is an infection marker in the blood ( it was 44 last time and the normal level is below 10 ).
Finally we haven't had any grizzly pics for a while so in case you were wondering what GVHD looks like, here it is:- (Click to embiggen).