T + 773 Not Quite So Normal After All

After feeling proud of myself or more specifically my immune system for coping with a bout of Man Flu all by my/itself I had a little reminder that I'm not yet back to normal after all.

After a week of working from home I went back to the office for the next four days and worked from home as usual on last Friday. I had a bit of an annoying cough and maybe a sore throat though nothing like it was. I took a few strepsils and things were ok. I figured this was just the death rattle of the cough as it gave up the fight.

Over the weekend I did feel rough and had a couple of bouts of having no energy but a nap seems to set things right. In my experience a nice nap in the day can fix most things.

Monday was ok but tiring and this Tuesday I went down to Hewlett Packard's Disaster Recovery facility in Rugby where I have been several times for work before and where we practise recovering our systems from just backup tapes on the basis of some disaster like fire or flood destroying our main systems.

It was a busy day and quite stressful but a positive sort of stress if you know what I mean. The pressure you get in a sports game maybe ( let's face it this is as close to that analogy I'm going to come in my life at the moment). By the end of the afternoon I had this regular dry hacking cough and felt lousy, tired, no energy and slightly woozy headed if I moved around too much.

I made it home and collapsed on the bed a couple hours once I got in. My temperature was a little higher than normal but nothing near what medics would call a fever so I knew it wasn't emergency level serious but I needed to get it checked out so I gatecrashed the usual Wednesday morning transplant clinic the next day though my next scheduled appointment wasn't for several weeks. Gareth offered to take me in rather than having to ask my Dad. This was very good of him especially as he has something of a phobia of all things medical. ( Not ideal when your partner has cancer.)

I saw a newly appointed consultant who was very good who had come in from another region. He gave me a thorough exam and sent me for a precautionary chest X-ray though my lungs sounded clear through the stethoscope. He said it was probably a common secondary bacterial infection that sneaks in on the back of a viral infection like the cold I had had. I was given two types of antibiotics Augmentin ( or Co-amoxiclav to give it a generic name ) and Ciprofloxacin and told to rest up.

The timing was lousy for work as the Disaster Recovery test was a busy one but I wouldn't have been in a fit state to work on it when one slip can mean having to go back to a tape recovery that takes several hours. So I've spent the rest of week at home taking it easy.

The antibiotics do seem to be working. I still have the cough though not as frequent and overall my energy levels are better though I still feel a little woozy headed now and then. Hopefully by the end of the seven day course of tablets I'll be back to how I was before the cold.

I've had secondary infections after colds a couple of times long before I was diagnosed with lymphoma and just either shrugged them off or had antibiotics from my GP to help. I might have been able to do the same with this one but I couldn't take the chance so went up to the hospital. At least they didn't think it was serious enough to keep me in.

All in all another frustrating episode on the road to normality, though I am starting to think I am going to have to revise what I think of as normal. Despite everything I have learned about my condition and its treatment over the last three years it seems a part of me thinks once I get off the ciclosporin and its immunosuppressive effects have left my system then everything will be back to how it was before I was diagnosed.

Can't blame that part of me for being optimistic but I'm going to have to sit and have a heart to heart with myself to manage my expectations.

I'm booked in for my flu jab at the GP's on Monday so I just have to make it through the weekend without catching flu.


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