Friday, October 5, 2012

Day 106 - unintended consequences

If people were worried yesterday, today was worse, my temperatures were now sliding up towards 103 again. I had been on the correct antibiotic for a full 72 hours and while I was getting better clinically, my temperatures were worsening. All the cultures except the ones before antibiotics were negative, evidence I was on the right antibiotic and it was working, but I was spending more time with a higher fever. At this point, Dr. Lowrey, called in the infectious disease people to help. I felt so terrible that I do not remember much of our first meeting, evidently they asked some questions, explained some things, examined me, made recommendations and left. One of their thoughts was that the vanco might be causing fevers and we could consider stopping it. This was an interesting thought because everyone around me had noticed that at first when I had a fever I could tell, maybe not how high, but at least that I had one, but more recently I would guess that I didn't have a fever and I'd have a big fever like 103. I could still identify the smaller ones. We all thought that was weird but figured there were lots of other more important things to be thinking about like walking and my left ear which still hurt a lot.

Because of all the rigoring I had done, I really set off my TMJ, only on the left for some unknown reason, but that's ok. I also really tired out my muscles and it was hurting to get out of bed and bear weight on my calves and thighs. I could do it at this point, but needed some one to hold on to me because it seemed likely my knees might buckle. This was about when we thought it might be too far for me to walk to the bathroom and got me a commode. When I complained about how humiliating it was, one of the nurses pointed out that I was still wiping myself and I shut up really fast. For the TMJ, we tried amitriptyline which helped a lot with the worst of the pains, but seemed to transform the overall landscape from one of high sudden peaks and long plateus in between to an overall slightly raised plateau. I'm not sure if the area under the curve was the same or less. Because the unexpected stabs when I was trying to fall asleep were really the worst, I stuck with it.

Later that day, we did stop the vanco and I felt that within twelve hours the 103 degree spells that I had no idea I was febrile during disappeared and I felt another 20% better immediately. I think I ate a tuna fish sandwich this day. I was getting worried because high fevers and rigorring are very energetic activities and I had had almost no nutrition since admission. I was pretty sure my body was taking apart all my muscles to run these activities, but when you are asleep, rigoring or sweating up a storm, you do not want to be eating at the same time. If your mouth is moving around and your teeth are chattering, it is hard to stuff the sandwich in it for one thing.

I also discovered a very delicious hospital breakfast for the slightly lactose intolerant. There is, of course, boost and there is probably boost with soy, but I think boost is icky. I really like soy milk, carnation instant breakfast (which has a lot of milk in it but not so much as a glass of milk) and ice blended together. It's quite yummy and fairly good on protein and not so lactosey that it's a problem for my belly.

So, I think I will leave the story here with a couple of promised upcoming events: the inimitable Agnes Day will be making another appearance in the next day or two and the walking gets even worse.

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