It’s been an eventful two days, and eventful is not something you want to describe a hospital stay as. Having been rushed in with a temperature in of 40ish at its peak the antibiotics and paracetamol did their job and yesterday I was mostly at 110 pulse and temperature of 38.5. still a fever but lower than before.
They really struggled to get the temperature down, so I ended up naked in a room with the window open and flannels on my head and armpit. It was pretty funny to be honest. If you are scared of hairy torsos please look away now.
With sepsis though you can’t just treat the temperature, as that’s a side effect. They have given me a ton of antibodies and fluid for the infection, and this seems to be helping. I also got two bags of blood. So that sounds positive.
For those of you interested in sepsis (and you should all be aware of it as it’s bad) wiki says.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. This initial stage is followed by suppression of the immune system. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion.[2
Sepsis will prove fatal in approximately 24.4% of people, and septic shock will prove fatal in 34.7% of people within 30 days (32.2% and 38.5% after 90 days). Sepsis affected about 49 million people in 2017, with 11 million deaths (1 in 5 deaths worldwide). In the developed world, approximately 0.2 to 3 people per 1000 are affected by sepsis yearly, resulting in about a million cases per year in the United States.
So as you can see it’s surprisingly common. People need to be aware of it as it kills more people than cancer per year (the times editorial 7th Jan 2020). So if you are risk of it learn about it’s signs and symptons.
Today my temperature is down now to normal and the antibiotics seem to be treating the infection (this is the important bit). Unfortunately I have also had a drop in neutrophils. I’ve gone down from 1.5 to 0.7 today and this is a concern. It is likely from the Bendamustine treatment but it does mean I am more at risk from infection and this infection I already have. See from wikipedia.
Neutropenia is an abnormally low concentration of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood. Neutrophils make up the majority of circulating white blood cells and serve as the primary defense against infections by destroying bacteria, bacterial fragments and immunoglobulin-bound viruses in the blood. People with neutropenia are more susceptible to bacterial infections and, without prompt medical attention, the condition may become life-threatening (neutropenic sepsis).
So there’s that. I also have a rash over most of my body, which is a little itchy, but not too bad. This is also likely due to the infection and hopefully will disapate soon. It’s not a great sign, but I’m on piriton for it.
Additionally I had a hb of 5.7 and then had two bags of blood. Last check I was 4.7 so we are seeing a fall even with a transfusion. Accordingly I am getting two more bags of blood today.
In real terms all of these things can be attributed to Bendamustine reaction. It’s supposed to drop your white cell count, and it’s working on all my cells. Hb as well. Unfortunately my baseline is very low so it has to be treated in each case.
Finally the food here (I am in colchester hospital not Ipswich) isalso good, see photo of meals A three course affair. Better than some restaurants I have been to. Equally I have been moved from my own room with a bad view to one upstairs with a tree. See photos. I even have my own ensuite. So it could be a lot worse. If you fancy a very low cost holiday I can recommend the food and accomodation. The sticking with needles, not so much.
Last note. I was also asked if I was a doctor or had medical training by two of the doctors who I spoke to. That was nice. I have been writing this blog and learning about my one condition for eight years, so I do know a fair bit about it (and if it’s rare you may know more than your physician on this one topic). But it just goes to show how much there is to learn given how many conditions there are and why being a medical practitioner is so impressive. I could not be more thankful for the people who have given their lives to providing care and the NHS in general. It’s keeping me stuck together.