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Timeline of Incapacitation

Saturday, 10 September: general sense of discomfort in abdominal region throughout the day. By evening noticeable mild swelling and discomfort in... we'll say "lower abdominal region" and leave it at that. I hoped for relief during sleep.

Sunday, 11 September: I did not feel any better when I awoke. Throughout the day the swelling and discomfort became quite pronounced. Checked possible causes on the internet. By early afternoon, despite really not wanting to do so, I elected to visit the Emergency Room of the hospital. Upon learning of my symptoms and checking vital signs, I was checked in to the ER in less than thirty minutes from my arrival. Brief bout of nausea during intial antibiotic IV infusion. I was informed that I would be kept overnight. Late Sunday night a specialist checked me, and suggested a minor "procedure" (meaning surgery) might be necessary if the infection did not respond to antibiotics.

Monday, 12 September: fever and white cell count briefly surged. Scheduled for surgery at 5:30 pm to drain the "abdominal" abcess. Uncomfortable day. Surgery was smooth and fast. Spent the night hooked to a miserable assortment of tubes and wires.

Tuesday, 13 September: feeling miserable, not so much from the infection, which had begun to subside after the surgery, but from not having bathed since Saturday morning and following a night attached to too many tubes and wires. Responding well to medication and surgery. Doctor released me to go home Tuesday late afternoon, partly due to my begging and pleading. Doctor's quote when he insisted I not return to work for three weeks: "you're actually very, very sick."

Wednesday, 14 September: No tubes, no wires, and... A LONG, HOT SHOWER! Moving very slowly, if at all. Strong antibiotics. Fairly sizeable open incision, to allow infection to drain. Guhhh.... The surgery alleviated nearly all of the pain, however, so I had no need of the pain medication I had been prescribed. Talked to some people from work on the telephone about sub plans during my absence.

Thursday, 15 September: a common result of surgery, I suppose, is digestive upset. Ongoing digestive upset. 'Nuff said. In fact, prob'ly too much said, huh?

Friday, 16 September: pretty much the same as Thursday.

Saturday, 17 September: digestion returning to normal. Swelling beginnig to subside, finally. Incision shows signs of healing. Noticed minor itching and redness in the evening, attributed it to too much time in bed plus warm, humid weather.

Sunday, 18 September: redness and itching prominent on back, front, both legs, underside of arms, and sides. I still think it's a result of being confined to bed plus humid weather.

Monday, 19 September: first time out of the house since returning home Tuesday afternoon, for an appointment at the doctor. Incision is healing properly, infection appears to be largely gone, swelling beginning to decline. Rash is more severe, bright red. Doctor diagnoses a developing sensitivity to the antibiotic, Cipro, recommends I stop taking it. Prescribed another antibiotic, which he said might not be necessary. I am instructed to wait until all signs of rash are gone before resuming antibiotic.

Tuesday, 20 September: rash still significant. Incision healing. Swelling continues to abate, slowly.

Wednesday, 21 September: rash remains prominent, but red color is fading. Swelling slowly declining. No significant discomfort. First attempt at walking around outside, a slow 40 minutes on the beach. Depression and irritability over all the time wasted being sick setting in.

Thursday, 22 September: rash finally clearing up. Incision continues to heal. Swelling notably less. Drove myself to barber shop (10 minutes away) for a haircut; tired of dealing with scraggly hair while I'm sick. Another short walk. Finally feeling as though I might possibly recover from this. Still depressed an irritable.

Friday, 23 September (today): another 45 minute beach walk. Spent some time outside, sorting through a few boxes of junk in the laundry shed and trimming some bushes. Not feeling very energetic, moving slowly, but no pain from the incision, which continues to close. Swelling is much diminished. Rash is almost gone. Have had some trouble sleeping the past couple of nights due to restlessness and annoyance at being sidelines by something so sudden... and so stupid.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 24th, 2011 11:03 am (UTC)
The rash is almost assuredly from an overdose of antibiotics. It may also be partly a Herxheimer reaction (of course, please ignore the stuff about syphilis, Herxheimer can be seen when the body is clearing out any major infection).

re: Cipro On the plus side, despite the misery, this massive dose of antibiotics may have been just the thing your lungs needed. On the risk of sounding inappropriately fixated on your bronchioles, as you know, I've been semi-obsessed with the notion that you've had a lingering mycoplasma pneumoniae infection for some time. (Sorry, feeling equipped to diagnose someone thousands of miles away is a flaky character trait, I know, in the same family as snake oil, contrails and tin foil hats)

BUT . . .here we are. I humbly submit that in addition to fixing your . . . ahem . . . . "abdomen" (we call it GHA, General Hip Area here), the drugs you've been given may ultimately end up improving your health.

FWIW, the next step (when you've finished the antibiotics totally) would be to introduce some high quality probiotics (acidolphilus) daily into your system for the next week or so . . . the expensive stuff that's kept in the refrigerator at health food stores. Again, I realize I'm a bit of a fanatic about this, so please feel free to roll your eyes and ignore this advice if it's intrusive --- however, introducing healthy bacteria back into your GI system right now can mitigate even worse "digestive upsets" down the line.

Edited at 2011-09-24 03:06 pm (UTC)
Sep. 26th, 2011 01:49 am (UTC)
I always appreciate your insights and suggestions, medical and otherwise. In this case, I suspect you were correct about the lingering bronchial infection. The last of my residual cough seems finally to be gone, and (I'm hesitant to make this statement lest I "jinx" myself) I'm beginning to feel optimistic that my overall level of energy may be on the rise. You were likely correct, the series of colds and flu-like symptoms were probably resurgences of a long-term infection that never entirely cleared up.

In addition to the antibiotics, three weeks being away from work, relatively guilt-free (the doctor was quite insistent), is also helping the situation. It will actually be four weeks, because my official sick leave period ends just as intersession break commences. I'm hoping I don't start stressing over work-related issues. So far I've been able to shrug it off, even though some issues have arisen and I've spoken with work colleagues a few times. I'm trying to keep work contact to a minimum during my recuperation.

My digestion is essentially back to normal, as is my diet. Perhaps my fairly heavy consumption of dairy products helped in this regard, but your suggestion of an acidophilus supplement seems like a prudent suggestion. I have yet another follow-up appointment with the doctor this coming Tuesday, and if he agrees I can dispense with the antibiotics, I think a stop at the health food store (there's a totally funky, 1970s-style, reeks-of-patchouli oil hippie health food shop in nearby Haleiwa Town) will be added to the day's itinerary.

I'm trying not to be too much of a sissy about this; I believe I am on the mend, although the process has been slow. I appreciate your suggestions and concern. And that particular icon of yours always makes me laugh!
Sep. 24th, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the update. Glad you appear to be on the mend! (Please forgive me for not writing/composing what I'd like, I shouldn't be on the computer, much to do.)
Sep. 26th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yup, looking like everything will return to normal. Better than normal, I hope! It's to the point where I need to start thinking about getting myself moving again, so I don't become a genuine bed-ridden invalid!

Edited at 2011-09-26 05:51 am (UTC)
Sep. 26th, 2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
sounds like a fun vacation ...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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