Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Long time no post. And the above is an electron microscope image of why I haven't been blogging. It's the Salmonella bacteria. No clue where I picked it up from. Had almost three weeks to think about it and I'm still stumped.
What has happened is that I went from a rudely healthy nearly 47 year old who had given both Selina and a close friend who is 19 a serious walking to on the side of Mt Donna Buang in April, hadn't found it particularly challenging and my main concern was a trend back towards 100 kg....I was at 99 kg on Friday the 27th of April when I had visited my GP for a physical, to a bed case by Tuesday May 1. I didn't leave bed for all that long until the following Saturday when I flew into Mackay fora seriously truncated visit (was due to fly the previous Wednesday), back home on Tuesday and back in bed after a short trip to Uni until Friday...when I finally get to see my GP. Blood & faecal samples are taken. I am now at 90 kg. The following Tuesday I get a call....the bug has a name, I am also have of a state reportable infection. I am my GP's first Salmonella infection in 30 years of practice. My weight drops to a low of 88 kg.
My diet is simple and vegan. I can eat as much plain bread, rice and potatoes as I want. Dairy in any shape or form is forbidden, as are spices, fruit, most vegetables and red meat. If I feel up to it, I can have some steamed chicken. Soy milk is on the can have list. My appetite was almost nonexistent. any way for the first two weeks. Last week the appetite arrives. In the weeks in bed I have made the decision to use this illness as a basis for more positive change. The diet will get an overhaul with a lot more leafy greens, tomatoes and cucumber in it.
The Salmonella began showing itself around 3 p.m. as some wind in my stomach and some cramping. Nothing attention getting until 9 p.m. Then suddenly it was diarrhoea for the next 8 hours. I vomit once at around 11 p.m., the vomit looks for all the world like oatmeal. I desperately try to keep my fluids up. A fever arrives around 10 p.m. At one point I am collapsed on the floor of my shower with hot water running over me, with a high fever watching diarrhoea just flow out of me. By 5 a.m. Tuesday the diarrhoea is abating. I am weak. I beg Selina to stay home. The day is spent sleeping or on the toilet. I believe I have poisoned myself with some Cognac that has oxidised.
This is my new life. I am due to fly to Mackay on May 2 to see what reports are telling me is a final stages Alzheimic mother. Grey in the face and visibly not up to flying, the trip is postponed until Saturday. In Mackay I appear on the mend. Fly home Tuesday, resolutely forcing myself to eat. Wednesday May 9 I try Uni. Visibly unwell, try to force carbohydrates into my body by eating potato chips & potato cakes. Survive Islam lecture. Begin to weaken. Bail from tutorial. Confirm appointment with GP. Thursday in bed. Friday I'm driven to the GP still seriously weak and only wanting to sleep. Faecal samples are taken. Still haven't had a solid crap.
Back in bed for the weekend. Tuesday May 15 the bug is given a name "Salmonella". Begin desperately trying to remember where I could have contracted the bacteria. Even 3 & a half weeks later at the time of writing we are no closer to an answer. I am allowed the diet described above. Sometime on Thursday May 17 something, most likely the Salmonella, crosses into my blood stream. Infections and lesions emerge on both feet. Friday night, movement is only possible when both awake and in agony. I walk as little as possible on Saturday & Sunday at the Farmers Markets Selina needs to go to in order to buy food for Ariels 2nd birthday. Pain continues. Not so bad when I drive, but walking in the mornings is an exercise in agony for the first half hour.
I attend Uni in order to hand in a video of a presentation and begin applying for Special Consideration. Monday another GP visit due to the rise of the lesions & swelling. Prescribed antibiotics. Tuesday May 22. Watch "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" with feet elevated as per GP's instructions. Pain when I have tried to walk this morning. At 11 a.m. I decide I want a shower. I walk the 5 most painful metres of my entire life, I cry and curse the entire way. A fever arrives, the GP Dr Tony Atkinson is consulted. Hospital is reccomended. Ambulance takes so long that after 2 hours fever has passed and I can walk. Ambulance cancelled. I begin to fear that I may not win this fight.
For dinner we try Kangaroo. I pay for this little piece of adventure. Wednesday, feet swollen and painful, but I can walk. Lesions continue to spread.
This bacteria has knocked me down and is now kicking me. I have a long road ahead of me before I am well. I am considering defering my Uni studies next semester in order to give myself time to recover.