I'm back home and out of the reception blackspot that is Duchess Ward. I had a fairly unpleasant time, feeling rather ill and with some fairly spectacular stomach problems (no, Rich, not as bad as that time in Kenya, but pretty bad all the same). Because of the diarrhoea I was 'barrier nursed' and shoved into the most prison-cell-like side room ever. A tiny window, almost like an arrow slit, with a view of the back of another ward was my only link to reality. I couldn't leave the room and everyone who came in had to wear gloves and a disposable plastic apron. I had a telly and en-suite bathroom, sure, but the walls were very blue and this cast a horrible sickly light over everything, making it seem even more unworldly. The result of all this was that by last night I had somewhat lost it emotionally and was in a bit of a state, feeling awfully sick and just desperately trapped. At least in prison you get yard time...
Anyway, they did various stool samples, for which we still await results, but came to the conclusion it was a viral infection that I'd picked up. Last night I slept a lot better and this morning things were much more normal and I felt better. The CRP number was down already on Weds when I went in to 65, from 115 on Monday. I did more bloods this morning so they'll have the results of those later today. As I was feeling better the doc thought I could go home. Result.
The next thing is clinic on Tuesday, with a bronchoscopy to check for rejection again. I feel the lungs are doing ok really, with minimal sputum and so I hope the bronch is ok. All I need to do, mainly for Vicky's sanity, is stay well over the weekend and until Tuesday - a bit of stability is really what we both need. The variation in physical health and mood - the fabled and much discussed rollercoaster - is the thing that knocks you about.
I understand as time goes on why they recommend an absolute minimum of 3 months before returning to work. The recovery rate at first seems extraordinarily quick, as many of you have remarked, but then slows down to the point that sometimes it is unnoticeable and often you are getting worse. It is partly about recovery, in terms of wound healing (the sternum takes 3-4 months), but a lot to do with stability, getting the drugs settled, feeling like it is all under control. Also I am very tired a lot of the time, which I often forget due to the vastly improved lung function fooling me into thinking I can do anything - I tend to overdo the exercise or activity and then suffer. But you must be able to imagine the temptation I am under to go and do active stuff!
Here's hoping for a stable weekend...
5 days ago