In the Late Night with David Letterman tradition, here are the Top Ten ways that Pattie knows when I’m really sick:
(10) I came home after work and found Pat asleep on the couch with our dog at his feet and two of our cats curled-up on top of him.
(9) His hair isn’t combed.
(8) Pat’s voice is so soft and raspy I have no idea what he’s saying. Come to think of it, he’s barely talking at all.
(7) He let the phone go to voice mail.
(6) He won’t eat!
(5) The bed wasn’t made when I got home.
(4) Pat looks like one of the zombie character actors in Walking Dead as he shuffles from room to room.
(3) He fell asleep standing up!
(2) He isn’t writing.
(1) Pat let me help him without arguing about it!
We had some fun with that! And I have good news. My fever is gone, my sore throat has improved and my new normal, post transplant energy level is returning to normal.
As often happens when I hit a health-related hiccup, I received many emails wishing me well and making suggestions. Gargling with saline, mouthwash and anything I could get my hands on seemed to help. So did the extra rest and staying hydrated–Pattie stood over me like a hawk! I’m surprised no one recommended chicken soup!
But kidding aside, several readers were concerned I had decided to take some antibiotics I had on-hand for just such an occasion. Actually, readers were split on this one. A half dozen wanted me to hit the antibiotics hard NOW, while several felt it was the wrong thing to do.
I can see both sides. After all, we all know that antibiotics don’t work against viruses like a cold or flu. I understand that overusing antibiotics isn’t good for us or our future. I get it!
But as a transplant recipient, all of my docs push me to take them “just in case.” As a matter of fact, I have several standing orders at the local CVS pharmacy, depending on what type of bug I may be facing.
The biggest fear is pneumonia. I haven’t verified this, but I have heard in the past that one out of every three myeloma patients dies from pneumonia.
Of course there are both bacterial and viral types of pneumonia. (I’m rambling again–must be feeling better!) My point is this: I carefully contemplate the pros and cons of issues like this one before I act–it’s how I’m wired. I haven’t used antibiotics since my transplant. (I do take acyclovir, an antiviral to help prevent shingles.)
But Saturday I felt so bad–and I was so congested–that I broke-down and started taking Levaquin, an antibiotic that is designed to help fight respiratory infections.
OK anti-antibiotic readers. Answer this: How could I be suffering from the worst cold/respiratory infection that I can remember one day, yet feel significantly better the next? And feel still better today? The only answer I can imagine is that all or part of this is a bacterial infection, and the antibiotics are doing the trick.
I’m not complaining! And there could still be a set-back. But as you can tell from the length of my post, I’m doing much better. Tomorrow I’m going to feature more pictures and an update about our good friend from the Spokane, Washington area, John Knighten, one of my personal patient heroes.
Until then, feel good and keep smiling! Pat