Wednesday, 25 July 2012

More news and fun

I was in hospital for just under two weeks. Every day I was put on IV drips of anti viral medicine, as well as pills and eye drops. I also had to see an Opthamologist (eye specialist) to make sure the shingles hadn't spread into my eye. They luckily hadn't, but was still put onto special eye drops just in case. He wanted to see me again before I left.

Things started to improve the longer I was there. The blisters started to turn to scabs (which was a good sign even though it sounds worse). Even though I was starting to feel better, the doctors wanted to keep me a few days longer to finish the medication I had started.

When I was eventually allowed home, I was sent home with even more pills, strong anti virals and follow up consultations with the opthamologist and haematologist. The opthamologist had a thorough check of my eyes and said that my right cornea was inflamed and gave me lots of eye drops and creams and told me to come back and see her the next week. The haematologist didn't have that much to say. However at this point, the whole right side of my head and face was really itchy. From my nose to the top of my head. She gave me some anti-histemines. They didn't work.

I went back to the eye doctor the following week, she said my cornea was better, but the skin looked much worse. She told me to carry on with the drops and see a dermatologist. We managed to get an appointment with my dermatologist the same day. Even though she had already signed me off, she was happy to see me again. Interestingly, she said it's not actually anything to do with my skin causing the irritation. It's the nerve endings in that area of my face which are re-building due to the shingles having caused them damage. She said that any topical creams wouldn't help and prescribed another round of steroids. She also mentioned an injection, which isn't available in this country which is normally used to cure this sort of problem. I have a follow up appointment with her next week after my course of steroids is finished, and if they've helped, we shall carry on as normal, but if not, she said she will consider the injection.

The fun never stops...

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Latest Saga

Hi Everyone! I know it's been a while since I last blogged, but just wanted to update everyone on my latest saga...

I had gone to Israel with a few friends at the end of June to celebrate being cancer free. We had an amazing time! However, on the very last day, I started having severe headaches. On the flight home, every couple of minutes, my head started throbbing for a couple of seconds, then the pain stopped. Was a very weird sensation. I could also feel something on my head. It felt like a big spot and rather grusome.

The morning after returning, I headed for the GP. After waiting for 45 minutes to see him, he said I was having migraines and told me to take paracetamol. 45 minutes to be told to take paracetamol. What a joke. He also said the spot on my head was likely to be an inflamed hair follicule. I then went out for the day to Wimbledon, headaches still persisting despite the paracetamol.  After watching two matches and just after seeing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga win the first set, we headed home as my head felt like it was about to burst.

When I got home, uncharacteristically, I refused dinner. My head was throbbing, but only on the right side. It felt as though someone was trying to force my eyes out from inside my head. It was excruciating. I don't think I slept that night because I was in so much pain. As I awoke, I couldn't lift my head or open my right eye, fearing that it was going to fall out. My parents rang their GP friend and he said to take me straight to A&E. At this point, I had also thrown up twice. My parents bundled me in the car, still unable to really lift my head or open my eyes.

As I got out the car, I threw up again and we headed straight for the desk. We didn't have to wait very long to be seen by the nurse. I think I vommed again at this point. She found me a bed and I laid there motionless in between puking. Doctors came around quickly and because of my complicated past, they didn't rush treating me until they knew everything. At first they thought I was suffering from something called Cluster Headaches, which I later googled, and it sounds horrendous. I later found out that I was being checked for menigitis and they were seeing whether I had had a stroke... I was in A&E for a while rolling around in pain, throwing up and they sent me for an MRI scan, thinking it could be something to do with my brain. I threw up before (and after) the MRI, thank goodness not during!

My MRI came back clear which we were all really relieved about (not that I was in a very conscious state). I could hear what was going on around, but was in no fit state to reply. I was then moved to a bay on CDU (critical dependance unit) where I was being closely monitored and put on oxygen. Oxygen was meant to help relieve the pain, it didn't, it just made me throw up even more. I was also being given pain relief injections which weren't helping and was eventually hooked on to a morphine drip.

Once the pain had settled slightly, I was moved again. The next day, still unable to open my eyes, blisters started to appear on my face. Doctors were still slightly puzzled and being in hospital over the weekend is the worst time to be in because it's rare you see a consultant. It was eventually decided that I had shingles (a form of chicken pox). I then had to be moved again into a private room (luckily) because I was infectious especially around children and pregnant women. Also people that haven't had chicken pox. Even though I had had chicken pox as a baby, because I was still immuno suppressed with a new immune system, I was able to contract it again. And with my track record, it was bound to happen.

More to follow...