Piia Pauliina
  • My personal best – 39.2 degrees of Celsius

    February 13th, 2010

    I began to feel to feel unwell on Thursday afternoon.  By six o’clock in the evening my temperature was 38.7 degrees of Celsius.  Naturally, I called the Royal Marsden, as whenever I have fever 38 degrees of Celsius or above, I have to have a blood test to establish if I am neutropenic.  Increased temperature is an indication of an infection, and if you are neutropenic as well, there is a risk of becoming septic, which can be life threatening.  The Royal Marsden was full, so I had to go to the nearest hospital, the ‘lovely’ Homerton.

    Susanna kindly came and picked Suzie and I up, and drove us to the Accident and Emergency Department.  Lucy, my key nurse had already called them and informed them about my situation.  We did not have to wait too long to be seen by the nurse (thanks to Suzie who managed to squeeze me before two people who were there before me).  By then my temperature was 39.2 degrees of Celsius!!  My personal best. I was asked to dress down to a hospital gown, as all the layers I was wearing were making the fever worse; I needed to cool my body down.

    Again, the staff were unhappy (?unable) to use my PICC line, which meant they wanted to insert a cannula for IV antibiotics.  Boy, I HATE cannulas.  I am still here in Homerton, and so far I have had FOUR cannulas (since Thursday evening)!  The latest one was inserted at 6.30am this morning.  What a great way to wake up, being stabbed by long sharp needles.  Yes, the first cannula did not last very long.  I got bruising and swelling along the vein, and when they took it out it was bleeding profusely.  It even stained my night clothes.  My left arm is so bruised!

    They have not found the cause for the high grade fever.  I do not have sore throat, cold, flu, diarrhoea, vomiting, chest infection, ear infection, or urinary track infection.  I do not have any symptoms that would pinpoint the source of this infection.  Even my neutrophils were within normal range.  But, there is an infection.  Where it is, is a mystery.

    They have given me super strong IV antibiotics to kill this mystery infection.  I am still not feeling great, but the fever has not been too bad.  Mind you, I have been talking paracetamol to lower it.  This morning, I am not taking them because I want to establish if I am still getting the fever.  Hopefully not.

    I am going home today, no matter what.  I cannot stand being here any longer.  The food is diabolical, the staff not particularly friendly, the bed is uncomfortable, I have not had a proper wash since Thursday morning, there is a girl opposite me vomiting in regular basis, and another woman shouting “I want to die”, they do not allow you to sleep very much keeping you awake at night, and waking you up ridiculously early, and they like stabbing you with needles!  I have come to a conclusion: being in a hospital is a form of torture.  Well, in Homerton anyway.  On a positive note, I am possibly resting more during the day than I would at home where I can always find something to do.  And the IV antibiotics do not cause me diarrhoea like the oral ones do.  Two nights have been enough though; I AM going home today.

    Because of this infection, they cancelled my CT scan which I was meant to have on Friday, and they have cancelled my chemo on Monday.  It seems to be a norm to move my chemo dates due to my poor health nowadays.  I suppose, my body is not coping as well as before with this new, stronger chemo.

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