After waking completely breathless, despite still being on my NIV (which is quite hard to be breathless on) and finding myself standing in the bathroom fighting for air and trying to cough and clear my chest at the same time, it became apparent that my sleep/breathing/NIV difficulties were, quite simply, down to a big ol’ infection which I’ve obviously been brewing for a good few days now.

Horrible as it is and horrible as I feel, it’s good to know the causes of all the disruption in my patterns. I went to Oxford yesterday not looking for answers, but knowing that “all” I needed was a swift course of anti-biotics (hopefully the same ones as last time, otherwise things get complicated with sensitivities and allergies) and some extra physio.

Monday night was the worst night I’ve had in quite a while – waking at 1.30am with breathlessness and a large mucus plug on my right side and the complimentary headache which comes with it all, I then spent the rest of the night trying to find a comfortable and non-distressing way to sleep, which I managed for short, 20-minute spells on-and-off for the next 5 or 6 hours. Needless to say by the time I got up I was more exhausted than when I went to bed.

In Oxford I was pretty spectacularly monosyllabic with my team – which curiously meant I think they knew exactly what was going on; they know me pretty much inside out now. I felt really sorry for them, though, because I was so exhausted and feeling so sorry for myself that I really wasn’t much cop as a human being yesterday – offering hardly anything beyond the necessary replies to medical enquiries.

Still, I escaped the dreaded thought of ending up on the ward (which would just about have finished me off, I think) and came home with my first few doses of IV’s to draw up and the promise of my full delivery arriving some time later today.

The only minor hitch of non-planned IV starting is that I didn’t have time to get a preparation dose of steroids down me, which means I’m in for a couple of days of joint and muscle pain as my body reacts to the IV Meropenem before the oral pred [prednisolone, steroid] kicks in properly. I’ve also now got a nice collection of ulcers on my tongue in protest at the toxins being shoved into my blood stream. Can’t blame my body really, can you? I think I’d protest, too.

Reacting to IV’s is pretty much a common-or-garden response for me and is weirdly reassuring, because if my body is feeling it then you can bet that the bugs are, too. It may take a little longer to kill them off, but I know things will turn around soon. It means having to put up with a few days of tiredness (which was there anyway) and soreness, but at least now there’s the knowledge that things will start to improve by the weekend, rather than merely a looming sense of something not being right.

I’m off to do today’s first session of physio, then to take myself back to bed to sleep off my morning dose, in time to get up and repeat the dose and do another physio session. I do love being on IV’s…

NOTE: For the stats-lovers amongst you, my Lung Function yesterday was 0.6/1.1 (that’s roughly 15/20% according to this site), my Sats were 90% – not very impressive. My weight, however, was a massive 53kgs (fully clothed), so I guess that’s my silver lining.

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