April 19, 2009

THE "IS" FACTOR


ItalicThe "IS" factor is what put me in the hospital.

CELLUTLITIS
PHLEBITIS
VASCULITIS
BABESIOSIS

i first noticed slight twinges of pain in my arm on Easter Monday afternoon. By evening it was really sore and there was discharge leaking out of the insertion site. this concerned me but at that time my arm was not red (a sure sign of infection) and my home care nurse was scheduled to come by the next morning so i felt it would be fine to leave things until the morning.

by the next morning (Tuesday) my arm was puffy and swollen. i had developed a painful lump under the skin near the insertion site and a lot more fluid had leaked out. the discharge appeared to be lymph fluid. my home care nurse was concerned but since my arm was still not red (and i've had lymph fluid leak out before), we both felt comfortable taking a 'wait and see' approach.

however, she left me with explicit instructions to immediately go to the ER if my arm became red.

my arm started to get red that night at supper but since the redness would come and go, i didn't think it warranted a trip to the ER.

i woke up in the early morning hours of Wednesday feeling extremely toxic. it's hard to explain the sensation other than to say i felt like i had been poisoned.

i was sweating from head to toe. the night sweat thing is not at all a new thing except that my sweats are usually concentrated around my head, chest and stomach. this time around my ENTIRE body was soaked... even my toes were dripping.

additionally, my temp was elevated and my hand tremors were really exacerbated.

but it wasn't until i tried to get up to dry myself off that i realized something was really wrong. i was completely off-kilter and insanely dizzy. this was totally new symptom for me. i have never experienced dizziness like that before. when i tried to sit up in bed, i fell over. i could barely right myself. when i finally did i just sat in bed for a long time trying to steady myself. after a long while, i felt in control enough to stand up. however, upon standing, i immediately collapsed.

about that time i figured i might have a problem.

a call to my home care nurses confirmed that. they immediately sent me to the hospital.

the short of it IS this:

lymph fluid pooling in my arm caused the CELLUTLITS which then triggered a case of PHLEBITIS which may or may not have been caused by my VASCULITIS which was exacerbated due to a flare in my BABESIOSIS infection.

(now say that 10 times fast!) lol

the long of it IS this:

stagnant lymph fluid is a breeding ground for bacteria.
when it comes to bacteria, i have a "welcome" sign stamped across my forehead.
cellulitis is a bacterial infection.

now you can see where this is going.
naturally, i developed cellulitis!

the cellulitis triggered a case of phlebitis.
phlebitis is a fancy word for vein inflammation.
phlebitis causes your veins to spasm.
these rhythmic and painful contractions are similar to how labor feels.
basically it feels like my arm is in labor.

my vasculitis is triggered by my babesiosis infection.
my babesiosis was excerbated because i had just ramped up to my full dose of alinia.
alinia is the new med DR H is using to attack my Babesiosis infection
the full dose of alinia triggered a
massive HERX.
big time


and now you have the long and short of the "IS" Factor


2 comments:

Renee said...

I am so sorry you have been through so much and so thankful you are on the mend. Lifting you up in prayer for swift healing.

PJ said...

Ugh - what an ordeal! Praying for a speedy recovery ... take care