Back Home

I was released from the Churchill Hospital at 4pm on Thursday with a large bag of medication, This included a two week dose of cefazolin, an antibiotic. This needed to be handed over to the dialysis nurses in the renal unit at MKUH where it would be used for intravenous application at the end of my dialysis sessions over the coming weeks.

It was nice to be back home after almost a week away. I certainly feel this has knocked me back but nonetheless I was feeling a lot better. My appetite was back, the nausea and diarrhoea had gone.

My official diagnosis is sepsis of the Tesio line which had spread into the bloodstream. The removal of the line and the application of a variety of antibiotics had reduced this and the course of cefazolin with hopefully kill it completely.

At one point the side effects included extremely low blood pressure (75/80 at min) a high temperature (over 40C), a sore wrist and back and deep aches in the quads (upper leg)

The only remaining symptom is the deep ache in the quad on my right leg. However, I continue to have night fevers.

Basically it works like this. I go to sleep and within a few minutes My body temperature spikes dramatically- I wake up a few more minutes later drenched in cold sweat. This may happen 3 or 4 times per night. This only happens when I sleep and I assume it is my body’s attempt to kill off the bacteria.

Friday morning I set off for an early dialysis. This would be via my new fistula, the second time it would be used. The nurse noted the fistula was still soft but usable, however it would require an experienced needler. Unfortunately she found it hard to insert the first needle herself, requiring two attempts. This has since resulted in a little bruising as of this morning. Thankfully the rest of the process went well.

During dialysis I need to keep my right hand completely still. Movement of any kind could move the two needles and affect the dialysis. Application of two strips of tape helps to remind me of this. To keep me occupied I have already set up my laptop and phone with headphones. I spent much of my time watching Films or TV ( via IPlayer and using Amazon Prime). This morning I watch the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard and a couple of episodes of Star Trek: Discovery which I have recently downloaded. I also play games such as Wordle and it’s spin offs.

The four hours pass quickly and then there is another half an hour. This is when the cefazolin is dripped in via one of the dialysis needles. This can only happen at the end of dialysis and means an almost 5 hour process from start to finish. Hence the morning session today.

However from today (Monday) I am back to twilight sessions but thankfully will arrive at 5pm rather than 6:30pm which will ensure both I and the nurses will be out before midnight.

The dialysis process always leaves me feeling tired (though better) so the afternoon / evening was spent relaxing. The rest of the weekend was thankfully quiet and restful. I went to church on Sunday morning and it was good to catch up with people. This was followed by a short walk with my wife around a small local lake in the early spring sunshine, before a chicken roast for lunch.

I have taken the decision not to return to work until my course of cefazolin is finished, which is two weeks from today. My employer is supportive and my cautious approach is to avoid taking two steps backwards. I am definitely not ‘out of the woods’ but on the way to recovery. With plenty of rest and continuing dialysis (with antibiotics) I hope to all this behind me. I certainly hope that I have had my last impromptu stay in hospital.