Archive for September 2012
Another visit to the hospital. Another blood draw. This time, they took 6-7 vials for a bunch of tests. One of those was to find HLA-B27 antigen, which is associated with reactive arthritis. This result will take a week or so to come out.
Another test was ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), which basically measures how fast red blood cells fall in a tube. The result was 35, which implies lower inflammation than when I was first got sick (95). The value is still not in the normal range (should be under 20), so I will have to see the doctor again next month for a follow-up.
I have been reducing the dose of celebrex and norgesic drugs. Can’t quite cut them off entirely. I tried for a day, but the pain intensified. Also celebrex should help with reducing inflammation.
Not feeling so well since coming back from the hospital. A mild fever maybe.
The running distances since April, in km:
The projected distance for September is zero.
Dinner at home the other day.
Today is shopping day. We went to the morning market, Villa Nawamin City Avenue, and Foodland Ladprao. Got a lot of vegetables and meat for the upcoming week. Got 1kg ground beef at a good price (200 Baht) from Foodland.
Tomorrow we have a big lunch buffet waiting. So we are not eating much at dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow.
Raining frequently and heavily in Bangkok. A house nearby has already had a sandbag wall up in preparation for a possible flood.
Done with antibiotics. Still taking pain relievers (celebrex and norgesic), but reducing the dose. Will stop soon. They just block the pain signal without treating the ailment. Not much point when the pain is tolerable.
Right leg and knee still not okay. So I’ve been packing lunch to work everyday as I can’t yet walk a long distance. No morning runs and no lunch walks. That means too much sitting these days. Had annual health checkup last week. Will be interesting to see blood results after a month of sedentary life.
My running log is full of zeroes. Now logging meals instead of runs, just so I have something to write down. Things aren’t too bad now. I’m doing fine. Just a bit restless.
Day 31. I can now walk unassisted (slowly) and drive. Right knee still is stiff. Can’t squat with right leg. Still pills to take and more blood tests to come, but things are great compared to one month ago.
- 15 Aug: Got a fever and chills
- 16 Aug: Intense headaches
- 18 Aug: Joint pains, lost ability to walk, first day of hospital stay, first dose of antibiotics, CT scan and X-ray
- 23 Aug: Able to sit, passed out when trying to stand for the first time
- 25 Aug: Left hospital
- 31 Aug: Final dose of intravenous antibiotics
- 1 Sep: Able to walk up stairs holding a handrail, first dose of oral antibiotics
- 8 Sep: Able to operate a car in short distance
- 9 Sep: Physical therapy at hospital (ultrasound, heat pad, stretching)
- 10 Sep: Back to work, using a walker
- 11 Sep: Able to walk without a walker, X-ray showed no knee damage, but some anomaly in sacrum (กระเบนเหน็บ) area
- 12 Sep: Able to drive to work
Some things I learned from the experience with septic arthritis:
- After being pricked with a needle everyday for two weeks, my longtime fear of needles has reduced significantly.
- Bland hospital meals have made me appreciate the foods we make at home a whole lot more.
- Heart becomes less efficient when I don’t move. My resting heart rate has gone up gradually as I stopped exercising. Used to be 50, now it is about 65.
- Private hospitals are expensive. Even with my work insurance, we had to pay a lot out of pocket.
- Moving a few centimeters can feel like a huge victory.
- People with disabilities are fighting a tough battle.
- Never complain. It achieves nothing.
- Being able to run is a privilege. Being able to walk is a privilege.
- Knee drainage is not fun. Still better than a surgery.
- When you can’t move, you have to pee in a bottle. People who help bring you the bottle and clean it up are true friends.
- When you can’t move, you have to do everything on the bed. That includes pooping and having nurses clean you up. Just accept it.
- Don’t read about running while you are semi-paralyzed.
- Most bacteria are good for you. The bad ones are nasty. They don’t care how fit you are. They will beat you up.
- Fruits are easier to eat than most foods when you’re sick, but they can cause bloating.
- Sometimes a massage can cause further inflammation. Use cold/heat treatment instead.
- It can feel nice to wear a pajamas all day and all night.
- When you have a bad leg, a walker becomes the most useful equipment in the world.
- Infection can spread quickly from one joint to another. The sooner you receive antibiotics, the better. Mine was delayed for three days. The first day the doctor had no clues what caused the fever. I probably should have returned to the hospital the next day.
- Bring food when you visit the ill. Much better than flowers.
- It’s a cliche, but life is fragile. Don’t take it for granted.
- Paying so much money to restore health makes me want to spend money to actually treat myself.
- I was lucky the antibiotics work. Even with all the blood tests and knee fluid tests, they couldn’t identify the bacteria.
- Driving can actually be easier than sitting down and standing up.
- CT scan is a really expensive photo session.
- After lying down for days, be wary of fainting when getting up. I was lucky to have a bed right behind me when that happened.
- Take it easy. If you leg hurts, don’t walk so much. Give your body time to heal itself.
- When you have a fever, hot shower feels really good.
- Cold numbs the pain. Heat relaxes the muscles.
- You need strong arms to stand up when a leg is weak.
- Physical therapy is easy to do yourself at home. Not worth having it done at the hospital.
- I don’t normally watch TV but it did help take my mind off things. I enjoyed Food channel the most.
- There are only a few material things you need in life. Most are just clutter.
- Only care about stuffs that matter to you. Don’t waste time worrying about the rest. Say no to things you don’t want to do.
- I really miss running.
- Feel the love from those around you. Those who visit. Those who call. Those who send well wishes. Those who accompany you during days and nights. Be thankful.
This is day 25. Still recovering at home. Each day is better than the previous day. I can now walk slowly without a walker. Standing up and sitting down still need to be done very slowly.
Currently taking four kinds of pills: one antibacterial (Omnicef), and three pain relievers (Celebrex, Norgesic, Lyrica). I have never taken these many drugs for this long in my life. I think they cause dizziness and make my urine smell weird.
One of the things I learned during this ordeal: Exercise is not important for weight loss. Just eat the right foods and you won’t gain weight. I haven’t worked out at all since 15 Aug while eating normally, but my weight has not gone up. Exercise is important for fitness and making me feel good though.
Being home is nice. Homemade food is certainly better than hospital food. Nan made these for me:
Pain is subsiding and life is slowly coming back to normal. Should be able to go back to work next week. Will practice driving over the weekend. Will take longer to get back to running though.
I feel grateful for good wishes from my family and friends during this difficult time.
Stuff happens. Life goes on.