There are times I get to feeling pretty invincible. I mean seriously, at times I feel pretty bullet proof. My bilateral lung transplant recovery has been pretty awesome. I swing kettlebells, I climb rock walls at the indoor gym, and I feel great. Then pop, the fact that I do have a severely compromised immune system bips me upside the head.
In February I ended up in the ICU and a two week hospital stay due to a minor urinary tract infection. This past Friday I was back in the ER due to a "stomach bug". I don't get ill very often, but when I do it is a big deal. That is just a part of life after a lung transplant. The immunosuppressants that I take are doing an awesome job of protecting my lungs from my own immune system, but that leaves me wide open to infection. I never forget that and take all the precautions I can other than locking myself in the house, but I sometimes think I'm getting close to normal.
There was nothing I know of to do to avoid a UTI. The Team added a medication to help ensure that I fully empty my bladder to maybe prevent future infections. As to the stomach bug, aka food borne illness, the meal we ate out was cooked through except the sauce on the fish may have been sitting around the kitchen for awhile. I thought about not eating it when it came out, but didn't listen to that little inner voice that tries like heck to keep us safe.
Why did I end up in the ER for a stomach bug you ask? Well.. when you hear about someone dying from food poisoning, and that they had "pre-existing conditions", a suppressed immune system is one of those conditions. I can call the team at any time of the day, any day. I'm required to call the team when certain things happen. Vomiting is one of those things that requires a call to the team. There is also a list of things that requires a trip to the ER at my transplant hospital, and a fever of greater than a certain number is one of those things. I ended up in the ER because I couldn't keep my meds down, I was getting dehydrated, and my fever exceeded the threshold. It is a good thing I went because it took over 2 IV bags to get me hydrated and they took care of my nausea. I'm still a little weak today, but was able to get some yard work in.
Back to kettlebells tomorrow.