Hell Week: Record Heat Teams Up with a Sneaky Infection
Last Thursday was the hottest day ever recorded in U.K. history at 101.6 degrees F. Heat sensitivity is enough to reduce me to the puddle I described last week. But it doesn’t explain the shaking of my body and the extreme pain in my right arm Thursday night.
Not unlike a cricket bowler or a baseball pitcher, MS seems to love to deploy confusion by throwing curveballs at you. Sometimes, it throws two at once — one going inside, the other outside.
I was somewhat delirious overnight, but somehow I managed to piece together that something other than the heat was going on. My wife had asked the day before if I might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). She could well have been right. Had nitrofurantoin, the regular antibiotic I’d been taking for months, suddenly been counteracted by the Darwinism of bacteria in this week of all weeks? I had a leftover box of my previous antibiotic, cephalexin, so I switched over.
I began to feel a bit better. The next night, I even had the slight sweating effect caused by the body fighting an infection. It was no longer the heat — thunderstorms had dispelled that. Indeed, part of North West England was now flooded!
Ever since I started on the disease-modifying therapy Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) in December 2018, UTIs have been a problem. That one would attack me during this hot week seemed very underhanded. In cricket, the sneakiest last ball to bowl in an innings is an underarm roll when the opposition needs a four (that’s hitting the ball past the boundary). It has been done once by an Australian and, as we say, it’s “not cricket.” Not “playing the game!”
Somehow, I got through the weekend, although at times I was so strung out that we seriously considered taking me to the emergency room.
First thing Monday morning, I called my local general practitioners. I was in a bad enough way that I got an old-fashioned doctor’s visit that afternoon. The doctor also thought I had a bladder infection, and prescribed Co-amoxiclav, a general antibiotic that attacks everything. I submitted a urine sample before I started taking it.
In the past few minutes, the doctor called and told me I am currently infected by pseudomonas, a bacteria that is atypical in someone who self-catheterizes. It’s usually dormant, but it might be the cause. There’s one antibiotic that can attack it, Cipro (ciprofloxacin), so that’s next on the menu.
“Is that it, then?” I asked the doctor.
“It might be,” she replied. “If not, we’ll knock it out and then see.”
A game of baseball takes a day; test cricket is scheduled for five days.
I’m definitely in a test cricket series!
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