What scares you?
I'm scared of getting an infection AGAIN, Even a mild one. WHY? Because even a mild infection can quickly overwhelm an immunocompromised body like mine. I know that if I get a cold and it last more than a few days it is likely to spread an result in a chest infection. The challenge is to 'catch it' in time without being deemed a hypochondriac. A chest infection can result in serious complications such as peritonitis, endocarditis, meningitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. I can often detect a chest infection, by the 'rattle' noise it makes!!
Yesterday (12 March) the first case of Coronavirus in North Wales was confirmed. I have now decided to self- isolate from tomorrow. I believe this may continue for 3 - 6 months. I have 4-5 medical appointments in the next three months. but have now started contacting the various hospitals to arrange telephone appointments. I have regular Warfarin tests which cannot be cancelled. Instead I'm arranging for them to be done at home by district nurses. Not Ideal, but better than sitting in the doctors surgery.
I will be keep a video diary and posting them to my Facebook page every 2-3 days. I'm hoping that this will keep me entertained and creating some positivity. I have decided to challenge a few friends, family and blog followers to do the same. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. I've decided to use this time in as a positive and will be creating some social media content and experimenting with flatly photography.
Patients with a congenital heart defect are at very serious risk of developing endocarditis. Endocarditis is a serious and potentially fatal infection of the lining of the heart. I know of many patients who have died of endocarditis. In 2003 I came very very close to being one of them. My body became so overwhelmed with infection that I went into septic shock and my organs began to fail. My doctors were never able to determine the cause of my infection or how it entered my bloodstream. Common causes are dental treatment and surgical procedures. Having had Endocarditis once my risk factor has only increased. I'm doubtful I'd be so lucky second time around, although I am aware of people who have survived endocarditis twice.
This is why every year for as long as I can remember I have had the annual flu injection. Patients with a congenital heart defect are considered to be in the "at risk" category regardless of their age. This entitles us to a free vaccine. Despite what people may think the vaccine cannot give you Flu. It is a DEAD vaccine. If you develop the flu after receiving the vaccine it was already in your system beforehand.
I also have a letter from my cardiologist on my dental records stating that they cannot perform any dental treatment without me having antibiotics beforehand (prophylaxis).
I've become almost obsessive about washing my hands. I now also carry antiseptic wipes with in my handbag. . You can never be too careful. As a result of the coronavirus I have purchased some 'hospital grade' antiseptic. it's the stuff they make you wash in before a surgical procedure.