Ramblings on healthcare, medical education, and life with a spinal cord injury
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Ups and Downs, Part 2

Well, after a few days of feeling pretty down and out about everything, my spirits are finally starting to look upwards a bit.  But of course with that up comes another down – some type of suspected infection.  To paraphrase a famous canine musician (since this is a G-rated blog), if it’s not one thing it’s something else.  (I think about one person will get that.. and he knows who he is…)

Friday morning, I woke up to a rash all over my body.  Dr. Stein observed it on my back, chest, arms, legs.. basically everywhere.  At first he thought it might be a reaction to something I’m taking, but with a significantly diminished medication list of late, that seemed unlikely.  He called for a derm consult to figure it out, and when the resident came downstairs she took a look at it, asked a few questions, and left the room saying she would return momentarily.

Return she did, ask more questions she did, and leave again she did.  An hour or two later she returned with her attending, and after he looked at it and asked more questions, he said they were going to step out into the hall the talk and would be back momentarily.  That turned out to be untrue.  They never returned, and they never explained to me what they suspected was going on.

If I see said attending again, he’s going to hear it from me.  Telling a patient you will return briefly, never doing so, putting them on two different medications, and never once returning to explain WHY you’re prescribing the meds or what your suspicions are is just horrible bedside manner.  Not to mention just plain rude and poor common sense.  There is absolutely no excuse for it.

I found out from  Dr. Stein and my nurse that they suspected some kind of infection, possibly strep throat.  They’ve subsequently put me on Augmentin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and Atarax as an anti-itching medication.  My scalp has been itching a lot for several days, so the past two itch-free days have been a welcome change.  But since it seems Atarax also has some mild anti-anxiety properties as well, I don’t think I’ll be staying on this one for more than a couple days.  It might have something to do with why I feel a bit better today, who knows.  Either way, as soon as the rash has disappeared entirely and the fevers are gone, I’ll be getting off the Atarax.

So that’s it.  It’s Saturday, I skipped my morning group exercise class because I had a temperature of 39.5°C (about 103°F) last night and figured twelve-plus hours of sleep might do me good.  PT today was good, albeit brief.  I feel weaker today than usual, so I’m taking it easy and not hitting the weights or doing anything too strenuous.  I want to make progress, but I don’t want to go backwards instead.

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