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Monday, July 11, 2011

~ then fevers came, seemingly at random

Slowly, with certainty, day by day, I’m emerging from the woes of the past 27 months. I still have plenty to agonise over as I flail in my bed at night, but it’s of a far different order than what has gone before.

All that remains of the legal fiasco is a three-weekly visit to an unpleasant office in Oakleigh, where doors snap shut with the finality of jail cells. But after the many trials and tribulations of the recent past, I can take that n my stride.

Some time before the final hearing, with the help of toxic pharmaceuticals, I began a fresh assault on my liver complaint. (see ~my intimate blood borne saboteur.) The first few months were, as expected, nasty and debilitating. Anaemia. Neutropenia. Dysphoria. Then, around week twelve, they began to slacken off, almost to a level that was bearable. I was off-colour but I could manage the odd life activity. About this time that I even went to the Rainbow Serpent festival.

But, with the inevitability of death, a seed took root in my lungs. I began to cough, and to produce a lurid green sputum. Fevers came, seemingly at random and I took to my bed. For five weeks I was scarcely able to drag myself to the kitchen - although, every few days, I shambled around the block in a dark bulky overcoat, usually at night, to forestall any pooling of phlegm in my lungs. As my immune system was suppressed by the HCV drugs, I had little defence against the infection. Despite the heavy duty antibiotics I had been prescribed, the condition grew worse. I was getting just a little scared. I’d never been quite so sick.

Then my viral load results were unblinded. (I was on a clinical trial for a drug by Bristol Myers Squibb) From a starting point of 13 million evil bits per ml, it was reduced to 275. But, frustratingly, two weeks later, it was 500 plus. At this point, I ceased medications. Once again, on my fourth attempt, I faced failure, And this time I had been just a little concerned that they might kill me.

I decided to wait for some of the new remedies come on line - what doctors like to refer to as the ‘small molecule’ drugs. Telaprevir and Boceprevir are examples. There are nearly a hundred being researched (see hcvdrugs.com) and one day, in the not so distant future, I pray there’ll be regimens without such crippling side-effects.

So I lay back down, played video games and waited to get better.

Now it’s three or four weeks later and I’m waking up into the world. I’m exercising again. I’m brushing the dust off affairs that have not been touched in two and a half years. My garden is tugging at me, and I dream as I pluck the hated oxalis from the flower beds. I’m thinking about my house, how I might rid it of the teetering towers of books. Within the next few weeks I’ll be gnawing happily on my various, long neglected writing projects.

And the deadly spores ... even with binoculars I cannot see their dark, roiling, semi-sentient clouds on the horizon. I am even toying with the notion of breaking my long and bitter relationship with spasmo-nemigron.

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2 comments:

BBarton said...

Take steps along the path you know best, and sooner or later, maybe very much later, the path will turn towards a new place. You just have to keep moving forward. Off the couch. Out of bed. Forward. Onward and upward.

sam sejavka said...

Wise advice. Thank you. I'm doing my best to follow exactly that path.