'Progress' isn't really the right term to use as there hasn't been much of it. Since I came home I've had something of a relapse, and haven't been able to do very much at all.
Earlier in the week, when the fentanyl patch was due to be replaced I thought I'd see how I went without it, thinking that I won't know what progress I'm making if the patch is so effective as to eliminate my pain, or perhaps it's that the pain is no longer a problem. In a matter of a few hours it became clear that pain was still a problem. My kidneys were again thumping me in the back, and then I noticed some bladder pain on urinating. I slapped another patch on and waited for it to take effect, but as the levels of fentanyl in my system had dropped during those few hours without a patch, I had to wait some time for the drug to kick in again. The pain gradually lessened, but I was still utterly exhausted, and then my temperature started to rise again.
I knew there wasn't a lot of point in phoning the GP surgery to get an appointment to see a doctor as it was the middle of the afternoon, and it's usually fairly impossible to get an appointment if you phone any later that 8.50am. I rang anyway, on the off-chance that there might be a cancellation, which there wasn't, but I went on the call-back list. After putting the phone down it occurred to me that, even if I couldn't get to see a doctor that day, I really ought to speak to one as my temperature was back up to 38.7C. I rang them back, explained to the receptionist that I'd been in hospital, and that things were now deteriorating again. He suggested the on-call doctor phone me back at the end of surgery. That was fine by me so I waited.
One of the very good things about my GP practice, isn't just that all the doctors and nurses are very good (and the reception staff/secretaries too), but they also give each patient what time they need, rather than insisting that each patient consultant must be a maximum of ten minutes. Of course, the downside to this is that the doctors quite often run behind. Many complain when they have to wait, but personally I don't mind, because I know it's down to the doctors putting the needs of each patient first. But on this particular day last week it meant that the doctor didn't get to call me back until 6.25pm.
I explained again about having been in hospital with pyelonephritis and how, since being home, I'd had a resurgence of symptoms. He said that given the history, it was probably safe to assume that the pyelonephritis was back/hadn't ever gone away properly, and said to resume the antibiotics. The problem was that the surgery was officially closed, the pharmacy was due to close any moment, and I was too ill to get up to the surgery to collect the script anyway. He asked if anyone would be able to collect the script for me, but I didn't think there would that evening. However, someone may be able to the following day. The doc told me to keep a close eye on my temperature and if it rose much more overnight I was to seek medical help, but otherwise he'd leave the prescription at reception for me to get in the morning.
I have a great friend, JM, who also happens to be a GP, though not at the surgery I'm at. However, he knew I'd been ill and was struggling a fair bit at home. Just as I put the phone down from my own GP, JM called me to say he was just leaving work and could he drop round on his way home to check me over. Bless him. He came, he wasn't too impressed with the bedraggled heap that lay before him on the sofa, and I told him of the conversation with my GP.
At 8.25 the following morning, JM rang my doorbell. He'd left a specimen bottle with me the previous evening, suggesting that I drop a urine sample round at my GP surgery, and this morning he'd come round to collect it and take it to the the surgery for me (that's friendship!). Having dropped off the sample, he then picked up the prescription my doc had left at reception for me, went to the pharmacy, and was back at my flat by 9.10am. I downed the first of the antibiotics and took myself back to bed.
I was rather hoping that the antibiotics would do their stuff very quickly and that I'd soon be better, but it hasn't worked like that. Four days in to this course of antibiotics and my temperature is still going up to 38.2C fairly regularly, and on Friday it was 38.9C.
I am completely wiped out. I have no appetite, I feel nauseous when I do eat, and at random other times too. I have been out to a couple of hospital appointments during the week, but have then been knocked for six and unable even to get dressed. Each day, usually in the afternoon, I've eventually managed to scrape myself out of bed in order to slop myself over the sofa, where I've stayed till late evening when I've duly scraped myself off the sofa and slopped back on the bed. Time is passing, but I don't feel as though I'm making much progress at all.
JM has been keeping in contact via text, and has dropped by several times either to see how I'm doing and to leave me some fresh milk, juice, and fruit (he is ever so good to me). Today we had a brief text conversation and JM suggested I see my GP this week because the antibiotics really ought to have me feeling a lot better by now. I might try to get an appointment tomorrow, or I might see if the doc will do another phone consult with me, which would save me from having to drag myself to the surgery while I feel so crappy. I'll see. I have the CPN coming round tomorrow afternoon, and that might be quite enough for one day.
I am absolutely fed up with this. I'm sick of being poorly and being exhausted. After so long with such terrible pain, it now gets to me if I even have just a little niggle - I just can't be bothered with it and don't have the patience for it. Most of all, this prolonged physical illness with pyelonephritis is not helping my mental health in the least. I don't have the strength, energy, mental or physical capacity to do anything that might be at all helpful in easing any of the depression symptoms, and the pyelonephritis itself actually makes me feel more depressed.
I just want to be better. I want to be physically better, and I want not to have this horrible depression hanging over me. So far, this year has be crap.