Tag Archives: PICC line

Catch Up Mondays – Aspergillus Flavus – revisited

I have posted this before but am including it in my “Catch Up Mondays” because it is important for those just learning about fungal infections and/or bone infections.  This was first posted in May 2012.

Shortly after my third sinus surgery on August 1, 2000 I received news that the culture from the surgery revealed Aspergillus Flavus.  I was placed on an antifungal.  There was still a possibility that I would have to start IV antibiotics for osteomyelitis (bone infection) in my sinuses again.  I had just had the PICC line for the last IV removed only six weeks before.  Everyone kept asking if I knew of anyone else like me and I didn’t.  After I started searching on the internet I found a group online through yahoo groups.  Not only did I find the site and a wonderful woman to communicate with who had the same fungal sinus condition, I found a great support system made up of wonderful and caring people who were suffering like I was.  To visit the aspergillus support group or the fungal infection trust:  www.aspergillus.org.uk/newpatients   www.fungalinfectiontrust.org

In my book I write:

The more I read, the more terrified I became.  Aspergillus is not something that just goes away on its own.  It is extremely difficult to get rid of.  There was more than one form of Aspergillosis.  ABPA (acute bronco pulmonary Aspergillosis) affects the lung.  There was also the Allergic Fungal Aspergillosis (allergy to Aspergillus) as well as a colonizing form of Aspergillosis (Aspergillus spores colonize in a particular area of the body).  The worst form was invasive Aspergillosis (In this form, the Aspergillus spores get into the blood stream).  The invasive form usually results in death.  Those were not words I needed to read especially in the depressed state I was in.

Every time I saw my ENT I asked, “Are you sure it isn’t invasive?”  Each time he reassured me that he did not think so.   I am on antifungals pretty much all the time because if I stop, a flare up results and the fungus takes off again in my sinuses making me very sick.  While I do have to deal with this, I thank God every day that it wasn’t the invasive form.

I am Teasing

While preparing my manuscript, photos, etc. for submission to the publisher, I was asked for additional information:  about the author, about the book, and a 1000 maximum word “teaser”.  I am including a portion of that teaser in my blog today.  It was one of many scary adventures I have had since becoming sick and so sensitive to everything.  Do you think this would entice someone to want to find out more?

That afternoon I could start my treatment using the new IV site and the pump. I began my IV in the kitchen as usual and went into the living room to place the medication bag in the fanny pack that I had received the day before. I was beginning to put the medication bag in the fanny pack when I became very dizzy and decided to read the medication sheet to see if this was a side effect of the medication. Staggering into the kitchen with my medication and fanny pack, I frantically tried to read the data sheet.

By the time I reached the kitchen my vision was going and I could not read the paper. I knew that things were not right, and I hurriedly tried to reach the phone to call for help. As I started back into the living room, I began having difficulty walking. The IV bag dropped from my hands and dragged along the floor as I tried to get to the phone.

The phone was on the table near the sofa. I lost my balance and fell onto the glass coffee table and then landed on the floor between the sofa and the table. I tried to pick up the phone but I had no control over my arm. As hard as I tried, I could not get my arm to move for the phone.

Minutes seemed like hours. I cried and prayed. An eternity seemed to pass before I managed to get the phone in my hand, but it was no use to me if I had lost my vision and could not see the keypad. I tried frantically to just push buttons in hopes of at least getting the operator but nothing happened.

My fear began to grow. I was home alone and I could not get help. Rick had left for a doctor appointment as I was starting to prepare the IV. He would not be home for a while. I could not yell for help because no one would hear me, and at this point I kept going in and out of consciousness. I was so sure that Rick was going to arrive home from his appointment at the doctor to find me dead. I blacked out for a couple of minutes and then managed to find 9 on the keypad. I worked my fingers up and across until I was able to punch the 1 key.

Hopeful that I had punched the right keys, I waited for an answer at the other end. Then there was a voice. I made it through to 911. I spoke with the dispatcher and explained my situation. I told her that I was having an allergic reaction to medication and needed help. The dispatcher assured me that an ambulance was on the way.

Aspergillus Flavus

Shortly after my third sinus surgery on August 1, 2000 I received news that the culture from the surgery revealed Aspergillus Flavus.  I was placed on an antifungal.  There was still a possibility that I would have to start IV antibiotics for osteomyelitis (bone infection) in my sinuses again.  I had just had the PICC line for the last IV removed only six weeks before.  Everyone kept asking if I knew of anyone else like me and I didn’t.  After I started searching on the internet I found a group online through yahoo groups.  Not only did I find the site and a wonderful woman to communicate with who had the same fungal sinus condition, I found a great support system made up of wonderful and caring people who were suffering like I was.  To visit the aspergillus support group or the fungal infection trust:  www.aspergillus.org.uk/newpatients   www.fungalinfectiontrust.org

In my book I write:

The more I read, the more terrified I became.  Aspergillus is not something that just goes away on its own.  It is extremely difficult to get rid of.  There was more than one form of Aspergillosis.  ABPA (acute bronco pulmonary Aspergillosis) affects the lung.  There was also the Allergic Fungal Aspergillosis (allergy to Aspergillus) as well as a colonizing form of Aspergillosis (Aspergillus spores colonize in a particular area of the body).  The worst form was invasive Aspergillosis (In this form, the Aspergillus spores get into the blood stream).  The invasive form usually results in death.  Those were not words I needed to read especially in the depressed state I was in.

Every time I saw my ENT I asked, “Are you sure it isn’t invasive?”  Each time he reassured me that he did not think so.   I am on antifungals pretty much all the time because if I stop, a flare up results and the fungus takes off again in my sinuses making me very sick.  While I do have to deal with this, I thank God every day that it wasn’t the invasive form.