This all started last year. I am 79 years old and I was enjoying a Panama Canal 29 day cruise with my wife.
I was told when I visited the ship’s doctor on October 18, 2010, that I had a viral infection like over half the passengers on the ship. I was given some lozenges and told to return if they did not do any good. I returned two days later for an appointment and was told that the doctor was too busy to see me that day. We were getting off the ship on October 24, 2010, so I decided to wait to see my regular doctor when I arrived home.
I remember little about the day we got off the ship. I recall asking where our bus was that was supposed to take us to the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then my memory goes blank until I remember my wife and I being persuaded to put our heavy leather coats in our suitcases despite my worry that they would be overweight. I don’t remember the stopover at the airport in Dallas, Texas but I do remember waiting for the golf cart to take us to our last flight from Vancouver to Penticton and asking my wife about getting a cart for our luggage in Penticton.
My next recollection isn’t until I was in the hospital in Oliver, a small town near where I live. I remember being put into the ambulance that would take me to the Penticton General Hospital, a larger facility. I can recall talking to the driver who I know, and had done business with in the past. Another blank period elapsed before I remember being strapped into the air ambulance from Penticton to Vancouver General Hospital the morning of October 28, 2010.
It is my wife who fills in the blanks for me. The days in the ICU are lost to me. On November 1st I was moved to a private room on the 11th floor of the Jim Pattison building and I remained there until November 24, 2010. During that time I was on the apheresis machine every day for two weeks receiving 15 units of plasma a day. I also received dialysis five times. After approximately three days of plasma treatment I started experiencing itchy hives from the treatment. To alleviate this side effect I started receiving Benadryl which promptly put me to sleep. After this intense round of daily treatments, I started getting a day off on the weekends for the next two weeks which was a nice rest for my body.
Because I have only one kidney they were watching my kidney very closely and making sure everything in that area was working.
At one time I was taking 13 pills a day; one was Prednisone and one was a drug used in chemotherapy. Finally my platelets started to climb and my blood was starting to show improvement. Now March 2011, I am 3 months out of hospital and my vitals still show improvement. But I am very tired a lot of the time. I am told that this is because of what my body has been through and I must get plenty of rest and stay out of crowds such as airports and shopping malls.
I can’t thank the staff at the Vancouver General Hospital enough for the way they cared for me. And also I have to thank Dr. Kincaid in Penticton for his diagnosis.