I’ll be honest: Day +49 has not been my favorite. Yesterday evening, I started a new antibiotic. Bactrim, which my Team wanted me to take for the prevention of pneumocystis pneumonia. This is a dangerous fungal pneumonia that can cause serious complications for people with weakened immune systems, stem cell/organ transplant, HIV/AIDS folks, etc. And thus far, for the most part, my body has handled all of the meds thrown at it really well.
That changed with Bactrim.
I took my first dose last night, and around 11:30 pm, I felt as though I was going to throw up. I even went to the bathroom, just in case – thankfully the anti-nausea medication I take did the trick. That being said, my stomach was in knots and I felt super nauseated. And because it was late, I decided to just go to bed. I figured I would feel better in the morning.
FYI, I didn’t. If anything, I was worse.
I managed to eat some yogurt and take my anti-nausea med and Tacrolimus, after which I curled up in bed. Over the next few hours I tried taking my other morning medications, but at some point, it was just too much for my system. I could feel the throw up before it actually happened, and I spent the next 10 minutes heaving over the toilet. Unfortunately I hardly had anything in my system, so it was mostly partially digested medication and bile. My stomach hurt, mouth burned, lips tasted bitter.
I had already texted Daniele earlier about how sick I was feeling. Post throw-up, I reached out to her again. Thankfully I get to stop the medication and we figure out a Plan B. For the first few months out here, I have taken a Pentamidine breathing treatment, which basically coats my lungs and prevents the aforementioned fungus from forming pneumonia. Or at least that’s what I understand. Daniele said that we’ll go back to that, and they will figure out another option. It is what it is.
In my lifetime, this is my second reaction to Bactrim (also known as Septra), the first being in 2012 while being treated for a UTI. It’s safe to say, this is just not a medication that meshes well with my system. So I’ll let the much smarter doctors figure out the next best option, and we’ll go from there.
Mom was really supportive, stopping by Harrison Tweet (her name for Harris Teeter) and picking up goldfish crackers, ginger ale, pineapple and pistachio ice cream. The fruit was good, ice cream better. So far, everything has stayed down, so that’s what counts. I’m still not feeling great, but what do you expect? Watching Free Solo with Mom was a good distraction, and so too were chatting with Dad and later, Andy.
So that was my Day +49. They can’t all be good, and something like this was bound to happen. It makes me grateful for the days I feel good, and resolved to keep moving forward as best as I can, in spite of moments such as these. Its a marathon, not a sprint, after all.
Tomorrow is Day +50, and I’m hoping to channel the healing power of pistachio Ben & Jerry’s. Stay safe, everyone!