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very confused any help appreciated!


I have spent the majority of this year in hospital with my asthma and chest infections/pneumonia, the last time i was admitted they managed to stabilise my asthma over a week with a combination of magnesium, aminophylinne and a stay on HDU for CPAP. Once i was stable enough to be on the normal ward, the doctors wanted me to produce sputum samples every day for a week, i always find this difficult as it tends to be so thick i find it very difficult to get off my chest, but managed 5 samples over the 7 days. The microbiologist then identified the organism as staphylococcus aureus and said it was the same bug i had had only a month ago. They were reluctant to treat it as i didnt have a temperature.

During this week they did spirometry tests in which my peak flow was very low compaired to normal at 188 (My best is 550). My FEV1 was 0.8 and my FVC was 1.4. Im unsure as to what this means really but the consultant did say i have reduced breath sounds at the base of my left lung - is this anything to worry about??

After a few days of not getting antibiotics for this pneumonia, i spiked a temperature of 39.9 and was really unwell, they did blood cultures and started me on strong IV antibiotics - the blood cultures came back and i managed to grow klebsiella and candida, so they added an antifungal IV too. During this temp spike they did a lumbar puncture as they suspected meningitis but thankfully it was clear - it did show that i had raised intra cranial pressure though so they did a ct scan and an MRI/MRV all the results were ok except that i have a 10mm cyst on my pineal gland. Does anyone know whether i should be worried about this, what it means if anything etc????

also how common is it to have 2 different bacterial infections at the same time and also septicaemia from candida??? Is this related to the fact ive been on steroids at high doses all year, making my immune system rubbish???

Sorry for the rather long post it just left me very confused and slightly concerned, im rather prone to infections anyway but im a bit scared that the next infection will be as bad as this one again. Thankyou in advance for any answers. KitKat. Xx

1 Reply

Hi Kit-kat

Sorry you've had a bit of a rough time! Firstly, I'm not all that sure on what I'm about to say so please don't take it as gospel, but I will try!

Firstly, about the shallow breath sounds on the left base, I too have had this following pneumonia so I don't think it's too much other than a collection of fluid in the base of the lung so that the air cannot reach right down to the bottom.

As from septicaemia from candida, I guess it must be possible to get septicaemia from any fungus/bacteria, I had sepsis from ""Fusobacterium necrophorum"", a bacteria that lives quite happily in the back of the throat and doesn't usually cause any harm! I guess the candida in your case fancied a changed from causing thrush!

As for the low peak flow, because (to my understanding) pneumonia can reduce lung function temporarily, there is not as much space in your lungs available to fill air with, so therefore less to expel out, if that makes sense? Couple this with reduced airways and a lower PF is bound to result.

I can't really give any advice on the cyst situation, and I am so tired I can't even record what the pineal gland does (think it may have something to do with hormone secretion, or maybe even bile?! Someone will correct me!) but I'm sure if the doctor's are concerned then they will take action to shrink or remove it.

I guess it is also fairly common to have 2 infections at once, perhaps not much different from having the flu and athlete's foot at the same time - silly example, and I know athlete's foot is fungal, but it goes to show that 2 micro-organisms can thrive at the same time. I do think that steroids reduce your immune system, but this can happen due to a number of reasons, perhapsd your body was fighting an underlying, unknown infection and got overran by the pneumonia, and then the septicaemia jumped in on top - this exact same thing happened to me, only unfortunately to a worse degree.

Feel free to pm me, and please DO NOT take anything I have said as medical advice, I am still only a student nurse!!

Emz x


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