Pseudomonas 101 (without the science jargon!)
**Written by Emily, based on her 9 year ‘close relationship’ with the stubborn bug**
Pseudemonas is a bacteria that only causes infections in people with compromised immune systems (e.g. people with Cystic Fibrosis, or Kartageners Syndrome). Once it’s colonised in the airways, it is often resistant to many antibiotics, difficult to ever get rid of, and flares up year round!
If you want more science jargon, head to wikipedia. Otherwise, here’s a brief overview of the typical process I go through to settle the bug down…
- Start oral antibiotics when chest infection symptoms arise (e.g. body aches, temperature, green sputum, etc)
- Then it’s a case of watching (and wishing) things improve over the coming days
- If things don’t improve (more often then not), then it’s a two week round of IV antibiotics to settle things down (rather than to eradicate, because it’s colonised)
- I’ll stay in hospital until I’m up to going home – with some flare ups, chest pain can get the better of me and make it difficult to do much (even though I may want to!)
- When I’m well enough, I’ll finish the rest of the course of IV antibiotics at home – a welcome sense of freedom that allows me to go about life ‘normally’ – just like this…
- And then the cycle starts again – sometimes just two months later, while other times I’ll stay well for longer. There’s a few things to do to keep well too…
Until a way is found to eradicate the bug, I’m lucky to have this treatment cycle down pact with the medical team.
I’m immensely grateful to the everlasting support of friends, family, and workmates – if you’re reading this, thank you!