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Concerns over a dear friend with meningitis, a low CD4 count & other stuff!

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wolfter:
Amphotericin B is well known for its severe and potentially lethal side-effects. Very often, a serious acute reaction after the infusion (1 to 3 hours later) is noted, consisting of high fever, shaking chills, hypotension, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, dyspnea and tachypnea, drowsiness, and generalized weakness. This reaction sometimes subsides with later applications of the drug, and may in part be due to histamine liberation.

I copied that from a link.  It is a horrid drug but a life saving one.  I had to also have an IV for fluids as I couldn't even hold water down.  Eventually, it becomes easier to tolerate.

Fluconazole is the anti-fungal drug that he'll be prescribed after the infusion treatment.  Not sure if there's still a medical debate about the prescribed treatment course.  It was once believed that we'd need to be on it indefinitely.  I have been off of it for over 2 years with no reoccurrence. 

Wolfie

darryaz:
Hi Sunshine.

Meningitis is definitely a serious illness.  Your friend has a long road ahead - it's great that he has someone to support and care for him.

I can't speak to your friend's specific situation (there are different types of meningitis) but I can tell you that I have made a MOSTLY full recovery from a bout with fungal meningitis (and resulting brain surgery) in 2010. 

I do have some problems with short-term memory.....  If you tell me something chances are good I'll forget it and I frequently have to search for where I've parked my car..... but all in all life is good.

As far as AIDS vs HIV, my meningitis occurred at a time when I had a VERY good CD-4 count (over 700).  But the underlying fungal infection was still present from 3 years earlier when I was in AIDS status (CD-4 of 16).  Some of these bugs hang around forever, especially after a low CD-4 count allows them to get a stronghold.  I still take huge doses of anti-fungal medication and will always have to.

I hope that info helps.  Your friend is VERY fortunate to have someone caring for him.  I'd just advise you to be patient and remember he's got a pretty major brain illness.  If he says or does some weird things don't be too shocked. 

darryaz:
Wolfie, I'm IN AWE that you've been able to quit taking daily Fluconazole.

I'm convinced I will be with it forever.  I was even thinking of having this image tattooed on my ass:

Bring me sunshine:
Wolfie thank you so much for the info. I think he rallied after hospital admission on Friday evening and seemed to be improving - that's why yesterday and him being so acutely ill came as a shock and a setback that was not expected. He's now had ten lumbar punctures too which just seems so cruel (I had one years ago and still wince at the thought of it!) I'm so encouraged that you fought this and beat it Wolfie. I'm just glad he is in hospital and getting the care he needs. He actually said his appetite has come back a little bit today so that's good. Did you find you had really good days and really bad days Wolfie? I ask because I need to know that it's normal if he has some really horrific days and that he will come out the other side! Thank you xx

Bring me sunshine:
Darryaz - first and foremost your second post made me lol  :) I'm sure the daily round of tablets gets tiresome. Hope it's encouraging that Wolfie is now successfully off them two years, maybe you can hold off on the tattoo for now  ;) I didn't realise that meningitis could hang around for years. My friend had told me it could be there for months so I guess I need to be prepared that frequent hospital admissions may be a part of his life and not to panic every time he is admitted. I'm glad you have made such a good recovery and thanks for taking the time to share xx

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