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I am certainly not a hypochondriac and don't go around worrying about health issues. I have had endocarditis twice though (1997 and 2003) so I think its okay for me to check websites for information every so often.
As I have had subacute endocarditis twice I thought I would share my experience with other who may have this condition and are maybe worried.
Way back in 1997 (I was 44 then) I gradually started to go off my food and generally have a lack of energy. I would get home from work and just want to lay down and rest. This went on for maybe 3 weeks or so. I developed night sweats and was feeling more and more tired.
After a lot of nagging my wife marched me to the doctors who sent me off for a blood test. I read on the form she gave me the words 'endocarditis risk'. I had no idea what this was at the time. Only the next day I had just gone to bed after a long night shift at work when the phone rang. It was the doctors surgery ringing to say that I had to go to hospital. Much to my surprise I would apparently have to stay in too!
I soon found myself on a ward for 5 weeks having regular doses of antibiotics, initially 4 times a day reducing to twice a day. Once I starte feeling better I was allowed to go home for a few hours a day every so often, but not allowed to stay away overnight.
I suppose I would say my main sympton is summed up in one work - fatigue. I would say this is different to just tiredness - I felt I had no energy or strength and mostly just wanted to doze.
During this spell in hospital I was treated with gentamicin and penicillin. After about 3 weeks I developed an allergy to penicillin - two varieties of rash and very high temperature. This made me feel worse and I had a realy problem eating anything and walking short distances was a problem - no chance of a trip home.
Once the doctors worked out that it was the pencicillin that was causing the problem they changed me to teikoplanin (?spelling). after a week or so I was feeling much better and was allowed home just before Christmas and was back at work after a total of 8 weeks off.
The was only episode one. I had another brush with endocarditis at the end of 2003. I noticed I was getting feverish and a feeling of fatigue. No hesitation in going to the doctors this time. I was in hospital for 4 weeks but needed longer to recover having nearly 4 months off work.
For background I should mention that it was found that I had a heart murmour when I was 21. I have never had any symptoms of this. Apparently a heart murmour makes you more likely to get endocarditis.
If you are worried about endocarditis you can get in touch if you like. I am now compeletely fit and well.
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