Original of the Species

I recently wrote about a crisis point when I came close to losing hope of winning the battle against a serious infection. I’d been re-admitted to hospital having developed complications at home following specialised surgery in the UK. It was a tough time but I never expected the outcome that followed…

Osteomyelitis, an infection of bone, was raging inside my skull and was failing to respond to a combination of IV antibiotics. I was considered at high risk of developing cavernous sinus thrombosis, meningitis, intra-cranial infection or septicaemia, all potentially fatal conditions. My eyesight was also under serious threat. When my condition deteriorated further, it was decided that I should be taken to the operating theatre to have multiple bone biopsies taken for analysis. On waking from the anaesthetic, I was informed that osteomyelitis had been confirmed and that a new regime of IV antibiotics would be commenced. Within hours of starting the new treatment, I’d turned the corner and was out of danger.

rare specimen

When the surgical team arrived at my bedside the following morning, they were beaming from ear to ear. The senior registrar turned to me and said, “You do realise that you’re famous, don’t you”? I looked at him in puzzlement. He told me that when my head was examined in theatre, it had caused enormous excitement. The pioneering surgery carried out in the UK, had proved fascinating to the Irish surgeons. The internal anatomy of my skull has been so radically altered, I’ve become an original of the species. It seems I’m now regarded as a rare medical specimen. Thankfully, an alive one!

Next week, I’ll tell you about how I became a ‘film star’ for a day.

11 Responses to Original of the Species

  1. Grannymar says:

    I always knew you were unique, very much alive and kicking! You show ’em Girl! πŸ˜€

  2. Steph says:

    Grannymar – I’m definitely one of a kind, that’s for sure. Do you think I should charge the medics for viewing? πŸ˜‰

  3. Bendy Girl says:

    It’s funny isn’t it just how excited medics can get by things like this. Sort of life affirming really as I expect its one of the few occasions they get to be so excited by the lack of mundanity
    I’m so glad you are doing better, and that you are so special…but we knew that anyway!
    Do you have to come back to the UK for more treatment and is there a plan in place for if this kind of infection (god forbid!) comes back? BG Xx

  4. Annb says:

    Well now we have clinical proof of your specialness! We all knew it long ago but sometimes the medics can be a bit slow on the uptake! Rock on special lady!! πŸ˜‰

  5. Lily says:

    Definitely a case of the surgical team knowing your head inside out.

    Fingers crossed that nobody EVER gets a repeat showing.

    Hey maybe there’s a book title there –

    Just looking up Wikipedia – ‘The Origin of Species’, was published on Thursday, 24 November 1859. On 24th November you could publish ‘The Original of the Species’ exactly 150 years later! No pressure now.

  6. Lily says:

    I better add a smiley to that! πŸ™‚

  7. Steph says:

    Bendy – Thanks! I’ve been formally discharged back to Ireland for all follow-up care but, with an open invitation to return at any time if advice is needed. I’m awaiting the results of blood tests this week which will determine my infection status. I’ve no idea what the future holds and I’m happy to leave it that way.

    Ann – You’re too kind! I always knew I was an unusual case but I never expected to become a ‘famous’ one! Boy wonder and I should start up a fan club!

    Lily – The problem for the medics now is that having had all the normal landmarks removed from the inside of my head, it’s become foreign territory again!

    If I ever do publish my story, you’ll be the first to get an invitation to the book launch!

  8. Baino says:

    Oh Steph I don’t know how you stay so upbeat. You’re a national treasure let alone a medical wonder! And you are special. Not because of your illness but your ability to live with it, talk about it, and deal with it. You’re my hero! Or heroine. . .

  9. Steph says:

    Baino – I like the national treasure bit although I’m not ready to pop my clogs just yet! πŸ˜‰

    Thank you for your very kind words. I would dearly love to be able to find a way of putting my perspective on life (as a patient), to better use. Over the years, I’ve regularly had patients (and their visitors), student nurses, staff nurses, ward managers, doctors, porters, kitchen staff and the cleaning staff, all approach me in need of a listening ear. If I could bottle whatever it is they see in me, I’d be a wealthy woman!

  10. Geri Atric says:

    Ha ha! That’s great Steph, I’m so glad you are better now – and an enigma and famous too! (Those mysterious crystal skulls can’t even compare..)

  11. Steph says:

    Geri – Thanks! πŸ˜€

    And I’m bowled over by the lovely tribute on your blog today.

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