Yes. Septicaemia, the first time I got it I can remember as clear as day because my neighbour, another of my neighbours, had come down to visit. And he’s a very, very bright, erudite man and very quiet. And he’d come to visit me and he’d brought some magazines. And it was the Saturday before Christmas and I appreciated him giving up the time at that time of the year to come and see me. And he’d been there about half an hour and I just turned and said, ‘I’m sorry I’m going to have to ask you to leave.’ And I literally, those were my words. He looked at me and I said, ‘I don’t feel very well. It’s nothing to do with you. I’m just going downhill.’ So, ‘Fine. Okay. No problem.’ And off he disappeared. And it was just something inside me wasn’t right, is all I can say. And that was at about three o’clock. By nine o’clock that evening my temperature was high, I was up at a hundred.
I didn’t realise what was septicaemia was, or the significance of septicaemia. You’ve heard about it. You know that you’ve read stories of somebody might have died about it, but that’s other people, it doesn’t happen to you. At two o’clock in the morning now my temperature was well over a hundred and four and I was so low I couldn’t actually reach to pull the call to get them to the bedside. So I’d waited and I’d sweated through and gone through and by the time I actually got the strength and the temperature down, the strength to pull the thing, I was down at about a hundred and three, when all hell broke loose and I was not in the good books. And then it’s straight onto antibiotics and everything else to kill off the infection. Because that’s really what it is, it’s an infection in the gut in the body.
But because of how virulent it is, and how fast-acting it is, that’s why they’re glad to have you in hospital. But what it meant was that I learnt from that, so when the next one attacked me on phase two I was at home, and again I was meant to be going to see something at school and I said to my wife, ‘Look I don’t feel up to it.’ And when she came back in the late afternoon, early evening, she said, ‘How do you feel?’ I said, ‘I think I need to get back to the hospital.’ And again it was the onset of septicaemia again and it’s just because your body defences are so low, and often when you’re out for a period of time after your first course of treatment it’s in that.
They’ve finished giving you the drugs, the drugs are having their effect so you’ve gone neutropenic i.e. you’ve got no defences. But there’s nothing they can do and they’re just waiting for your defences to come back, and that’s the time when you’re likely to get, or certainly in my case, hit with whatever it was that’s going around.