Thursday, 18 July 2013

Immune System Kick Start

Unusually 5 days ago I had a pretty bad headache at the back left side of my head! I was in a lot of pain but just thought it was a headache due to the heat as it is boiling here in the UK. On Tuesday evening after having a shower I noticed that I had an oval lump half the size of my baby finger on my head where I was having headaches and it was really sore to touch. On the Wednesday morning I booked an appointment at the hospital as I was slightly worried and I have to be extra careful as I have not long had a transplant. I managed to get an appointment for the afternoon and by then I started getting a sore neck and behind my ear. I then noticed red spots which were really itchy! My mum thought that it could be shingles and when I got to the hospital they checked me over and said that It was shingles. It was relieving as I was thinking the worst. I have never had shingles but my mum suffers from them all the time and says how painful they are. 

My consultant said that a lot of patients are affected by shingles a few months after having a transplant and this is because for the first 5 months after my transplant I was taking a drug called Aciclovir (400 mg 2 times a day) this stops me from getting the herpes virus and since I have stopped taking it daily I am more prone to shingles. He said that even though I am poorly and feeling rough with having shingles it is a good thing as this gives my 'new immune system' a first kick in to work as it is the first virus I have had to fight since having my transplant. I have been put on a high dose of Acicolvir (800mg 5 times a day) and some REALLY strong pain killers. The pain of having shingles is awful and it's worse as I have them all over my head and neck so sleeping is a nightmare but I am resting lots and watching films and catching up with lots of tv series that I started to watch in hospital. This is just a little bump but i'm sure once I have rested and recovered ill be back to my usual self in no time!

UPDATE - It took two weeks of tablets and rest for my shingles to clear up.

Always smiling x

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Manuka Honey

When I was in hospital I felt ill A LOT! and one morning my auntie came to visit me and said that someone in her work (at the ambulance station) said that Manuka honey is known to boost your immune system and has healing content. She brought me a few jars of the +15 Manuka honey (you can get it from +5 to about +22...i think) the higher the + number, the more manuka the honey has. Although they are pretty pricey I swear it worked!! (+15 jars cost around £20) You can buy it here! It is becoming more commonly known so the price of it is increasing. At my worst time when I couldn't eat, drink or speak due to my mouth being covered in mouth ulcers! Mum used to mix manuka honey in a mug with hot water and I used to manage to drink it through a straw and as silly as it sounds I believe it helped me recover much quicker. My mouth ulcers cleared up and my consultants were shocked how well I recovered. I now have it on a regular basis and lately been having it every day, either on toast, add it to my tea or just drink it with hot water. If I feel like I am getting a cold or feeling a bit down I will try and have as much honey as I can. When I started to use Manuka honey I researched about it online. It is known as healing honey and is harvested in New Zealand. It is scientifically tested and verified to have all of its beneficial Manuka factor. The manufactures also test each jar individually to ensure it is absolutely pure by certifying that it's free of more than 160 chemical residues. But beware as a lot of supermarkets are selling the honey as manuka honey when really it is just normal honey. 
Benefit's Of Manuka Honey
  • Helps enhance your body's immune response.
  • Soothes digestive discomforts. 
  • Promotes healthy probiotics in your digestive system. 
  • Contains a number of free radical busting antioxidants that support your health.
  • Boosts your energy and endurance naturally.
  • Can, according to research, be beneficial and protective for topical burns, wounds and skin care.
  • Provides soothing comfort for sore throats and coughs. 
I would REALLY advise this to anyone who is feeling ill or having chemotherapy or has a weak immune system ! It helped me A LOT and  you never know it's worth a try and I was willing to try anything to make me feel better and luckily this did. I now always recommend this to any new people I meet who are having chemotherapy as it was great for me. I recommended it to a friend who's neutrophils were not rising and after having some manuka honey her neutrophils raised in a few days and she was able to go home. 
What a miracle! Has anyone else tried this healing honey?

Always smiling x