I was awakened at 5:30 a.m. by a very uncomfortable husband. He was in alot of pain, localized in his left leg, and still shivering and shaking, having sweated right through his pyjamas. We waited until almost 9:00 when the medical centre opened, to go down and see the doctor.
Located on Deck 4, midship, it was just a quick elevator ride down. The Royal Princess medical centre is a modern, immaculate operation, staffed by doctors, nurses and two paramedics, plus a wonderfully helpful and cheerful male receptionist.
We were ushered in to see the doctor right away. Dr. Peter immediately ruled out the flu, and seemed more concerned about the state of James' left leg, which was extremely hot, red, and swollen from the ankle up to the knee. James said it burned like a really bad sunburn.The first thing the doctor did was take a blood test, and order a urine test. The blood work showed a white cell count of 22, when 8-10 is considered normal, so this confirmed that James' body was indeed fighting some infection. The urine test took a bit longer, James having to consume endless cups of water in order to provide a sample.
Meanwhile, Dr. Peter had diagnosed a very severe case of Cellulitis, a deep tissue infection in the leg. There was also a possibility of Deep Vein Thrombosis, which he couldn't rule out without an ultrasound. He mentioned the possibility of putting him off the ship when we reached St. Maarten tomorrow, in order to get an ultrasound at the hospital there.
James was immediately hooked up to an I.V. and given a strong dose of antibiotics, as well as an injection in his stomach of an anti-clotting agent in case of blood clots.
He was released from the hospital around 11:30 with instructions to stay off his feet, rest, elevate, and keep his leg out of the sun. We returned to our cabin, where I got him comfortably ensconced on the balcony in the shade,with his leg up on a pillow on the little table, and covered with a towel drenched in icy water from our ice bucket. He stayed there reading for awhile while I went for food and a bit of sun on the upper deck.
I had to make a trip down to the shore excursions desk and cancel our shore excursions in St. Maarten and St. Thomas, because we knew we would not be able to go. There was no problem with this, and our money was instantly credited to our account. When I went back to check on James, he was still shivering and shaking, so he went back to bed dressed in layers and under the warm covers.
By suppertime, he was still not hungry, but managed a bit of soup and tea that I brought him from the Horizon Court. I too had my meal in the room to keep him company, and we spent the evening watching movies once again on the cabin TV. At 10:00 we had to go back to the medical centre for another infusion of antibiotics; this was to be the pattern for the next 5 days, twice daily I.V. antibiotics and once daily injection of anticoagulant. Not exactly what we had imagined when we were planning our vacation...