Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rejected Holidays, Pneumonia, and a Happy New Year

I've decided that my body has rejected holidays. Or maybe it just can't figure out what to give and so it gives me the best malady it can muster, just so I know it hasn't forgotten me.

Thanksgiving gave me an ear infection with fever, chills and a cough. I got an anti-biotic quickly enough to get me going just in time to get back to work.

Christmas gave me the same (so I thought), until the Sunday evening following Christmas I realized I couldn't take more than a (very) shallow breath and dramatically discovered that laying down or getting up reduced me to extraordinary fits of violent, spastic coughing. My visit to the Doctor's office started with getting my blood pressure and taking my blood oxygen level. When the oxygen level came back low (94, they want at least 98) the nurse said, "take a deep breath."

"You're getting all I've got."

That got me a trip to Mr. X-Ray.

Front shot, arms out:

"Deep Breath"

I took "deep" as a relative measure, as in, deeper than not breathing

Cough Cough

Side shot, arms up:

"Deep Breath"
Erp, Squeak, Rasp, Cough Cough..

Trip to the examination room.

Ten minutes later, the good doctor walks in: "You have pneumonia in both lungs." I wish I could remember verbatim what he said next, but essentially he told me that I was not going to work for several days and if I was 85 he'd be worried about me, but as I wasn't 85 he wasn't worried.


Exit the good doctor.

Ten minutes later, enter the nurse practitioner carrying my paperwork and then lobbing this shot over my port bow: "If things don't continue to get better taking this medicine you WILL come back immediately because that's when you go to the hospital."

I didn't quite know how to reconcile the two interactions. I guess it was supposed to be taken as, "You're OK, but this is serious don't mess around with it."

I do not like the word 'hospital.'

Pneumonia was an interesting experience because I felt 'fine.' Sure, I was in a constant state of being on one side or the other of a dose of the "good" cough medicine or ibuprofen (along with my daily anti-biotic.) And, yeah, I was tired and sitting felt very good. And I could take a two to three hour nap at the drop of a hat. Well, there was that inconvenient inability to take a deep breath, and I did have my once (OK, or twice) a day coughing fit during which I really couldn't breathe.

But I felt 'fine.'

Thursday I stopped taking any medicine other than the antibiotic and Sunday after the Monday was my final antibiotic dose. Friday and Saturday were really bad, going through medicine withdrawal.

And Monday I was at work.

Then, Tuesday, I freaked out in the afternoon because my ears were still aching and not "normal" and I had the nurse practitioners voice in my head saying "If things didn't keep getting better" and ending in "hospital..."

Did I mention I don't like the word "hospital?"

My wife got to relate to a normally very stable husband who was suddenly acting distinctly randomly emotional. And did a great job. She graciously called around and today I had appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor who extracted my body weight of wax out of each ear and said, "Ears are the last thing to feel right after a respiratory infection."

"See me in six weeks."

So I guess things are OK.

Happy New Year

(cough , cough, just kidding, sort of)


Sharon said...

Wow! Thanks for explaining it all. I guess because you're a strong guy, you're not prone to talk about how bad you feel, so we didn't know all the details until now. Ray stayed home from work today (Thursday) with chills and aches and his 'cough', so he went to the Dr. He also has a sinus infection like I do, just slightly different symptoms. Now we're both on antibiotics. Thank God for them, except after 9 days of taking Augmentin (Amoxycillin), I only feel slightly better, so I'm contacting my Dr. again tomorrow.

We hope you soon get your 'wind' back and can feel normal once again. Are you still going to be able to run in the race with the girls? We hope so. That will be fun for you.

Take care. Love, Ray & Sharon

Rob said...

I don't know about being a strong guy, it's probably more pride or just not being my nature to talk about not feeling well. I'm sorry to hear about you both still not feeling well. I have been able to start running again, but we are not doing the race tomorrow (Saturday). We'll need to pick out another one in the coming months.

Elijah Lofgren said...

I'm praying for you to fully recover.

How are you doing now?

Rob said...

Thank you for your prayers. The pneumonia is better. My ears are still slowly getting better. Not there yet. Actually hearing wise this is the best they've been in 30+ years, but they are still draining bacteria into me which is completely not fun.