Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Which I Explain My Absence

Well, dear blog friends, it's been awhile. Since my last post my medical problems intensified - what was "just the flu" turned into pneumonia (although I didn't know it).

Last Sunday I missed church again. (Highly unusual for me. I think I'm now our church's youngest shut-in at this point...) Philip called our regular doctor Monday morning. This is how you know your symptoms are serious: the dragons guarding the doctor's office receptionists get you in within two hours that same morning.

My dad took solo baby-sitting duty so that Philip and I didn't have to take the girls to the appointment. We only waited a little bit before a nurse called us back. She took all my vitals, asked a few questions and almost immediately, my doctor came in. My doctor is a very kind, sensible man. He doesn't talk down to you or use so much "doctor-speak" you can't understand him. He did the usual doctor stuff, asked a few questions, and then sent me for a chest x-ray (in the same building).

Chest x-ray? How exciting. Did you know that you have to stand up straight, curl in your shoulders and hold your breath for a chest x-ray? Do have any idea how hard that is to do when you can't breathe? I do.

Then I carried the case with my x-rays (I think I had two or three taken) back to the exam room. The nurse came for them so the doctor could look them over and he was, quite quickly, back in my room. He told us that radiology would confirm the diagnosis within a day but he was already sure I had pneumonia and he was concerned about two things specifically: my heart rate was very high and my oxygen levels were very low.

He told us about the medicines he was prescribing and about some of the over the counter things I should take as well and then he looked at me and told me, "I'm throwing everything and the kitchen sink at this. I don't have anything to do after this. If these don't work, we're out of options and you'll need to be hospitalized."


He explained carefully everything to us what was going on and why I might need to be hospitalized. He told Philip to keep a close eye on me and if anything got worse to call him and we'd start admission.

Scary stuff, to say the least. Anyway, we filled the prescriptions (including the most expensive antibiotic ever, but hey, if it keeps you out of the hospital...) and headed home. I tried to eat something (I hadn't been eating much for the past few days) and then took my first five pills.

Not happening: everything came back up. Now that's a bad feeling. I went to bed immediately, unable to eat anything or take any medicine. How are you supposed to get better when you can't even take your medicine?!

A few hours later I tried to eat again and then took the antibiotic. So far, so good. I managed to choke down a few of the other pills. Then I didn't sleep again for about 24 hours, as a side effect of one of my medicines.

And have I mentioned the fact that I turned pink and white in a full body rash? No? Well, that happened too.

Tuesday morning my doctor called us, both to check on me and to tell us that radiology had confirmed pneumonia and I would need to come back for more x-rays in a few weeks (assuming I didn't end up in the hospital) to be sure everything was healing as it should. Philip asked the doctor whatever questions we had about the illness and medicines. Philip was most concerned, I think, about how exactly he was supposed to keep my oxygen level from dropping when he had no way of measuring it. (Doctor's response: If she gets worse in any way at all, call me.)

So, anyway, that's where things stand right now. I think I'm getting better but my lungs still protest. I can sit up for awhile and even do a few small things with the girls but I haven't been anywhere yet and even the thought of walking around anywhere just makes me tired. I'm still taking all my medicines (and will be for at least another week), even though I very much dislike some of them, and I'm trying not to look at the house because two weeks is a long time for a homemaker to not make her home and you can just imagine the rest. (Very Important Note: Philip has done an amazing job taking care of me, the girls, and all his usual obligations.)

I think I can honestly say I have never been this sick before in my life so it's a new experience for me. I'm so thankful for all of you who have been praying for us and helping us. I hope to be back to at least a semblance of my regular life within a few days, but we're taking one day at a time here and I suppose that's all I can ask.


Anonymous said...

Poor thing!! When I had pneumonia a couple of years ago I didn't have it as bad as you do (The Dr. said he'd want to put me in the hospital if my counts had been a couple of thousand higher but I didn't have the rash/heart-rate/low oxygen to complicate things! Well, maybe the low oxygen. :P ) but it was definitely the sickest I've ever been. So NOT fun stuff. :P Hope you're lots better soon!


deerhunter5555 said...

Been there done fun. Hope you get better soon! I think I have the flu as well...going on 4 days of sickness.

Cousin E

MacKenzie said...

Oh, yuck. I'll be praying for you. :-)

Amy said...

Oh my dear! How awful and scary and just NOT GOOD!!!

But I have to admit that I laughed when you said you were your church's youngest shut-in.

We'll be praying you recover quickly and are back to your usual self asap!

Vicky said...

Glad to hear things are improving! I had pneumonia several years ago. It is NOT so fun, for sure! Continuing prayers for you and your family.

Jodi said...

Oh! you poor Girl!! Hope you are feeling much better now !!!

Calina said...

Ugh, being sick is not fun. Get well, you!

Post a Comment

I promise to be candid and you can be too. Blogging is best when it's a conversation. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and respond. I enjoy hearing what you have to say.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.