Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Off To A Bad Start

It has been a month since I last wrote here and alot has happened in that short space of time. Oh, I have some pretty neat stuff to tell everybody about...........a road trip to Tennessee right after Christmas, etc., etc...........but I have to tell you that 2009...........2009?........gee whiz, where has the time gone?..............2009 has not been so very good to ole Signtopia. I have been very ill. I have had a nasty battle with pneumonia since the day after Christmas......well......it all started on December 26th with a tickle in my throat and a noticeable rattle in the chest at night. I have been down this road before, but not nearly as bad. Perhaps my resistance was lower than normal. After an unbelieveable amount of coughing and extreme weakness, I gave in and went to the doctor. The doctor, of course, said "Sounds like pneumonia." I had thought she would have said "You have bronchitis."............that is what I have heard out of the doctor each year or so for the past several years. The routine dispensation of a prescription for antibiotics and I usually am pretty good to go after about a week.........but not this time. This time it had me good........and there were definitely times I really thought I was pretty much doomed. I was not getting better at all........not even after a week of antibiotics, a course of prednisone, countless Mucinex tablets, and constant drinking of Gatorade. I had no energy left in me, I could barely get out of bed. Arrrggghhhhh!

It seemed as if I was getting worse and the doctor had expected me to return eight weeks later at the end of February. One night, Supernurse called my number two son from work at the hospital, to check on me and if I was not feeling any better, for him to bring me up to the emergency room. (Supernurse works in the ER) Well, he checked on me and I said "Take me to the hospital". I have to be feeling pretty bad to ask to go to the hospital. Fortunately for me, I have connections at the hospital.....hehehe....and I did not have to wait in the waiting room for 60 days before being seen by a doctor. Fifteen minutes and I was taken into the Pediatric Emergency Department.............yep..........Pediatric............not the Adult ER. As it is, Supernurse was working in that Pediatric ER. I was okay with that. I was given a bag of fluids and they did an x-ray of my chest and then sent me off to get a CT Scan of my chest. The doctors looked over the results and mentioned COPD, wrote prescriptions for more antibiotics, more prednisone, an albuterol inhaler, some cough suppressant medicine and said I could go home. Overall, the results of the x-ray and ct scan, was better than I was anticipating. Hmmmm......if things ain't so bad, then why am I feeling this way?

The respiratory therapist came by and gave me a treatment with albuterol and then "educated" me about how to use this plastic contraption that I am supposed to suck the air out of. When people have lung troubles, they do this to get better........apparently. Well..............I suppose that for most people with such problems breathing, they can barely get the indicator on that contraption up to a desired level. For me.........I aced the thing, no problem. Apparently my lungs are strong. Okay, so that is out of the way. So I go home.............and I still had this deathly ill sick feeling throughout my entire body. Am I making progress?..........it did not seem like it.

Being sick is very tiring. It takes alot out of you. Yet, I could not get any good sleep.....maybe a couple of hours at a time........but always interrupted with the coughing. Why me?

Well..........here I am today..........it appears that I have survived my ordeal. I am not 100 per cent better yet. I am still coughing up stuff and still unable to get any good rest. The weak, sick, ill, feeling has been reduced to only occurring twice a day instead of all day and night. I am no longer on antibiotics or prednisone. This is progress. One day at a time. Oh, I am determined to shake this completely, but this has been a tough one.

Oh, by the way...........when the doctor prescribed the prednisone, I was a bit surprised by that. I had never taken prednisone before. I know it is some kind of steroid stuff which supposedly helps the breathing. I queried the doctor about the prednisone because I have had relatives, now deceased, who had to take prednisone and they had some side effects from it..............so I asked the doctor, "Isn't this stuff gonna make my face swell up like Jerry Lewis' face did? Am I gonna have chipmunk cheeks?" The doctor said "No, this is a very small dose." I said "Okay, then".

See?...........I do not have chipmunk cheeks and I do not look like Jerry Lewis did.