sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I think I spelled that right. I've been sick in bed for going on two weeks now. Saw my doctor a week ago Monday and got an Rx for antibiotics and an inhaler. It seemed to help some, but this past weekend I started feeling worse. Severe pain in my back and chest when I coughed, moved too much, or breathed deeply. Which made it difficult to sleep, unsurprisingly. Called in Tuesday morning to the doctor on call, who told me to take 4-6 hits on my inhaler each time instead of 2, and wrote an Rx for oral steroids as well. Those worked quite well, but I also saw my doctor on Wednesday because the issues weren't improving. She wrote me an Rx for codeine cough syrup and hydrocodone pills for the pain, and had me get a chest x-ray.

My doctor called later that night to tell me the x-rays showed I had pleural effusion (liquid on my lung). She also said that if I spiked a fever again (now that I'd nearly finished my antibiotic course) to let her know, as it would suggest that there was another infection. Yesterday I felt pretty good until evening, when the muscles in my stomach and abdomen started to pain me (probably because I overworked THEM while trying to ease the muscles of my upper torso.

And this morning I had a fever. Again. So I called the doctor's office and left a message, as instructed. A few calls back and forth, and at 1:30 my lovely and talented wife drove me to the hospital radiology department. We checked in, I got an ultrasound of my back, which confirmed that my left lung was clear but that there was about a quart (a QUART) of fluid on my right lung, which would explain my pain and shortness of breath.

After the ultrasound, I sat under a warm blanket for a few minutes, then the doctor came in to give me a local (lidocaine) in my back, and then spend about five or ten minutes drawing fluid off my lung (The wikipedia page on thoracentesis gives a very good description of the procedure). He couldn't get it all because it was thicker than he expected, and clearly infected. But he got a lot of it. That alone, they told me, should make me feel better in a couple of hours--my lung would reinflate and I'd be able to breathe more easily and with less pain. And I am feeling some better now, though happy to be back in bed at home.

I also got some blood drawn for a battery of tests. I imagine that in the next day or two (or by Monday) I'll find out the results and be given an Rx for another course of antibiotics to squelch whatever crap is in my lung.

In the mean time, more time in bed, regular daily doses of oral steroids, use of an inhaler, advil, and codeine cough syrup (with optional vicodin pill up to twice a day when i need it, though I mostly take just one at bedtime to help me sleep).

My lovely and talented wife has been an absolute trooper through this whole adventure, especially since she's still exhausted and recovering from her OWN bout with this bug. I love her and admire her more than I can.


sinanju: The Shadow (Default)

August 2017

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