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Recovering...slowly

Last Friday, even though she was out of the office, my doctor has her staff move my April 6th follow-up and physical appointment to Monday in light of the pneumonia diagnosis. I was okay with that, especially given how rotten I felt that day. The good news is that Friday turned out the worst. Saturday morning brought a surprisingly large improvement, and each day since has been modestly better.

The doctor's appointment went well. I'm clearly on the mend. She ordered a couple more lab tests, and we'll confirm that the newly-discovered thyroid nodule looks benign, as 95% of them are. She confirmed that my plan to take it easy through the end of the antibiotics is a good one even if I start feeling fabulous before Thursday morning. Right now, fabulous feels farther away than that.

I *was* pleasantly surprised to not be thoroughly wiped by the appointment...and still very grateful Elaine drove me to it. Yet I came home and napped for hours on the sofa after more yummy soup for lunch. And I'm feeling very tired; a week without CPAP is probably catching up with me. But I'm still not going to risk shoving anything remaining down into my lungs; that's the last thing I need.

The narrative that makes the most sense at this point is the one my doctor put forth: a lung infection of some sort caused the initial symptoms that landed me in the ER Sunday night. The pneumonia diagnosis made after the lateral lung x-rays was likely spot on, with the IV antibiotics getting enough of a head start on it that it didn't show on the CT scan 16+ hours later. They also did the job well enough that I started feeling oh, so much better Monday evening. My doctor said the antibiotics stay in the system 24-48 hours, which matches the timing of my getting home and suddenly feeling hit by a brick a few hours later.

I can't blame the hospital for trusting the CT results; it's a better diagnostic tool for pneumonia than the xrays, and I didn't have any of the coughing that so often accompanies the disease. Well, not until Thursday night, that is....

Onward!

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
kaeljo
Mar. 29th, 2016 03:38 am (UTC)
Being without CPAP is smart for the reasons you say, but contributes to exhaustion. Grateful you're getting better and that Elaine is there to help you.
minnehaha
Mar. 29th, 2016 04:10 am (UTC)
Glad you have something fixable!

K.
gerisullivan
Mar. 29th, 2016 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Me, too!
jennlk
Mar. 29th, 2016 04:43 am (UTC)
I am glad that you are feeling better. Keep it up.. It will take a while -- longer than you think, IME -- to get back to "normal".

[As an aside, when I had pneumonia (which required two courses of antibiotics to get rid of), I did not have a cough. Ever. I had fever and chills, and dramatically compromised lung capacity, but never a cough.]
gerisullivan
Mar. 29th, 2016 05:30 pm (UTC)
Many thanks for the first-person account of pneumonia without a cough. I'm wondering how long I'd had it. I've been notably shorter of breath than usual this winter, and totally dragging on the energy front. My sense of body temperature control has also been off.
jennlk
Mar. 29th, 2016 10:06 pm (UTC)
My doc did say that people usually don't come in as early as I did. She had a bunch of the residents come in and listen to my lungs, so they could hear what *just* pneumonia sounded like. (The clinic is part of the UMich Health System, so lots of residents)

I noticed it mostly because I was in the middle of performance season, and I went from being able to play an entire 8bar phrase on one breath to needing a breath after every measure or so.... And then the fever/chills hit, and I was off to the doc.

She told me that it could take up to 3 months to be back to "normal". I think it was at least a couple of months before I felt all the way better.
voidampersand
Mar. 29th, 2016 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you figured it out and are getting better. Looking back on what happened, I think that you were faced with a very tough medical mystery, and the way that you and the medical staff and your friends responded was impressive. The only way it could have gone better was if you'd had a lucky break. Which would have been nice, for sure. Anyway, taking it easy sounds like a great idea, and I hope that soon you will start feeling fabulous instead of just being fabulous.
thirdworld
Mar. 29th, 2016 05:15 pm (UTC)
Glad you're on the mend
I'm so pleased that you're on the mend. Pneumonia is scary. Take care, dear one.
coffeeem
Mar. 29th, 2016 06:54 pm (UTC)
As it says on the userpic: <3 <3 <3
a_cubed
Mar. 30th, 2016 12:18 am (UTC)
I had a bout of pneumonia in January. Not fun at all. It made me understand, though, why people stop taking the antibiotics before the end of the course - I always finish the course unless they don't seem to be working, and even then I'll go back to the medic before stopping. My appointment at the clinic did tire me out completely and I was barely able to get home and fall into bed after taking the first does of antibiotics at about 11am. By 4pm I was awake and felt oh so much better and the following day I felt convalescent rather than ill. I think it took me well over a month to get back to something approaching normal, though. Lung-attacking diseases are not fun when you're asthmatic to start with.
Best wishes that you feel better soon, but do take it easy while your body recovers.
pameladean
Mar. 30th, 2016 03:23 am (UTC)
So very glad it isn't any of the other scary things they were checking out. Resting sounds like a good plan indeed.

My mother-in-law had pneumonia with no cough. She ended up calling 911 because she was just very, very tired.

P.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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