I promised you the story of my pneumonia battle. Here's the story as I sent it in an email to an online friend:
I wasn't really feeling bad before I got sick. I have allergies and I often get a little sinusy. I had a very small cough in September and got some stuff at the health food store that usually heads off bronchitis type problems. I was taking it regularly. That's worked for me for about ten years. On October 6th, I woke up and didn't want coffee, I wanted hot tea - that's the first sign. My sinuses were draining like crazy. When I got home the night of the 7th, I had a low fever. The morning of the 8th, it was 101.8. I went to the doctor then and got on antibiotics. They didn't touch the fever. Monday, the 12th, it was still high and I was back at the doctor and that's when she heard the pneumonia in my lungs. An x-ray confirmed her diagnosis. The meds I got that day broke the fever at the end of that week. I went back to the doctor on the 19th for a recheck. She said my lungs were still noisy and I was still coughing too much to work (not that felt like working). The next night, the 20th, I got short of breath. I felt like I'd run up a flight of stairs and I'd just been sitting on the couch. My heart was racing, too. I called the doctor at home. She told me to go to the ER. I was going to drive myself, but Seth insisted that he would come and get me. (He lives forty minutes away. I didn't want him to have to come.) We got to the ER at 10:38. They took me back to a room at 11:53. My O2 sat was 87 (not good) and my heart rate was 137 (really bad!) I had my first breathing treatment at midnight. Then a chest x-ray. Lots of blood work. Around 3am the ER doc said he'd talked to my primary care doc and they were going to admit me for "a day or two" and try to get me lungs to clear. It turned into six days. Four breathing treatments a day. My lungs have had a lot of trouble clearing. When they let me out of the hospital Tuesday, there was still blood work they were waiting to get back. They are testing me for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and some other "connective tissue diseases". There was something in my liver function or liver enzymes - I forget which - along with a chronic skin problem I have that makes the pulmonologist suspect there's an underlying issue. I'm just ready to get well. I go back to both of the doctors on Tuesday.
So, I didn't have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. I do have asthma and high blood pressure now. (I've spoken to several people since who have acquired asthma from having pneumonia. Apparently it's not uncommon.) I'm dealing with the asthma and taking my meds. The blood pressure I check each week at Publix on the machine in the pharmacy. It's still a little high. I ended up staying out of work for five weeks. When I went back to work, it was half days for a week. My last full day before I got sick was October 7th. My first full day back was November 20th. I still don't always feel "normal". I saw the doctor November 19th and she told me then (six weeks into the battle) that it would be another three months before I felt like myself again, but I would feel like myself again. It's been a long road.
You may remember my 365 project where I took and posted a photo each day in 2009. Well, they wouldn't let me have my digital camera at the hospital, and I felt pretty crappy anyway. I didn't make it. I was disappointed in myself and I'm giving it another go this year.
I finished several knitting projects and I'm angry at myself for not getting pictures of all of them before gifting them. ARGH! Last minute Christmas knitting! It's for better organized people.