Saturday, December 1, 2012
Shit Got VERY Real!
3 days and 2 trips to the E.R. That's a total of 3 trips this month. This latest one made the other 2 feel like a cakewalk.
BackStory: For those of you not keeping up, I was diagnosed with Pneumonia 11/10/12. Had been having labored breathing and an inability to exert myself at all. For what I was doing at work...door to door sales...I wasn't able to walk very much, because when I did I had to wait at a door for minutes to catch my breath.
So after that bit of news, I was given anti biotics for the Pneumonia and prescribed an inhaler and steroids for the lungs, overall. See....they also found I now own a malady called COPD.
After a few days I found some relief from the meds, but still didn't get the other two items. The Cipro was $4.00 which I could readily afford. The inhaler and 'roids....not so much.
I was blessed to get the inhaler finally, and that helped, but the other item still out of reach. I figured to myself that was the antibiotics did their thing, the inhaler would help the rest of the healing.
I figured wrong.
Seems my lungs had swollen just enough to be compressed and making breathing difficult at best. I tried things within my reach for comfort. Generic Mucenex, caffeine, and LOTS of water. Again, some success but not nearly enough.
I found myself gasping for air one fine Wednesday morning. I chalked it up to morning congestion and went about trying my best to deal with it.
It wouldn't cooperate.
I'd get winded....I mean GASPING for air winded...just walking from one side of the room to another. I finally decided this was beyond dealing with on my own, and drove to the nearest Hospital.
SIDETRACK: Not that I didn't ever receive first rate care in New Jersey, but here in Texas they are all just so much more personable and friendly. Actually, this state overall has that charm. Just sayin'
Once there, I was re-diagnosed and xrayed. The Pneumonia was missing, but my lungs had swelled some more. I was given steroids and that helped TONS!!!! The heart is fine, blood ok....lungs not so much.
Again, given prescriptions for antibiotics and steroids...this time Prednisone which is a cheap drug to buy, unlike the first one i was prescribed. Problem...I had $5.00 in my pocket and no gas.
It was a non starter. Couldn't go get either meds.
And so it goes......
Thursday wasn't bad. The I.V. 'roids were still in effect and I woke up breathing pretty well. However, as the day wore on it became more labored. By bedtime, it was almost as bad as before. I couldn't sleep much because I would wind up on my side, compressing my lungs even more, and would wake hacking then gasping for air. My inhaler was of little help. Some...but simply not enough.
(There is irony here....stay with me.....)
Friday was the scariest day of my life! I couldn't breathe any decent amount for hours on end. The inhaler and I became as one, and it did it's best to help.
I had started to experience something that I guess could be called some manner of reflex. I would lose strength from my mid back downward, and have to pee REALLY bad. Each time I felt that, I was able to make to the can with but a little escaping in spite of my efforts. When sitting, I felt I could breathe at maybe 5% capacity. It was real work trying to quell the panic I felt. I talked out loud to myself to calm down....relax..etc. Oddly enough, during one of these episodes, I found that if I hummed a low note, it helped.
But only for so long....only so many times.....
In my head I was going back and forth on heading to the E.R., again. Debating leaving at all, as well as, whether I was capable of driving or needed to call 911.
That choice was made for me in a heart beat!
I had gotten a follow up call to my visit 2 days before and was gasping, just trying find air to use to talk. I had to get off the phone as that "reflex" was coming on again. Problem was, no air to get me to the toilet.
For the first time since I was 3 years old, I soaked myself. Next thing I know I am on the floor, going all Fiona Apple naked on it, trying to get to my cell to dial 911. I had just enough air to tell the operator where I was and what was happening to me.
I had already struggled to get my undies off and now trying to get my jeans on. Forget my sneakers....wasn't gonna happen. I unlocked the door to my motel room and managed to get into a chair. I heard the sirens and that helped calm me a bit...but not tons. The E.M.T.'s came into the room, immediately setting up oxygen and asking me stuff. I told them I didn't think I could walk to the ambulance, so they brought in the gurney and loaded me up.
I pointed out stuff in the room to bring and begged them to make sure they locked the door before we left for the hospital. Even as they did their work, I was sure I wasn't going to make it.
To be continued.......