Thursday, March 24, 2011

Atypical Acute Interstitial Pneumonia

So on March 9, after weeks of feeling like crap, a few months of not feeling completely well, I was diagnosed with Bilateral Pneumonia/Double Pneumonia. I was admitted to the hospital and a few days later after many bags of IV antibiotics, when my chest x-rays actually looked WORSE and my doctor flipped out a little bit and ordered many, many more tests and a ct scan ... they diagnosed me with Atypical Acute Interstitial Pneumonia.

Not your every day, typical case of pneumonia. Mine didn't responde well to antibiotics. My chest x-rays not only didn't improve, but got worse before they got better. They looked for masses in my lungs, made me spit into a cup so they could test it, took about 7 gallons of blood, took urine samples, gave me enough breathing treatments to kill a horse... and finally I got a bit better.

Then they sent in the Pulmonary Specialist to consult with me, as well as an Infectious Diseases Specialist. (Boy wasn't I feeling special at that point.) The Pulmonary Specialist told me that I had some of the most impressive chest x-rays that he'd ever seen. But not in a good way. Awesome!

To make a long story short, I was hospitalized for 9 days, on oxygen the entire time, fighting a nasty fever for about the first half and completely and utterly unable to breathe normally for the first 6 days or so. I learned after the fact that I was in fact considered critical, and a step away from being put in the ICU and on life support. Double awesome. I had no idea I was that sick.

I had been sick in January. Nolan had brought home a nasty flu bug from school, and I caught it from him. It turned into pneumonia, and I missed a week of work... hadn't been that sick in YEARS. From then until March 3rd or so, I just never felt completely well. I still felt run down and sick and just not close to 100%. Around March 3rd I started feeling sick again, stayed home all weekend including Friday and Monday from work. I made it into work on Tuesday the 8th... though I am kind of amazed that I did. I remember it taking everything I had to just walk from my desk to the bathroom. I took an hour long nap on my lunch break and when I had to go downstairs to talk to someone from HR about applying for shared leave (as I had maxed out my leave at that point), I thought I was going to pass out. I felt like I wasn't getting any oxygen to my muscles. (I wasn't.)

My coworker gave me a ride home, which is damn lucky... I usually walk the 1/2 mile to the train station, but I kept thinking "how the hell am I going to make it?" I truly didn't know, so when she offered, I jumped at the opportunity.

The next day I stayed home and agreed to let my mom take me to the doctor. I was running a 103+ fever, and come to find out my oxygen was at only 82%. We went to the doctor and he immediately sent me to the hospital.

It was really really hard to be there for 9 days... and there were a few days where I just sat and cried after Aaron and the boys would leave. Aaron was a rock star, he came every single day with the boys so I could see them. But at the same time, it was heartbreaking... Sethy would tell me "you come home mom, I take care of you." and Nolan would melt down everytime they would leave ... he took my being in the hosptial the hardest. He also had the most changed in his schedule. He stayed with my parents while I was in the hospital so he could be taken to school in the morning as usual by Sethy's godmother, and our family friend Karen. He would cry and tell me he just wanted me to come home. That was really, really, REALLY hard.

Towards the end of the stay, it was kind of strange... I felt so much better, but my vitals still showed my oxygen too low... moving around much really exhausted me and made it hard to breathe, but other than that I felt normal. It was so strange to have the nurses and staff come in periodically and see if I needed anything... after about 10am my courses of antibiotics would be finished and I would just be hanging out. Watching horrible tv and playing zuma blitz on facebook.

So strange.

I was released on St. Patricks Day and went to stay at my mom and dad's. I ended up staying there for a week, and let me tell you, if you are sick and need a place to stay, I recommend it. My mom took the week off, and wouldn't let me do anything. It was great. I was able to sleep and recuperate at a nice slow pace.

So that brings me up to today, and tommorrow I am going home! As much as I've enjoyed being at my mom's, I am so excited to get back to my place, my cats, and my life. I am still out of work for another week, but I'm going home and I can't wait!

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