Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brush with Pneumonia




Thursday, April 9th is when the symptoms of my first major cold since 2001 began showing up. The usual suspects; chest congestion, clogged sinuses, coughing, runny nose, and body aches all over. Ironically just days before I was bragging I never get colds. Well, I can no longer make that brag. This time I got the worst cold I ever had in my life. In fact, it was so bad that, for the first time in my life, I went to the doctor.

After four days of trying to sleep the cold off and only seeing it get progressively worse, I called my doctor and made an emergency appointment. Of course the day I decided to go out it is cold, windy and rainy. Then I go to my doctor’s office, which is called The Clinic by the Sea and I find it has moved. Thus I had to wander around in the wind, rain and cold trying to figure out how to get in her new office. I find her office and await the good doctor.

She asked me my symptoms. Then, as if on cue, I cough up a hunk of green phlegm. She looks on with horror at the ugly mucus and says “You’re seriously ill. I commend you for walking into my office instead of waiting to go to the emergency room.” She examines me and suspects that I have pneumonia in my left lung. She writes out a prescription for Levaquin 500 mg tablets, which is an antibiotic for pneumonia. She then tells me to get a chest x-ray to determine if, in fact, I do have pneumonia.

I go back out in the wind, rain and cold. Thank goodness Bill was driving. I could not have driven myself. I was too lightheaded (more so than usual.) Bill takes me to the Beebe Medical Campus off of Rt. 24. They take several chest x-ray pictures. I then go to Wal-Mart to fill my prescription. The Wal-Mart in Rehoboth doesn’t have a pharmacy department. Only the super Wal-Marts have a pharmacy. I forgot I do live in Lower Slower. Back out in the wind, rain, and cold. I stumble over to Eckerd’s to get my prescription filled. The doctor had warned me that it would be expensive. For 10 tablets, the cost would be $154.75. Okay. That’s expensive. I normally get my prescriptions filled through the Wilmington Veterans Administration but there was no way I could wait three days while my prescription request traveled through that bureaucratic maze.

I called my doctor for a less expensive alternative. She said that the Beebe Medical campus had called and said that I didn’t have pneumonia……yet. Thus I wouldn’t need the Levaquin. The doctor instead prescribed Augmentin. For 10 tablets, the cost was $41.98. I purchased the Augmentin and was on my way.

When I got home I took the first of my two tablets a day. Before I went to bed last night I took my second tablet. Last night about 2:30 am I woke up in a cold sweat. My T-shirt was soaked. But, this was good. For the first time in a week I felt normal. I could breath. I had an appetite. My head didn’t feel like I was walking underwater. I was going to live another day to stir the Pot of Life. I changed T-shirts and went back to bed, thankful that I had my health back.

Since I’ve been sick I haven’t been on my computer. That’s how you know I am really sick when I’m not on my computer. This morning I got on for the first time in two days. I updated my Face book account, checked my e-mails, and checked my on line banking. Ironically, I noticed that the Census Bureau has made the deposit for my one week’s employment with them to my checking account. This made me think of what a mess I would have been in if I had continued to work for the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau told us that we were not to let bad weather deter us from working. What with the rain, wind and cold of the past two weeks and my march towards pneumonia I’m just thankful that this story appears to have a happy ending. My only concern now is that I think I’ve used up the last of my nine lives.

5 comments:

  1. Ron,

    Yes, very similar to my experience a few years back. I had that lingering "cold", but never one to let such things deter me, I was determined to go to work. I'd fight it off. I got up and didn't even make it further than the bathroom when I had to lay down on the floor. I managed to pull my self and prep, but when I got back in the bedroom and started to dress I again had to lay down on the floor. I decided then to listen to my wife and not go to work and I did go to the doctor. She (yes my doctor is a female as well) told me it was good I had come in, I was on the verge of pneumonia, prescribed somekind of pills and things improved pretty quick after that. You did the right thing.

    Lar

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  2. Lar,

    Same situation almost exactly. Like you I've always "worked through" my colds but this one really floored me. I didn't go on the floor but I kept going to bed. All day, all night. No appetite. Exhausted. I felt like I was slowly sinking. Very weak. My doctor told me the same thing as your doctor did. She was glad I "walked in" rather than wait until an ambulance had to take me to the emergencey room at the hospital because that is surely what would have happened if I had waited any longer. The anti-biotic she prescribed is working wonders. I still have remnants of the cold left (coughing, sniffles, nasal congestion) but I'm not wiped out like I was before. I can eat now and I don't feel like I'm slowly sinking to the bottom of a quicksand pool.

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  3. the Rehoboth WalMart DOES have a pharmacy. The store is being renovated, but it's still open.

    Glad you're feeling better.

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  4. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Hi Ron,

    I'm glad you went to the Dr. I've had pneumonia 3 times & it's no picnic. I hope you feel better with each passing day. Wasn't it good to see the sun this morning? I hear we are in for a great week end.
    Take care!

    Fran

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  5. Fran,

    You're right, this is no picnic. I think I've had this before but this was the worst. It's getting better but I still have a lot of after effects. Congestion, exhaustion, runny nose. Some week.

    Tomorrow I start a four day stretch of of 3 to 11 PM at the hotel. That should cure me if nothing else.

    Ron

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