Some of you may have noticed my absence here, or my slightly darker and more sinister alter ego on facebook.
Today is the sixth calendar day of having a fever, and the fourth day of an almost debilitating painful cough. When I take a breath, it feels like I am breathing through cotton, and sounds like I just poured a bowl of Rice Krispies into my lungs.
It started Sunday night after I got home from work. Within an hour of arriving home, I started feeling unusually warm. Not sick, no breathing problems, just unusually warm. I took my temp, and discovered I had a fever. Not sure what was going on, I made the necessary arrangements for not going to work the next day (I did not want to bring some strange virus into the closed and shared (with 12 other people) setting that is my office) and decided to take it easy the rest of the night.
As the evening progressed, so did my fever. Alternately, as my fever progressed, my appetite and thirst went down. This continued for two and a half days. My fever went up and I would start shivering. I took Tylenol and covered with a blanket – and within an hour I the fever started going down and was soaking my clothes in sweat, but felt slightly better. My fever bounced between 100 and 103. Every four to six hours. Shivering, then Sweating, feeling like things were getting better, then things actually getting worse, one step forward, two steps back – over and over. Truly a vicious cycle. And, to top it off, I was beginning to wheeze and cough like a madman.
By Tuesday evening with no change for the better, no food, and no fluid, I had reached the point of dehydration. Things were bad Tuesday night. I felt worse than I have in a VERY long time. I was dealing with delirium (more than I do normally), and vomiting on top of everything else. Unbeknownst to me, the Mother of Five was planning on taking me into Urgent Care (like it or not). Not being a “fan” of doctors, doctor’s offices, needles, tubes, or medications in general – this was the LAST thing I wanted – so once I discovered her nefarious plans, I started forcing myself to take fluids.
By the time I finished one bottle of Gatorade, I was feeling “better” (dehydration had lost a bit of it’s ugly grip on me), and was actually feeling a little hungry too. I had an odd craving for a McDonalds single hamburger. So, I made a deal with the Mother of Five. If I could keep the fluids and a burger down, she would not take me to urgent care, and that if I was still not better in the morning – I would (voluntarily) make an appointment at the clinic. Being the smarter of the two of us, she made me a counter offer. Toast (instead of a burger) – and I had myself a deal. I asked her about a little peanut butter on the toast (for some protein) – she agreed, and we had ourselves a deal.
That was the BEST peanut butter toast I had eaten in a LONG time.
Wednesday morning came along and my fever was at the highest point it had been yet. The Mother of Five held up her end of the bargain, so now it was time for me to do the same. What I expected to be a thirty minute trip to the clinic turned into an hour and a half trip to the clinic, with a side visit to the lab (for a blood draw), and a couple of chest x-rays.
An hour and a half later, I had a diagnosis of “bacterial infection”. Prescription in hand – I headed out to get the meds that were going to take care of the problem. (Meds that also said “take with food” – and since I was going to take my first dose immediately, I needed to get some food in me – so I did end up with that McDonalds single hamburger after all!)
The rest of the day was spent shivering, sweating, coughing, hacking, watching TV, nodding off while watching TV on the couch, and finally going to bed.
On a side note – before I got sick, Wednesday was the day we planned for the whole family to spruce up our yard. Our busy summer has allowed the yard to get out of control – and we needed to take it back. I was in NO condition to help. My parents had heard this, and decided that since I was sick, they would come out and help the Mother of Five and the kids. They all did a CRAZY amount of work. #2 and #3 of 5 really stepped up to the plate and helped out! What they did for the yard was nothing less than a total transformation. The yard looks so nice now I want to grab a few photos, but I am still not up for that yet. I want to take a minute to thank my parents so much for what they did. They did not need to do it, and it was a lot of hard work. I will never be able to repay them for all they do for me. I hardly deserve them.
Thursday morning came and I was still feeling lousy, and the coughing was really starting to take it’s toll. Thursday morning was also the morning that my doctor called me back. She had a few follow up questions for me (Fever down? No. Coughing better? No.) She told me that when the radiologist took a look at the x-ray, that they had indeed found a blotch of Pneumonia in my lung.
The moment my doctor said “pneumonia” – I thought of Fez Marie Whatley (one of the two genius co-hosts of The Ron & Fez Show – my all time favorite comedic talk radio shows,). Fez once told the tale of how he was given a nickname he was teased with throughout his childhood years. Ever since he has told the story, his co-host Ron Bennington, and many of the regular callers have also joined in and often tease him about it. One fan even made a SONG about it that get’s frequent airtime.
“Fatty Pneumonia”. Fatty Pneumonia is the story of a chubby little boy (Fez), who was often sickly – often watching the other kids play from his window, but never being able to go out himself (and how the kids teased him about it.)
When the doctor said Pneumonia, despite how bad I was feeling, I still got a little chuckle out of it because of Ron & Fez! Thanks buddays!! It’s the little chuckles like that that help me get through crap like this, and why I like Ron & Fez so much!
The doctor had already called in an additional prescription, and written a “work note” for me to give my employer (if I needed it). I started that medication yesterday, and this morning (drum roll please…) for the first time in six days, my fever is UNDER 100! (99.5) I think something is actually starting to work!!
I am still having problems. My coughing is so bad I could swear that the back of my throat is ripped, shredded, torn, and bleeding - My breathing is still difficult, I wheeze, hack, and cough – and I am still living with this fever (even though it is finally under 100).
I am hopeful that today’s baby steps towards an improvement in my health will continue, and that I’ll be back to my normal self… Sometime before Christmas!