PDR Update: I Had Still Been Ill

When last I PDR Updated, I thought I had gotten better and just had a minor lingering cough. As suggested by the fact I am doing another post about it, I was not back to full health.

Phase Four: March 22 to April 3

This is the period in which I thought I was on the mend. I was working and, though I was lethargic, was mostly living as normal. The only suspicion I had of the cough that wouldn’t go away was that, at least once a day, I would go into a serious coughing fit wherein my body would try for about ten minutes at a time to get something to come up, but nothing ever would. It was annoying, and even occasionally painful, but I just assumed it was a quirk of the cough that would go away with the rest of it.

The Weekend O’ Healing

On Monday and Tuesday the third and fourth of April, I did not work for two nights. I decided this was the weekend I was going to get rid of the cough. I bought various things from the pharmacy that either looked like they might help (such as this vaporizer thing that is supposed to throw out healthy fumes), or which I had been recommended by people (Epsom salts, I was told, might make a bath more healthy). And I continued all the healthy stuff I had been trying for weeks (as an example, Google had told me that pineapple juice was good for breaking up phlegm, so I had drunk tons of the stuff. Those examples are the tip of the iceberg, but I did all that and also slept as much as possible. I figured that, if all of that couldn’t get rid of the cough, nothing could.

Wednesday April 5

I worked again this night. The cough was still there.

Thursday April 6

I finally caved in to the advice of family and friends that I should go into a clinic and get the cough looked at. I was certain I would be told that it was just a normal cough and not to worry about it and it would be a waste of everyone’s time. Instead, about five minutes after I got there, I was on my way to get x-rays at the hospital. About five minutes after I got the results of the x-rays, I was being booked for surgery.

Phase Five: The Hospital

I was brought to a room in the thoracic section of the hospital. Time was meaningless for me there, so I can no longer go chronologically with my notes. The medical situation first: I apparently had a lung that was sealed off, full of fluid, and collapsed. Because I looked healthy and was walking under my own power and stuff, the doctor figured it probably wasn’t infected. That is, until we got a tube in my back and began draining it and found out that it was VERY infected. I believe that I was told that if they knew how infected it was, I would not have been given the slow draining tube surgery, but would have been brought in for a proper cut-me-open surgery. But we were draining, and the fluid was coming out of me, slowly. They would, once a day, put a chemical into the tube to break up the gunk sealing the lung, and the rest of the time, the tube was used to drain whatever comes out. That was my life for that time. The tube in my back did, of course, make it hard to find a sitting/sleeping position that wasn’t incredibly awkward. I went for x-rays and ct scans multiple times, the latter including radioactive dye being put in my blood. I got a “PICC Line” stuck in my arm, which is another tube (I am an expert at getting tubes in me by this point) that goes in my arm straight to my heart. I am certain I have forgotten things about my stay, but… I kind of want to.

Mentally, the stay was worse. As I said, I felt mostly fine. I certainly wasn’t in a state of mind where I thought I needed to be stuck there, so the fact that I actually needed to be stuck there was pretty galling. I got pretty restless in there.

Thursday April 13

This was the day I got out of the hospital! And then had a nap! And then went back to the hospital!

In the morning, the tube in my back was removed and I actually got freed from the hospital not much later. It was pretty great. Because my infection is so bad, I am going to, for six-weeks, be visited daily by nurses who will administer an antibiotic through my PICC Line. I basically slept until it was time for that only to be told by the nurse who arrived that my PICC Line was clogged and I had to go to the ER to get it unclogged. That meant I spent six hours of my “first night out of the hospital” back in the hospital. And given that the PICC Line is already giving problems, I am imagining the worst. I don’t even know what kind of surgery I’ll require if the PICC Line clog turns out to be a daily thing. It’s going to be annoying to find out…

Update From Later That Night

Friday April 14

Well, I made it through today’s visit with the nurse who uses my PICC Line without finding out that it had re-clogged. I made it through today. That gives me a little more confidence, if a temporary kind of confidence.

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