Sunday, January 28, 2018

Going From the Flu to Pleurisy

Well, It's been over 2 months since I last wrote. To be honest I've been a bit depressed and it's been hard to even think of writing. However, I really should do an update over the last 8 weeks. 

Back in late September I decided to try to join the workforce again. I did billing for a repair company. It started out nice enough but then this crippling depression set in. I began to get ill very easily (more on that in a bit). I started having to work nights and weekends. I was really missing out on the home front, I got to see my kids for maybe 90 minutes per day. I made the call that being at work just isn't for me and quit about 10 days ago. I might try again as the babies get older. Who knows?

In the middle of December I came down with a bad case of the flu. That turned into laryngitis, quickly followed by bronchitis. All of which made me unable to speak for over a week. Things took a turn for the worse and I developed pneumonia. That's when the weird stuff started. 

I woke up one morning unable to breath and suffering horrible chest pains. Seriously, every time I exhaled I felt like I was being stabbed between each rib bone. I was in tears. Literally, I was holding my breath knowing the unbearable pain would soon hit once I breathed out. I was so weak that sitting up was a chore. I figured the pneumonia had spread and should get it checked out ASAP. 

I was shocked when the ER staff diagnosed me with pleurisy in addition to the pneumonia. Pleurisy means the tissue lining my lungs was inflamed. I also learned that your lungs are packed with nerve endings, causing this to be almost unbearable. The doctors gave me some strong pain killers, but it didn't even touch the pain. They ran some tests, told me to rest for a few weeks, gave an RX, then sent me home.

Imagine my surprise the next morning when the ER called back and said I needed to return due to some of my test results. There was concern that the inflammation had begun to due harm to my heart. The EKG and a blood test showed it was suffering from stress. Further testing showed I might have a blood clot in my lung. After a series of expensive tests CT scans, MRI, blood work and echo cardiograms, the blood clot was ruled out. No surprises from my heart either, luckily it's just a tad stressed out. 

I had a follow up with my Primary Care doctor the next day. He took one glance at me, stating "You look extremely ill. I'd send you to the ER, but you just came back from there!"  He gave me stronger antibiotics and medications to reduce the inflammation of the lining surrounding my lungs. I just took my last dose and I'm able to breath without the horrendous amount of pain I was in just 10 days ago. (Yeah, unfortunately this stuff can stick around for a few weeks).  

I also wanted to thank members of my church. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights they brought homemade dinners for the kids and me. Char had to work those nights and I couldn't even make those cheap raman noodles without suffering greatly. That helped me out so much.