Sidelined by Priorities

Once in awhile it’s nice to take a step back and relax. When you don’t do that for yourself, you body will take over and force it upon you. Trust me, it’s true. I’m living that now. Not that I was so busy, stressed or actually felt the need to relax, my body did.

Last October, I had a cold that lingered on through our cruise vacation. I went to the Doctor when we got back from that trip. She said I had ‘pre-pneumonia’ and prescribed antibiotics and inhaler to help with wheezing. After awhile, I did feel better, but that cough just lingered. The Dr. didn’t seem concerned. I tried various over the counter remedies. I told the Dr that Naproxen (anti-inflammatory) seemed to work the best to lessen my coughing. Still complaining of this cough, the Dr. was moving on to allergies and we were trying different medicines. After the last 2 tried, I called the office, saying I was wheezing a lot again and was told I’d get a call back. I did not.

That evening as we were going out to dinner, I could not catch my breath when going out to the car. We stopped at Urgent Care – they took x-rays! I had full blown pneumonia! They gave antibiotics & steroids.  I felt better the next day – but after doing the 5 days dosage – went right back to square 1. Back to urgent care. They repeated the steroids and said if I had another issue of not catching my breath, I needed to go straight to the hospital. That was on a Monday afternoon. Tuesday night I didn’t sleep much at all and by Wednesday morning, had my husband drive me to the hospital emergency dept.

Well, a flurry of activity ensued! I was rushed into a room,  hooked up to monitors, being poked and prodded. Mask over my face…questions flying at me. They couldn’t understand my answers through the mask, wouldn’t let me take it off and also wouldn’t let my husband answer for me. This was a very scary part for me.  I spent part of the morning in the Emergency Dept and then was moved to a room in the ICU department! Apparently my oxygen levels were way too low. I spent 5 days in the Intensive Care Unit before getting moved ‘upstairs’. My diagnoses was Pneumonia, flu & stress – related heart failure.  I was ‘upstairs’ for 3 days, then back for an overnight in the ICU, due to my numbers being off. Then back up stairs for the rest of my stay.

Meanwhile, many different tests were being run on me. Cardiology explained that my heart was working at 20%, and was due to the other congestion issues in my chest. My heart did a full recovery once other issues taken care of, as was the goal.  They did a CT Scan with dye that showed a mass connected to my windpipe. There was also a small mass on a lymph node under my arm, that was biopsied. Turns out it is cancer. So, that brought a whole new batch of tests. The initial plan is 6 wks of radiation treatments. I will find out more after going to the cancer center next week.

So, after 2 full weeks I am finally home from the hospital. I have since changed primary care Dr. and went back to my previous Dr from many years ago. I am on Oxygen at home. I have a visiting home nurse twice a week and also Physical Therapist twice a week and a bunch of appointments lined up.  We will take things one day at a time and go from there.

My husband and I wonder,  ‘How did this become our life?’ Luckily, he can work his job from home. Although I’m sure I would be fine at home alone, it IS nice that he is here.  I will update as things progress.

Thanks for reading!

~~~~~~~~~~~Pamela~~~~~~~~~~~

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