Monday, November 26, 2012


So, after taking a 5 day round of Zpac as well as the cough/cold med, I was no longer throwing up and no fever... which may have been because I was alternating Tylenol and Motrin.  However, it was NOT masking the pain in my right side!
I was in such pain!  I was taking hot steam baths daily... even getting up in the middle of the night to soak... to help relieve the pain.  The pain wasn't just in one spot... it was in my ribs... from top to bottom with the bottom hurting more when I'd cough or anything like that.  I was putting Icy-Hot stuff on it and it reacted and got really hot and helped somewhat.
We really had no idea what was going on.  Jeremy thought I may have pulled a muscle in my chest from coughing or perhaps even fractured a rib.  I had no idea.  I couldn't bend over; pain.  Laying down wasn't helping.  No position was without pain.  And shortness of breath.

On Nov. 21st, Jeremy came home from work bc he was worried about me and we went to Urgent Care again.  This time, the wait wasn't so long.  I cried on the way there... I guess I was afraid of what I'd hear.  You have to understand, I don't get this kind of sick.  My kind of sickness is colds, allergies, and a handful of flu or flu-like symptoms; Mostly colds and sore throats.

I cried in the waiting room... and again, for those that don't know me, I'm not one of those girly girls that cry. I cry more now since having children... but, still not a crier... I guess we waited for an hour to be called in.

The Dr. recognized me (I had been there Nov. 9th) and I told him what was going on.  I told him of the pain and he tried pinpointing it but, there's multiple areas where it hurts; I guess the worse spot was on my lower ribs.  He got a nurse to come in and give me a shot in my upper butt for pain.  This time he sent me to get a X-ray.  The lady who took them (2 of them, front and side) took the slide out, put it in this machine which began to show it on a large screen.  It was reading the x-ray from right to left.  She asked me if I had taken a deep breath and held it.  I told her I did as much as I could... and she's thinking we may have to take another one bc I didn't inhale.  But, as it goes to my left side, you can see black space; which meant there was air there.  She says that it looks like I did inhale now and perhaps I have pneumonia.  She calls the Dr. in and he starts asking her if it looks like I have nemo or something like that.. she nods... so, he tells me that I may have this nemocromosis or however its said/spelled.  So, of course, I have NO idea what he's talking about and he tells me that means a collapsed lung!!!  I immediately start crying... which is awful because of the excruciating pain on my right side.  So, we walks me back to the little exam room Jeremy's waiting for me in and tells him.  He says for us to wait a minute while he consults someone else.  Well, not much time passes before he opens the door and tells Jeremy to bring me immediately to the emergency room at Opelousas General!!!  I cry again.  He tells Jeremy that he's calling ahead and they'll take us once we get there.

It's not a long drive, so, we're there in a few minutes.  And yes, I was taken in within a couple of minutes to pre-admit.  The lady there asks me a few questions, takes blood pressure and temperature and gets a wheelchair for me to get wheeled into an exam room (#5).

A nurse, Sara, comes in and starts getting my blood pressure, oxygen levels, and temperature.  Of course, questions are asked.  Doctor Patrick Gillespie comes in and asks questions as well.  While I'm talking to him, Sara is putting a hemp-lock on me.  She draws blood and forgets to close it off and blood's pouring out of my left arm... LOL  I had no idea until Jeremy said something.  It was kind of funny.  Big area of blood on the gurney and drops of my blood on the floor.  She closes it off, rushes to the sink to clean herself up and clean my arm up.  She didn't even have gloves on... good thing I'm clean, huh?

So, they get my blood and urine as well as vitals.  Order another set of x-rays because they said their machine is much better than Urgent Care because it needs to be... since they're a hospital and all.  I have no problem with that.  So, I walk to the x-ray area with 2 nurses and I'm feeling better, not so much pain because of that shot I was given at Urgent Care.  I think I'm able to take a deeper breath.  They take the 2 x-rays and walk me back to my room.

While waiting for them to examine the x-rays, they're telling us that I'm going to have to get admitted!  And get a tube stuck in my back to drain the fluids and hope my lung expands again!  Again, more crying... this is the day before Thanksgiving!!!  Jeremy had already planned on cooking!  Cherie was coming up; her youngest two girls (8 & 10) were already at our house.  Not to mention the fact that I have no insurance.  The ER will cost us enough... imagine a few days' stay at the hospital!!!  I couldn't stop crying.

Meanwhile, I'm given a breathing treatment.  Afterwards, Sara comes back and opens the hemp-lock and gives me a steroid shot, antibiotic shot, and hooks me up to an antibiotic drip that lasts an 1½ hours!  She said it has to go slow because of how potent it is.

I'm actually feeling much better by then... my pain has decreased so much!

We're in the ER for like 6 hrs!  In that time, both of our phones have died.  Jeremy had been texting my family about what was going on with me... they were all on pins & needles.  Some, who had no plans to come up, would have changed their plans to be with me if I required hospital stay.

Thankfully, after the drip was over, the Dr. comes in and says that their x-ray was much better and it looks like pneumonia.  WHEW!!!  NOT a collapsed lung!  OMG, I was so relieved!  He said there's fluid around my lung and that's causing the pain and shortness of breath because my lung can't expand.  I think he said its consolidated fluid... and that he's going to prescribe some stuff to help me manage it at HOME!!! Yay!!!

So, I get to go home!!!  Hip hip hooray!!!

From the ER, we drive to Wal-Mart.  I stay in the van while he puts in my prescriptions.  They say it'll be about half an hour... which isn't bad at all!  The 'scripts say "no substitutions".  Then we drive home; finally!  Oh, yeah, Calista was at home with not only Wyatt & Ursula, but, also Sophia and Olivia as well as our neighbor's son, Kameron (he's a year younger than Calista).  We didn't think we'd be gone for so long... But,  Jeremy texted our neighbor and told him what was up and if he could go and check in on them until we got home.  My kids are told to stay in the house and no cooking if they're left with Calista (who's almost 14 yrs old).  They listen.  They played MineCraft the whole time we were gone! LOL

We get home, everyone's fine :)  Happy to see us... wondering why we took so long!

My meds:  Levaquin (levofloxacin) - Oral 500 mg tablet  1 a day 10 tablets ($100!!!)
                 theophylline anhydrous (Theo-24) - oral 300 mg capsule, extended release 24hr  1/day for 28 days. ($75!!!)
                 Mucinex (guaifenesin) - oral 600 mg tablet extended release  1 tablet every 12 hrs for 30 days
                 Albuterol Sulfate - via nebulizer every 4 hrs   7 boxes!  That's 525 little vials!
                 Motrin as needed (regular otc) 200 mg

So, as of today, everything seems to be going well!  My pain levels went from 10 (max) to about a 2!  I need to stay inside.  Yes, I tested it out and ended up coughing 20 minutes (which still hurts) both times! :-(  I can't do much activity at all or I end up being short breathed.  It really sucks because I have shopping to do for both Christmas and two of my kids!!!  I guess it'll be online shopping for all!  Oh, while I sit here typing, I've got a heating pad on my back... helps a good bit.

Follow up... Dr. would like me to do a check-up after the antibiotics run out... for another x-ray to see if I'm good.  I need to find a doctor... ha ha  I'm trying to get in with the Port Barre Family Practice place since its so close and I've already brought Wyatt & Calista there before.  Figured it would be good for us, as a family, to go to the same place, right?

Oh, and what also sucks?  Is that I finally was able to go red (been wanting to since the summer) and bought some cool, black leather riding boots and haven't been able to really enjoy neither!!!  argh! lol

Being sick isn't fun.  Life lesson though.

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