So what was a cold (sore throat & runny nose) early last week became pneumonia this past weekend and I wound up in the hospital – AGAIN! Friday night I went to bed with the basic sore throat and runny nose but I did get to sleep. I woke about 1:00 AM and was in some distress and covered in sweat. By 3:00 AM I was hacking up stuff and I had a fever of 101 degrees and started to have dry heaves. By 5:00 AM Meg and I decided to go to the ER since it was pretty obvious – at least to me – that my cold had moved into my chest and I had some major pain in my lungs around my ribs.
When you drive to the ER you have a vision that they can give you a pill or a shot and everything will be fixed and you can go home – reality is not like that. I got taken in fairly quickly but then had to wait while the Kidney Doctors and the respiratory Doctors do battle to decide who is to manage my care. Then the nurse comes back to take my blood to see if my kidney function has been damaged. Blood draws never goes well for me, but after three sticks they finally have their blood to test and an IV is in me but it is only an IV of Saline since they think I’m dehydrated. Eventually they decide to give me some morphine (yeah) for the pain and an IV of an antibiotic. They also bring in a portable X-ray machine and take pictures of my chest. I also had a breathing treatment but it still hurt a lot to breath deeply. The antibiotic and the morphine start to have some impact and the pain subsides a little bit. After what seemed like waiting forever I was taken for an ultrasound of my kidney. Upon returning to the ER I was told that I did have pneumonia but that the docs were still working out who would supervise my care. I had another breathing treatment that seemed to work better this time as my pain had subsided (thank you morphine!). It was finally decided that the Kidney Transplant Team would take charge of my case and I was admitted to the Kidney Transplant ward on 9 West.
I wound up with a very nice hospital room, complete with a couch, easy chair and a recliner. I think it was a frequent user club type of thing, although the view left something to be desired. I spent the rest of that day and the next day doing breathing treatments, taking IV antibiotics and resting. The irony of the weekend was that while in my hospital room in the Kidney Transplant Ward, Meg and I watched the movie “Steel Magnolias.” Monday afternoon I was released and while I still have pneumonia, it is now going down and I have prescriptions for two antibiotics to get rid of it. I have a follow up with the Transplant Team on Thursday but now, I am at home resting and hope to be back to normal by the end of next week.