So I had been slightly over-impressed with myself for making it through this March without any major pulmonary incident. The Ides of March slipped past with no hemoptysis, and I seemed to be well on my way into the summer of “the worst allergy season ever” without many of the symptoms I keep reading about on Facebook. I saw my pulmonologist at the beginning of May and things seemed ok. My lung function was slightly down from last time, but I seemed to be holding my own…and then it started. The flare up that that required me to inhale 61 nebulizer treatments last month, and take two unsuccessful rounds of prednisone.
I think Rick James says it best – Prednisone is a hell of a drug.
My first course of steroids was five days at 50mg. That kind of quick punch can usually get me back on track if I’m not too bad. I started feeling better, but went downhill immediately after. Round two started as a 15 day taper which got me feeling better on day two only to start getting worse on day three. Day four ended with a coughing fit on the floor after unsuccessfully attempting to get up off the couch and walk 20 feet after Game of Thrones.
My ever-awesome wife got me over to the preferred hospital in town post haste. They saw me coming and greeted me with a wheelchair at the check-in counter to immediately get an IV started for salumedrol. I have to laugh sometimes when I hear people complaining about emergency room visits and waiting hours for treatment. Whenever I show up, I get the platinum club treatment. Liz says they had people hovering over me like the time I had pneumonia, the big difference being my oxygen saturation stabilized without too much effort. I was able to leave after not too many hours, avoided a hospital stay and celebrated with Taco Bell. My prednisone taper was replaced with a much stronger dose and started some anti-biotics.
Yesterday I started feeling much worse again after all those IV steroids wore off, but was able to keep things under control with the nebulizer. This morning I followed up with my PCP and the nurse told me I look like shit. That was followed with, “will you slide your shorts down please,” and a shot of Kenalog into my posterior. That empowered me to get a lot of work done at home today, but I’m sure I still come off as a crazy person who hasn’t slept for days.
My pulmonologist is out of town, but I have an appointment with his NP later this week. A buddy of mine asked if I’ve ever thought about getting totally checked out at one of the big pulmonology centers in the country and that’s actually not a bad idea. Fortunately I really like my lung doc here, he was totally in my corner before we moved and still is now that we’ve moved back. It often seems like there’s still something not yet diagnosed with all the problems I have. It’s been a couple years since I really pushed for some answers, I think there are still more out there.