Archive for June 2013
After my 3rd PCP visit and kenalog shot, I got a call in to my pulmonologist’s office about an acute visit. Unfortunately my rock-star lung doc is on some much needed vacation and fortunately I was able to see one of the NPs this morning. They aren’t sure exactly what’s going on, but I’m at least being taken seriously. After I finish the ER Z-pack, I’m starting 10 days of Levaquin, and my prednisone taper is being extended and lowered by smaller increments. Next week they’re going to monitor my oxygen saturation at night to make sure the CPAP is working properly. I think I have enough prednisone now to start my own pharmacy. I’m just hoping I can continue to get at least a tiny amount of sleep.
On my outing today:
- Had to stand in line for check-in at lung doc while the receptionist gossiped on the phone and kept another old woman with oxygen tank waiting
- Another old woman, with oxygen tank, cut in line while I was waiting to check in
- Some maniac in a Cadillac slammed into a Suburban while crossing 2 lanes coming within feet of my car and hitting another car in the hospital parking lot
- I got lots of stares at Taco Bell while getting some tacos for lunch
- I had to stand in line at CVS for about 20 min
- A woman cut in front of me to buy M&Ms cause they’re more important than my prednisone
- Some other dude tried to cut in front of me just because
- I thought I wasn’t going to be able to walk out of CVS without sitting down for five minutes
I’ve had a rough morning and I still hate The Eagles. Four puffs of maxair, a double abuterol nebulizer and an hour of sitting have helped a lot. I think it’s time to start a movie.
Have you guys seen this yet?
So much of Arrested Development is based off a running gag, joke, comment, character, etc that occurred or was foreshadowed in a previous episode. Some are lucky enough to have all this memorized, but the rest of us need the encyclopedia version. If I ever pursued a PhD some day, I’d really love to analyze something like this.
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.