Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Home, but undiagnosed.

Last night I was shipped home from UCMC and my little isolation room. Twice in the past nineteen days I made journeys from that small room, once for a CT Scan of my chest (I keep asking how many I've had this year, but no seems to want to tell me) and once for a Echocardiogram that I foretold as a waste of time and energy, but the doctorbs seemed to want to through with anyway. I managed to 'escape' from the hospital without the doctorbs taking a chunk from my lung, inserting a chest tube and generally setting my health on an edge, just for 25% chance of identifying the pneumonia I have (had?) in my lungs. That was their plan, and I'll be damned if I'm SIGNING UP for a chest tube. And it's lovely companion, the Pleurovac A-6000. Having a chest tube inserted in your side is akin to having a vaccuum tube (it's that hard) inserted on one end of your lung, on your side. My scar from the last one is still three inches long, dark purple and nasty looking. It's that kind of fun.
Apparently the shots they started handing me of neupagen did the trick for me. They raised my WBC to levels where I could start fighting off the crappy diseases by myself. Raised them from my entering numbers of 0.2 to yesterday's number of 4.7
4.7 is a normal person's count. Now, I'm nowhere near normal, in any arena of my life, but that neupagen gave me strength to begin to stop coughing all day, stop being tired all day every day and get going with the process of getting better.
Upon seeing my WBCs climb, the doctorbs started to wean me off all the IV antibiotics I was on and start me on oral antibiotics, because, let's remember here, the docs still hadn't figured out what I had. All they saw was improvement in my health and they did not know why so they wished to keep me on all the meds they could so as to release me under my terms. In the previous week, the doctorbs had wished to release me home with an IV, an IV pole, and somehow magically get back and forth from the clinic three times weekly. That was one option, which I turned down. Another of their fine ideas was to send me to a nursing home, which I also turned down. Then I demanded they just figure out what the hell is wrong with me, or at least give me something so that I may fight it off. I kept reitterating that I kicked Cancer's ass, and right now I needed just little help and I would kick this pneumonia's ass too. I fought these docs hard, I gotta tell you.
They never figured out what is wrong with me, other than having the common cold, but at least now, I am home, I can sleep for more that three hours uninterrupted, I can shave this beard off, I can shower!, I can cook and I can begin to get back to where I was before October brought me a cold.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody.
I've got lots to be thankful for, and I hope you are all very happy on Turkey day and gorge yourself on love and happiness.

PS: The color of Leukemia Awareness's Ribbon is Orange. There's a week in February dedicated to it, and September is the month. Just FYI...

Monday, November 15, 2010

I thought I'd be out of here by now...

I've been here now in "isolation" for 13 days, with nothing new to report. The doctors are unaware what type of Pneumonia I've got, they haven't yet stopped the fevers and I'm still very sick with what I and the doctors can tell is a cold. Okay, well, they did stop the fevers for like a week, but they decided to take me off a an antibiotic randomly and then my fevers came back. So much for Dr. guesswork. I'm also still battling a sore throat; it seems that the back of my throat is awfully sensitive and barks at me when I try to enjoy things that are acidic, like orange juice, tomato sauce, hot peppers, etc. Basicly, the spice I like to eat on a daily basis. So the blandness of the food isn't helping my already poor appetite. I'm going down white bread lane and I'm not happy about it at all.
It seems like when i get a fever in here, I get far less rest and sleep than one would expect a hospital to be allowing. First, there are blood cultures which must be taken while feverish. Then there is the X-ray dude who comes and gives me a chest x-ray, then there is, or sometimes not, the delivery of Tylenol to help me out. Mostly not, as that gets forgotten with all the tests on everybody's mind. Then there's the early morning blood draw, followed by vital sign taking (which also happens during fever), then in comes housecleaning, followed by a nurse changing my IV, and every single one of these people apologise for waking me up and tell me I should get some rest. Finally i order breakfast, and sleep until they bring it, then I go back to sleep for fifteen minutes, to be waken by a doctor or nurse coming to check on my lungs or whatever. Then i eat and go back to sleep.
Jeebus, I'm tired.
So I have been giving the doctors a ten ton of crap, demanding answers for their actions, asking the right questions and generally putting them on the spot and making them squirm. I ask them why they decided 'that' antibiotic was the one that was unimportant. i ask them when they will identify the disease in my lungs. I ask them when the fevers will stop. And i ask them to tell me honestly when I will be going home. So far, I've got no answers, just a lot of frustration. Poor little doctors don't realize how bad they are going to be reamed if they don't start producing results. I'm just not good with frustration.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

You Let them do What?

Today finds me back in the comfort suites of the UCMC, as my battle against the fever that would not die, the hacking cough of hell and the sore throat of a giarraffe was going poorly. So Poorly, that i developed pneumonia. Which could flat out kill me. So I got admitted Wednesday, saw a battery of doctors, talked to too many nurses and had a fitfull first day.
So there are many questions:
Did i get pneumonia because my cold had just gotten that bad?
was the pneumonia able to infiltrate because the cold had pretty much knocked me down?

Either way, my heart is no longer racing, my head a bit clearer and I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of Stosh, so let's look at the bright side of things yeah?
There's the wonderment of the first snow, hockey is in full season, and they've got to put up that huge damn tree in Daley Plaza. And Thanksgiving should be fun for everyone. I am still on the "No Children" ban, so my family is going to get a Skype visit, perhaps from a decent viewing point.

Remember way back in January when I had a Bronchioscope and, they, like, poked a hole in my lung?
Well, it turns out I let them give me another Bronchioscope this morning. Maybe it was 104.4 fever. Maybe is was my delusional state after so many nights of not sleeping. Maybe I just knew that it was my best chance to identify this pneumonia so I can get back to being Mark and stop trying to fight a fever on a daily basis.
all right, I'm tired, I feel like i can sleep and I am going to take advantage of that.