I posted a short blurb with a link to my You Care funding goal shortly after getting home from the hospital, and have spent approximately 50% of my time since then asleep. Possibly more.
Sleeping in a hospital bed is all but impossible with people coming to poke, prod, and get vitals every 1-2 hours, and I found after the first night that sleeping between meals and meds was far more effective. Nursing staff were impressed at my ability to sleep in that bed at all, and the day staff mostly let me be, checking on me when I had meals or when they needed vitals (which by day 2 they could just about do in my sleep).
When I got home, Osaka and I determined that it would be SAFER for me to sleep on the sofa where she could monitor my breathing and wake me every 4 hours to take my meds. This worked well for me the first day, but by the second day we were both worn out with not enough sleep and general feelings of crappiness.
I keep trying to remember the exact symptoms that are auto GO DIRECTLY TO HOSPITAL, DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. Persistent fever up to 102F was one, in combination with swelling of the legs, further lung pain, or the unusual symptoms that prompted me to go to the ER in the first place (hurting EVERYWHERE).
I'm trying to be careful, to make sure to rest, to breathe slowly and carefully, and to not push myself too far. Mostly I feel very physically weak. My arms feel bruised, and I'm pretty sure I've got a scar from the IV (amazing technology, hurts like hell) plastic infuser thing that they left in for 2 days. I kept bumping it on things or catching it on the bed, and having to try hard not to move that arm, which happened to be my dominant arm.
In less whiny and more holy hell what is this even news, I was reviewing my medical records online because technology is amazing, and I was trying to find out the final bill for my hospital stay. I estimated a goal of maybe half of what one of the hospital brochures gave me for an average hospital stay of 3 days for someone uninsured, because you can always raise the goal later and I didn't want to ask for more than I needed.
The amazing and terrifying bit, is that I was reviewing the specifics of what medications I was on, the test results, and severity of pneumonia and I was gobsmacked. In tiny notation as though this were normal and fine, the Dr spelled out that I had the infection in the upper lobes on both lungs and going all the way down to the bottom lobe on one lung, though most severe at the tops.
The culprit? Acid reflux. I aspirate it in my sleep, leading to severe pneumonia. Unfortunately I can't take anything for acid reflux until I finish medication and treatment for pneumonia because the antibiotics I need (not a simple zpac) don't play well with acid reflux medications or treatments.
This comes as a big surprise to me. There is a family history of severe acid reflux (looking at you Moose) but I had no idea that breathing tiny amounts of it in my sleep could try to kill me. Nor did I realize I was breathing it.
The long and short of it, is that whether I chose to go to the ER voluntarily or not, I was about a day out from being hospitalized or worse.
Over the course of the two days in the hospital I went through at least 10 separate bags of IV antibiotics. I think more than that but they mostly tried to do them while I was awake. Unfortunately I felt so crappy that I couldn't think very clearly and I couldn't keep track. I felt worse at discharge than I did at admission.
Honestly I still feel really crappy. My lungs still hurt badly, I'm physically very weak now, and I can't walk down the hall without getting winded or dizzy. It is within the realm of possibility that I could be re-hospitalized after my followup visit on Wednesday.
I want to thank everyone who has helped with the You Care fundraising, whether by signal boosting or donating. Every little bit helps, and I am extremely grateful.
When I receive my final bill, I will adjust the numbers on You Care for accuracy, but in the meantime my goal should help defray further costs of the followup visits where I need to pay up front, and for that I am very thankful.