I was exposed to pneumonia three times in the past week.
I had no idea I was being exposed.
The people had no idea they were exposing me.
Life just happens that way sometimes.
They all called to let me know of their diagnosis.
I’ve been on watch for lung problems since yesterday when the third person told me her son, that we thought it was safe for me to be around with my mask and gloves because he was taking antibiotics, had a pneumonia resistant to the antibiotics.
I knew what was coming. I started chugging water and cranberry juice. I’ve been adhering perfectly to my new diet.
However, my immune system didn’t get the message that I was trying to boost its defenses to prevent my own pneumonia.
My body also certainly didn’t get the memo that it should not start to act up by spiking a fever at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon when I have to pick up X and all the clinics are dangerously close to closing.
Bad timing all around.
I checked myself out, crossing my fingers that I was not getting sick. I was just anxious. I’d psyched myself up due to the exposure.
No, wrong again. My fever was 100.5 and creeping, my chest was heavy and had started hurting early this morning. I felt the flu like symptoms taking over, the aches, pain, and malaise. I just hurt. I hurt everywhere. I wanted to cry.
I always cry when I come down with upper respiratory infections. I have since first grade. I don’t know why. I could be watching an I-phone commercial and find a reason to sob about it.
I called my NP at DF, she told me to get a chest x-ray.
No problem, fine, very easy, except it was now 2:45 on a Friday.
I called Dartmouth. No room in the inn. They had too many sick people and not enough staff to take me in. I asked for four different people. I asked for anyone that was capable of writing the orders I needed. No go.
Then I did start to wimper.
It’s too hard being sick and too hard trying to take care of a child and too hard to get care all at the same time. I was not in a dire emergency. I was not having a terrible acute attack. I wasn’t an emergency.
I was just anticipating problems. You get pneumonia enough, you know when it is coming on. Try telling this to people who do evidence based practice.
Some of my providers have known me long enough to take into consideration the awareness I have of my body. Some haven’t yet.
I really wish I wouldn’t give them anymore reasons to have to trust my instincts.
I called my PCP’s office, and the girls hustled me in, as his last patient.
YAYAYAYAYAY! Way to come through Claremont. He ordered me my tests, which I could go take at any point during the weekend. He told me who was on call, and it’s a doctor who is familiar with me.
Safe. I’m safe. I’ve got the doc’s looking out. So I decided if Dartmouth wasn’t worried, and I could go get my tests anytime over the weekend, I would go home and sleep like I wanted.
Except, I got home and my fever spiked. I started getting chills. I started throwing up. All hell was trying to break loose on my body, exactly what I was trying to prevent.
I called Ms. Fabulous DF NP back and she sent in an order for antibiotics, and as fate would have it, Brynn called while I was hiding under the covers trying to feel better.
I told her the situation and like the good friend she is she ran to get the antibiotics.
Everybody, I nominate Brynn as Super Friend of the week for getting my meds to me. I also would nominate some super powered providers. You’re rock stars for trusting my instincts or “sickstincts.”
She told me Nicole and she had decided that it was okay if I was too sick to go to broom hockey tomorrow, despite what she had previously told me on the phone. She also got me a big tall glass of water to gulp down.
I’m now still throwing up, and I’m in the process of knocking myself out to sleep in hopes I’ll feel better in the morning.
Cross your fingers and hope I’m up to leaving my house, at least for a little while, to go to winter carnival with my friends.
If this isn’t possible, please pray that I can at least sit up and hold a conversation with my girlfriends traveling up from NYC (UPTOWN!).
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."