Good day folks, at best these bi-weekly posting are becoming hap hazard and that isn’t working for me. So I will be going back to writing them once a week. If nothing else I will use this space to just piss and moan. Well lots have changed and nothing has changed. Today I feel like a 2, not even a strong 2 just a weak 2. During my last report I was in the hospital, again suffering with pneumonia and all that comes with a hospital stay. I gave a reading that I felt like a 2. Though on a more pragmatic note, the bouts of pneumonia are coming much more often.
I was released from the hospital on Monday May 20th at 5pm (what a PIA time) just before shift change, thank god they got the paper work wrapped up in time for me to beat the change in shift. It’s apparent that the pneumonia had passed the critical stage and that I was on a slow mend process. That means 3 hours a day on IV durgs and another hour (3 times a day) nebulizing additional antibiotics. This process will continue at the minimum for 10 additional days. Frankly I am at the point where they can give me this IV crap until the cruise if that is what it takes for me to have a decent time on the cruise. Otherwise no real changes in my health.
Yes SOB owns the roost, and it takes no output of energy at all to make me gasp. Siting and typing, quietly chatting, watching TV are normal activities and very rarely do I gasp at all. But walk me into the kitchen for a snack, or over to the bathroom and damn if I am not fighting SOB. My lack of breath is scary for those around me, and embarrassing to me personality. My vitals are fine, bp 108/63, resp 94, O2 93, good numbers all, but the heart isn’t the problem (at least not yet), it really is these frigging lungs. Between now and July I will be doing all I can to get back to fighting strength, so I can enjoy the cruise.
So now on to the whining. (LOL really I promise I hadn’t been whining so far) I am not a doctor I don’t play a doctor on TV and I sure as hell don’t know how to fix what ails me. And I know I have served this whine before. BCBS is my provider, and thank God for the level of care I get, I can’t even begin to imagine the level of health care folks not as fortunate as I get. My heart goes out to them constantly.
Over the past 3 years I have seen the progression. Four plus years ago I was being hospitalized with pneumonia about once every 12 or 13 months. Hospital stays were generally 5 to 7 days and there was no at home follow on treatments. Two year ago I was being hospitalized every 7 or 8 months for 6 – 9 days, over the last 18 month I am now being hospitalized every 6 months (or less) and now only 90 days between hospitalizations. All of these incidents have been pneumonia based, and the last five events have involved extensive post hospitalization treatment. Folks it doesn’t take a genius, COPD is winning.
This past visit, I was in the hospital for 8 days, I wasn’t told I had to leave, I didn’t feel they were actively pushing me in that direction, because they were not. My doctor would have been content to allow me to stay there for a much longer period I am sure (had I said I am not ready), and that scares me. He said he would release me to home health when I told him I was ready. Folks I am a stubborn guy, I don’t want to be in the hospital, I don’t want to be sick. I am going to push for release as early as I can, but maybe because I am not a doctor, maybe because I don’t know how to fool around with the medicines I take, I’m not the right person to ask these questions. Some decisions should not be made by the patient, even an impatience patient, and departure from the hospital should be one of them. Doctors go to school for a million years, their education costs a zillion dollars, and by the time they are 40 they should know their shit. By the time they are 50 you would think they would be experts. One of the leading questions from their mouths shouldn’t be “so do you think you’re ready to go home?” They really need to come to you and say, you can go home under these circumstances, or you can go home once your body reaches these thresholds, or you can go home in a box. But it really shouldn’t be a debate (or not much of one), I will always opt to go home as early as possible, even knowing that the hospital might be a better place to recover. I am a guy, I am stupid, and I am proud. I want my own bathroom and TV. I will go on to say that I believe the vast majority of folks would opt to go home, knowing damn well they really belong right there in the hospital bed.
Having said that, I guess it does help the doctors prevent laws suits, because they can now say, well he wanted to go home. So it’s not really my fault he should have stayed a few more days blah blah blah (lawyer talk). As I become sicker with COPD, as these episodes of pneumonia return more often, my awareness is better than ever, and I am quicker and better able to define when a trip to the hospital is necessary. But it doesn’t qualify me to make these decisions. If you were hoping I was going to throw a solution in there with my whining, sorry.
Well folks I hope you have a pleasant day, thank you for your continued good thoughts and kind words of encouragement. As always your comments welcomed are encouraged – take care, Bill