Monday, January 21, 2008

erk...respiratory infection

Well, it's nobody's fault but mine.

I was so intent on trimming the ficus last week, I sort of...forgot, to put on a face mask.

Lots of particulates in there. Sawdust, the dead leaves and stuff I brushed off the ficus branches, the old plant pots behind them - the ones I kept emptying out and generally cleaning up...

Basically, I was mucking around in a huge pile of natural compost. Stirring it all up with my hands and feet and chainsaw and loppers. Molds. Gazillions of microbes. Particulates.

I was trying not to get my face too close to stuff like that, but still - it was thick in the air, there was no avoiding it. There are plenty of particulate masks around the house. That job didn't even need the big sweaty half-face respirator, just a little cloth-type particulate mask.

I know that perfectly well.

That's exactly what got me in the hospital last spring, messing around with my compost without a face mask. And I was rewarded with an abnormal lung infection - the kind you get when your IgG is low, which is why the Great Lung Doc ran that particular test in the first place. A textbook case, I was.

Did I learn my lesson? Did I wear a face mask last week?


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME.

So now I'm paying the price. I finished the four-day trimming job last Wednesday night. By Friday I had a full-blown raging respiratory infection, upper and lower. Bad. Fever and chills, weak and dizzy. I'm on permanent antibiotics, okay? But I still got this respiratory infection, one that looks bacterial to me - horrid huge amounts of yellow gunk coming out of my lungs and sinuses.


Last night I got ready to go to the Icky Place. The plan was this: Call the lung doc today, maybe the ID doc; they'd want to see me; they might very well put me in the Icky Place. That would be Broward General this time, where the Great Lung Doc is on staff and can do a blasted bronchoscopy right there, not send me HOME for it like stupid Holy Cross Inpatient did last spring, the dumb urps.

Miss Nancy cracks me up: she said to be sure to have a proper kit - books, all that - and make sure they don't feed me constant starch like dumb Holy Cross...And something to make the hospital food taste better? Lemon? An herbal seasoning mix to sprinkle over their so-called Food?

A nice jar of peanut butter too!

Then she kindly *listened* to the entire story of Poor Mr. Foot getting his surgery in my hospital bed in 2004. I felt so much better after that, I knew I could handle any Icky Place business I might have to deal with today.

But this morning when I woke up, it looked like I'd turned the corner. The fevers are down some, I'm not as shaky, and my lungs aren't nearly as rattly. That's all good. Very good.

Walter says the CPAP surely helps. I believe he's right.

So I'm out of bed for a little while now, and wanted to say Hello everyone! still alive here, pretty much...

The desktop is virtually dead, disconnected; the laptop screen is on the fritz, so I can't take it to bed with me. It's hooked up to a regular monitor just now, in the home office where the desktop was.


Oh! I know! If I can't take the laptop to bed, I'll bring the CPAP to the office!

And it worked out JUST right.


pepektheassassin said...

Good gosh, lady! HOW could you have FORGOTTEN to put your mask on whilst stirring around in the compost stuff! You KNOW BETTER than that! I was afraid something like this was going on....just look at you! TSK TSK TSK.

(Consider yourself scolded royally), and keep getting better. ((Hugs))

k said...

I love you, Pepek.

And I'm most abashed. {{hugs}}bakatcha

Desert Cat said...

Whew. I knew something was up and was composing an e-mail to you in my head as I worked this afternoon to inquire.

Glad to hear you've turned the corner on this.

No more composting without a respirator, y'hear?

And as cumbersome and tangly as my cpap is, I won't sleep without it if I can help it. There's a big difference in my sleep quality with it, and it's especially important to get good sleep when you're fighting an infection.

Dazd said...

Guess you can say now you were chest deep in CRAP! heh

Wishing you a speedy recovery. I'll send a prayer or two your ways too.

Pretty Lady said...

k! You are attempting to be Bad Ass, and Bad Ass is BAD! It is Toxic! It is Attitude without Sense! It is the way callow art students behave when they are trying to prove to their fellow students that they've got The Stuff, and thus don't mind sleeping in unventilated studios among settled paint thinner fumes, and using power sanders without a mask, and blowing glass without a respirator, and using those vile nerve-destroying marx-a-lot pens inside a closed vehicle for years until they are paralyzed from the waist down. (This REALLY happened.)

Even Pretty Lady, bad ass though she can occasionally be, wears a respirator now while housepainting, and has switched to eco-mineral spirits. Great creativity is NOT synonymous with self-destruction.

Glad to hear you have knocked it back, however. You are getting stronger!

Cindi said...

Tsk tsk! I am glad you are starting to feel better! Keep it up.

You mentioned before about chatting in gmail. I have never done that before. I will have to check out my gmail and see how that works!

k said...

Thank you, everyone. I'm listening. I'll be good. I found one of my several boxes of particulate masks; it's close at hand now. I've already used some. The respirator is with me now too, not just hanging around in the car for emergencies.

Even my little inside tasks, the ones I *save* for sick time or when I can't work outside, stir up dust. I do need to pay attention to that. And suddenly, my lungs are thanking me again.

DC, I SO agree! I used to wake up choking all through the night. No more.

But the new thing is this: When I'm awake and sitting in the office, I bring the CPAP with me and use it for breathing better when I'm AWAKE. Sort of a Pneumonia Prevention tactic.

And I have no doubt it's helping. For now, when I still can't get oxygen, it's a significant step.

HA! dazd! Yup. Chest deep and stirring it up. Looking for my hip boots and a shovel. ;-)

And thank you. It's always good to get prayers from others who've experienced serious health problems. I think they have a little extra kick to them, somehow.

Pretty Lady, you are 100% correct.

With me, of course, it's not about impressing fellow art students, since I don't have any just now. It goes back to early family issues.

OTOH, perhaps it goes back that way for them, too.

Earlier in my life, I understood where that came from, to some extent. It's hand in hand with being counter-phobic, another noticeable self-destructive personality trait that showed itself early on.

After losing my livelihood and health, I needed to deal with all the medical and economic and emotional fallout that entailed. Somewhere, I lost sight of other priorites I was working on before all that.

I have so many injuries, large and small, and too many are the result of simple carelessness on my part. Care. Less. -ness. Right? *Self-destructive* is precisely correct.

Now, WHY so many people get that way is a whole another question, and one I think I finally have a good theory for. But that's a talk for another day.

What matters now is changing the behavior. My long summer odyssey, especially the time spent at the old family homestead, re-opened my eyes to a lot of veiled issues. My careless behavior with my own body was one. Pretty Lady, communication with you as a healer were key. All of my blogosphere "family friends & neighbors* helped the puzzle pieces fit - bit by bit.

Like how Pepek and Granny J talk at me. I have no parental-unit memories of being scolded that way for hurting myself. You guys always surprise me when you talk the way you do, it catches me off guard. Very pleasantly indeed.

I like being surprised. Especially that way.

And I'm working on it. It's a lot of long time habit and attitude to reverse. But I'm getting there.

Hmmm. Makes me wanna go eat some nice goat cheese.

On a nice toasted onion bagel.

OH! capers!

Morris said...

K, what the others said.

Just glad to hear you're ok, k?


Granny J said...

It's that season! I've got a bad cold with a lot of mucus, etc. & have stayed on O2 pretty continually for several days. Today I feel better, tho I'm still visiting the MD tomorrow. So, for heavens sake, take care of yoself, you hear? You live near the tropics where there are all kinds of critters just waiting to jump!

k said...

yes SIR, Mr. Morris! And from someone with a Quintuple Bypass - and someone who, I'm guessing, used to be less careful of his own health than he is now - I take that quite seriously.

granny j, as soon as the Great Paper Chase starts to pay me back, that O2 machine you mentioned is way up top on my Wish List. I really can't wait. I'm swimming in the gunk, too. Like I said, that part's better, but I still feel a bit *drowny.* You and kat and the others who've had pneumonia, I think we take special note of that feeling. I'm giving it mental imagery: don't clot don't clot don't clot...

Breathing is so GOOD.

And speaking of jumping critters, I noticed a couple of odd marks on my arm after the Ficus Extravaganza. Next time I visit either the ID or the new primary doc, I'll see what she says.

You take care, yourself. I'll be checking in to see how your OWN lungs are doing.

I'll send some of that mental imagery out to you too. don't clot don't clot...

Doom said...

Toils and troubles, and a brew as well? Hmmm, well, life just wouldn't have anything interesting if we figured it all out, then did what was best, and it always worked.

I suppose some people are or believe in the digital world. A button is pushed, a service is done, a job is completed, a speech is written, whatever. No muss, no fuss, it works, works right, and every time. Others might like that idea, but do not or cannot work that way. I call these analogue people. A mother who spit shines a child's face, a father who answers with a "give or take" as a final touch to any summation. And people who do what they shouldn't because they are caught up in the joy of doing it (work is fun, just whistle while you do it, right?).

Anyway, I like analogue people the best. And, it seems as if you are a bit analogue. Still, wear your mask next time. Sheesh... *smiles*

k said...

doom, that was very sweet. Thank you. I'd rather be an analogue person than a digital any day.

Analogues have more fun.

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