Keeping On Keeping On
I have been really ill since February 18 and this is March 13. Last week, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and pleurisy at Urgen Care. I had a virus but eventually a bacterial infection set in. When I went in to see the doctor, I sat under a scolding poster which said, "You have a virus. Please visit our pharmacy for OTC help for your symptoms." However, the doctor listened to my chest and the crackles, and without an x-ray the first visit, just his experience, he said, "You have pneumonia. I am prescribing an antibiotic." I began taking it that night. The cough medicine with codeine was a blessing, too, as for the first time in two weeks, I got a full night's sleep and was not awakened several times with coughing spasms. I still had to sleep elevated some, and I could still hear crackles when I breathed in.
People said I needed to rest. I had two different weekends where I rested the entire weekend. However, during the week, I have to go to many of Alan's activities. I did not go to several of them. Some we missed.
At the follow-up visit on Friday, March 9, I did have an x-ray which confirmed the pneumonia with pleurisy in the right lung. That was the second weekend to rest. On Monday, I taught Alan "short lessons" in the morning, did some minimal housework and we went out to take him to Teen Center in the afternoon. We had to return, with both of us disappointed. Apparently, Teen Center has a two week hiatus. Probably they would say no budget for continuous Monday sessions. On Mondays, the special needs kids can go, most Mondays. Of course, typical teens can go any day of the week. I'm not bitter, am I? So, while Alan went on the treadmill, I sat at the computer doing e-mail and surfing, looking at new vehicles to replace my van instead of lying down and resting fully. In the evening, I watched MythBusters with Don after he made dinner and cleaned up.
Today, Alan's speech class was on using AV and I took him. Nobody used a spectacular AV item except the first boy. He brought his bearded dragon lizard. Wonderful visual aid. We left early. I needed Alan to get his lunch without getting agitated. We had a 1:30 appointment at the Regional Center in Simi Valley where we finally asked for some help. Two doctors met with us to interview Alan and ask me a few questions. I could not miss this meeting because it has been set up for a month. Also, it will take another six to eight weeks to get a service provider, read social worker, assigned to us with more questions. Will we ever get any actual help, I hope? The meeting with the service provider will be about four months from the first meeting which itself took three weeks to get.
Don is on his way home now to assume the role of Dad after doffing his breadwinner hat. He will drive Alan and me to Alan's Tuesday gymnastics session. Alan gets so much out of these that I am sorry to say we have missed a couple during my illness and his two. Yes, he had the influenza virus I had at the beginning, got well, and now has a cold.
Last week, we didn't make it to Spanish class for the second time. We will do his Spanish homework instead of math in the morning if he can be flexible enough. Then he won't be at sea during the class. In the afternoon, I will sit in the car and read while he has his music lesson. Then we will go back to the Kaiser office to see if they have a lost and found. The last place I remember having my brief case is in the pharmacy while waiting for my refill of cough medicine with codeine. Then I can come home and rest.
Getting rest inbetween all that I have to do is my goal so that I can get rid of the last of the pneumonia symptoms and gain strength.
Does my doctor want to see me for a follow-up? No, of course not. See me in a month unless your temperature goes above 101.5 degrees F. she insisted. She is a numbers gal. I would like to replace her but I think she is a lot better in manner than the male doctor I saw at urgent care. He remarked that my husband shouldn't have to listen to that cough anymore. The x-ray tech was more understanding. She said when I left, "Feel better." She should have been a doctor.
My daughter, the M. D., is a comforting person to talk to. A big part of the practice of medicine ought to be empathy, don't you think? She exemplifies empathy. She checks on me, answers my questions and if she can't answer them, tells me so. She encourages me in my quest for better health through nutrition and exercise.
My other daughter, too, has a lot of empathy. She can make me feel important to her and she listens to the details of my life. We need more like these two in our lives.
Labels: pneumonia with pleurisy