It's been a long slog. April 19th I woke up in bed in Paris with a high fever and tremendous bodily aches and pains: influenza.
By a week later, the fever was past, my neck pain was almost gone, I was starting to feel better. That's when the breathing problems started. I waited a while, but I reached a point when I was quite unhappy and I wound up going to the ER, as I already mentioned.
They diagnosed bronchitis and provided antibiotics and an inhaler. 4 days later I was back again. This time the higher level doctor diagnosed pneumonia and proffered 4 days more of the antibiotic and another inhaler. That's when I called my OB/GYN for a referral and the next day I was at an internist. I talked about that entry experience a bit. That visit brought me a new inhaler, a different antibiotic and a codeine drop prescription (as I had suggested the previous week at the ER).
The next Friday, I was back again. Both the doctor and I were not too pleased with the way my lungs sounded, but they were a bit better and we were still waiting to see if I was pregnant or not, so we didn't want to up the medication. Another week of antibiotics, increase in codeine drops, told to use the inhaler more and more frequently.
On Sunday, discovered that I wasn't pregnant. Monday morning, the doctor brought me back in and was finally able to run me through the hoops. X-Ray: check. Still pneumonia and still quite bad, especially in the right lung. Blood test to ensure not whooping cough as well as pneumonia (my uncontrollable coughing, to the point of being unable to breathe without an inhaler, was quite frightening). Lung Capacity test: Check. Caused quite a bit of concern and after the first run through they made me take 4 drags off a serious inhaler, wait 10 minutes, and do it again.
Result, brand spanking new kick butt antibiotic and unbelievably expensive inhaler (10 times the cost of an ordinary one!)and a refill on the codeine drops as well as the ordinary inhaler.
I must say, this has been quite bad. I think this is the longest illness I have had since mononucleosis 25 years ago (I remember that was painful, but all othre memories disappeared with that semester). 32 days and still counting. Wow. I am much better now, but I still feel it and I still feel my lack of lung capacity. It's really easy to see how folks used to die like mayflies when they had pneumonia. Thank goodness for modern medicine.