Hospital Adventures: ER Visit #3, #4 in 2018 - Turns out to be Valley Fever

Discussion in 'Health' started by purr1n, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I developed severe fatigue on the afternoon of Sunday August 4, 2018. MiniDSP sent me a new EAR unit because I thought mine may have been damaged during shipping (one channel was a few db off below around 1kHz after calibration). I very much wanted to test the EARS so I could post some results before the work week started, but I just couldn't. I dropped on my bed shortly after a light lunch and woke up in the evening around 7:30pm, still slightly tired, to go out with my family to dinner.

    After dinner, a light fever (chills), muscle aches, and minor chest pain (left side), set in. I just went to sleep. These symptoms carried on to Monday, where I was only able to work a total of four hours sporadically until I decided to call it quits. The chest pains became more severe and Julie insisted that I go to the hospital in the unlikely case it was a heart attack. I figured since it was on the left side, I'd take her advice. I insisted that she drive me in the Charger Scat Pack (the fastest "be a Redneck bitch and punch it" and most comfortable car in our household) to the hospital. The date and time of our arrival at the ER was Monday August 5, 2018. 6:30pm.

    While at the ER triage desk, the nurse asked me "what's bothering you?" The second I said "chest pains, left side" (I was pulling out my ID), the ER staff rushed me in immediately (who cares about all the other people in the waiting room if you are having a heart attack right?) They took my blood pressure which was a little high for me at 126 / 86, but to them that was totally normal. My heart rate was 88bpm though - it's normally about 66. One nurse said that common blood pressures of people they see in the ER are like 170. Yikes. They did an EKG and that looked normal. And took about 11 blood tests, 21 other tests, and scheduled a CT scan with the iodine injection for higher contrast images. The doctor ordered the CT because he wanted to make sure it wasn't an aneurysm or blood clot, since I had just gotten off the plane from a vacation in Michigan three nights ago. By the way, the iodone injection makes you feel warm all over, to the extent that you feel you might have pee'd all over yourself.

    The doctor looked at the CT scan and the few blood tests that had been done by now. He assured Julie and me that I did not have a heart attack. BTW, the doctors and nurses at this ER are so awesome. Their mannerisms remind me of the characters on that ER TV show with George Clooney. Grey's Anatomy is a little bit too melodramatic to be real - most of the characters on Grey's would eventually have burned out or been fired. The bad news is that I had a moderate case of pneumonia in left bottom lobe of my left lung. I did get to see the CT scan and remarked that the spot was relatively small. The doctor explained to me that the concern was the area was completely opaque instead of having little dots or swirls. I had to be admitted. Fuck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  2. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    Get better, Marvey. Pneumo is no joke.
     
  3. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Shit. Sorry, I hope things improve soon. Ecstatic to hear it's not heart stuff given your previous posts re: health, but pneumonia is a pain. Sister went through it and it sucked.

    Hobbies and other cool crap can wait, just invest enough time to keep from getting bored silly.
     
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  4. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    Damn Marv, I'm glad you're OK.

    I'm not one to preach, and you probably know this better than anyone else, but you have to take care of yourself...you only have so much to give.

    Stay well, rest, and don't worry about this fuckshop while you recover.
     
  5. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Do I like that post because you're going to get better? Or if I like the post does it mean I like that you got sick? It's so fucking confusing.

    Get well Marvey!
     
  6. geniekid

    geniekid Almost "Made"

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    Yea, chest pains are a scary thing. I had some earlier this week that cleared up (probably inhaled a chunk of chalk while rock climbing), but my brief visit to WebMD wasn't very reassuring. Apparently there are many reasons for chest pain and about half of them sound legitimately dangerous. As in, you should go to the hospital in the very near future. I think your wife made the right call.
     
  7. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Yikes! Glad that you are okay.

    I have had two ER trips over the last two years and they were all a cluster fuck in one way or another. Broken arm after taking a spill down the stairs in the snow this December. And chest pain. Most chest pain problems are not heart attacks. But many people die from a heart attack on the way to the hospital because they ignored the signs of a potential heart attack. It's a big gamble to take.

    The problem is that regardless of your insurance, be prepared to come out of pocket about 1.5 to 2 grand for testing at an ER to find out that you aren't having a heart attack but probably heart burn instead. That's pretty expensive when you consider that a bottle of tums cost about three dollars.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Story isn't over yet. Things get more interesting and worse. This is the #3 ER trip for me this year. I will tell about ER trip #4 in another one or two posts.
     
  9. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Damn. That sucks.

    Let me guess - Hands gave you syphilis? I bet that's it. :p
     
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  10. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    In Grey's Anatomy all dialogue is in the form of speeches. It's a headache watching any scene.

    Which ER with George Clooney are we talk about? :p

    https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0086704/
     
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  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Wait, what?

    Anywayn, pneumonia sucks. I once had a bad cold that wouldn't go away for a couple weeks. Then it turned into very sharp pains in my chest anytime I so much as moved slightly. Dealt with that for another couple weeks before finally seeing a doctor, who very quickly figured it out. Dunno why I waited or how I managed to keep working throughout. Antibiotics cleared it right up in a few days.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, Marv!
     
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  12. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Rest and get well.
     
  13. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    I went to urgent care 10 years ago having trouble breathing but no other symptoms of illness. It took them like 10 hours and endless tests to decide it was a small pneumonia in my lungs, probably brought on by stress. Antibiotics cleared it up in a couple days.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I totally know how I ended up with pneumonia: the two week, non-stop 115% pace, redneck watersports vacation I had with my in-laws in Michigan. Yep, that's Julie's family. I always tease Julie by jokingly calling them the "hillbilly side" of the family. I don't think she minds because she knows it's kind of true. She did move to California, with no intention of ever moving back to Michigan. And she did wish that I purchased a more "classy" car like the Maserati Ghibli instead of the Dodge Charger (millions of Chargers, especially older ones in MI). But seriously, have you guys seen the interior of the Ghibli? It's a joke. It looks like a spiffied up version of the Charger interior with a center dash clock, and some of the same exact buttons, knobs, and switches! Heck, the 300C interior is nicer than the Ghibli's in my opinion.

    The stress of the vacation was compounded by the fact that her parents are divorced. If you can help it, don't get married with someone who has divorced parents, who hate each other, and live at least four hours away, because it's just a fucking pain in the ass whenever you wan to visit the in-laws. Also divorced people, tend to have more limited means of being able to help out their kids in a relative way. But many times this can't be helped. So after the first week going at 120% on Devil's Lake with Julie's dad and brother, we had to spend the following week going at a constant 100% with her mom and her mom's boyfriend in Traverse City. For sure if I had been in the same shape I was last year before I embarked on my extreme exercise routine, I would have died. It's totally not their fault. I can't say that didn't want to be a party pooper or that I felt obligated. I agreed to do everything that they suggested, other than the time I had to take care of a emergency work call and a night time firepit get together because of the mosquitoes. I have the kind of blood that attracts mosquitoes and I have very severe skin allergies with bug bites. The severe skin allergies is a foreshadowing of things to come. The physicians and RNs on this forum might have an inkling of what is to come with the pneumonia.

    I am convinced that the seed to the pneumonia was when my brother in-law dumped me into the water while we were jetskiing on Devil's Lake, tugging a tube with the kids on it. I agreed to be the spotter for the kids since I knew that being the spotter, facing away from the driver, sitting back to back, was so extremely demanding that the others would not have able to do. I can't see what he's doing, see how he is steering so I can shift my weight, or the see the waves on the lake to anticipate bumps. I am basically sitting on a mechanical bull with not much to hold on to except a grab bar at the end of the seat which was not meant for a spotter - the ergonomics were just wrong. The spotter requires incredible leg strength, hand strength, back strength, great balance, a study back, and fast reflexes. My hiking, hill running, and pull-up routines made me perfect for the job. The fact that the jetski was a rental and one of the cheaper less stable models did not help.

    I also knew that my brother in-law would be fucking crazy (his dad called him a masochist, but I'm sure he meant sadist), trying to dump the kids, slapping them up against a wave so the tube would fly up 10 feet in the air, flip over, and crash into the water. That is he would try to kill them. Again everything is relative. Not judging. I agreed and when in Rome do was the Romans do. I myself prefer a much more conservative approach in life. I am not a true redneck and I never will be. Having witnessed what transpired, my son William flat out refused to go tubing with the faster jetski pulling. He did go tubing with the slower pontoon boat pulling and doing some whips. Good for him for being adverse to death. As as aside, he read all the safety warnings on the jetski when I took him for a ride earlier that day.

    I was dumped into the water while we were doing a whip. It's basically going one way very fast and then immediately turning the opposite way, building up speed again to go very fast. This creates a wake in the water which when combined with the immediate change in direction or "whip", makes the tube do crazy things. In this one instance, both kids, my daughter Gen and her cousin, got dumped into the water. Per agreed procedure, I tapped my brother in-law and shouted at him to let him know that both kids got dumped. Inexplicably, he pulled off another immediate whip while I was doing this - usually one waits before another whip to build up more speed to make the change in direction be more forceful - that is more snap. I was dumped into the water because I only had one hand on the handle - my other hand was tapping - and I could not rebalance myself quickly enough.

    Since I had just shouted that the kids were down, I was inhaling when I got dumped. Things happen very quickly. I coughed up a ton of water that I inhaled. Devil's Lake isn't exactly one of those clean pristine deep lakes like Arrowhead, Tahoe, or heck, even Big Bear. At this time of year, the water is warm, there are a ton of geese that poop all over the shoreoine, and snails who are happy to to be part of the lifecycle of these nasty critters that burrow into peoples' skin and give them what's called swimmer's itch.

    CercariainSkin1.jpg

    My daughter (who has skin consistency and oils exactly like mine) and I both ended up with a moderately bad case of swimmer's itch. Hydrocortisone did jack shit; but Benadryl in pill form was effective. We didn't have lot of the organisms burrowing into our skin, but the reactions to the few that did were severe.

    So basically three stressors: 1) breathing in nasty southern Michigan lake water; 2) swimmer's itch. In hindsight, I should taken additional steps to fully clear my lungs of water; 3) poor quality / little sleep because of small beds with the middle of the crappy matress being slightly higher than the sides. I should have slept on the floor as I prefer hard surfaces.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Crikey. Rough year. Hopefully this one is cleared up quickly. Get well Marv.
     
  16. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    Well, in the circumstances I would call it a good news. It is not something to neglect but there is a good chance you will forget about it in a few weeks or months. But just being in ER with possibility of having a serious heart problems is hard on you and your family, and I am sorry you had to go through this.
    On the lighter side: you went to ER in the US not in Canada. Few months ago I was hit by a car riding my bike in Sarasota and I was taken to the Sarasota Memorial. I was not in any pain and had a good travel insurance and believe me I enjoyed every moment of it. Comparing to what I would go through, and what I went through, when I crashed on the bike in Toronto. Do not even want to remember that part.
     
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  17. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    Heal up quick Marv and get back to the clean(er) Cali living!

    and @brencho wonders why I call fichigan a cesspool? hint: contagions.
    heck if you went to A2 would have caught syphilis like @Elnrik said!
    :p:D
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    All health infrastructures have their inherent issues. There are things that I do not like about the US system (as an aside, hospitals were BIG losers under Obamacare since they did not have the money to buy lobbyists like big pharma and the greedy health insurance companies). However, at the risk of sounding like a "USA Fuck Yeah!" kind of chauvinist, I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world. Sure, I may be slapped with a $10,000 bill this time around; but I am glad that I did not die and that the response time for services was fast. The procedures that the USA ERs employ are impressive, working by a process of elimination (with a shitload of concurrent tests) to diagnose the disease or condition, and ever changing processes as more is learned. I did a great amount of time reading about USA emergency rooms, stuff like when it's appropriate to split a ribcage to pop the chest open, and when it's best just to let the patient die (evidently severe blunt force trauma to the chest with certain indicators is really really bad).

    There are quite a few ER RNs that I know personally. The nurses and doctors are well trained, professional, and well mannered. The ones in the ER are totally on top of their game. They are like the Marines of the medical world. I am almost positive that Princess Diana would have been saved a million times over in the USA with its trauma procedures for first responders and emergency rooms. Nothing against the french, just a different system with different advantages and disadvantages. The only times I've had any issues are with the last year nursing school interms who fuck up on trying to find the vein and stick the needle in for the IV. It's like: ow, fuck, you are killing me, that fucking hurts, dude: quit - just quit - you suck. The thing I do like about the last year nursing school patients is that do seem to be more like healers, that is go about their business less mechanically and more humanly than the experienced RNs. But then again, the ER environment needs people to work as efficiency and quickly as possible without bullshit.

    Yes, I fully acknowledge the perception that poor people with crappy or no healthcare insurance might be left to wallow in pain and possibly die in the inner city USA ER lobby. However, I do also feel that a more educated or more articulate patient (provided they are conscious*) can assist the nurses and doctors with higher quality information to work with. I actually worked in IT in a Detroit hospital in an earlier life. Yes, some people straggling into the ER are dumbasses.

    *It was quite an experience to come down to the ER - oh I'm here to fix Windows 98 - and see a guy shot in the head being wheeled in. Screw you Bill Gates for marketing / selling operating systems not suited for mission critical applications. I truly believe that Bill Gates is a socialpath. The hospital system I worked at should have never believed in Windows and stuck with green screens until at least once year after the release of Windows NT.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  19. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    Hell of a vacation!

    Get better soon, Marv.
     
  20. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Get well soon Marv!
     

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