COMMUNITY ACQUIRED PNEUMONIA
“You know you have Community Acquired Pneumonia“, they said to me in Emergency at the hospital. I knew I had Pneumonia, but what is Community Acquired Pneumonia? What did they mean? I soon discovered that basically it’s hospital terminology for “she didn’t get it here in hospital”, but to be more formal “Community-acquired pneumonia is defined as pneumonia that is acquired outside the hospital”.
I’d been sick for over two-weeks (about 15 days) and wasn’t getting better. I couldn’t stop coughing. I needed to use my nebuliser (with Ventolin) to help me breathe. I was tired and listless. At times my temp was getting very high. I had no motivation or ability to do anything. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t write or blog (though I did a stellar job at getting this post written and published when I was so sick). Couldn’t crochet. Couldn’t even be bothered watching TV. I’d been to the doctor’s twice and was on my second lot of antibiotics and my second lot of steroids, but nothing was working.
So on this day I decided it was time for a chest x-ray to get a clear picture of what we were dealing with. On my previous visit to the doctor she had completed an x-ray request form for me to use on completion of my antibiotics to see if my chest had cleared. Things were not good so I decided to expedite that x-ray and booked another doctor’s appointment for that afternoon to discuss the results.
At my doctors appointment that afternoon I was told I had pneumonia in my left lung. The decision was made to get treatment in hospital, considering that 15 days had passed and current treatments were not working. So home I went to pack a bag and head off to hospital.
SO GRATEFUL FOR PRIVATE HEALTH COVER
I am so very grateful to have private health cover and the ability to stay at a private hospital and have my own room. I’m a very private person who enjoys my own space and quiet and would be quite stressed in a noisy, multiple bed, shared room situation. So, peace and privacy is so important to my healing process.
THE HOSPITAL STAY
To be admitted (even in a Private hospital) you have to go via Emergency. I was in Emergency for approximately 5+ hours before I was finally in a bed, in my room, and on a ward. The process would take much longer in a public hospital I suspect. I’m not complaining though because I received treatment and care (and even food) whilst in Emergency. I could’ve done without the student doctors (or nurses – I’m not sure which they were) using my hand as training for inserting a cannula though. They had two attempts before I finally spoke up and said “no more” and their supervisor inserted the cannula successfully (thank goodness) on the third attempt! I know they need to learn on real people and I was fine with that but I think two attempts was quite enough (don’t you?)!
So a specialist was assigned to me and I met him the following morning. He put me on IV antibiotics ‘Meropenem‘ which I received every 8 hours for the duration of my stay (I had 13 doses). This antibiotic can only be given intravenously. I also had Ventolin via the nebuliser regularly, was weaned off the steroids, and continued with my regular medications.
Gradually I could feel myself improving. I was in hospital for 5 nights. I was admitted on Friday afternoon/evening. I was discharged after lunch on the following Wednesday.
During my stay I napped when I could and kept myself amused by sharing my hospital meals on my Instagram Stories. I certainly couldn’t complain – the food was pretty good and I didn’t even mind the cold toast! I also finally started reading ‘City of Girls‘ by Elizabeth Gilbert which I’ve had for some time.
I was very fortunate to have a wonderful view out my window of the fireworks for Riverfire which took place on my second night in hospital.
Here’s a gallery of snaps of ‘some’ of the meals I had in hospital. You’ll notice quite a few desserts. I rarely ate any of them as they didn’t agree with me (lactose intolerance) but I had a little taste of each and it was interesting to see if they matched what I thought they’d be like (none of them did except the chocolate mousse).
Many people assume that I had the flu and it turned to Pneumonia. I want to be clear that I have not had flu at all. In Emergency at the hospital it is standard procedure to do a nose swab (not at all pleasant I’ve gotta say) to rule that out. My son had been sick before me for some time and I picked up what he had. He had some virus that basically goes straight to a chest infection. He had a chest infection, eventually got better and didn’t get pneumonia. I got what he had but in my case it developed into pneumonia. I have an immune deficiency (Immunoglobulin A deficiency) which makes me vulnerable. This is why I go crazy spraying Glen 20 around the house and doing what I can to not pick up the bugs that my family bring home.
FLU VACCINATION – I get it every year and highly recommend you do too!
I have the Flu Vaccination every year and I will continue to do so. I’ve had the ‘real Flu’ (not a virus or cold that many people seem to call flu) before in my past and trust me, it is not something you want to experience. I was very, very ill. A doctor had to come to the house as I was too sick to leave the bed.
PNEUMONIA VACCINATION – did you even know there was one?
What I didn’t know and have only just learned since I have been discharged from hospital, is that there is a PNEUMONIA VACCINATION (proper term is Pneumococcal Vaccination). Yes, I know! Who knew? I didn’t … so I wanted to share in the hope that others that aren’t aware (especially those who are at higher risk) might learn about this too.
The whole purpose of writing this post is to let people know,
especially those that may be at risk, that there is a
You don’t need to get it annually. My doctor told me that after the first time, there’s no need to have it again for another five (5) years! In Australia, this vaccine is free for people aged over 65 and those that are deemed eligible due to specific health risk factors (find out more at the link above or speak to your health practitioner).
Now that I’m aware of this vaccine, I will be speaking with my doctor about it with the intention to have it prior to next winter and the onslaught of another lot of nasties!
ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
So this explains why I’ve been a bit absent in the blogosphere lately and why it’s been a bit quiet around here.
Since I’ve been discharged, whilst feeling so much better, I’ve been very tired and weak, but that is improving day by day. The doctors tell me that this is quite normal and that it can take up to six weeks to fully recover from Pneumonia.
There’s been a couple of additional conditions to be treated as a consequence of being on long-term strong antibiotic treatment and spending so much time stuck in bed but hopefully those will soon improve.
I’ve ramped up my intake of probiotics, am trying to eat good nutritious and healthy foods, and I’ve introduced a short walk each day. I’m gradually getting back into day to day household tasks. Soon I’ll start some longer walks and hopefully it won’t be long before I’m back to Pilates. I’m gradually trying to get back into all things blogging and trying to catch up on the zillions (slight exaggeration but I have lots!) of emails (eeek!). If you’re waiting on an email response from me, please accept my apologies. Hopefully you’ll hear back from me soon!
WHAT I’M LOVIN’ ABOUT LIFE RIGHT NOW
I’m lovin’ that I have private health cover. I’m grateful for modern medicine! I’m thankful that my pneumonia is now gone and I’m on the road to recovery. I’m thankful for my family and the meals they brought to us to help us out. I’m thankful and touched by all the lovely get well messages I received across my social media while I was sick. And I could go on! After something like this, it’s always a very good reminder that:
There is no wealth like health!
So, take good care of yourself! Do whatever you can to protect yourself from the nasties that are out there so you can live the good life. Wishing you good health!
Ciao for now,
Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit
Deborah of Debbish | Jo of And Anyways
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all our blogs.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Hi Min – I’m so glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery. I know you’ll follow the doctor’s order to get well. Take care! #lovin’lifelinky
Thanks Natalie. Yes I think I’m doing everything I should be to get better! 🙂
Wow Min, I got the chest infection which hung around for just over two weeks before disappearing and it was horrible so I can’t imagine how you coped.
But I’m with you on the private health cover thing. I’ve struggled to keep paying my premiums this year but realise as I get older it’s more important to do so!
The chest infection is horrible enough! I’m glad it finally cleared for you Deb. We are so lucky in this country with healthcare and benefits. I will hopefully hold on to my private health cover for life. It’s saved the day for me on many, many occasions!
I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend. It’s interesting that you mention the private health cover thing. My father had, due to a bacterial lung infection similar to TB, 6 weeks in hospital earlier this year on intravenous antibiotics followed by a further 4 months of twice-daily visits from nurses to administer more intravenously. He has private cover but went in as a public patient – on the advice of his specialist. If he hadn’t done he would have been thousands of dollars out of pocket for the at-home visits and the antibiotics themselves. As a result, we tossed up keeping the private health cover up, but in the majority of cases, it’s absolutely worth it – as you’ve pointed out. Dad’s incidence is absolutely the exception to the rule – and, if he hadn’t had private cover, wouldn’t have had access to the specialist in the first place. We are so so so so lucky in this country.
I hope your Dad is all well again now Jo! That sounds like quite an ordeal he has been though! Yes it must’ve been an isolated/special kind of situation for him but I have heard before of other incidences where going public is better for the pocket or for some other reason. Private Health Insurance however has saved the day for me on many many occasions. You are right – we are so very lucky here in Australia!
Absolutely agree there is nothing better than being well. I am glad you are slowly recovering. My dad and husband have had pneumonia in the past and it’s good to take time to recover. Believe me. Yes we know of the pneumococcal vaccine and have had it too. Protecting yourself via immunisation is a no-brainer. Even with the flu vaccine this year, my husband was laid low with Influenza A for 4 weeks. Nothing to do for it but let time pass. That was hard. I remained well. How lucky. We have had private health insurance with our very generous teachers health even before we married. Our kids now have it for their families. I have had NO out of pockets except for one off fee at the beginning of my cancer surgery in 2017 even with 4 surgeries, ICU and staying in hospital and having day surgery. It has paid for itself over and over. Glad to read your catch up. Stay well. And rested!! Denyse x
Thanks so much Denyse. You stay well too! One of my sons had Pneumonia when he was just a little boy. He’d been sick with bronchitis and had a persistant cough. One day I knew he wasn’t good. I ended up in the back of an ambulance with him and his lips were turning blue. It was so scary. Thankfully, after a stay in hospital (with me sleeping beside his hospital bed in one of those uncomfortable stretcher beds) he recovered. I always get the flu vaccination and now that I’m aware of it – I will get the pneumococcal vaccine as well. I agree that its a no-brainer! There are too many very dangerous flus and virus’s around these days to not do what you can to try and protect yourself. We too have fantastic private health cover – top cover and very good. I’m so grateful. We are very lucky! xo
How frightening for you. Pneumonia can get serious very quickly. I had no idea there was a vaccine for it. I do get a fly shot, although I haven’t gotten it yet this fall. I hope you are on the mend and feeling better!
I’m much better now thanks Michele. I’m glad you’re now aware of the Pneumococcal vaccine!
Hi Min – I’m so glad you’re on the road to recovery. Being sick enough to need 5 days in hospital says it all really. I don’t have private cover any more , so I’m relieved that I’ve only had a day stay or two in our local public hospital – it was perfectly good and much better than expected, but 5 days in a multi-bed medical ward with people coughing, talking, snoring, and watching TV would have done my head in. Great to see you blogging again and back in the land of the living – and yes, definitely get that injection before next winter.
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂
Thanks Leanne. I’m so much better now. Yes five nights in a multi bed ward with all the coughing, talking, snoring, visitors, and various noises would have done my head in too! I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to endure that. xo
Glad to hear you’re on the mend Min, and no I didn’t know there was a vaccination either. I loved the snaps of your hospital fare. Dave’s been in hospital recently and his food looked rather good compared to my measly sandwiches I took in! Keep getting stronger and here’s looking forward to warm sunny days and no nasty bugs around. #MLSTL
I hope Dave is recovering well Jo. I’m so glad you’re now aware of the Pneumococcal vaccine. The food I got in hospital was pretty good! Still the usual cold toast but I’m not complaining. It was bliss not having to worry about cooking meals for a while. xo
Hi Min, you certainly had a rough time but glad to hear you are on the mend. My darling little grandson, Elliot who is 15 months, had pneumonia whilst I was away and is still recovering poor little darling. I hope you are taking it easy and recovering well. Take care and thanks for sharing with us at #MLSTL. xx
Hi Sue, it’s so nice to hear from you. I’m so sorry to hear your grandson has had pneumonia though! It’s so scary when the little ones get it. My son had it when he was a small boy. It was very scary. Unfortunately the pneumonia has come back for me and I’m sick again. Hoping to get rid of it at home with antibiotics and not have to go back to hospital. We shall see. Hope you’re doing well and not too much in the post holiday blues! xo
Hi Min, I’m so happy to read that you are feeling better now but it certainly knocked you around didn’t it? I have heard of the vaccine as my mother told me she gets it. I love that quote there is no wealth like health! Yes health cover is so good to have when you need it the most (I’m in the same fund as Denyse) and I’m glad you were well looked after. Take it easy and it’s lovely to see you back blogging. Like you I was blown away with the supportive messages from blogging friends over our little granddaughter Dottie. Such a caring community we have around us. #mlstl
Hi Deb, I was starting to feel better but unfortunately the pneumonia is back again. It’s not finished with me it seems. I’m hoping to get rid of it without having to go back to hospital. Fingers crossed. My doctor wants me to have the vaccine as soon as I am well again. The blogging community are always so lovely and supportive. I hope your Dottie grows and thrives and is soon home with her Mum and Dad. She’s a darling little thing. xo
Oh my goodness, so glad to hear you’re on the mend. I am very surprised though, that that hospital served you food that you were allergic too. Wasn’t there somewhere that you could indicate you were lactose intolerant so they’ve stopped serving you desserts with dairy? (Or were you just slipping them to your visitors to enjoy?)
It was a weird system for the meals. A woman came in pushing a trolley thing with a laptop on it and read out meal choices of which you had to choose and she entered your choices on the laptop. I could never remember what I had ordered. Sometimes things came that I hadn’t ordered and in the beginning because I hadn’t been there to order in advance I just got what I was given. I did give some of the things I couldn’t eat to family if they visited! 🙂 xo
Good to hear you are on the road to recovery! Pneumonia is nasty x
Thanks Janet. It’s been a very long illness. I’m still not quite right. Pneumonia is finally gone I think (it came back) … but my strength & energy hasn’t yet returned to normal and my bronchial bits have been aggravated so now I have some asthma it seems. I’ll get there! 🙂 xo
Antibiotic choice depends initially on the characteristics of the person affected, such as age, underlying health, and the location the infection was acquired. Antibiotic use is also associated with side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, taste distortion, or headaches. In the UK, treatment before culture results with amoxicillin is recommended as the first line for community-acquired pneumonia, with doxycycline or clarithromycin as alternatives.