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.