Remember how I mentioned that cup that one of the nurses kinda-sorta implied that I might want to spit into, and how I blew her off? After day two of my confinement in the negative pressure room, I asked somebody when I would be free to have other people visit. Trelina was allowed in (I guess they figured if she hadn't caught my cooties yet, she wasn't likely to), but I was thinking in particular of Jasmine. I hadn't seen her in three or four days at that point, and that's just about my limit. The DTs get really ugly from that point on.
So this nurse-or-doctor (they were all sort of blurring together) informed me that getting out of the room depended on them finding out what was in my lungs. And their ability to do that was hanging entirely on me giving them four phlegm samples. What? Nobody told you that?
I had only given them one so far. I had to produce three more and wait for the results before I could get out of that room, and I was already going stir crazy. I learned that day that it is possible for a man to hone his will into the singular goal of producing and expelling phlegm, even when it feels like a Giger Alien is trying to burst out of his chest the entire time. I was focused like a freakin' laser, man. They'd bring me a cup, and I'd be calling (okay, moaning) (okay, whining) for another one before they even left the room.
It was another day and a half before the results came back, saying that I would not kill anybody with my lung fungus.
(Trelina and I just figured the timeline for all this out before I sat down to write this, and I cannot believe that it wasn't longer. It felt like I was stuck in that negative pressure room for more than a week. In reality it was only three or four days.)
So I got to see my kid again. Trelina's sister (who had come up to stay with her and help until I was out of the hospital) brought Jasmine to the room, and she ran around and explored and didn't destroy too much of the machinery keeping daddy alive. I still couldn't get out of bed or interact with her much, but at least I got to see her.
Now the doctors had identified all the invaders in my lungs and knew what they were up against... but they were also coming to realize that the drugs alone weren't going to do the trick. My right lung had cleared up by this point, but after five days of getting firebombed with antibiotics and anti-fungals, my left lung was still teeming with infection. Finally, somebody made the call to send me to the sawbones. It was going to take surgery to get all the crap out of my chest.