Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How Phoenix Tried to Kill Me - Part 5

I'm going to backtrack for a second here, because Trelina reminded me of some stuff that went down that first night in the hospital. And when I say she “reminded” me, I mean she told me about things that I don't remember at all. Whether that was because of the drugs or the infection, I'm not sure. Regardless...

The first night in the hospital, after they'd quarantined me, I was moved out of the little alcove in the ER and into a sealed room approximately the size of a broom closet, also in the ER. I stayed in there for a couple of hours, and then was moved into a negative pressure room in the ICU because (and this is the part where my memory fails me), my breathing and general well-being had declined severely over the course of a couple of hours. Trelina had gone home with Jasmine at this point, and she got a call telling her that I'd been moved and, “Hey, if your husband doesn't start improving, we're going to have to intubate him.”

Meaning they were planning to put a tube down my throat and have a machine do my breathing for me. On second thought, I'm glad I don't remember this crap. A lot of what's stuck with me from the two weeks I spent in the hospital is the aggravation and the sleepless nights and the cabin fever, and it's kind of a blessing that stuff has overshadowed just how hairy it got for a little while there.

At some point, the antibiotics must have started working and my breathing must have improved, because I never did get that tube, and I was eventually moved into another room in the hospital proper – still a negative pressure room, because they still didn't know if I was contagious or not, but at least I had a TV.

(For those that don't know, a negative pressure room allows air to flow in, but not to go back out the same way, so that sickos like yours truly don't infect the rest of the hospital. Wikipedia has a pretty good explanation of how it woks.)

They also weren't sure about how they were going to treat me. There was some talk while I was in the ER of doing surgery to drain the infection out of my lungs, but once the antibiotics and antifungals started kicking in, the constantly changing parade of doctors I was seeing seemed to be in agreement that they could lick this thing solely through the judicious application of drugs. Of course, they weren't sure yet, because they hadn't been able to identify all the different bacteria that had set up shop in my chest cavity. They got around this ignorance by firebombing me with every antibiotic they had... and it worked to the point that I started to get better, but there was still a whole bunch of infection in my chest that just wasn't going away.

No comments:

Post a Comment