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Holy crap -- I've got pneumonia

I'm serious.

I'm going to bed. I promise I'll have more on this tomorrow.


Friday morning update:
All of you men who hate going to the doctor -- pay attention here: my life is a cautionary tale for you.

After two months of "Katrina Cough," and after a nasty bout with a sinus infection in the spring of '05, I've gotten used to visiting the doc when something doesn't feel right. Also, what the hell, I have an OK health plan.

Anyway, I went to the doctor on Thursday morning only after enduring 3 days of severe back pain. My mother's 80th birthday is Sunday and Miss Julie and I were flying up to Michigan for the festivities. But with the way my back felt, no way was I getting on a plane without some serious pain medication.

"How'd you hurt your back?" asked the doc.

"Honestly, I think it's from coughing on and off for 4 months. I finally coughed so much I pulled a muscle in my back. I'll bet you that knocked a vertabrae out of alignment which pinched a nerve."

The doc suggested that the cough -- a dry cough, really -- might be a side-effect of blood pressure medication I'm taking.

"Your chest sounds fine," he says after examining me with the stethoscope. "I'm going to give you some pain meds to help you get through the trip, but I also want to make sure that we check every possibility with that cough. So I'd like you to get a couple of X-rays. If I see anything unusual, I'll call you later. Otherwise, have a nice trip and I'll see you next week."

I crawl to the pharmacy, get the pain meds and then crawl home. I'm napping when Miss Julie comes in with the phone. "It's the doctor. He says you have pneumonia."

Say what?

"The radiologist looked at the X-ray and you have a consolidation on the lower lobe of your right lung. That means you have pneumonia."

Holy crap. But then he told me something worse. "You are not leaving town, my friend. Do NOT get on that plane."

Well, to make a short story even longer, I called my mom and broke the bad news: we wouldn't be with her on her 80th birthday. I don't know who was more disappointed -- her or me. I felt like crying.

Anyway, it's Friday morning and the doc called back after looking at the X-ray for himself. "Don't exert yourself. Stay around the house. Take it easy. I'd like to see you in about ten days for a follow-up."

Back in the day, I guess they used to call this "walking pneumonia." I know this because my mother actually had it herself.

So...guys: if you feel bad -- see the doc, OK? God only knows how long I've had this and how much worse it might have gotten without proper care.

P.S. Later, Miss Julie apologized. "For what?" says I.

"Here I thought you were being a titty-baby," says my beautiful bride, "slouching around, whimpering about your back. But knowing you had pneumonia and knowing all the stuff we did over the holiday break -- riding bikes, going to the park, playing with the boys -- it makes me realize you're as strong as an ox."



Oh man, that sucks. Get well soon.

And dry cough. Hmmm. ACE inhibitor? If so, me too. Ramipril (Altace).

Very good catch!

I use Lotrel. But in light of the pneumonia, the BP meds are probably not the source of the cough. Or maybe they are. I expect to discuss that further with the doc once my X-rays come up clear.

P.S. thanks for the good wishes.

Feel better soon. I was hospitalized with pneumonia about 9 years ago, it is not a fun thing. Sorry you can't be with your Mom but I'm sure she'd rather you take care of yourself than risk worsening to come to her party. She'd never forgive herself if that happened because you're still her baby.

Yes, you're right about that last part -- we're all still her kids.

I was so looking forward to being with my brother and sisters. We haven't all been together since my dad died almost 13 years ago. My brother is in New York, my one sister is in England and I live in Louisiana. My other sister lives close by my mom.

Been there, Ara (the spousal abuse, as well ;-). Get well soon.

BTW, you have a beautiful family.

Thanks. Each of us completely different than the other but we're all Mom & Dad's children.

Go figure. We always blamed the milkman.

'Member the Farkle Family?

I'm the oddball in my family. Ara, you've met most of my family - all dark and a bit swarthy, then there's me pale and blonde. Dad never questioned it, the milkman was darker than he was. And I look exactly like a combo of my paternal Grandfather and maternal Grandmother. Whew!

Here's the thing: we all look very similar, including my younger sister who had blond hair and blue eyes as a baby.

What I meant to say was that we were an immigrant family and each of us kids assimilated in different ways.

Actually my younger sister was the only one born in the states and she now lives in England. So she assimilated in a different way -- she speaks with an English accent and why not? Her husband is English and all of HER kids (save one) were born there.

Go figure.

"'Member the Farkle Family?"

Ferd Berfle I presume?

You got it!

That apology from your wife is classic.


I didn't realize - for obvious reasons - that your family was far flung but is coming together for 80th. That is truly sad.

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