Thursday was checkout day for me at the hospital where I’d been since last Friday. Turns out that the right-side chest pains that were getting really agonizing were pneumonia. Not only that, but I had had this rotten stinking disease for at least six weeks!
For the past several weeks I had gotten slowly a little more tired after not very much physical activity. My breath was getting hard to catch on the daily hikes that I take with Karla, up and down our driveway. We take a morning hike, then eat breakfast and start the day. Our second hike comes later in the afternoon. The day’s total is about two miles.
Slowly over the recent past I’ve had to stop for breath about two or three times. We weren’t doing anything different, so what’s going on? We ate well, got plenty of sleep. The only thing I could think of was that I was taking dietary supplements, vitamins and such, to handle mini-seizures that started a couple of years ago. The doctor who was guiding the course of treatment moved to Colorado and it got difficult to keep in touch. Karla, through a friend, found another doctor in Fresno who agreed to take me on as a patient. He ordered a series of blood tests and discovered that I had an infection somewhere. Could be caused by a tooth or something which was often the case in his experience. There weren’t any pains or other symptoms. At the time it seemed unimportant, so we did nothing about it initially, putting our attention on the seizures instead.
A bit over a week ago, I had some very slight pain under the right-side rib cage. “So, a new pain,” was my thought since as bodies age things can occasionally hurt for no good reason. The pain got a little more noticeable over time till it got near-constant. Going to bed that fateful Friday night was the last straw. I barely slept and had to sit up a lot. By morning I was really hurting and when Karla asked me if we should head for the hospital I didn’t hesitate to say “YES!”
The nearest emergency facility is about an hour away, in Mariposa. She called ahead, and when I arrived shaking and shuddering they took me almost immediately. Testing and X-Rays showed that I had pneumonia, and it had probably been growing for days if not weeks.
A quick ambulance ride got me to Fresno where days of treatment got the disease in check and I got to go home. There are some interesting side stories, and I’ll cover them later. For now I am going to go sit in front of the roaring fireplace and watch the rainstorms come in. Thanks for listening.