Have you ever been so sick you thought you're going to die?

pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)July 29, 2009

I just pulled through. Sigh.....

I have just been newly diagnosed with asthma. Doc gave me Prednisone, because inhalers would not control the swelling in the airway.

The inhaler was increased too. It also has a lot of steroid in it.

Prednisone over - hit really hard with fever. Stupid me still continued with the trip in Canada for a few more days instead of heading home.

Fever was so bad, went to an ER in Canada. Doc didn't think I had pneumonia, gave me antibiotic for upper respiratory infection and sent me along home. Walked into my doc's office in Chicago cyanotic, knowing fully well that I had pneumonia, because all the signs and symptoms were there.

Doc sent me straight to the hospital.

It's a good thing the doc in Canada didn't think I had pneumonia; he would not have treated me as aggressively as my doc in Chicago.

Do you know something?

I truly thought I would not leave the hospital alive.

Jim Hansen, the Muppet, went through my mind right from the beginning. He died of pneumonia, you know?

All the money he had did not help him when docs didn't act swiftly and aggressively.

We have been much too liberal with antibiotics for the past 40 - 50 years. All the bugs have become resistant to antibiotics...Sigh......

I am back home now. Still on oral antibiotics, and slowly gaining strength. The day I came home I could barely walk from the garage to the house.

This is a whopper. Have never been this sick before.........

I have always wondered about those athletes who gorge themselves with steroids. Don't they know that they have jeopardized their life horribly? Their immune system is so compromised they are susceptible to all kinds of illnesses. What are they thinking? Trading their life for muscles?

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I'm so sorry you're having to go through this...as a severe asthmatic for the past 35 years (since age 7), I know exactly how you feel.

A few hints that might help...be careful in the winter, always cover your mouth when going out into the extreme cold...drawing in icy air can easily trigger an attack. Be wary of any docs who over-prescribe Prednisone, too; the long-term side effects can be simply awful (I have precious little cartilage in my knees after years of steroid tapers). I find excess dairy in my diet makes my asthma worse, since those products tend to "coat" the airways. Know your other allergies, since these can also trigger an attack...I am extremely allergic to latex, and even exposure to something as simple as a latex glove (I work in health care) can cause my skin to break out in hives/welts and my breathing to become labored.

When an attack strikes, time is of the essence...never wait for it to "pass" or subside on its own. Inhaled steroids are definitely easier on the system than Prednisone, but they still cause dry mouth and other frustrating side effects. However, my rescue inhalers have saved my life more than once, so I keep them on me at all times.

I hope you're back in top form soon...being sick is the pits!

Susan in Kansas
(PS--I took yet another look at your photos---so beautiful!!!)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 5:12PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you so much, Susan, for the kind words and advice. I will definitely keep them in mind and follow them with care.

Yeah, for the past couple days something is giving me hives. Still cannot figure out what causes them. Happens in the evening three days in a row now. Thought it was some food, but didn't eat that today and still have some hives. Will have to watch and see.

I try to stay up as much as I can. Napping in the chair instead of staying in bed. Spent a small fortune encasing my bed and beddings. The skin test showed that I am allergic to dust mites & ragweeds. Sigh.........

I don't think my bosses expect me back to work soon. I think I'll probably be home for the entire month of August. Sigh....

Thanks again, Susan, for everything.
I could not believe my eyes when we got back home from Canada. My garden was the most beautiful ever. It has never been this pretty. Much more so than the pictures I posted. There's a comfort in that. It's probably all the rain that we had all spring.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 9:22PM
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stage_rat(5--Indiana Riviera)

Oh my gosh, I had no idea you were so ill! You mentioned illness yesterday or the day before and I was concerned. I'm glad you made it, I remember Jim Henson's surprising death. Please take good care of yourself! If any problems in your garden start driving you crazy, I can come over and do something to help!

My friend has similar allergies (and more), they have bare floors in the bedrooms to decrease dust. Their mattresses are encased like yours, and they buy cheapo pillows that they wash often, and when those get too lumpy, they are thrown away. Apparently your sleeping room's air quality is the most important of anything in the house.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 10:30PM
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I rarely have "bad days" anymore, since my physician seems to have hit upon the perfect combination of meds...but I've spent many a night sitting up to sleep because lying down was just too difficult. At times, I felt like I was "drowning" in my own body, if that makes sense.

And yes, it is costly to take encase mattresses, pillows, etc....but it really does make a big difference. I'm allergic to dust mites as well (shellfish, too), so I try to stay on top of housework (*try* being the key word here, lol).

As for the hives, have you changed any cleaning supplies lately? Laundry or hand soap? Any new perfumes, deodorants, skin lotions? I know that sounds fairly obvious, but I was surprised to realize how many potential culprits there are in everyday life which can trigger allergic reactions to those of us who are highly sensitive.

Hardwood floors go a long way towards better air for me; my curtains are minimalist sheer fabric and I don't keep a lot of decorative pillows or stuffed animals lying around. I'm still a clutter-collector (eek!), but I'm working on it *wink* If your basement is damp, be on the lookout for any type of mold or mildew, as these are a sure trigger for an asthma attack. Last summer there was some condensation in my central A/C ductwork, and it turned to mold rather quickly (funky odor from the floor registers was the tip-off). Turns out the metal pan at the base of the unit had a bit of runoff water! Once I emptied and cleaned that, the smell went away...but until I figured it out, I was having headaches and nausea constantly.

Strangely enough, working in the garden has never caused a problem with my allergies or my asthma--although the humidity tends to force me indoors on some days.

Again, I hope you're feeling better as soon as possible (((hugs))) And please let me know if there is anything I can do (even if it's just lending an ear so you can vent!)

Susan in Kansas

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 12:02AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you, Annette & Susan.

My garden is in great shape. Just needed some tidying up so we can walk through the sidewalks. Lol. I have tied & staked the plants already. Need some weeding, which I have started a little bit at a time. I need to replenish the mulch to cover the soil, because weeds are having a field day in my garden this year. Will do that later this year.

I have hardwood floor throughout the house, so theres no problem there. Just need to clean more often. Lol.

Susan, I understand perfectly re drowning in your own body. I felt that while in the hospital. I think my asthma is controlled now, because I have not wheezed for several days. Just short of breath once in a while.

No, we have not changed laundry detergent. I have stuck with Arms & Hammer for many years since any other gave me rashes. I even had to stop using fabric softener. We had been using Snuggle for many years, but the latest bottle gave me rashes. They must have changed the ingredients.

We have dried up our basement after the last rainstorm, so I hope we are Ok for a while. IÂll keep watch on the AC.

Yeah, headache. I have been having a headache constantly since in the hospital. Still had some yesterday. Will have to ask my physician when I see him on Friday.

Working in the garden has never given me any problem either. Boy, wouldnÂt it be a big blow if we could not be in the garden anymore?

Thank you both again for lending me your ears and for the valuable advice.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:11AM
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dawiff(z7 WA)

It's been a while since I've been over on this side of the forum. I had read about you being sick after/during your trip, but didn't realize it was so bad. You must have been so scared. I have never been sick like that. I'm really glad your doctors got a handle on it so quickly once you got back. My son has asthma that makes it really hard to get rid of the cough once he gets a cold. I've sometimes wondered if I have a mild case of it, because I often get a coughing fit as soon as I lie down at night.

Anyway, I don't have any advice, just sympathy and concern. Hoping you continue to get stronger every day. It's great that your garden was so beautiful when you got back!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 2:15PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, dawiff, for the kind words and concerns. I think you might put your pillow in the sun for now and get an encasing for your pillow as soon as possible. You might be allergic to dust mites. They are from you own dry skin and settle in your pillow and bedding.

I got my anti-allergy stuff from Allergy Control Products

My allergist gave me a catalog.
Be well.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 2:31PM
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Yikes, Piti! I hope you are on the mend now. I have, knock wood, never had pneumonia, but my Mom did in her younger years. She said she thought she was dying and felt so bad she wished she would! Sounds about like what you were hit with.

I am glad she recovered, and am glad you are, too.

That sneaky asthma can hit you any time in life. :(

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:11PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Mone, I am so sorry to hear about your asthma and pneumonia.
Please don't push yourself too much too soon.

My son had pneumonia when he was 13 and was home from school for over a month so I understand that recovery is slow. He had allergies too, and we also did the encased mattress, pillows, no carpet, no curtains in his room, etc. It was helpful.

Re. hives, check to see if any of your meds are sulfa based. My family, including myself, have mild to sever intolerance of sulfa based drugs. I get hives. Even after I told the health care worker that I had a family history of allergies to sulfa drugs, I still was sent home with a sulfa drug.

Glad to hear that your gardens are looking wonderful. We are having a drought and such cool weather that some of this years ws plants are not growing much. I have started watering which helps but need some warmth. The plants you have shared with me over the years are doing well. Annabell hydrangea if full of blooms.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:56PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, drippy & Bobbie.
Yeah, it was a whopper alright. I am a lot better today. Will go back to see my physician and the infectious disease specialist later this morning.

Hope they'll let me stay home for the whole month of August.
Oooh, you should see my hospital bill...:-(

Thanks re advice on meds. The doctors knew that I am allergic to Sulfa. I think it might be my laundry detergent that I have been using after all, although I have been using the same thing for many years. I am going to try washing everything with just water to see if that will work.

The Annabelle is a gem, isn't it? I may put one in the backyard next spring. I am slowly replacing small leaves with big, bold ones.

Thanks again drippy & Bobbie.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 6:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi pitimpinai...

Really sorry to hear of your health problems. It sounds like it was very scary. My DH has had asthma his entire life, but usually doesn't have an issue more than once a year. Over the winter it will develop into bronchitis sometimes. He has allergies and was much worse when he was young. In his twenties, he had 3 years of allergy shots that really made a big difference. Have you been tested for allergies? He is on the preventive medicine too, which I am sure helps.

We had an area rug that was a trigger once. The allergist figured it out and as soon as we removed it he was much better. We have tried to make the bedroom allergen free.

I'm glad you made it home and that you improve by leaps and bounds! :-)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 3:11PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, prairiemoon2. Asthma is really a scary illness. My son had it when he was a kid. I am glad your DH's asthma is well controlled.

Yes, I was tested for allergy. I'm allergic to dust mites and ragweed. I have spent a small fortune encasing my bed and everything on the bed. We have hardwood floor and only a few area rugs. No problem there so far.

Saw my physician and the infectious disease specialist today.
My physician said I was totally confused and disoriented for 24 hours because of systemic sepsis. They were very concerned that my brain might have been infected. The spinal taps turned out negative. But that scared them for a while.

I am going to be off work for the entire month of August. My physician will see if the recuperation needs to be extended when I see him in four weeks.

Oh, well.....I am alive. That's the best thing.
Thank you for your concerns.
Missed you, you know.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 5:24PM
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OMG - I NEVER go to conversations... I was stunned and upset to find out what you have been going through!

I wish you the best of luck in getting back to good health and keeping that way... Be careful if you are home for a month that you don't overwork yourself (in the garden) and try and stay healthy again.

Wish you the best!!!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 8:32PM
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At the age of 38 I developed allergies to all kinds of things, testing results range from 1-5 with 5 being the worst. I'm a 4 for dust mite and needed an epi pen shot during testing. I was told to get rid of all carpets,fabric furniture(2 sets) buy new mattresses and pillows for everyone in the house!! A pillow that's 3 years old is like 50 percent dust mite fecal matter...ewwww
I was told to replace my pillows every 3 months or buy covers by aller-ease.

After making all these changes, I have been hive free for about 5 years.

Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 11:37PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you, Carrie & ishareflowers.
I have to be up most of the time so my lungs would expand, so I have been working in the garden little by little, tidying things up.
Everything is overgrown since I was away.
I slept all day yesterday, though.

I went back to the hospital on Friday to see my primary care physican and the infectious disease specialist. I am a lot better now. The oral antibiotics are over. The specialist told me to skip the last few doses since I developed hives from one of them.

The physicians told me to eat too, because I had lost 4 lbs.
Down to 99 lbs...I like it though, because at 105 - 107 lbs. I felt uncomfortable. But boy, what a way I lose weight.

I hardly ate while in hospital being so sick. Back home I still didn't eat well. One of the antibiotics gave me such a bad taste in my mouth and smell in my nose. Everything tasted awfully bitter.

I am eating better now, though.

My physicians told me that the following day after admission I was incoherent, confused and disoriented for 24 hours. They were very concerned thinking my brain might have been infected with meningitis. They did a spinal tap twice to culture the spinal fluid. I knew nothing of that. Thank goodness the culture was negative.

The incoherence was caused by sepsis - a total blood & body infection. Scary, huh?

I was doing so very well work-wise and family-wise. Then whamm! Life really has a way to bring you back to earth.

Thanks for your concerns. I truly appreciated it.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 3:20AM
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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

I was so sorry to read about all your problems, Pitim. So that's why we've been missing your cheerful and encouraging posts! Please pace yourself and get well 100%. Sooner, not later. I had double pneumonia many years ago. It's a scary feeling not being able to breathe. Sorry you went through all that.

Barbara in Virginia

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 12:19PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you, Barbara.
It's really was scary. I did have double pneumonia or bilateral pneumonia as the medical term for it...both lungs were affected.
More so on the left than the right.
But I didn't know that my physician was more concerned with the right than the left.
He was very pleased when the right lung cleared up.
I forgot to ask him why he was more concerned with the right. My left lung is still congested, though.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Oh gosh Piti!!! What a thing to go through. That is just plain aweful!! Just came over to the C side for the first time in a while and wow, blow my mind on what's happened to you since we saw each other. I saw you mention it a bit on another thread, but this is too much. I really hope that you are feeling better and that the bits of gardening you are able to do bring you some remedy. I saw the veggies you picked and they are looking so yummy. LOL!

I spotted your e-mails so will write in the next day. Lots going on here but will explain.

Robert developed allergies quite late too. He has a condition called Epicaria which complicates his asthma and meds have to be taken every day. It took a while to find the proper meds but we finally got there. He also developed an allergy to pets... We will be 'downsizing' in the future.

Oh, I truly hope you do feel better. Glad your gardens gave you a happy heart when you got home. Big hugs!!!! :O)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:22PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

Oh, pit, I'm so sorry to hear that you've been so ill! I'm very happy to know that you are feeling better.

Asthma is something I'm extremely familiar with - runs in my family. I lost my younger sister to asthma 12 years ago - she had an extreme attack and the paramedics didn't get to her in time. She was 38 years old. Your story has made me cry, remembering my own experiences.

All the advice you've gotten here is good stuff; take heed and definitely continue to do the things you are doing to keep yourself healthy.

Hope you keep on keeping on ....


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 10:05AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Oh, tiffy, it really was awful.
My physician told me the spinal taps were the cause of the headache. I still have headaches to these days.
I hope Robert is better. Its a good thing he has found the proper meds.
I am sorry you might have to downsize with your beautiful dogs.
They looked so very happy with you.
I hope whats happening at home are not terribly bad.

Oh, PV, I am so very sorry about your sister.
Please accept my heartfelt condolence.
How sad that she passed away so young.
Your story brought tears to my eyes.

Asthma is truly a scary illness.
Thats why I hit the roof when the student teacher said to my son that other kids didnt have any problem with the weather like him.
What an ignorant! And to say something like that to a kid?!

I am having hives from one of the antibiotics.
Last evening it was so bad I had to take Benadryl.
Then I woke up at midnight with a fever of 106!
I thought oh, no, I dont want to go back to the hospital, so I waited until this morning to tell my physician.
He thinks its probably because of the allergic reaction.
But he told me to take Benadryl 3 times a day.
Whahhh! I am still whoozy from the two Benadryl I took last night!
So I am not taking it today. Will see if I still have any hives this evening. Sigh

This is really a bummer.

Lets talk about something good, shall we?
Remember what I said about my son and his summer job in NYC?
He got it again this summer amidst the financial crisis.
Initially I was feeling really bad for him because the promised papers did not come through.
His former manager finally called him in in June.
This kid of mine is really making me proud.
His salary will cover his college tuition after the scholarship this fall, although I will have to foot his utility bills on top of the apartment rental. lol.
Hell really have to find a roommate to help offset the cost.

He is staying in a dorm at Columbia as he did last summer not that spiffy studio on Battery Park where he lived the first summer. Lol.

You gardens are looking great, PV and Tiffy, despite the weather. That is the results of hard work you both have put in.

Hugs to both of you.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Mono, OMG, why didn't you mention this in your e-mail. I'm so sorry that you have been so ill.

Asthma, not anything to fool around with, but it can be controlled with meds and it does get better, honest.

Once you fully recover from everything else you've had and get your strength back, you will find that the asthma problem will be much easier to control.

It's the triggers you need to be sure of and then do what you can to limit the exposure and decrease the exposure.

I've got far to many years of experience with both asthma and allergies with both my daughter, now 26 and myself.

It's was my daughter that was the toughest. She was diagnosed as exercise asthmatic in elementary school, along with the rare allergy to her own sweat.

All I could think of was OMG, my star little athlete has asthma and allergic to her own sweat, well that explains the breathing and the hives, but what do we do now.

It's the words of her allergist/pulmonary doctor that was the key to it all.

But Mono, it doesn't really matter whether it is a kid or an adult, the words are the same for both.

"You have 2 choices, MOM. You either have an asthmatic for a daughter or a daughter that has asthma. If you choose to have a daughter that has asthma, then don't let the asthma control her, you control the asthma. You don't let it rule the roost, rule her life, rule your home. You let your daughter and your family rule. You force the asthma to adapt to her and the family."

It sounded crazy, but, it was true. first step was 6 weeks of meds to get the asthma under control. cover the bedding, vacuum and dust a lot and must do when she isn't home and won't be home for a couple of hours. stuffed animals. and there where tons of them in her room. They had to be specially washed and then bagged. But before that she had to choice 6 of her favorites and they got to stay in her room. If there where no problems then each week another one could join "the party".

She was out of sports for a couple of weeks, but still had to go to practice and games and cheer the team, then slowly back to practice and go.

Her 2 inhalers where used before practice and games and Mom just grit her teeth. but I refused to let her be defined by asthma or her hives from sweat. She had meds for that too.

Well, Mono, once we took the attitude that she was the daughter, the friend, the student, the athlete first that just happened to have asthma, everyone acted the same way and one would never have known she had a problem.

And she's been fine every since. Still the athlete, still the runner, still plays soccer and lacrosee, coaches both at the HS she teaches in as well.

So once you are well under control, life goes on. Just need to get your strength back, get everything under control and you are off on your way.

So talk about other things. sounds good to me.

Got about 30 seeds so far, saved for you and lots of pods on the vines waiting. still blooming too.
They are all yours.

Great about your son and the summer job. too.

Hey we've finally had sun and heat and now my plants are beginning to grow finally.
Does look weird to see 3 inch stems with flowers on them and they are supposed to be 3 feet tall.

That's "Mom nature" doing her thing. getting late in the season and those plants have got to bloom to make seeds so they can grow and bloom next year.

OK, I'm off to post some pics from todays gardens over on the other side.

MONO, don't over do. Get your strength back and take it easy, follow the docs advise to get the asthma under control and you will be fine again.


PS> Dawiff, that cough lying down sounds more like it could be acid reflux. GERD. that' is one of the symptoms.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 12:22AM
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Im sorry you were so sick. Im glad your employer is letting you take time off. You cant take that for granted, my SIL wasnt allowed to take off for pneumonia, (geesh) lucky she wasnt septic or anything and was able to tough it out. Sepsis is bad news and Im sooooooooo glad you got thru that.

Sometiems I have the coughing when I lay down also, usually its post nasal drip and a benedryl or maybe a cough drop does the trick. Mine isnt so bad.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 9:13PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Hey, I'm back in the hospital again. Been here since Aug 3.
Will be here until at least Aug 18. The infectious specialist would like to finish a course of one antibiotic before starting another one.

Right now I am on 3 different antibiotics and I am having rashes all over. My physicians don't know anymore what I am having reactions to what since they have been giving me so many different drugs.

Pathetic, but I am trying to take things one day at a time.
Thanks for the kind words, suggestions and well wishes. They are much appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:06AM
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not_a_contessa(z5b S Central PA mtns.)

Mone, I am so sorry to know you are going through such a difficult time. I'm sure your doctors will sort out the problem and you will soon be home and all this will be in the past for you.

I've never had asthma, my mother did though. I remember when I was a kid her doctor had her burn some herbs and put a towel over her head to inhale the smoke; it did help her. These days that would seem rather primitive. Later on she got shots and then eventually her asthma disappeared.

Let us know how you are doing, I'll still keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 10:16AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thank you, Mary.

This is no fun at all. I think I might get to go home in a few days. This has been a long struggle. I litterally have been sick for 2 1/2 months and out of work for 2 months. I don't know how long I'll stay home to recouperate. Right now I am so weak I can barely walk to the bathroom without being out of breath.

My wt. went down from 105 to 91 lbs.
Allergists love to give patients steroids while infectious disease specialists hate them because they see the effects of these drugs on patients and have to put their health back in order. Meanwhile patients suffer terribly from them.

Thanks for the kind words. I was about to send you a thank you note for the Dianthus seeds you sent me, but came back to the hospital instead. Let me thank you here for them and pls. save me some more. I'll send you seeds later when I am well.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 8:27AM
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PVick(6b NYC)

So sorry to hear this, Mone. And here I thought you were home and beginning to feel a bit better ....

That's a lot of weight for a tiny lady to lose! I just hope they are able to diagnose you properly and get you on the right course of medication. And get you HOME.

Much cyber-love to you and lots of prayers coming your way.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 3:13PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, PV. The lung biopsy confirmed the culture from a bronchoscopy, so the doctors have been treating me for fungal pneumonia. The course of treatment is long. But I am better now. No more fever and may get to go home on Wed. or Thurs.

Thanks again for the kind words, love and prayers. I can use all those in spade.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 4:19PM
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not_a_contessa(z5b S Central PA mtns.)

Mone, the dianthus started blooming again this week, so I will save more seeds to send you. Meanwhile, President Tyler has shown up where last year's seeds dropped, it wants to compete with my Heavenly Blues, and they look rather interesting together.

I went through my stash, both annuals and perennials, and boy I could start a botanical garden with them LOL. The problem with me is I need to plant out what I've got growing, I just can't seem to get into the mood this year. I think the weather had a lot to do with it. I think I need a good kick in the behind!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 10:08PM
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chickenmom(7b/8a, DFW, TX)

So very sorry to hear of all you have been through, Piti. I am sure it must have been very frightening and discouraging when you had to return to the hospital. It sounds like the doctors have a clear idea about the correct treatment and even if it takes a while,your recovery will continue until you are back to your usual positive and healthy self. Everyone who "knows" you from the forum is sure to have you in their thoughts and prayers. When you are home and can see your beautiful flowers again, that is sure to help. Take care! Debby

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 10:27PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Pitimpinai, wow, I just thought to look here again and see you are back in the hospital. How awful. I hadn't seen you posting on the discussions side and it just occurred to me that you might be still sick. So sorry to hear that! I've never heard of fungal pneumonia but it sounds awful. Did you get it due to the steroids lowering your resistance?

I hope you can get home soon. As long as the fever is gone, maybe you would recover better at home. Will you have some help at home, to get back on your feet? Someone to wait on you hand and foot and fatten you up? :-) I sure hope so!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 3:05PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, prairiemoon. Yeah. It's awful. It's an awful month and a half. I may go home on Friday.

The fungal infection occurred because of the steroids lowering my resistance. This is the fungus that is found everywhere, even in your nose & throat. Normally your body immune system kills it, but not in my case.

My husband has been coming to see me everyday and stays until lunch time. He'll be around when I go home.

Thanks so much for the kind words.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Mono, hope you are beginning to feel better and will be home by the end of the week.

Here's to making you feel a bit better, I'm collecting those seeds for you. Pods are slow to ripen, but they are getting there.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 12:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

pitimpinai...keeping my fingers crossed, you get home today! :-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 7:08AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, prairiemoon2 and everyone, for your support.
You have been boosting my spirits through this long ordeal.

The resident will pull the central line this morning after a dose of an IV antibiotic
I' ll get all my oral antibiotics and many other meds, wait for my infectious disease specialist to see me.
He usually comes see me late afternoon, though.
Then go home.

I feel much better than at the first discharge.
My abnomal lab results have improved quite a bit,
so I think this time, hopefully, I won't end up coming back again.

My nurse weighed me this morning.
87 lbs. Yikes!
After a couple hundred thousand dollar hospital & doctors's bills, this has to be the most expensive wt. loss program ever!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 8:57AM
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PVick(6b NYC)

Good news, Mone! It's a good sign that you feel better than at the first discharge. I sincerely hope that this will be it for the hospital and you'll be on the road to a complete recovery.

And your hubby has got to fatten you up!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Great news that you get to go home later today! That weight loss is amazing. I guess you haven't had much appetite. Is that the lowest you've ever weighed. I agree, hope now that you will be off the antibiotics, that your appetite will return. Milk shakes with strawberries, yum. :-)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 2:20PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Glad to hear that you are home, Mone. This is a good time to read, watch movies, tv shows, surf the net and just rest.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 10:11PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I hope you're home ....

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:51AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Yes, I'am home. Was discharged Friday afternoon.
Sat, I just sat in my recliner, ate, watched TV & napped, grabbed a mop from the fence,eat, napped some more, took a shower then went to bed.

Yesterday, ate, napped, dragged the hose around a little bit in the front yard, watched TV, napped, ate, showeredm then went to bed.

Still pretty weak because I have not been eating well. Friends have been bringing me food. I can only eat only a few bites at a time. Will try to eat more. The medicines make everything I eat bitter, so it's not fun.

Will go back to the hospital today for more X-ray and bloodwork. Will probably be pooped when I get back.

I am cleaning out and throwing out stuffs that have accumulated over the years....one spot at a time. Need to get rid of them to reduce dust in the house. DH vaccuumed the floor on SAT, mopped it yesterday. Lol. What a love.

Thanks, everyone for your support and encouragement. You have helped me along. It is truly much appreciated.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Pitimpinai, now that you're home, rest and recover. I hope they won't have you on the medication too much longer. Once you are off of it, I hope you will take some probiotics, after all those antibiotics. Don't think you have to respond to our emails. You will get your strength back and then you will feel more like it. Take care of yourself and I will be thinking of you. :-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 7:39PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I'm so sorry, Mone. I don't get on the forum nearly as much in summer as the rest of the year, and I too seem to neglect the conversations a lot.

PM2 is right, if you take acidophilus it can really help with the side effects of the antibiotics. I won't take antibiotics without it.

I hope you are feeling better at last.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Oh I am so glad you are home.
I take steroids on ocasion for my Crohn's disease and the new condition I have (cronic hives). They make me feel so sick. I also wondered why anyone would take steroids when they did not have to!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 12:01PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

I learned from my physician that the steroids used in medical care is an immuno-suppressant. It is different from the steroids that athletes use to build up their muscles. Those are testosterone, a totally different type of steroids that does not suppress the immune system.

I think I read about this before and forgot about the difference.

I am still not feeling well 100%. I am exhausted and whoozy from all the meds I am taking. Not fun to pass the day.
But thanks, everyone. I am alive. That's the best thing.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 5:07PM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

Wow, Pit!
I am SO sorry to hear about what you've been going through. I wish there were something I could do for you other than pray, but pray I will.
I'm glad you are doing better, and I hope you will be doing even better than you are now. Maybe we need to make a batch of pesto and cook up a huge batch of pasta for you to help you gain that weight back (and give you some good vitamins from the basil)

Take care, and keep keeping us posted. Even for the slackers like me (I haven't been on GW in a while)


    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:56PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Thanks, everyone. It really is a bummer. I noticed that the tree across the street has changed colors! The summer has passed me by and here I am still not in perfect health.

There is a little set back yesterday.
On Friday, my physicians added 3 more drugs to my regimen. I am on 13 different drugs altogether. I try to spread them throughout the day. They leave quite a bad taste in my mouth and also are making me quite nauseated.

I need to juggle the time today to see if the situation will improve.I am really over medicated and not feeling well.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 7:34AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Sorry to hear about your set back, Mone. Hopefully those three will help cure you and that you will find the a routine that will ease your nausea.

Am keeping you in my prayers.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 11:55AM
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lblack61(z5 NY)

Do you think a change in your geographic location might help?
Has your doctor talked about that at all?


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 11:56AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Bobbie, I have a tree that produces tart berries that I munch on to fight nausea. I forgot the name of this tree. We normally see it with orange berries, that tree that has pea-like leaves - you know. I have the Russian kind that has purple berries. European use them to make jams and such but American don't normally eat them.

I would love to move to a warmer climate, Linda. :-)
But we have to be here for a while longer.
Allergy is found everywhere, though. And the reason I fell so ill was that steroid I was given. Bummer.

I am a lot better now, clinically, but physically I am very weak. I also am pretty sick from all the drugs I am taking.
My physician is not letting me go back to work until the end of the month. Right now I am concentrating on gaining strength and taking my medicines. :-(
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:31PM
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Mone - I didn't know anything about your illness except that you said you had lost a lot of weight. I thought you were just being private about it. What an awful traumatic time you've had. I hope you're doing well now.

I just ended up here by accident. I thought I was going to WS seed exchange. LOL.

I can't believe how you pushed yourself to get ready for and get to the swap. You are a bad girl! But we were all so glad you made it!!! My willows have tiny tiny roots. I'll be planting them on the weekend.

Did you ever ask your Dr about the right lung thing? I'm wondering if it's because the right lung is bigger and is believed to do 60% of our breathing. (The left does only 40%)????


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 5:18PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Hi Ellie,

I am still very tired.
I am going back to work on Thursday. I will have been away for 3 full months......I have literally been sick all summer long.
If I don't go see my doctors or have some labwork/Chest x-ray, I just sleep, eat, take medicines and sleep some more. I think I will go to work all day Thursday and Friday and ask my boss to work only half the day next week. I know I will probably be useless in the afternoon anyway. lol.

It's still a struggle for me to do anything physical. That's why I was eternally grateful that you helped me load and unload plants at the swap and that's why I was sitting most of the time while at the swap.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 9:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Mone,

Wondering how you did at work today. My DH started back to work on Tuesday but he was wiped out after 4.5 hrs there so he only stayed 3 hrs today. He is going in half days the rest of the week. He is also feeling tired still and has no stamina at all. It really takes a lot out of you and he has had a fraction of what you have been dealing with. Hope you continue to make progress.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:02PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Hi Ann,
I hope your DH has gotten some rest. I feel for him. I understand perfectly how wiped out he got.

I did better than expected. But we had training all morning so I was not actually doing much work. The classes were quite interesting and varied enough to keep me awake even though I had to put my head down a couple times.

The rest of the afternoon, I cleaned up my emails and did not do any work that needed much concentration. I won't start new work but try to catch up on the 3 month work that got put aside while I was away and tie up loose ends until the New Year.

I drove to work & my DH dove the car home, so I didn't have to walk far. That helped a lot. I probably will do that for a couple weeks until I am strong enough to walk from the train station in the morning.

I have a lot of PTO to use before the end of the year, so I think I'll just work for half the day next week. :-)

Thanks for asking. Hope your DH will regain his strength soon.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That's great to hear, you ARE making progress!! :-)
DH had a good day yesterday. He got home from work and didn't look as spent. Later in the afternoon, I noticed he was puttering around, so I think we are definitely heading in the right direction.

I can't wait for next spring! [g]

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 7:07AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Mone :-)

Wondering how you are doing? Are you catching up at work and getting your energy back? DH just finished a whole week of full days and seems almost back to normal. It has been five weeks since he was home from the hospital and it's taken him all that time to do it. We are hoping to get the last of the garden work done before it gets cold next week.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 5:30AM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Oh Hi prairiemoon2,
Sorry I didn't see this until now. SO glad to hear that your DH has improved so. It must be exhausting for him. It will take a while before he is fully back to where he was before his illness.I am wishing him all the best.

I went back to work on Oct 1. Was doing part time for several weeks. I worked full time for only a few days then back to part time again because I have to use my PTO or I'll lose it at the end of the year. Love this schedule. lol. It gives me more time in the garden. It is almost cleaned up now that the weather turned so nice this month.

I raked all the leaves and shredded them, spread them all over the garden, then went to rake some more. :-D

Yesterday neighbors helped me till up my next door neighbor's lawn. lol. She loved the Dahlia and tomatoes that I planted for her so much that she decided to expand the garden. Whoohoo.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2009 at 9:37PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well what a great report from you, pitimpinai!! The last I heard you were still very low in energy and still on a ton of medication and little appetite, and listen to you, helping the neighbor till up a lawn! LOL What a nice neighbor you were to plant tomatoes and Dahlias. :-) I am happy to hear that you've also benefited from a shorter work day. Great that you had all that time off saved up. I bet you really needed it to get your energy back.

We have gotten pretty much back to what is normal for us here. The weather has been stupendous in the past month! I have never seen the cover crop in the veggie beds so high. We've also gotten all the leaves mowed and collected in bins, ours and three neighbors. [g] We have gotten somewhat cleaned up for the year in the garden, but I keep adding to my list of what I want to get done before the weather turns. Still have a small amount of bulbs to plant and three shrubs to get in the ground, some pots to clean and put away and that will just about do it.

I am actually looking forward to a break from the garden. Not that we don't get outside and enjoy it, but it's nice this time of year, to focus on other things. During the gardening season, the garden seems to push out other priorities. [g] I enjoy the winter garden and by the time spring comes, I am just itching to get back to a new growing season.

Glad you are able to enjoy gardening again and hope you stay well this winter! :-)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 1:41PM
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