Greetings from the Pneumonia
Ward at Davies Hospital
Forgive the gallows humor of my headline, but after the past 7-8 days of battling pneumonia I need to give myself even a small reason to laugh at the medical situation challenging my immune system.
Last Saturday, after a few days of what I thought was just a spring cold and nasty bout of laryngitis making it near impossible to speak above a raspy whisper, I was online for barely an hour, grew so bored and tired I shut off the computer. Today is the first time since then that I've had any interest communicating via the web or reading my favorite news sites.
Late Sunday morning my partner Mike took me to the emergency room at California Pacific Medical Center's Davies Campus in the heart of the Castro district. I was quickly examined by a few nurses before getting chest x-rays and having blood drawn, and Mike and I waited for the doctor on duty to deliver the results.
When the doctor told us the diagnosis was pneumonia and that he wanted me checked into the hospital for two-nights, my fevered brain was scared. I thought hospitals were reluctant to admit patients for overnight stays in these cost-cutting healthcare times, and that hospitals would rather load patients up with treatments and send them home.
I was soon put on intravenous antibiotics and a saline solution, as the doctor for the third floor of the North Tower where respiratory patients are treated and housed interviewed me. She slowly explained the treatment and care protocol to Mike and me, and assured us the pneumonia would be cured in due course.
For three days, the doctor and caring, dedicated nursing and housekeeping staffers tended to this "problem patient" who complained when necessary. Every effort was made to lessen the fevers, coughing and frightening wheezing, and thankfully there was no other patient sharing the room, enduring my medical problems.
Much of the time an oxygen tube pushed air up my nostrils, and I was given frequent treatments of Albuterol inhalation aerosol. What a trip that was! They place a green mask over your nose and mouth, you breathe in the Albuterol and get a few hour of breathing without a hacking cough.
There were a few occasions when I thought about the foolish bug-chasers, men who actively seek to contract HIV. What the eff is wrong with them? Who in his right mind would want to be infected with HIV and place themselves at higher-risk for even the "regular" pneumonia attacking my lungs? If you know such a man, smack him upside the head until he gets some sense.
Now that I'm back at home, taking everything slow and easy, and again amazed at my wonderful companion Mike and his healing love, I want folks to know my body and mind are on the mend. I am taking my drugs as instructed and heeding Mike's advice.
And now, it's time for a bowl of Mike's vegetable soup and nap. All prayers and wishes for wellness are welcomed and appreciated. Be sure to take care of yourself and your health too.