I feel compelled to write about what has happened to me in the last month. I went to the emergency room on July 30, after a long time of feeling pretty awful. They admitted me immediately, as they thought I had severe pneumonia. I ended up having more problems than just that. I had an empyema in my right lung that they tell me was the size of a fist, long with the pneumonia and pleurisy. Lots and lots of infection running around in me, concentrated in my lungs.
I had never heard of empyema, but I was to get very familiar with the havoc it can cause in one’s body. One of the zillion doctors who looked at my x-rays and CT scan realized what it was and that it was more complicated than just pneumonia and I had a procedure to try and drain the fluid from my lungs. They only got 500 cc’s out of me. Although that seemed like a lot to me, the doctors were not happy. So I was scheduled for surgery.
After the surgery, eight days in the hospital, three garden hoses through my ribs and more shots and antibiotics than I can remember, I came home from the hospital on Wednesday, August 7 in the evening, bruised from shoulder to fingertips. Thankfully, the garden hoses (it is what they looked like) have been removed… I had something called a pleural empyema. Which is an abscess in the lower lobe of my right lung. They tell me it was the size of a small fist and mostly encapsulated in there. I am still taking IV antibiotics once a day for the next 4 weeks, so if I had not gone to the emergency room on July 30 and been admitted, I would probably be dead or close to it. The empyema had ruptured into the pleural lining, and there was some infection floating around where it was not supposed to be. I still have four more days of IV antibiotics, as I write this on August 26. I am still recuperating. The ironic thing is that I never, ever ran a temperature throughout the entire ordeal – in the hospital for eight days and the almost three weeks I’ve been home. I don’t bounce back as quickly as I used to, either. I am still kind of weak.