TL;DR: I went to the hospital for a lung infection, lasted a couple weeks, I’m home now. Sorry for not letting some of you know.
Starting back on July 1st 2015, I was dealing with a nasty cough, sinus problems, and fevers. I started my usual regimen of vitamin C, Sudafed, Tylenol, Robitussin, chicken soup and lots of water. My condition kept getting worse, started with fevers around 100, then went to 103.5 by the 5th, and I was unable to keep my breath, essentially I was very short of breath and almost gasping for air. That prompted me to ask my mother to drive me to Urgent Care to see about getting some antibiotics and what not. While in UC, they decided to do a chest X-Ray, give me some antibiotics via IV, and got me on oxygen. After a whole day it seemed like they might send me home but they were concerned with my oxygen saturation. Essentially healthy is between 94 and 100%, at rest I was at 90% and when I walked around I dropped to around 80%. This meant that I’m still having trouble breathing, so they admitted me to the hospital.
They immediately started doing tests on me, they did a CT scan which showed that my lungs were full of gunk, and they assumed it was pneumonia. They also drew blood and ran a bunch of cultures to see what kind of infection I had. All of the cultures never grew anything, even as I type this, all of them are blank (bacterial, fungal, etc.). After a couple days I was getting worse, my fevers had spiked to almost 104 and my oxygen requirement went up to 15 liters (from 2 liters when I was admitted). The doctors consulted the infectious disease and pulmonary doctors who all agreed I needed to be moved from a normal hospital ward to Intensive Care. They moved me down there that night and intubated me (essentially sedated me, and put tubes down my throat to breathe for me and feed me). The next few days is honestly a blur for me, I’m not entirely sure how long it was until I came to and started interacting with people. I had a whiteboard to write things down which made it so I could communicate. I know they had me on three different antibiotics, drew a lot more blood and blood gas levels and I was not getting better. They had planned to cut open my lung and biopsy the gunk, but luckily I randomly started getting better. I no longer was getting a fever, lungs were still pretty full, and one was almost collapsed. Since I turned around they did not do the biopsy, they kept me intubated and kept trying to drain my lungs (which was in no way fun).
After days in the ICU, they finally extubated me (took all the tubes out), which was one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever gone through. Think about that scene from the Matrix where he pulls out all those tubes in his nose and mouth, I know EXACTLY how that feels now. Once they extubate it takes a while before you are allowed to swallow anything, you have to make sure that nothing goes down until a speech therapist comes in to help you get your voice back and test your ability to swallow things like water, jello, crackers, basically make sure you still have the ability to eat and what not.
Finally after a couple days, they moved me out of the ICU. I had my voice, in a diminished state, and I could barely walk (I had to use a walker and needed oxygen). I was told I was in the ICU for eight days, and lost 21 lbs due to not eating, being only on fluids, and they had me on a diuretic. After three days in the regular ward again, and being able to walk around the ward without the walker, antibiotics were stopped, and I was finally allowed to leave. I officially had “acute upper respiratory hypoxia” which basically means my lungs failed. They assume that it was a viral infection since there was nothing they could pinpoint. I was also instructed to stop taking pills for my skin which hurts my immune system which when I was prescribed those, that was not a side effect. But oh well, not taking those ever again…
I am now officially home, I am still quite weak and require oxygen when I’m walking around and working on my breathing. I feel 100 times better than I did when I went in, but now it’s going to take time to get back to 100%. I want to apologize to those of you who did not know about this, I did not have much time to write anything before the ICU and during/after I was either not conscious enough or did not have the energy to look at any social media or anything.
Healing times ahead, I don’t officially go back to work until 08/03/2015, and server stuff will still be on hold until I feel strong enough to work on it.