The head cold from last week had become a wonderful croupy cough by the end of the week. I started getting croup when I was an infant; I spend a tremendous amount of time during my childhood sitting in the bathroom with one of my parents at 4:00 am with the shower on as hot as it could get trying to breathe. It's one of those" childhood illnesses" that are supposed to go away as you leave childhood - but as usual, my body didn't get the message in a timely matter; my last real bought of croup was my senior year of high school. I usually didn't get any symptoms besides a cough that made me sound like a barking seal, but that was plenty as I got stared at constantly in school, sent to the nurses office over and over again against my protests that I was fine and it was just a bad cough, and then of course there's the abdominal pain that accompanies several days of coughing with your whole body. I really hope that my children have better health than I did; I can't imagine what my parents had to go through having a child that was ill so often.
So it wasn't croup, but for the better part of the day I was having coughing fits that sounded pretty close to the croup cough and bringing up a lot of gunk from my lungs. Then this morning I woke myself up with a coughing fit that felt like I was drowning in said gunk. Then I was short of breath, with very little relief from the 3L of oxygen I was breathing. So I finally gave in and went to the hospital. I constantly waver back and forth when I feel like I might need to go in, but at the same time I could just have a bad cold that will go away on its own. I finally broke down and decided that it was at least worth a chest x-ray.
So I went to the ER. Luckily, business was light and I was in a bed within about ten minutes and before the hour was up I had had a nebulizer treatment and an x-ray. The nebulizer helped a lot; it got my SpO2 up to 100% for the first time that I can remember. My chest x-ray wasn't good, but the pneumonia isn't bad, so they sent me home with an albuterol inhaler, an antibiotic, and a bottle of cough syrup with codeine. As much as I hate the hospital, sometimes it's really nice to be reassured that it's not all in my head, that I'm not a hypochondriac, that it really is that bad. So hopefully it's not viral and the antibiotic will clear it up, otherwise I'm in for some serious hell. The last time I had a viral pneumonia was about six months after I was diagnosed with lupus and I had to sleep in a recliner for three months so that I could breathe and had to have my lung re-inflated at one point. I can't go through that hell again. I don't think my lungs could handle it, and I might just go crazy. So I'm going to stay warm. well rested,well hydrated and keep my fingers crossed and hopefully this time next week things will be looking up.
Oh and on the autoimmune side of things, I'm seeing a new rheumatologist at Jefferson University Hospital next Thursday so that I can start the testing to determine whether or not I'm a candidate for the stem cell transplant. Very Exciting!
And I'm actually attending my first adult Thanksgiving dinner this week! I've never spent the day without my family, but this year we don't have the little man, my mom's working, my dad's going to his in-laws, and a good friend of ours doesn't have any leave left from work to go to his family's place in West Virginia, so instead of schlepping to another big family function with either of my parents families, BF, my brother, our friend M. and I are going to have dinner at M.'s. BF's going to do most of the cooking, which is awesome because he's an excellent cook and because I can't spend enough time on my feet to be of much help. Were also going to have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner at my dad's on Wednesday night with our smaller group - siblings, step-siblings, etc. It should be nice. I love Thanksgiving; it's like Christmas with out all of the gift giving, which I'm not crazy about. I'm really at an unmaterialistic place right in my life. I really enjoy getting together with friends and family far better than getting and giving gifts; I'm lucky enough to really enjoy my family. We just all really get along very well, it's nice. Christmas just seems so overly task oriented and stressful... the lines, the crowded malls, feeling like we need to visit all of our relatives in two days and the time we spend with them being focused on presents. I guess it's always been one of my least favorite holidays; always too complicated with two parents houses to spend time at, feeling guilty about whichever parent was spending the holiday alone, and now it's even more difficult to get everyone in because we have my mom's, my dad's, BF's mom, and the little man spends Christmas Eve with is mom since that's when her family always gets together. Last year we spent Christmas Eve split between my parents' houses, so they didn't get to see the little man open their gifts. We spent Christmas morning at our house with BF's mom, but then we had to leave to go to dinner with my mom's side of the family (she was working, but it's a big family) and I felt guilty leaving his mom alone on Christmas. I hope that at some point we can integrate BF's mom into our plans later in the day as our place is too small to have more than two or three people over at a time, but for now we're stuck running around everywhere. So Thanksgiving is better. I don't feel nailed down to one day and we just spread it out over several different days with several different family members. I don't know why I get so stressed out over it every year; I'm not a Christian, neither is BF, neither is his ex, or her family, and both of our mom's aren't religious, but still consider themselves Christian. So it really doesn't matter to me when we actually get together, just that we do. Ah well, someday we'll have a house that's big enough to host in and we'll just have Christmas at our house. Everyone else gets along just fine, I just think it's weird for all on the parents to get together at one of their houses; if it were our house it would be much more neutral ground and everyone would feel at home, well not quite everyone as I'm sure that the little man will always have a Christmas with his mom and her family. And hopefully by that time I'll actually be well enough to host a party of twenty at my home. I really hope that day actually makes it here.