Thursday, December 27, 2012


Well, it finally happened. I got the flu for the first time in years. Let me clear the air before I begin. I did get a flu shot. I apparently picked up a strand not covered by the vaccination. Even though I got sick even with the flu shot, I will always encourage people to get the shot.... especially those people who are high risk or who are close to someone who is high risk.

Being high risk, I never miss my flu shot, and up until this year, it has paid off. Once I realized I might have the flu, I went to my doctor so that I could start Tamiflu. After about a week of being sick, I started to feel a little better. That was short lived, because I took another dive. I ran a low grade fever almost everyday, and all of my energy was completely zapped out of me. I had a PFT done that second week of being sick. It showed that my numbers were down to 40% which is not good at all.

Shortly after, my doctor called and informed me that they wanted me to do IV antibiotics. My history with picc lines (IV that you can have at home) has not been great, so I was not thrilled to have to do it again. I had mine put in last Wednesday. Unfortunately, the only antibiotic that can be used to treat MRSA which is what I always culture in my lungs, tends to cause big allergic reactions in a lot of patients. Because I have never been on this antibiotic, no one here would give me my first dose for fear that I would be allergic. So, on Friday, I had to drive the 2 1/2 hours to Nashville to see my nurse at Vanderbilt for the first dose. Luckily, I had no reaction, and we left Vanderbilt a couple hours later with a weeks worth of my antibiotics.

This is one of my IV infusions. It's called vancomycin, and it takes a little over an hour to complete. I have to do that 3 times a day. 6:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 10:00 pm.

I felt horrible for the first 5 days or so on the antibiotics. I was weak, coughing up a storm, and all together miserable. Saturday morning, I woke with severe pain in my right side. Soon, I realized the pain was coming from my ribs. I had bruised a rib coughing in my sleep that night. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were filled with fun and family, but I felt horrible both days. These past 2 days, I have finally started feeling a little better. I have more energy, and I'm actually able to eat food. For the past 4 weeks, I have had no appetite at all. I have lost a lot of weight as well, so having my appetite back is much needed! My rib is still in a lot of pain, and I'm coughing a lot more than I usually do, but I'm getting there.

Eldon and I on Christmas Eve. I'm pretending I feel fine.
I'm really hoping to be back on my feet by New Year's. It's a little depressing to be sick during the holidays. My last day of antibiotics is supposed to be January 2nd. I also have a follow-up PFT that day to see if I am improving at all. Fingers crossed!