I'm taking a steroid every other day to help control my GVHD, and this past week I was having very strange, not comfortable symptoms the day after not taking the steroids. On Saturday evening it was really bad, so on Monday I had my photopheresis appointment and I asked them to let my doctor know. He called back, I explained my symptoms, and he thought it sounded like the problem was the every-other-day-steroid thing and changed my dose. One of my problems has been shortness of breath, and I noticed on Monday evening that walking around my house twice was getting me out of breath. This was no good. Of course this made me start freaking out about my lungs. It could be GVHD, could be another recurrence, could be lots of different bad things! And we're leaving for a week in northern Michigan on Sunday, what if things get worse while we're there with health care that's nowhere near as good as it is down here!!!!
So I called first thing this morning and left a message that I wanted to be seen before I left. Got a call back from a nurse in clinic who said the only appointment she could get me was Friday morning. One, I don't want to come in on my birthday, and two, that's not soon enough. So I emailed my doctor asking if he could see me earlier. He has clinic today, but called me back soon after I sent the email, we discussed things, and he said come in for a chest x-ray and then wait around until he's seen it and can tell us what the deal is.
We ran to the hospital as quickly as we could, got the x-ray, and then went upstairs to clinic and waited. I'm freaking out because I'm so worried about the results. My doctor came out looking for us pretty soon after we got there, missed us as first but eventually our waving and calling brought him over. He says "you have pneumonia." And then we got my pulse ox and blood pressure and made a plan for treatment.
PNEUMONIA! I'm so happy!!!! That's so much better than a recurrence or GHVD! I mean, it isn't good, but it's so much better than the other things I was worried about! I feel so much more calm and less anxious than I did before. What a relief! I've been telling everyone how happy I am to have pneumonia!
The next few days will be kind of annoying, but I have a sick liking of the hospital and nurses on the BMT ward. Yes, I was admitted as an inpatient. I already started a broad spectrum antibiotic and an antifungal, and got a chest CT. Tomorrow I'll be getting a bronchioscope (I think that's what it's called, can't remember) and a lumbar puncture with chemo that I was already scheduled for, which means I'll be pretty out of it all day because they are both sedated procedures.
So the hope is that I'll be out of here on Friday so I can celebrate my birthday! We have tickets to see the new Harry Potter movie at 1 PM (no, I do not want to see it at midnight, I like to sleep, thank you very much) and I have already spent my birthday in the hospital, and it wasn't that fun, so I'd rather be out. I'm sure you all understand where I'm coming from :) I at least hope I get out by Sunday so we can still go up north for next week. Fingers crossed! I'm not sure what the guidelines will be for letting me out but I'm guessing it will have to do with my pulse ox and what kind of pneumonia they decide I have and what my treatment should be. I'll keep you all updated. But not tomorrow, because I'll be sleeping most of the day :)
I'M SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! YAY PNEUMONIA!!!!
(No, I wasn't admitted to the psych ward, but yeah, I'm a little nuts today because I'm so relieved!)