Last night we, me, Dale and Hillary, arrived at the ER at French hospital in San Luis Obispo around 10:30. I started with Dr. Griffith, then he introduced me to his replacement. He said, "How comfortable are you with having a doctor with the name Slaughter?" I replied, "As long as he's not my surgeon, I'm OK with it." "Good, because he's going to take it from here." And Dr. Clinton Slaughter it was. He was fine. There was an orthopedic surgeon in LA by the name of Bonecruncher. No lie. That one I would have worried about.
So on Tues. nite I felt pain in my upper left chest. I thought it was a muscle pull from physical therapy or moving an entertainment center that I brought home for Grammy. But I really didn't load, or unload it. Weird. Lousy nite's sleep due to pain. Did restrictive PT in the morning, but they still sent me home early. They could tell I was 'off', which isn't easy to do for most people. So I'm upstairs watching a movie when I had to cough up some phlegm (yes, that's the way you spell it). It had bright red blood in it. I called my local oncologist, who just happened to be on call, and he said I should go to the ER. The chemo I take daily, plus the once a month infusion of Zometa, both have warnings about blood clots. He asked me questions about whether I had a cough the past few days, I had been short of breath, had a fever, gurgling with my breathing, had a sinus of chest infection lately, all of which was NO. More common for blood in phlegm to be from pneumonia than blood clot, but it happens. I love the nurses at the closest hospital, Twin Cities, but have little confidence in the doctors. That's for another time. Dr. Malone recommended French hospital in San Luis Obispo, because they specialize in heart and pulmonary traumas in the ER and the hospital in general. So it's a 45 minute trip instead of a 20 minute one.
The nurses and doctors asked the same questions and 20 more. I got an x-ray and CT scan. Ta da. No clot. Dr. Malone was right on, even though I didn't have any symptoms, pneumonia. Bad enough that I was coughing up blood, with quite a bit of fluid built up in and around the lungs. BUT WAIT, there's more. Dr. Slaughter also reported that I had pleurisy. That can't be, I'm only married to one woman. That's what was causing my pain. Let me 'splain, no, let me sum up: Pleurisy is the inflamation of the lining of the lung's outer wall and the lung's cavity wall. Normally, they just glide across each other as we breathe and move. No pain. Fluid from my pneumonia, icky yucky infected fluid, had gotten between those linings, caused inflamation, and thus pain. So the moral of the story is, a person on chemo and with a "compromised immune system" can get pneumonia without even knowing it! Hooray. Another thing I can do that you can't! So it's a Z pak for me. 5-10 days to knock out the pneumonia, with an additional 5-10 days to get rid of the chest pain from pleurisy. Sure glad it wasn't anything serious.
Here's the point. I was released by Dr. Burch, the orthopedist, to chip & putt a week ago Tues. So far it's rained almost every day, and I've been able to go once, for about 45 minutes before it started sprinkling. Now this. Apparently, Dale's prayers are stronger than mine.
So I'm fine and will be taking it easy for the New Year holiday. No roller disco. No limbo. I hope your new year will be your best ever. Thanks for all of your continuing love and support. Kevin