How did this happen to ME??? (and why won't it stop?)

  1. Dec. 11 in the morning, I felt fine. I really did. By 1400, I was feeling a little bit "draggy." By 1500, I had a fever of 102.2 and a horrible, productive cough with wheezing and pain. My chest hurt from armpit to armpit - almost burning pain, like I'd been inhaling very hot smoke.

    I did a 10-minute flu test and it was positive. I hied myself to my doc, wanting one of the new anti-virals, but he did an x-ray and said I had pneumonia on both sides and instead of the antiviral, gave me a Levaquin injection, called for a resp. tx and I had some albuterol nebs and a couple of hours on Oxygen until I felt well enough to drive home.

    He gave me 10 days of Levaquin 500 mg, Albuterol MDI, and a prednisone dosepack. And I started getting better. Less pain, less SOB, but the fever didn't go away appropriately, and I was just barely knocking it down with a combination of Ibu and Tylenol. I stayed home the rest of that week. I've felt very shaky, VERY week, with just almost unremitting lassitude!!!

    Monday I went back to work, and started feeling much worse again. Still MUCH better than the week before, much less wheezing and able to clear secretions, etc. But on a 1-10 scale of "bad" when I saw him the first time, I was at 10. On Monday, I was at 5 and by Tuesday I was back at 6 or 7.

    So I went back and he gave me another 4 days of Levaquin and ANOTHER prednisone dosepack. Today is Thursday (?), done with the Levaquin and prednisone, and I'm still running a (lower!) fever, with shaking chills, much less pain (almost no pain), almost no wheezing.

    But I don't feel good!!! I'm still having the 4-pillow orthopnea, still on albuterol MDI's, still very tired and weak. I slept ALL day yesterday in the recliner.

    Am I still sick, or is this just what it takes to get over a bout of pneumonia like this? I suppose I could still have the flu??? What do you think?


  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   kaycee
    Gosh Dennie I hope you feel better soon.
    I know of other people that have felt pretty nasty with Pneumonia for several weeks. It sounds like your doc is doin the right things. Have you had a repeat CXR to see if the peumonia has resolved or improved?
    Try to rest as much as possible and try to eat well to keep your nutrition up to boost your immune system. Take care and I hope you feel better soon.

  4. by   semstr
    ok Dennie, TAKE IT EASY!!!!!!

    This takes time, as you should know.
    You are really sick this time, so take your time to recover, stay at home untill you're ok, PLEASE!!!

    (I am recovering from a bad case of tongue-bottom-angina myself, started last week, today is the first day I fell "up to it")

    Take care, Renee
  5. by   hoolahan
    Sounds like it is the flu, or maybe you got it on top of the pneumonia.

    About 2 years ago, I had the flu and it took me OUT! I ran high temps for 7 days, weak as a kitten. I coughed and hacked so bacd, and at that time I was working in PACU with fresh post-ops, so I wore a mask for another 3 weeks. I also ran low grade temps for weeks after that, not sure why, but even if I felt OK, I would check my temp since I wasn't quite right, and my co-workers thought there was something very wrong with me to continue to cough and rattle like I was for so long. Finally, one of my co-workers suggested I try echinacea, and maybe it was just coincidence, but I finally began to feel better. So, now I am a firm believer in echinacea.

    Hang in there, and take care of yourself. Drink lots of OJ, gargle with listerine, eat homemade chicken soups with a few cloves of garlic in it.
  6. by   Zee_RN
    Yep, I'm going with dx of Flu complicated with pneumonia. There's a horrible flu going around. And I don't know, maybe there's a nasty pneumonia bug too--a nurse in my ICU has been out for >12 weeks!!! She developed pneumonia after gallbladder surgery and wham, she's out.

    The 'flu alone can knock you out for 7-10 days; add a nasty pneumonia (both sides just gotta be nasty) and you got yourself a hefty recovery time.

    So sorry you're feeling so bad! I'll say a little prayer for you tonight...
  7. by   prmenrs
    I had a bout of pneumonia in September, and boy did it hang on. It started as just a cold, kicked up some asthma, and the inhalers were worthless. Called in, was told to go to Urgent care, have to go to the ER's triage nurse, he sent me to ER instead, got 2 nebulizer treatments, CXR, abx, a different inhaler. Still having probs 2 weeks later when I tried to go back to work.

    Ran into one of the pulmonary specialists I know in the hallway, he had me come into his office, gave me different inhalers, new abx, FINALLY got better!!!

    Go back in, get help--in necessary, see someone else, either referral from him, or self referral!! Just suggesting a change of therapy.

    Hope you're feeling better soon!!
  8. by   Jenny P
    Dennie, would you expect your patients to go back to work less than 2 weeks after they had double pneumonia? Why do we nurses expect to do what our patients are unable to do?
    Drink plenty of liquids, REST, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF until the temp is gone-- your body is telling you that you are not well yet! Do the OJ, chicken soup, echinacia, vitamins, etc. use a humidifier; in short, follow the advice you'd give your patients. You need to rebuild your immune system, so take care of yourself. (I just got chewed out by my MD for the same thing!)
  9. by   ktwlpn
    Just what is the 10 minute flu test?..Hope you are feeling better Dennie
  10. by   galenight
    And what exactly is tongue-bottom-angina smstr???

    Hope you feel better all those of you who are sick!
  11. by   semstr
    sorry, that is a word- for- word- translation from German into English!
    this angina is not, as usual in your throat, yes well of course it is, but the white stuff was on the back of my tongue and down to my larynx.

    btw, it still is, went to the ENT yesterday and although it its better, it is not entirely gone............ so one week of other antbiotics. (My belly is realllllyyy getting upset now, after a week of penicillin, now this stuff, aggaggghhh)
    Now I know, why I was so exhausted and my throat still hurt!

    Dennie, you're feeling better?

    Take care of the bugs!!, Renee
  12. by   NurseDennie
    Thanks you guys for all the advice. I'm feeling a LOT better, but pretty frustrated that I'm not ALL better. I worked a couple of hours on Thursday and Friday, came home and went straight to sleep. Today is Saturday, I've been "up" in the recliner, sleeping some more!! Still having the shaking chills - that's what scares me! but pretty much only at night, now. I've got an appointment for Monday for a repeat CXR. My doc says that I need to take it easy, lots of fluids, yadda yadda. I am getting better, just too SLOWLY.

    I guess, yes, I would have expected anybody to be well by now. In a way, then, it has helped a lot to hear that other people have had problems shaking this kind of stuff. I'm not the ONLY one. I don't even remember EVER being well, at this point.

    The 10-minute flu test is something that I was doing on a flu/RSV surveillance study last year. You swab the nare, put the swab into the reagent with a test strip. It looks for ... ah, I don't remember. I'll look it up when I go back to work next time.

    The whole time I was doing the survillance, I only saw one positive, and the nurse who has that gig now said that I was the first positive she'd ever seen, too. So I don't know how reliable the silly thing is.

    Again, thanks. I've decided that being sick is harder on nurses than on anybody (even doctors) and I really appreciate the encouragement and the reassurance that other people have been laid this low before, too.


  13. by   NurseDennie
    P.S. - Renee, I didn't understand the tongue-bottom angina, either. I am sure it's a language problem. I hope you're not having angina, are you? Chest-heart-pain?

    From what you said about the white stuff, it sounded more like strep throat! Is that what you have? Fever, BAD sore throat, feel truly horrible? If that's what it is, when they get you on the right abx, you'll feel better quickly!

    I hope everybody recuperates quickly!!


  14. by   kaycee
    Glad you are feeling a little better now. Be good and rest when you can and you'll get better sooner.
    Work will always be there, so don't rush back.
    Take care of yourself!!!