Did anyone get the license-plate number of that virus?

I always thought the flu was the worst virus I could get. Oops. I was wrong, which makes me wonder what virus I really did catch. But like an unidentified “hit and run” driver, I’ll never know.

So, a big “FU” to the mystery virus from hell.

After three weeks of IVs, I’m done. Today will be my first shower in three weeks. I can’t wait. Even the dogs won’t get near me, and I have exceeded my own comfort level of grime.

My FEV1 hasn’t budged. I’m still coughing up a lake of phlegm three times a day. Oh, well, what can I do that I’m not already doing?

“Carry on and keep calm,” says the Wise Man.

It’s bright and sunny in Los Angeles today and life is good. And with a little luck, I’ll see another Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. It doesn’t get better than that.

Happy Holidays

***

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Post-hospital Stress Disorder

I miss my night nurses who sneak in under cover of the hallway lighting and administer my evening IV doses, all while I sleep away, no break in my warped hospital dreams. Last night, with no nurse to save me, I turned off my 4 a.m. wake up call and went back to bed, screwing up my antibiotic schedule for the day.

Mycin, the IV-antibiotic groundhog, saw his shadow at my post-hospital appointment this week, and I’m continuing home IVs for 7 more days. Oh, yay. Seven more days of no shower and limited sleep.

Yo, chump, you get 7 more days of IV antibiotics not because I didn't see my shadow but because I had to look at your ugly mug. © Vladimir Melnik - Fotolia.com

Yo, chump, you get 7 more days of IV antibiotics not because I saw my shadow but because I saw your ugly mug. © Vladimir Melnik – Fotolia.com

I must give a shout out to the CF Team. They’re fantastic and a bright spot of humanity. They’re people who care about others in a world full of . . . well, fill in the blank with your own opinion. It takes a great team to survive this disease.

My O2 isn’t back to normal. And I have a bad attitude, along with a craving for Jersey Mike’s meatball & cheese sub sandwiches, which I’ve eaten almost every day since coming home.

I’m back at work, and grumpy about it. If a hospital stay, daily fevers and the continuing erosion of my lung function shine a revealing light on anything, it’s the bullshit of the trivial aspects of my job. The politics, the positioning, the posturing, the game, and most importantly, the work that does and doesn’t matter. I don’t know how much more I can take of feeling like I’m not doing something valuable with my remaining time. Designing PowerPoint presentations makes me want to stand in front of a MetroRail train.

I know it’s a cliché, but some days, “one day at a time,” really does save my ass. It’s my immediate ticket to not thinking about all the bad things that can and may happen. It works. 

One day at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time.

A virus pulls me down to hell

It started with a cough, a little drier than normal. A simple cough.

I had just gone 28 days without antibiotics of any kind – the first time in six or seven years.

I was feeling great  – “King of the World” great, arms raised, hanging on the bow of the Titanic. I was walking between 60 to 80 miles a week.. Life was fantastic.

But, as always, the scales must be balanced in my life. And, Hubris punished by the Universe. I needed to be taken down a few pegs.

The battle started the next day, Monday, as I felt drained by the afternoon. On Wednesday night the first fever hit when the Universe stuck its icy fist through me. That’s how each fever came on, in an instant, without warning, like getting hit in the face with a pie by some crazy meth-addicted clown.

By Friday I couldn’t take it anymore and asked to be admitted to the hospital, but was told viruses aren’t treated with IVs. I was given oral cipro as a precaution and I kick myself for not pushing back more but I’ve never had the power to force the issue of being admitted. It’s like shooting myself in the foot. I can’t force the jail stay.

I was told to call the weekend number if I got worse. And I got worse. But I was pissed that I didn’t get admitted on Friday and hate going in on weekends. So, I thought if I die, this is on them, which is pretty stupid, I know, but I’m never been smart enough to avoid limiting my suffering.

There is something about this poster that feels appropriate for this post. Oh, yeah.

There is something about this poster that feels appropriate for this post. Oh, yeah.

Monday I emailed and asked to be admitted. I couldn’t take it anymore.

And for 10 days in the hospital, I slept, fought fevers and watched Sons of Anarchy seasons 1 – 5, a show I never thought I’d enjoy but did – 10 days of hiding out, disengaged from life, never once leaving the front doors of the hospital.

And though I’m home, I’m not back to normal. My oxygen level is still lower than normal and my pulse higher, and I’m tired. And, once again, I’ve got to claw my way back to normal and I’m not sure how much of me is gone forever – what piece was taken this time?

God, I hate cystic fibrosis.