Not at all well

Last month, 846 people in NSW died of pneumonia. By the grace of God, the powers of modern medicine and the wonderful people at RPA Hospital I was not one of them. But it was a damn sight closer than I liked.

A bit over two weeks ago I was down with the ‘flu. It’s been a particularly nasty one this year in Sydney. (Note to self – get the ‘flu vaccine next year). I came down with it and after a miserable couple of days got myself checked out by our GP, who is a very competent doctor. On Tuesday, she pronounced me clear of infection and I just needed rest.

Wednesday I felt worse but figured it was just the ‘flu. Thursday I felt dreadful. Friday morning I felt really sick. I managed to see our GP again who summed up her diagnosis with a single word – Hospital. I believed her. I was not feeling at all well.

She wrote me a letter for the triage nurse which got me through into casualty pretty quickly but then there was the usual hanging around while they dealt with the latest motorcycle accidents. At some point in this they took a chest X-ray. Shortly thereafter, things moved very quickly. I was conveyed quickly up to a ward and put straight on an IV drip containing, I later learnt, some very powerful antibiotics.

Pneumonia it was and a pretty nasty one by all accounts. It was shortly thereafter compounded by the treatment interacting with some other medication I take giving me some interesting hallucinations and a paranoia that seemed perfectly rational at the time. However, the RPA staff took it all in their stride.

The specialist did remark that I’d been a very sick man which suggested to me that I probably hadn’t got to hospital a moment too soon. Altogether, I was in the hospital for 11 days – a long time for modern medicine. Eventually they let me go. I don’t think I have ever felt as euphoric as when the doctor said ‘OK, you can go home today’.

I’m home now but weak as a kitten and I have to take another couple of weeks off. I’m eating lots of high calory food and trying to put back the muscle mass I have lost.
So, my apologies for lack of contact but I’ve been a little pre-occupied. Also, I left an email client running at work so any emails sent to my optusnet account have gone into a black hole.

It’s been one of those encounter on the road to Epiphany things. I have never in my life been this ill. It gives you a visceral understanding of your own mortality, something which has been merely theoretical up until now. Not that there’s too much in my life I want to change at the moment but it gives one to think.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 30th, 2007 at 1:26 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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