Monday, December 10, 2018

Health Update: Pneumonia Sucks

I will keep this short.

Cathy got out of the house today, for the first time since coming home from the hospital. With her portable oxygen tank strapped to her back, we made it down the stairs, to the hospital for a chest X-ray, and then over to our primary care physician for a check up, in just under two hours. Considering that all of the above locations are a five minute drive from the theater, you can be assured that yes, it took a long time.

That's what pneumonia does, apparently. In blocking your airway, it starves your body and your blood of oxygen. I mean, we're looking at a four-to-six week recovery time...and we caught it early. I shudder to think what would have happened if we had waited a couple of days. Cathy would probably still be in the hospital.

Still, she is feeling better. She's out of the hospital, at home, in her own clothes, and dealing with me, playing the role of Patch Adams. Here's a free life lesson for you: when someone you know is on home oxygen, connected to about fifty feet of tubing, and trying to cross a room, moving very slowly, you may be tempted to make space-walk astronaut noises, and imitate the radio crackle of Neil Armstrong talking from the surface of the moon. My advice to you is this: the person will not find it funny, no matter how dead-on accurate your Neil Armstrong impression is.

This is Cathy's morning pill regimen.
She has two more like this in the day.
My job has morphed into that of full-time caregiver. Before, I was Cathy's brain, acting as her alarm clock, her social calendar, her driver, her cook, and occasionally, her second medical opinion, i.e. "Honey, does this look red to you?"

Now I help her with everything. Getting up. Sitting down. Changing clothes. That kind of intimate care-giving. She's that weak at the moment. She sleeps a lot, and she's not talking very much. All of that stuff wears her out. It's rough on her. It's rough on us.

But every day gets a little better. Incrementally. We are getting her back on her supplements, and the diuretics and the other stuff she was taking to offset the effects of the cancer and the chemotherapy. We've now added the antibiotics and a muscle relaxer into the mix. It's no wonder she sleeps a lot. She's got enough chemicals in her system to jump-start a Chrysler.  I'm watching and cheering every new accomplishment like she's a puppy, or a toddler. It's an oddly condescending position to be in, and I don't much like it.

Our current goal is to knock out this pneumonia and get back to the point where we ONLY have the ovarian cancer to deal with. How insane is that?

And as for my surgery, well, if it actually happens before the end of the year, I'll eat one of Cathy's knit caps. At this point, I am pretty sure we will be on the hook for the entire operation. I have no idea what we are going to do.

What a crazy year this has been. I guess it's just our turn in the barrel. 

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