Friday, April 25, 2008

Pulmonary edema -- not

I'd been hearing funny sounds from my chest, so yesterday afternoon I faxed a 460-word "summary" of my experience/symptoms. My doctor didn't like the way it all sounded, and she had the nurse call me. "Coughing anything up?" Sometimes.

"Is it foamy?" Come to think of it, yes it is.

From what the nurse said, I gathered that the doctor was pretty unhappy about that. Among other things, she sent an order to the lab for another chest X-Ray (to be taken this morning).

A search on "foamy sputum" suggests that the nurse's question was to determine whether I had a pulmonary edema.

So I was running a mental film full of pulmonary specialists and hospitalization and fatal nosocomial infections (the descriptions of pulmonary edema sound pretty dire), and last night I lay down with, "And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

I also took a quick inventory.
  • I have life insurance.
  • My wife knows I love her.
  • My children know I love them.
  • Particularly in the past couple of weeks I've tried to remember to tell people good things (e.g., that I wouldn't want to die not having said)
So I was at peace.

Went to X-Ray this morning, very quick turnaround, and a radiologist (I didn't get his name) said, "It's almost all gone; I wouldn't worry about it." I thought, "You haven't heard the noises I've heard."

Took the film to my doctor's office. My lung function is good, I sound good, there is nothing serious going on here. "Probably your lungs are just 'twitching' after the infection," she said. The infection is all gone, so this is just like some aftershocks. She gave me some medicine to help with that.

"Take it easy," she said. It'll take a month before I'm back to normal. But I guess I'll try going to work at the office on Monday.

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