Pneumatic, Pneunomic, Pneumonia

Dec 12, 2013

We got home late Tuesday night from spending Thanksgiving weekend in San Francisco.


I go to work on Wednesday and it’s all good.


I go to work on Thursday and I’m still good.  I get up to leave about 10 minutes after 5 and I suddenly feel tingly.  Cold – sure.  But our office is always cold.  I get home about 5:30, change clothes and let the dogs out.  As I go outside I begin to feel chills.  Just then, Paula and Daughter 2 come home.  I jump under the blankets and tell Paula that I’m really cold.  She puts her hand to my forehead and says that I do feel a little hot.  I rub my legs together to try and generate some body heat while Paula puts the thermometer in my mouth.  After a few minutes, I’m trying to call out to her to remove the thermometer because my teeth were almost chattering and I didn’t want to bite down on it.  She confirms, yup – 99.5°.  I have a fever.


After resting a few hours, it got worse.  Now my body ached.  This seems to all be pointing to: The Flu.


I get up to bocha but feel weak and dizzy.  And sore from head to toe.  I force myself to take a shower thinking that maybe the hot water might help.  Nope – now I felt faint.  I’m calling out to Paula and knocking on the shower sides to let her know that I need some help.  My vision was starting to turn “tunnel” and for me – that means I’m almost ready to drop.  I get out from the tub, pat myself a few times with the towel, then I had to wrap it around my waist so I could sit on the side on the tub and put my head down to try and get some blood up there.  Paula comes in and sees me sitting there and starts wiping my head with another towel.  I ask her to stop as it felt like every single strand of hair was hurting.  I was explaining how I felt like passing out.


Paula patted me down some to dry me off.  I was hot and sweating.  I was cold and shivering.  I was sore and felt like fainting – sitting on the side of the tub in an almost fetal position.  In a weak voice, I cry out “Help me”.


Paula crouches down a little bit in front of me, turns her back to me and tells me to hold on the her shoulders so she can lift me up.  I say no.  I wasn’t asking for help getting up.  The kind of help I was asking for – she couldn’t give me.  I was pleading to a higher source.


I finally do gather enough energy to make it to the bed.  Paula brings some underwear for me and puts it on me while removing the wet towel from the bed.  Then she somehow manages to get a towel under me and one on my pillow – because I was just burning up.  She brings me some Tylenol and a cup of water to drink it down.  By then, I’m moaning and groaning in pain.  I tell Paula that my hands are so cold that I can hardly feel my fingers.  Since we had just returned from S.F. and her wool gloves were right there, she decided to put them on me.  As she did, she said “Yeah, your fingers are a little purple”.


It was a very long night.  That was the worse that I have every felt.  Yeah, I had the flu before and chills and sweats – but never felt like fainting.  Or in so much pain.


Tylenol never seemed to work well on me.  Did nothing for my headaches.  And in this bout when I took it, it made me break out in a sweat for the first hour.  Then I was good for the next three hours when it wore off.  Then I’d have to struggle through the pain for another two hours until I could take the next dose.  This cycle went on all day Friday.  I had to miss Paula’s company’s annual Christmas Dinner party.  I felt so bad.  She was so bummed.


Saturday morning Paula drives me to see my doctor.  I tell him what’s been going on and that my temperature was now past 101°.  Actually, Paula tells him most of the info because I’m sitting there – totally out-of-it.  Like a zombie.  The doctor listens to my back and chest and hears wheezing.  And from the sounds of the symptoms, it was all pointing to the flu.  I ask about the lower back pain that I was struggling with since the onset of this illness.  That is the culprit that has been keeping me from getting sleep when the Tylenol wears off.  He said that it’s just muscle aches from the flu.  He prescribed me some medicine for my breathing and since it was less than 48 hours since the symptoms began, he started me on Tamiflu.  He said that the Tamiflu should help speed up the flu process to get over it sooner.


We get home and I take the meds – along with the Tylenol.  I continue the cycle of sweating, sleeping, moaning & groaning until I could take the next dose of meds.  And now – it seems like the asthma medicine was keeping me awake while the Tamiflu was burning my stomach.  And my fever was not subsiding.


On Sunday, I switched from Tylenol to Aleve.  The Aleve helped a little bit more than the Tylenol and I got a solid 6 hours of sleep.  But Aleve is 1 pill every 12 hours so I still had to deal with the back pain until it was time for the next dosage.


On Monday, the doctor calls me to check on me. He was concerned because he said that I didn’t look too good on Saturday.  I told the doc that I was feeling better and I was able to get a solid sleep the previous evening.  He said that maybe the Tamiflu is working.  Now if the doctor had called me an hour later – it would’ve been a whole different story.  I suddenly started burning up again and the body aches were returning.  I was in for another long night.  Instead of Aleve, this time I took some CVS generic Excedrin.  The back pain subsided however I only got maybe 2 hours of sleep – the rest of the time I was just wiping myself down from the fever.


Tuesday morning, Paula calls in a doctor’s appointment for me.  My temperature is now around 99.7°.  The doctor sends me downstairs for X-rays.  I wait for them, return the report to the doctor and he confirms it: PNEUMONIA.


He prescribes me some antibiotics – finally.  See, my doctor believes that antibiotics shouldn’t be prescribed unless absolutely necessary.  And I agree with him because I don’t want my body to build a tolerance for antibiotics.  I think this is the first time in over 10 years that I’ve been given antibiotics.


Anyway, by the second dose I’m feeling better.  The lower back pain is gone, my sweats have now become more like hot-flashes, and my temperature finally broke 100°.  Still can’t get a solid sleep though.  I feel like coughing when I lie flat so I try to prop myself up.  But I keep sliding down.  But I feel like I’m on my way to recovery.  No more chills.  No more back pain.  No more stomach pain.  If anything, my rib cage hurts if I cough too much.


Pneumonia.  Wow…people die from Pneumonia.  Maybe I picked it up when we were in S.F.  But it came on so suddenly.  Half an hour.  And so severe.  Paula said that if my Saturday appointment wasn’t the last one of the day, the doctor would’ve sent me to X-ray then to check for Pneumonia.  I should’ve just went to the doctor on Friday instead of waiting.  The spooky part is that the doctor said “if the antibiotics don’t start helping – you’d have to be admitted into the hospital”.  Praying works wonders.


And Paula is my rock.  She brought me my meds, drove me to the doctor, sat in to explain things to the doctor, held me up, wiped me down, made me chicken noodle soup, okai, toast, jello – anything just so I would eat something for taking my meds.  I remember asking her “Is this what it’s going to be like when I’m old and become an invalid?”.  She just looked at me.  And I quickly added “So long as I let you have dogs?”.  She said yes.


Oh yeah, through the worst nights – maybe it was delirium – this “earworm” kept running though my head and I could not shake it.  This particular version of it is now on my “Most Hated Christmas Songs” list.



Have you ever experienced something like this?  Maybe not just from an illness but an injury or something similar?


Take care MLCers.

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32 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. 4G
    December 12th, 2013 at 4:31 am #

    Yikes! Take care, Rodney! Thank goodness for AP! Thank you, AP! :)

  2. Mark'75
    December 12th, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    Whoa Rodney…pneumonia! Take care and hope you’re back up to speed soon!

  3. M
    December 12th, 2013 at 6:33 am #

    Guud morning MLCers!
    Poor thing Rod, I’m glad you are on the road to recovery. Good job Aunty Paula!

  4. Masako
    December 12th, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Yikes! Take care! Thank goodness for Auntie Paula.

  5. Masako
    December 12th, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    I got pneumonia once, not at bad as Rod had it but it really sucked. My doctor ordered me to stay in bed and rest otherwise I would end up in the hospital.

  6. JindoMaster
    December 12th, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Sorry to hear about your experience, Rod. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery. I can honestly say that I understand what you went through.

    Your experience is almost identical to mine in 2010 after we returned from the mainland. I came down with flu symptoms, the doctor also thought it was flu and prescribed Tamiflu. But my fever didn’t go down. I also couldn’t sleep. I had a recurring dream being lost driving around SF. It also became increasingly difficult to think in general. After weeks of this the doctor recommended that I go straight to the ER. That’s where I was diagnosed with Pneumonia, too.

    I spent 4 days recovering in the hospital. Sometime during the recovery I developed an atrial fibrillation. Doctors actually considered stopping and restarting my heart. Fortunately it was fixed by medication. I really thank my wife for standing by me. It was an emotional roller coaster for her.

    I went home almost 15 lbs lighter. (Those of you who know me probably can’t imagine me losing that much weight.) Fortunately I got back to normal after a few months.

    Readers do consider that there is now a Pneumonia vaccine. I made sure to get mine.

  7. keoni
    December 12th, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Auwe, Uncle Rodney, what an ordeal you went through! :shock:
    Aunty Paula surely is an angel for taking such good care of you.
    I hope you’re back in top shape ASAP! Malama pono.

  8. hawaiian by heart
    December 12th, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    @Rodney, Yes I would get pneumonia or bronchitis every year for along time when I started living on the mainland. A few times so bad I had to be placed in the hospital with very high temperatures like 104 or I would turn blue because I had a real difficult time getting air. Being sick like that sucks! Don’t ask me why locals born and raised in Hawai’i have a real difficult time with bronchitis and pneumonia here? Whats even more strange is, I hear it happens more to Hawai’i school aged children (3-21) and the elderly more then anyone else. It could be just the major climate differences makes it difficult for our bodies to adjust? For about 10 winters I got really sick. Not anymore thank god.

    Anyway Its good to hear that your on the path to recovery. Im glad it wasn’t worse. Get plenty of rest ok. Ttyl

  9. KAN
    December 12th, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Oh. My. Goodness. I’m glad you’re feeling better. And Paula ROCKS. Sounds like absolute misery – how scary to feel so dizzy when you’re in the shower.

  10. sally
    December 12th, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Such a fast downturn in health, so glad AP was your Nursie. Wishing you a speedy road to recovery.

    To khs68 and hbh: Mahalo for the links and the pictures! Yes, I have been trying for years.

  11. M
    December 12th, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Talking about feeling dizzy, this morning I woke up at 4am to use the bathroom, I took a couple of steps, felt dizzy and light headed and the next thing I know I hit the floor on my back. So there I was on my back on the floor thinking what just had happened, I don’t even remember falling but I remember hitting the floor on my back. My right knee got scrapped up and I don’t know how that happen either. I think I wasn’t completely awake when I got out of bed so I hope.

  12. 4G
    December 12th, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Oy, @M – you take care, too!

  13. Jeannette Hayashida
    December 12th, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    Get well soon! Take your antibiotics on schedule and take them all.
    Try to have a good holiday.

  14. dihudfan
    December 12th, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    good to hear you feelin’ bettah… good to have a wife, yeh? especially one that cares for you!!! Get well real quick… now’s the season… partay….

  15. NaPueo
    December 12th, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Rodney, Good to hear that you’re on the road to recovery.
    Great job Paula.
    Had pneumonia once a long time ago but not as bad as you.
    You had a song running in your head that you now hate and now you pass it along to us. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Rodney
    December 12th, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    NaPueo – I thought I’d share the song rather than the Pneumonia. :wink:

  17. Rodney
    December 12th, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Thank you MLCers for your patience with me during this illness. I have been less attentive to the blog than I try to be – and for that, I apologize.

    I went to the doctor today and he said it appears that the antibiotics is doing it’s job. He said that I look much stronger and sound better. I told him that I’m not getting a solid sleep because I cough myself awake. He didn’t want to prescribe me cough syrup with codeine – but that’s okay. (we have some)

    He said to go get a chest X-ray about a month from now (gave me the work order) and they’ll send the report up to him to review.

    But he said that I may still be coughing after I finish the antibiotics because it takes some time for the lungs to clear up – thus the 1 month wait before the follow up.

    But though all this, guess what happened to my weight.

    I GAINED! wth!

    And my blood pressure – it dropped down to normal levels. The doctor said Don’t get excited because the blood pressure usually drops to the low end when you’re this sick. So my low end is the normal area. But I can – and will – start from here to try and keep my blood pressure down. It makes for a good benchmark.

    Thank you for all your support once again folks! Stay healthy.

  18. Rodney
    December 12th, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    @JindoMaster – wow! Thanks for sharing your story with us. I didn’t know that you went through all that. 2010 – was this before or after The Advertiser shut down? And for you to lose 15 lbs.! But the most spooky part was about the atrial fibrillation. YIKES! As you wrote – good thing the drugs did the job.

    One thing I am Super-Duper grateful for (well, besides Paula of course) is that this episode happened AFTER we got back home from San Francisco.

  19. Rodney
    December 12th, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Oh yeah, I forgot. Paula also brought me home Chinese saimin and Pho on different nights. We were willing to try anything to make me feel better.

  20. hawaii2000
    December 12th, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Glad you’re recovering. Was wondering if you had had your flu shot before your trip. The folks at Kaiser always push me to get mine early each year.

  21. M
    December 13th, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    Guud morning MLCers!

  22. khs68
    December 13th, 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Good to hear you’re feeling better!

  23. Kage
    December 13th, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    Glad to hear you are doing better. Thank Paula often for her support.

    I have not had pneumonia. Hope I never do.

  24. Rodney
    December 13th, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Paula reminded me this morning that my temperature was actually up to 102.7° at one point. I sorta remember rambling on about stuff. The fever made me delirious.

  25. Rodney
    December 13th, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    @hawaii2000 – I had my flu shot back in September. Also, when I went to my doctor – I asked him about a Pneumonia shot (the one that JindoMaster mentioned). He said that I had the Pneumonia shot back in 2007. Normally, it’s a 1-time shot given to those who turn 65 years old. But since I have asthma, it was administered to me earlier. And at 65, I may get a booster shot.

  26. Rodney
    December 13th, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    My theory is that I picked up the flu in S.F. and it was probably a different strain than what goes around here. Thus my body wasn’t familiar with it and it turned into full-blown Pneumonia.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking with it! lol

  27. Ynaku
    December 14th, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Glad you are on the road to recovery Rodney. You indeed have an angel living with you with the name Paula. I heard dogs are good for therapy :D

    A few years ago just before my trip to Vegas and Arizona, I caught a cold strain that made me cough so hard I actually passed out. From what I understand, my cough caused my muscles around my neck to tighten, similar to the sleeper hold, that the blood is restricted to the brain and thus I pass out.

    First time this happened was during a meeting I was attending. I started to cough so decided to drink some water at the fountain. I don’t remember reaching the fountain. All I remember is walking to the water fountain and next thing I know I am looking into the concerned faces of my friends as I lay on the floor. One of them had to drive me home.

    At home sitting on the bed, I started coughing hard again. I decided to get some medicine from the bathroom so swung my legs off the bed and tried to stand up. Next thing I know I falling forward off the bed passing out. My wife freaked out.

    A friend made a honey vinegar mix which sort of helped. Whiskey was good to put me to sleep. Ice tea lemonade was great to keep my throat cool and slow the irritation.

    Now when I start coughing I find a place to sit. My biggest worry was coughing when driving. I didn’t want to pass out and hurt or kill someone.

    I try hard to fight a cold as soon as possible.

    Take care my friend. Luv to Paula for being your Nursie :lol:

  28. Mark Shelby
    December 14th, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Take care Rodney! I caught dat bug once! I was in da hospital for two weeks! I asked the doc how I was doing. He said, we do not know yet. That’s why we are giving you the shotgun approach of IV’s….. Two IV’s in each arm! I thought…..OMG! I never heard that before! We do not know yet? OMG!

    I pray that you feel better soon! I know what you are going through!


    ~Mark Shelby

  29. Rodney
    December 15th, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    @Ynaku – Wow, I didn’t know one could actually pass out from coughing. Home remedies… :idea:

  30. Rodney
    December 15th, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    @Mark Shelby – Hi and welcome to the MLC blog. Double IV’s in the hospital – wow! I’ve heard of Double Pneumonia – that’s when both lungs are infected. Maybe that’s what it was and they were playing fire against fire?

    Glad to hear you’re okay now. Thank you so much for your well wishes.


  31. Mark Shelby
    December 15th, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    Wow Rodney! I hope you are OK! You have a Steal Trap Memory of All of OUR Best Memories of Hawaii! I just love your blog! We have all of the very same memories! Even the closed off wall to the bathroom at Sears! LOL! I even had a green Schwinn Varsity 10 speed just like you, bradda! We must be a brother from another Mother! Be well my friend! I hope you get well soon! I am Praying for you, in the Name of Jesus!


    Mark Shelby

  32. Rodney
    December 15th, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    Mahalo Mark!