Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ché the Pneumoniac

Yes, I have pneumonia again. Third time. I wanted not to think it was true, but symptoms were too similar to previous episodes, and I was not getting better. So, got doctored for "persistent cough" and sure enough, pneumonia.

This is  annoying as all heck because I've had both pneumonia vaccines. What in tarnation is the point if I get pneumonia anyway? And where did it come from this time?

It's a mystery, but this is my suspicion: When I went to the doctor for RA symptoms, I got a flu shot because I didn't get one last fall. The nurse who administered the injection had a severe cough. A few days later I developed flu-like symptoms, but I attributed them at the time to side effects from the RA medication I was taking.

After I finished the high dose course of RA medication, I figured the flu-mimic symptoms would go away. They didn't. It became more and more obvious that I had somehow acquired pneumonia again.

How? My suspicion is that I had flu after the flu shot -- either from the nurse or from the vaccine itself. I had no treatment for flu, of course, because it didn't really register with me that that's what I had. The flu led directly to a pulmonary infection that became the pneumonia I'm being treated for now.

If it is viral pneumonia, the antibiotics are not going to work, but so far they seem to be working, so we'll see what happens over the longer term.

For the record, RA symptoms have been largely under control since the five-day high-dosage prednisone treatment -- which ended on 4/18. Not a cure, no. But at least it's less debilitating.

What a drag it is getting old...

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