Sunday, February 8th, 2009


So it turns out that I have pnuemonia AND sinusitis. Nice double-whammy there. The pnuemonia very well may have been cooking since last Halloween, the first of 4 times I got sick.

THURSDAY: I feel sick.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Worst night of sleep since my tetanus shot in in 2001.
FRIDAY: No appetite. Didn’t really eat. When Carolyn came home, I explained to her that the *ONLY* thing I could *POSSIBLY* eat would be cheeseburgers. She went to McDonald’s and got like 3 burgers for me, and some fries. It was literally the only thing I could stand eating. (You know it’s bad when McDonald’s is the only edible food.)
FRIDAY NIGHT: Hellish night of “sleep”. Laid in bed 10 hours, got 2 hours sleep max.
SATURDAY: Still sick, but I felt like I we recovering.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Nope, definitely not recovering. Hellish night of sleep.

So — after that incredibly hellish Saturday night where I tossed, turned, moaned, moved locations multiple times (couch->foof->bed->foof), and in 12 hours of “sleeping” only actually got 2 hours of real sleep…. We decided to take me to an urgent care facility. Left at 1PM, got back past 6PM (we ate while we were out).

It was actually the hospital/health center that my grandfather died in, and where my wallet full of $500 was most likely stolen when I stopped to duct tape my bumper back on after a car accident, so I tend to have bad associations with this place. However, they are actually quite capable there.

And don’t get me started on how hard it is to find a doctor on a Sunday. I couldn’t have done it myself; Carolyn made the phone calls, drove, even helped me get dressed. Such a fucking pain in the ass. And what do we have to thank for this? 2,000 year old dogma. A fucking sky fairy says you shouldn’t work on Sundays, and 2,000 years later people are still suffering because they can’t find a doctor as easily. FUCK YOU, GOD. If today was a weekday I possibly could have scraped by this with my standard $25(!) co-pay, but I’m sure it’s going to end up costing a lot more. My doctor was a female Muslim (I assume by her hair being covered) with beautiful green eyes. I actually assumed on the car ride up that I would be attended to by a Muslim, since it’s not “Christian” to work on the frickin’ sabbath. It’s funny when one can make such generalizations to oneself and end up being right.

I was in bad shape. I basically slept in the waiting room by taking up a couch sideways. I actually used the “hospital rails” on the walls to assist in walking, because I had no energy.

20090208 - urgent care - Clint - nebulizing

Once they got somebody to see me, they measured my oxygenation level in my blood, and weren’t too happy that it was only 95%. (80% is dangerous.) So they had me use a nebulizer, which is pretty much a medical grade bong for inhaling liquid medicine directly into the lungs. Will I have to pay some absurd amount for this medicine? I dunno. It took about 20 minutes to “nebulize” :

After the nebulizer, it was more like 97%. If I took a couple deep breaths, I could get it up to 100%.

They also took my temperature. It was 100.2 by Carolyn’s thermometer this morning. But at the clinic, it actually measured 101.5. They gave me acetaminophen (Tylenol). Stupid me, I’d been taking Ibuprofen (Advil) the whole time. I hadn’t realized I had a fever. When you have a fever, you do acetaminophen. My temp got back down to 99.1 before I left the clinic. (I was there for 4 hours.)

They also took a flu test — shoving q-tips farther up my nose than anything had ever been shoved up. (And they did this while I was using the nebulizer… Tears streaming out of my face, medicinal “smoke” coming out of the nebulizer, and a huge q-tip up my nose.) They also gave me a mononucleosis test. I’ve had mono *FOUR* times — don’t let anyone tell you you can only get it once. And nope: I don’t have the flu OR mono.

They also took a couple chest x-rays, and gave me a huge bag of intravenous fluids (with elctrolytes — seroiusly, I felt like I was in Idiocracy for a second).

The damn IV took like 30 minutes to empty. Poor Carolyn got to have a very boring day.

20090208 - urgent care - Clint - bloody IV

They also told me if my symptoms get worse that I should simply go to an E.R. And started to write me a note saying I had to miss work for *FOUR* days, but I stopped her: I don’t have a job. Less paperwork.

And what’s the financial damage? Urgent care didn’t want a co-pay. They said they’d send me a bill. That doesn’t sound very promising!

And the prescrpitions? $20 for Nasonex, and $80 for 14 once-a-day Levaquin pills. $100?!?!?!?! For something that might give me tendon damage (tendons may rupture UP TO A YEAR after you stop taking it — and my tendons do NOT heal the way they are supposed to) and perhipheral neuropathy? Ugh. Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome sounds pretty shitty. 806 people have died from Levofloxacin (Levaquin), and this was only found out by Freedom Of Information Acts (fucking corporations). The injuries you get from this drug are not treatable and may last a lifetime. “These patients remain a medical mystery; denied the medical care they so desperately need, while being shuffled from one specialist to the next.” It’s just lovely that this can happen anywhere from 2 hours after you take the first pill, to ONE YEAR AFTER YOU STOP (!!!). I love how the FDA has stated the odds of this happening are very low, while in the Netherlands there may be a 10% chance of this happening. Great. Last thing I need is to walk with a cane the rest of my life because I had to use an expensive cutting-edge drug. Previous generations of this drug have been taken off the market! Jesus, maybe I should call her back tomorrow and ask her to send me a new prescription.

The guy at CVS said we still “saved” $150 at least, but I’m wondering if I should have gotten on the phone and had urgent care fax over a generic prescription instead.

Then again, pneumonia is serious shit, so I should perhaps get the best that money has to offer. After all, I shouldn’t be alive, so I should take what I can get.

We went to Giant to fill our prescription — but the pharmacy closes at 3PM on Sunday! (Thank you Old Testament.) So then we had to go to CVS. What a pain.

Anyway…. I’m feeling much better from the IV and the nebulizer, but those are both short term treatments. We’ll see how I fare tonite when I try to sleep again. Hopefully no tendons spontaneously rupture. My back problems and plantar fasciitis are enough to deal with already. (more…)