A Little Dab Will Do Ya

  I had my post-hospital follow-up visit with my pulmonologist today.  The adventure started with a CT scan to see how well my lungs were healing from my most recent bout of pneumonia… and it ended with me learning how to give myself a shot in the belly.  Needless to say, it was an interesting afternoon.

The CT scan showed a slight improvement in the patches of “ground glass” — hazy areas that indicate lingering inflammation in my lungs.  But, after two weeks of IV antibiotics and ongoing prednisone, the Doc wasn’t pleased with the speed of my progress.  So, he’s decided to add a short course of Imuran to my daily 40 mg dose of prednisone in hopes of speeding this thing along.

Imuran is used to prevent transplant rejection, as well as to treat rheumatoid arthritis.  In short, we’ve added one immunosuppressant on top of another.  I am now, as one PF group member on Facebook put it, a germ magnet.  Hand sanitizer — which we lovingly call “goop” in my family — is my new best friend.  I’ve always carried it with me.  Now I carry multiple bottles just in case.

When I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis last fall, my Doc told me infection was my Achilles heal.  A simple cold for someone else could land me in the me in the hospital. I developed a healthy fear of being sneezed on, coughed at or unknowingly slimed in any number of ways.  I gelled shopping carts, telephones, computer keyboards and the steering wheel of my car.  I bleached the sponge in the breakroom at work.  I washed my hands until they chapped and liberally applied goop before meals and after shaking hands.  And still… two cases of pneumonia and two hospital stays.  What’s a germ magnet to do?

I guess the only thing I can do is stick to the plan …. ERSRGOMAAM  (eat right, sleep right, get off my ass and move)… and goop!  Lots and lots of goop!

But what about that belly shot thing?  That has nothing to do with my PF… at least not directly.  That little party is all thanks to my erstwhile picc line.  The high dose aspirin (650 mg, 3x a day) wasn’t  doing anything to bust the clot. In fact, my left arm is even more swollen and is now tender on the inside of my elbow.  We’ve switched to twice daily injections of the blood thinner Lovenox.  I’m supposed to shoot myself around my belly button, and each injection leaves a little bruise.  I’m looking at five days of this  (10 injections), so I’m thinking about “tatooing” an “S” around my navel.  Or maybe a smiley face.  Hmmmm…. this could be fun!  Any other ideas?



6 thoughts on “A Little Dab Will Do Ya

  1. So what do they call Belly tattoos? The lower back is a tramp stamp, the upper chest? I have not heard what they call that one either. Any how we need a photo of the wayward tat. How is the arm now? Is the swelling down? I hope so, you have been through a lot and your attitude is great. You talked about demons but some how you have kept all them at bay, that in itself is amazing let alone your upbeat posts. You are a huge inspiration to all of us! Thank you.

    Several years ago some of us in the office sat around and developed a sanitary bathroom process. We did this using a technique we use to call dry labbing it. I bring that up so you don’t imagine 12 engineers all in one stall working out the details. At that time the first order of business was to advance the towel dispenser on your way in, this was a courtesy to others with less sense since this is when you are least likely to have an ‘issue’ on your hand. Of course there were towel thieves in those days That’s been solved with the invention of the no touch dispenser. Now the big problem is some waste cans are not near the door. We came up with techniques to wad the paper up tightly (twisting it actually) to allow it to fly further and straighter in an attempt to hit the can. The challenge is further complicated because the requirement is to avoid touching the door. Aim quickly and time it so the guy coming in does not think you are either making a pass at him or attempting to hit him. Every now and then you get lucky and a guy will hold the door for you, that usually has mixed emotions for me, thankfulness of course but also HE TOUCHED THE DOOR – gasp! Goop would be a good stand in most of the time but what to do with the bottle? Every time you touch the bottle, I would think there should be a re-goop. Remember going for the bottle with nasty hands means every time you touch the bottle again you become nasty, even if you are just putting the bottle in your backpack or purse. How do you deal with a nasty bottle?

    • Every time I goop my hands, I goop the bottle, too. A dab to slather on the bottle, then a dab for my hands. And… I’m finding most rest rooms have added a trash can by the door because they are tired of picking up poorly thrown paper towels.

      My right arm is now just 1 1/2 times the size of my left — it was double. The doc put me on coumadin Tuesday — the heparin wasn’t enough. But… I am continuing the hep shots in the belly for an additional 5 days while the coumadin builds up in my system.

      Thankfully, I haven’t had any side efffects from the Imuran. I just have to steer clear of crowds, so I’m basically homebound for now. It’s too hot here to be out and about anyway.

  2. Thanks for the follow… and the cheers! Luckily, the belly pokes don’t bother me. The bruising isn’t cooperating, though, so my “tattoo” is taking on a freeform look.

  3. sorry you are going thru such a hard time….but I admire you doing it with your sense of humor intact! As for the shots in the tummy……they are nothing…..I’m a diabetic….so I know a thing or two about shots in the belly…..and I used to faint at the sight of needles! LOL…..needless to say I have a pic from the shots on my tummy of Bob Marley….dreads and all! 😉 Anyway….am pulling for you…..and thanks for following my blog! I”m going to follow yours also….we can all use a cheering section….consider me in yours……..

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