Tuesday, June 01, 2010

05/30/10 - 5/31/10 - Emergency Room Visit, Pleurisy?

Posted 6/4. Late Saturday (5/29) afternoon, I had a pain start in my right-chest area. It wasn't so bad, so I just dealt with it. That all changed as it kept worsening throughout Sunday. I didn't tell Laura, as I could still tolerate it, and it was now near bedtime and I didn't want her to worry all night.

She fell asleep quickly, and I still watched TV a little bit. Upon laying down in bed, I felt what was now a very increased sharp pain in my right chest, especially when I inhaled. The deeper I inhaled, the worse the pain got. I could no longer tolerate it.

I woke Laura up, and said I needed an ambulance. We went back and forth for a little bit, and decided to take her car to a nearby hospital. We went to the Emergency Room (~10:30PM), and I was quickly admitted (I guess "experiencing chest pains" speeds things up quit a bit :) ). Just as quickly, my veins were accessed via an IV and around 5 external patches were adhered to my chest.

Before I knew it, blood was drawn to test for various enzymes, cell counts and bacteria. The patches on my chest were attached to what I assume was an ECG (Electrocardiogram). I should've asked... A technician came in and took an X-Ray of my chest... I was also put on supplemental oxygen...

By this time, it was around 2:00AM, and things started to slow down a bit. I told Laura that she should go home to get "some" sleep (she left before 2:30). I was given pain medication around 12:30 and 2:30, they helped, but I could still feel the pain. Oh yeah, before Laura left she took a picture of me with my cell phone (it did not come out), and she was "reprimanded" by a nurse about taking pictures. I didn't realize it was a secret. This entry is too far along for me to stop...

Sometime around 3-3:30AM I had a CT (Cat) scan of my chest scan. It was specifically to look at my heart, and I'm sure there were other features of the scan, so it was called an "angiogram." I'm pretty sure that is what I was told, but my spell-checker suggests "cardiogram." I just looked up both quickly on Wikipedia, I'll stick with angiogram for now...

Not long after, I was admitted to a private room. Sleep, Blood Draw, Sleep, Blood Draw, Sleep, Talk to Cardiologist, Sleep, Call Laura and tell her not to come until around noon, Sleep, Eat Hospital Breakfast after 11AM while watching "The Price Is Right," Laura Arrives (~noon), Eat Hospital Lunch (~1:00PM), Cautiously take pictures, Wait.

Me in hospital bed ~1:00pm, Memorial Day (Monday)

IV in my arm

My PCP (he was my PCP-Primary Care Provider, on my old insurance, now he's probably my primary Doctor, or whatever my current insurance says) came in sometime after 4PM. He suggested I had,"Pleurisy" an inflammation of the outer lining of my lungs. He prescribed some steroid-based medication to be taken in decreasing doses over the next six days. He also released me from the hospital which also was a relief because Monday night was rapidly approaching.

My first full day of taking the drug was Tuesday. Six pills throughout the day. That first day's dose almost eliminated the sharp pain. The next day, I took 5 more pills, Pleurisy be gone! And so it was... I still have to take doses 3-2-1 over the next few days, but so far, it has been a great relief! Oh yeah, I started Radiation Tuesday night...

A few facts about pleurisy (from Wikipedia). It has many causes, regrettably cancer is one, :(. It can easily lead to pneumonia and death... Benjamin Franklin died due to pleurisy. In 1973, Elvis was diagnosed with recurrent pleurisy. Ringo Starr had chronic-pleurisy when he was 13. Sleep is good to overcome Pleurisy, which I shall now partake of since I woke-up at 5:00AM...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness gracious, Mark....that was quite a post!!! Pleurisy is most likely a condition that many of us have experienced in our lifetime -- I know I have. And, yes, it is very painful sometimes. It is quite frightening and one is definitely not sure how long to let it go before seeing a doctor, and in the end, receiving medication and sent home.

Though, I did not realize that it was something that can occur more in patients with cancer -- I think I understood your post to indicate that! Nor, did I know that so many famous people suffered with it. Definitely an interesting post, Mark.

Now, we are glad you are home and taking care of yourself again! Your information is so interesting to read and I, for one, really appreciate the updates, your facts, as well as your sense of humor! Oh yeah, ignore the "scolding nurses" -- they're only doing their job. BUT, do what the heck you want for your log/blog history.....hey, it's YOUR life!

Take care, dear one, and know that we are proud of you with your continuing progress. Tell Laura, too, that we are proud of her champion way of caring for you...she's a love!!! Guess I better include Big Monkey and the cat, too!

Get better and always remember our prayers, thoughts and love are with you all....

Mary & Bill Gregory & the Gregory clan

6/04/2010 8:34 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Cancer can be a cause, but my doctors aren't concerned to pursue it at this point. Pleurisy was VERY painful for me, which I had to get checked out. Luckily, the drugs I was prescribed took care of it in a few days...


6/13/2010 5:33 PM  

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