In the end, $880 > death...
by disillusioned
(824 views) - 7/20/05
(recorded 7/20/05 @ 5:18:42 AM)
Sunday evening, I started to notice some tightness in my chest, when I would breathe deep. It waned mostly on Monday, but I was feeling a bit dizzy, with a headache and just feeling rather sickly.

This morning, I woke up just three hours after falling asleep, with sharp, stabbing pains under my right lung, towards the back. I didn't know how to rationalize this, but I remember it in my dreams, making for a rather miserable hour or so before it finally forced me truly awake. Let me tell you that incredible pain breathing isn't fun on its own. It's worse when you're sleeping through it, yet fully aware of it. Every position I tried just hurt worse, and no manner of adjusting helped. It was no longer deep breaths that hurt, either, with every shallow breath reminding me of my condition.

Now, when you find a sharp pain with every breath, alarm bells go off. I finally dragged myself out of bed and called my dad to explain to him that I wasn't in any immediate danger, since I was able to breathe, but that something was definitely wrong. We began to look at insurance options since I'm presently uninsured. (I also haven't been sick in over 3 years.) We discovered I wouldn't be eligible to join his policy until classes would start at whatever institution I enrolled in, so I went the Blue Cross/Blue Shield route. The BCBS people told me that without a complex medical history or any pre-existing conditions, I could be insured by Friday. I masked my contempt at my condition, but was gladly not feeling so stabby-fun at this point.

Anyway, I spent most of the day dizzy and with a severe headache. i took my temperature and clocked in at 101.6°, which is never good. I lounged around and wallowed in sickliness, until around 5 or 6, when I decided to try to nap again. I talked briefly on the phone with my dad and then hung up, and began a bout of nasty coughing.

Nasty coughing, I assure you, is no fun. I quickly started a vicious cycle of perpetuating coughs, where I found myself nearly choking on my coughs and hurting so bad I was actually tearing up and nearly crying. I'm not exactly the crying type, but keep me from breathing and you'll get me damn close. At this point, I told my mom that we might need to forego the whole "wait it out til Friday" idea and head to the doctor's. Now.

We ended up at Urgent Care, where a couple of x-rays confimed the attendee's suspicion that I had bacteria pneumonia. Where the lungs are supposed to appear as black, there were several large clouds of white inhabiting the bottom half of my lungs. They made the point of expressing that with how rapidly this bout developed, if I had waited even one more day, I could very well find myself in the hospital or, sadly, dead. When you have an aggressive form of pneumonia, even strong antibiotics can have trouble combating it if its set up camp enough.

While in the examination room, I was flipping through some mindless magazine and saw a page that read: "Tragedy: Actress dies at 30 from pneumonia." "Well, shit," I thought. Anyway, they gave me a nice shot that managed to cost $340, right into the muscle above my ass. Pleasant, all over, that. Plus, shots of highly viscous antibiotics make you very sore and can cause cramps. More fun!

I was prescribed Lexaquin which was quite the deal at $11 per pill. Fortunately, the course is only 10 days.

I'm really trying to determine how a single injection cost me $340... Yes, a nurse had to mix it with a Lidocaine diluent. And, you know... inject it. But $340? Yeesh. If I purchased it from Russia, I could've gotten 5 doses for $160. But, you know... I'd have to wait three weeks. And by then, I'd be dead. So, when it comes down to it, $880 > death.

Fortunately, the Urgent Care center offers 50% off if you pay within 30 days, so I threw the $440 total onto my credit card and went along my way. Yeah, fun. What does it say about an organization's clientele when they offer FIFTY percent off if you can prove you're not a deadbeat? Either way, that thrilled me, really.

Anyway, the antibiotic has already taken quite a hold, battling the cell walls of the bacterial infection into oblivion. Either way, my fever is down and my lungs aren't killing me. Scans of the x-rays will be up soon, once I get around to it, and thanks to special people who expressed a lot of concern and helped me through today. I haven't been actually scared about something that severe much at all, and I really appreciate you, who know who you are.

That's all for now. I must turn in.
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Okay, this is going to sound horrible, but the phrase: "...if I had waited even one more day, I could very well find myself in the hospital or, sadly, dead." made me laugh really hard. I think it was the "or, sadly, dead." part. I'm glad you feel that your life is worth more than $880.

I certainly do.

Feel better.

Carpe Diem
   [Wildfire (J:: M) 7/20/05 1:18 PM]

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