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I pray no one has the week I've had

10 years ago

Actually it's been nearly three weeks, but this last one has been the week from hell.

Three weeks ago on a bright sunny 90degF day Jan and I went shopping. When we went in the grocery store at Walmart there were a few black clouds off to the west and I remember commenting to Jan that we will probably get a thunder bumper later this evening...was I wrong...Between browsing around in Walmart & grocery shopping we were in the store about 1.5 hours and by the time we came out the temp had dropped to about 60degF and it was raining like a hurricane storm. By the time we got our stuff in the car I was soaked to the skin and on the way home I started having chills. As soon as I got home, maybe 20 minutes later, I got dried off, changed clothes and was warmed up again so I didn't think anything abut it.

Later that evening I started getting a lot of mucouse in my nose and a few light sneezes, but I still didn't think it was a big deal because I have a super strong immune system and I can usually fight these things off in a day.

Now the stuffy nose was no problem because, as many of you already know, I have COPD. I just laid down on the bed and hooked up my oxygen with a nose cannula. That oxy blowing through the nasal passage tends to keep it dry and open.

The next morning I went out to the kitchen for my morning coffee and while sitting there I started sneezing again, only this time it was not those cute little sneezes we usually have. These were violent, body shaking sneezes and came a dozen at a time in rapid succession. Fast forward an hour and I started sneezing again, the same way. By this time my rib musles were so sore that even taking a shallow breath was an effort, so back to bed and the oxygen. I ocntinued to have those bouts of sneezes about once an hour until well into the next day. Add to that, I have a persistant cough from the COPD but even the slightest cough caused my rib area to hurt till I almost had tears in my eye and by this time the pain in my ribs was constant.

The next morning I was awakened because I literally could not breathe. I was still having the sneezes plus congestion had now settled in my lungs so I was coughing terribly. There I was sitting on the side of the bed, caughing terribly and gasping for air literally like a fish out of water, even though I had the oxygen on. I got my meter and checked my blood oxygen level and it was down to 79% even with the oxygen on. I managed to turn the oxygen flow rate up to about twice my normal level and I told Jan I needed to go to the hospital.

I ended up with 18hours in the intensive care unit followed by two days in the hospital taking respiratory therapy. When I first went in I told the doctor in the ER about the pain in my ribs and intercostal muscles so he sent me for an MRI. After I got out of the intensive care and was on the ward the doctor came in and asked if my ribs still hurt? And I replied that they were still killing which he replied, "I don't wonder, the MRI reveals that you caughed & sneezed so violently that you broke one rib and crack two more on your left side, and cracked one on the right side, but what I am even more concerned about is that your diaphram was torn partially loose on the left side. It is not at a point where it can't heal itself, but you can be sure that area is going to be tender for about 4 to 6 weeks."

Then he said, "By the way, I got your lab tests back, you don't need to worry about taking the flu shot this year, you just beat the toughest flu there is."

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