Monday, December 20, 2010

A Name to Strike Fear in the Hearts of Evildoers

On December 8, I broke my little finger. The urgent care clinic took three x-rays, taped my pinky to my ring finger, and advised me to see an orthopedic specialist the following week. On December 13, the orthopedic specialist repositioned the finger, splinted it, took 3 more x-rays in the process, and told me to come back in a week to verify that it hadn't moved. On December 19, I became convinced that I had pneumonia (again), and returned to the urgent care clinic, where they gave me two chest x-rays and confirmed my suspicions. Today, I returned to the orthopedic specialist, who took three more x-rays of my hand, was unsatisfied because of an obstructed view, and took two more.

So that's thirteen x-rays in twelve days. When I mutate into a superhero from all of the radiation, I shall call myself Iron Lung.

I'm not sure how this works. Does bronchitis left untreated become pneumonia? Would you Google that for me? Or are pneumonia and bronchitis separate and unrelated conditions? I suspected a couple of weeks ago that I might be developing either bronchitis or pneumonia. I had a little pain in the right side of my chest, but nothing terribly alarming. I remember telling my Primary Care Physician once that I had heard that untreated bronchitis will not resolve on its own, and he told me that wasn't true, that it may or may not. So I thought this time I'd wait and see what happens. I ran a couple of 5Ks in the meantime, which, I reasoned, I'd never be able to do with a serious respiratory condition. The pain improved, in retrospect largely because of the Vicodin I was taking for the broken finger, so I thought I was on the mend. When I stopped taking the Vicodin, the chest pain returned, along with an alarming spot of blood, prompting me to seek, at long last, medical attention.

The problem with having a wonky pair of lungs is, you never know when it's regular wonky or serious wonky. Even with pneumonia confirmed by chest x-rays, I don't feel that much different than I do on any given Monday evening.


Logical Libby said...

Maybe you'll grow gills. No more running, but no more scuba rentals.

I, Rodius said...

And I shall battle Dennis Hopper on Jetskis.

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