So let me explain days 1, 2, and 3 of the June Photo Challenge…

My participation in the June Photo Challenge started with a whimper due to falling ill. I don’t mean ill as in *sniff sniff.* I don’t mean ill as in “can someone bring me some soup and wipe my nose for me?” I mean ill as in someone came into the room where I was sleeping and punched me repeatedly in the chest, then rested a full keg of beer on my rib cage until I woke up from the pain ill.


Seattle Seafair Commodores ready for the Portland Starlight Parade, 5/30/15.

It hit me suddenly and without warning: Saturday I was representing Seattle and Seafair with the Seafair Commodores in the Portland Starlight Parade (you can see us at 14:38 in this video; I’m on the other side of the boat, but look carefully and you can see my hand). I was on my feet for hours, had sushi for early dinner, had only one cocktail (in very pretty glassware), drank a lot of water because it was hot, danced briefly with some drunk people at the beginning of the parade route, high-fived hundreds of children, and walked-walked-walked. It was long and exhausting but I felt totally fine at the end, if not a little thirsty (again, it was hot). We were all staying at a huge farm 20 minutes north of downtown, and we sat around a campfire until about 2:00 am, chatting and laughing. Unfortunately, I was wide awake at 8:00 am because of the pain — my esophagus felt like it was on fire, but I thought getting up, drinking more water, popping some tums, and eating breakfast would fix it. No. By the time we reached Longview I was begging the husband to pull over so I could get out and stand up. I was still thinking this was heartburn except nothing fixed it — more tums, more water, stopping every few miles to walk, even stopping for Zantac… which now feels a bit foolish in hindsight (like putting a bandaid on a chainsaw wound?). I was almost crying by the time we reached Seattle but didn’t because I was having a hard time breathing; I was convinced that I must have dislodged a blood clot from my left ankle the night before (which has had five surgeries in the last 15 years). I was positive this was a pulmonary embolism.

Day 1: Release (discharge)

Day 1: Release (discharge)

The ER in Seattle thought so, too.

Six hours and an EKG, chest x-rays, three different CT scans, two IVs (I HATE needles!), two different morphine-based pain killers and Ativan, and every blood test imaginable later the ER released me and told me everything is in great shape except elevated white blood cells — oh yeah, and the fact that I was in excruciating pain and couldn’t breathe. Their final diagnosis was pleurisy, a viral infection of the plura. My own doctor has since run her own battery of blood tests and just confirmed the diagnosis yesterday. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed she didn’t find ulcers or a pancreas gone bad because those can be treated. Instead, this is an infection that clears on its own after a few weeks and I have to just “ride it out” (according to the doc). No magic pill. Bummer.

Day 2: Go (nowhere)

Day 2: Go (nowhere)

So the first three days from the June Photo Challenge are essentially wimpy attempts to participate and not miss a day. I didn’t leave my house and tried to do all work from home. I struggled to climb the stairs from the main floor to the office/bedroom floor. I had to recuperate on the couch and not move after talking on the phone for 20 minutes for work. Those first three days were excruciating, and the best I could do was not move, not talk, not exert any energy (including eating), take my handfuls of prescription drugs and pass out on the couch for an hour at a time.

Tomorrow it will be two weeks. I find that the pain comes back like a freight train if I overdo it (like I did at the Seafair Kickoff event a few days ago) or I get stressed out. Luckily I have my Happy Meal bag of meds.

Has anyone out there ever had this mysterious pleurisy before? Ever heard of it?

Day 3: Carefree (and still not off the couch ~ hooray for Rick Steves on DVD)

Day 3: Carefree (and still not off the couch ~ hooray for Rick Steves on DVD)

One thought on “So let me explain days 1, 2, and 3 of the June Photo Challenge…

  1. Pingback: June 2015 Photo Challenge ~ | Jen Drinks Coffee

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