Unfortunately, we had a bit of a setback this week.
What started out as a runny nose turned into a cough. As instructed, Dan was taking his temperature frequently and it was normal - until it wasn't. At 9:00 pm on Wednesday night, he came into the bedroom and said "my temperature is 100.4". We've been instructed to go immediately to the University of Minnesota E.R if his temperature gets to that point.
I was already in my pajamas hoping for an early night and I had taken an Ambien. Thankfully, I'm not one of those people who does weird stuff while on Ambien, so I hopped out of bed and we got to the hospital. It was packed with people hacking, coughing, sneezing and they were out of protective masks in the lobby. We were prepared...we carry our own masks.
By the time he got into triage, his temperature had risen to 102.7. They got him on fluids, ran blood tests, got a urine sample and did a chest x-ray and flu swabs. His white blood counts were actually good as were his electrolytes. But the x-ray came back cloudy on the right side.
The official diagnosis is bacterial pneumonia. After consulting with his oncologist, they sent him home at about 3:00am after an IV of Levaquin and prescriptions for more Levaquin and two prescription cough meds. His temperature had dropped to 98 by the time we went home. Its amazing how fast the fever broke when he received the IV meds. He was drenched, his hair was soaking wet as was the pillow in the E.R.
He was instructed to stop taking the Revlimid (oral chemo) for a few days and while he didn't get his Velcade (chemo shot) today, they still needed him to come in for his weekly blood workup. Technically, his numbers are good enough to get the shot, but with the pneumonia, they just don't want to risk it. That's a huge disappointment, but what can you do? So he's been resting at home ever since. He's feeling much better. Still tired and a bit of a cough, but it's significantly less than it had been.
It's frustrating because ever since he was diagnosed, we've been vigilant with hand-washing, hand sanitizer, disinfecting door knobs, sink handles, light switches, remote controls, phones, steering wheels, drawer pulls, wearing N95 masks, gloves, etc.
But with the medication he is taking to combat the multiple myeloma (MM) his immune system is compromised. For example, most of us can get a cold and it's just that - a simple common cold. In his case, a simple runny nose can VERY easily and quickly turn into bacterial pneumonia.
Needless to say, I'm really scared of the Coronavirus. Not for myself, but for anyone with a weakened immune system, including Dan. For children and the elderly too. If I could wrap my house in Lysol Wipes, I would do it.
A lot of people are saying its a hoax, which is just ridiculous and offensive. And unless you are (or you have someone you love who is) fighting a life-threatening illness, you have no idea what a genuine fear it is.
- If you are sick, STAY HOME.
- If you are sick OR healthy, WASH YOUR HANDS FOR 20 SECONDS. LONG ENOUGH TO SING "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" TWICE. DO IT MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY.
- If you have to sneeze or cough, DO IT INTO YOUR SLEEVE.
- If you blow your nose, THROW YOUR KLEENEX IN THE GARBAGE.
- If you use a cart at the store, USE THE CART WIPES.
[I'm Nancy Mitchell and I approved this message]
As always, thank you to everyone who checks in, offers help, sends prayers and good thoughts. We couldn't do this without that support and it means everything to both of us.