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Thompson with a ‘P’ as in pneumonia

I’ve been sick the past few weeks, just a slow build of The Crud. I had been reluctant to schedule a doctor’s appointment since I kept thinking that it would go away on its own after a week, like the cold I came down with at the end of January, and didn’t want to schedule an appointment and magically feel better. After two weeks I thought I could make do with Mucinex but all it did was clear up my symptoms and once the dosage wore off after four hours I went back to feeling miserable.

That was until last Monday when I woke up at 4 AM coughing and sneezing and unable to get back to sleep so I threw in the towel and scheduled an appointment for a telemedicine video call with a nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. Had the video call Tuesday morning and the nurse thought it sounded like pneumonia and wanted me to come in for a chest X-Ray to confirm, and prescribed me a course of antibiotics and codeine. The next day I heard that the X-ray came back normal (I haven’t seen a copy of the X-ray to see for myself), but if it’s not pneumonia then it’s something pretty close as when I got the possible diagnosis I looked up the symptoms and mentally checked off most of them – cough, chills, confusion: yes, yes, yes. Apparently pneumonia associated with Legionella includes abdominal pain? I had that as well and figured it to be a side effect of the Mucinex (which was another reason why I scheduled the appointment – I wasn’t sure if the pain was from acetominaphin, never mind that my liver was on the opposite side of my abdomen – and didn’t want to take it indefinitely with no improvement in health), but I had also been running my humidifier a lot recently to counteract the dry winter air and my humidifier was overdue for a cleaning. Hmm…

My sister Kelly and niece Teagan were coming to visit later that week to celebrate Kelly’s birthday (a week late) with the family, so I was already planning on spending time with my family to absorb the atmosphere and ended up teleworking from my parents’ house this whole past week. Even with the medication I’ve been feeling wiped out and wouldn’t have been able to go into the office (and I wouldn’t have wanted to subject my coworkers to my horkin’ and snortin’ all day, but have no qualms about subjecting my own family members to those sights and sounds!).

The nurse wanted me to schedule an in-office appointment if I wasn’t showing an improvement by early this next week. The thing is, I’m having trouble telling how “better” I am – between the twice-daily antibiotics and the three-to-four-times-daily Mucinex and the as-needed codeine I feel okay once the medication really kicks in, but I know that’s the medicine talking. I also still feel wiped out by the illness; yesterday after wrapping up my work I just had to lay down and try to take a nap. I’ll have to see how I’m feeling on Monday as to whether I make it into the office or need a followup doctor’s appointment but I feel guilty for teleworking all this past week, even if I wouldn’t have been able to make it in. Compared to previous jobs where telework wasn’t an option I feel like I’m getting away with something when I get the opportunity to telework. There were times this week that I would have preferred to rest the entire day but thanks to the government shutdown I have very little PTO time available (and am currently trying to recoup my lost PTO), so if given the opportunity to work while I recuperate I’ll take it.

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