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It all started after my usual 2 mile walk with my friend and fellow power walker on a Tuesday morning a few weeks ago-at this point I’m not sure when, forgive me.

After putting the pups back in the house, I walked down to Adam’s place to watch the kids so he could work out.  Jackson looked at my upper arm and asked “what’s that owie Grandma?”

It was a rash, didn’t itch, didn’t bother me-but since I was going to the dermatologist the next day, I told him I’d show it to her.  Well, by late afternoon I was running 101.3, felt awful and started coughing.  By morning, I knew I was going from the one doctor’s office straight across the street to urgent care.

By the time I got there, I couldn’t breathe and I looked like I should join a leper colony.  Everything was “killing” me.  Took a chest x-ray-pneumonia and pleurisy.  Wound up having 3 days of antibiotic shots, oral antibiotics and in general, felt horrible.  X-ray showed a mass in the right lung.

Let’s just say the next week got even worse.  By July 5th-I was admitted to the hospital.  Breathing treatments, bags upon bags of antibiotics and a bronchoscopy was performed.  Finally stabilized enough that they let me go home Sunday night.

Bronchoscopy showed that besides the pneumonia, I had contracted the dreaded “valley fever“.  Not good for a person with RA.  I was already taken off my meds because it would make the pneumonia worse, but now I may never be able to go back on them.  Will be on antifungal meds for at least 3 months.  The RA is already flaring-extremely sore and swollen feet and hands (no wedding rings for me).

While I commend my nurses and the two doctors that took very good care of me-I also must say that being n a hospital really sucks.  The kitchen was told that I was on a heart diet/no dairy.  Every single meal (even the ones I literally ordered face to face with one of the managers) came with dairy and inedible!  

No joke-I asked for a vegan option and the gentleman looked me in the face and literally said, “we have salmon-will that work for you?“  Sigh.

Was never so happy as when Steve picked me up and took me home.  Still very sick and weak, but better than when I was put into my hospital room several days before.

Obviously, the dogs were extremely happy to have me home.  Both are my constant companions-Velcro personified.  Pepper wants in the mix, but the girls keep him relegated to night time cuddles.  He sits on a recliner across from me and stares.

Steve, poor guy-I’m so weak that I have to take a rest with every activity.  

Take this morning-got up did my usual personal routine, cleaned the litter box, fed the pets, cut fruit for breakfast and let the dogs out.  Needed a rest.  Broke out into a sweat.  Took me an hour to eat my fruit and oatmeal.

My beloved two cups of coffee to help get me started in the morning?  No thanks, but as of this morning I actually have had a cup and it didn’t do much to my body.

Not much of an appetite-lost 8 pounds.  Everyone from Steve to the medical staff keep telling me to eat-I’m honestly doing my best but nothing really appeals to me and when I eat it, it doesn’t really taste that good or go “down” very well.

Now that I’ve written this-I’m seeing stars.  My GP told me yesterday to give myself a break and realize this is a long term healing situation.  I can’t drive-not enough energy.  

Valley Fever and the rest suck, but at least I’m almost beginning to believe that this too shall indeed pass and I might be able to join the world of the living soon.

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