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I had a bad fall.


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Oct. 17th my wife took me to the E.R. My O2 sat was down to 47%, I was on 6 liters oxy., I had a fever of 104. The docs sedated me, I guess I was out of control, they did a bronchoscopy and found pneumonia and blood in my good lung. They tried to identify the reason and treatment of the blood but couldn't locally so they sent it to Mayo. I had some form of infection and they put me on an IV antibiotic for 2 weeks. everytime they tried to bring me out of the sedation I was nuts so they would sedate me again. After a couple weeks the doc took my wife aside and told her there wasn't anything more they could do and they were going to take me off the ventilator.Mary called a friend of ours who is a doctor and an addiction specialist and he came and ran some tests and determined I had become addicted to the medications they were using to sedate me and keep me calm he talk to them and they did a trach on me. I stayed alive. then they tried to get me off of the medications and found I had ICU psycosis. So they continued to keep me sedated. Meanwhile they kept trying to get me off the drugs and get me to level off. I guess at some point I pulled out the feeding tube and the trach tube so the nurses came in and called the doc to see if they wanted to retrach me and he said to go ahead but the nurse noticed I was starting to respond nomally so they waited for the doc to get there and they decided to try to unsedate me again. I finally responded more normally and they started getting me back amongst the living. I was in ICU for 31 days of which I remember nothing. I came to the sunday before thanksgiving and was totally clueless. Mary started filling me in on what had been going on. A few days later I was put in a rehab hospital beacuse I couldn't walk, or move my arms and could barely talk. I got out yesterday, my lungs are now both quite damaged and just standing up and sitting back down my O2 sats drop to 75 or 80 % even when I'm on oxygen. I am waliking with a walker I'm learning to write again, I know how it's just that my hands don't work very well so it's barely legible. Other than the lung damage I should make a full recovery. I guess you could say I had a bad fall, Oct. Nov,. Dec. Hopefully I'll spring back soon.

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Donny, the subject of your post suggests you came through with your sense of humor and flair for words intact. But what a horrible horrible experience. And poor Mary. She must have been frantic about your recovery. So glad you came back to fill us in on your absence. We did miss you. That you know. And to think I didn't get in all day yesterday and didn't see this until this morning. O.k. two accounted for Donny and Mike. Who else is missing? Marissa I know but who else.

Merry Christmas Donny and Mary with many more to come.

Judy in Key West

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Boy, have you been missed by all of us, Donny. I sure hope your path to recovery doe not take very long. What a time of you've had. Sorry just doesn't cover it, ya know? Let's hope it is now all behind you and little by little you progress and are feeling well. Now........next time you are away so long, how about having somebody let us know so some of us (ME) don't have more hair turn gray worrying!!! But reallly I know your poor wife had no time to worry over us. I'm sending you a great bug hug and give her one from me too.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I finally looked up what the pulmo doc told me I had when I was in the hospital last fall. This is what I found:

Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia


Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is a fungal infection of the lungs.


PCP in those with AIDS usually develops slowly and is less severe. People with PCP who do not have AIDS usually get sick faster and are more acutely ill.

Symptoms include:

Cough -- often mild and dry


Rapid breathing

Shortness of breath -- especially with activity (exertion)


The main treatment for PCP is with drugs that kill the bacteria (antimicrobial therapy). Antibiotics can be given by mouth (orally) or through a vein (intravenous), depending on the severity of the illness.

People with low oxygen levels and moderate to severe PCP often take corticosteroids as well.


PCP is a pneumonia caused by the fungal organism Pneumocystis carinii (now renamed Pneumocystis jiroveci). This organism is common in the environment and does not cause illness in healthy people.

However, Pneumocystis carinii can cause a lung infection in in people with a weakened immune system due to any of the following conditions:


Chronic use of corticosteroids or other medications that affect the immune system


Solid organ or bone marrow transplant

PCP was a relatively rare infection before the AIDS epidemic. Before the use of preventive antibiotics for PCP, up to 70% of people in the U.S. with advanced AIDS would develop PCP.

Tests & diagnosis

Blood gases

Bronchoscopy (with lavage)

Lung biopsy

X-ray of the chest

Sputum induction (to detect Pneumocystis carinii)


Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia can be life-threatening, and respiratory failure can lead to death. People with this condition need early and effective treatment. For moderate to severe PCP in people with AIDS, the use of corticosteroids has decreased mortality.


Preventive therapy is recommended for:

AIDS patients with CD4 counts below 200

People on chronic high-dose corticosteroids

People who have had previous episodes of PCP


Pleural effusion (extremely rare)


Respiratory failure (may require mechanical ventilation)

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I'm curious Donny, did they test for what type of pneumonia you had after complications or is that standard. We just usually hear "you have pneumonia" not a type of pneumonia. My dx started with pneumonia with a pleural effusion and I had been working to eliminate fungus in my orchid room. The same year, we had to have the people who put our AC in back. They'd screwed up the duct work which filled up with water. Sounds like I would have been ripe for this since I live in a humid climate anyway. Even tho the pleural effusion is rare with this pneumonia, the doctors didn't understand why I got better on the antibiotics. If the pe had been from the cancer, they would have expected it to come right back and it didn't.

Good info, thanks.


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