We got home and within a week I was in the hospital with Epiglottitis. This is where your epiglottis gets swollen and makes it hard to breathe and is unfortunately a life threatening situation. I had no idea what Epiglottitis was, I had never even heard of it. All I knew was that I was transferred to the University Hospital from a smaller hospital in an ambulance after the Dr told me I could die at any moment. How reassuring. Especially seeing as how that same Dr. was going to discharge me until I insisted on getting my throat scoped and I do not mean the mouthwash (brutal, I know). As an aside, in regards to the first post of the week about health care professionals, telling an extremely sick individual that you almost discharged that they may die at any moment is not the greatest thing from a patient experience standpoint. It doesn't exactly instill confidence in the system.
The conversation went something like this when I got to the University Hospital...
The Dr. asked me, "Do you have AIDS?"
Dr: "Do you have HIV?"
Dr:"When was the last time you smoked?"
Me: I don't smoke.
Dr. "Not tobacco, I mean crack"
Me: I don't smoke that or anything else.
Dr. "Not even meth?"
Me: No, not even meth.
At this point I was thinking there was something majorly wrong with me. If the Dr's first guess is I have AIDS and their other guess involves meth and crack I must be in trouble. I was also on Percocet, wide spectrum anti-biotics, steroids, morphine, anti-virals, anti-inflammatories and probably a few other things that I did not know about. I was half wondering if I was hallucinating and not answering the Dr's questions properly. Was the Dr. even in the room? They were, there were no hallucinations.
Apparently epiglottitis usually only appears in young children and is usually caused by an influenza strain. If an adult gets it they usually are a drug user and some glass breaks off their pipe and irritates the epiglottis to the point of epiglottitis. The other reason adults get it is if they have an AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE. And so it began...