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So I'm in the hospital with pneumonia. The fun started about a week and a half ago when I developed a fever. No, actually it began a week or two before then, when I caught Vivi's cough, which she's had for several months, actually, but she never progressed to anything more serious.

But I did. I started running fevers of 102-103 which didn't go away in 3-4 days, which was the limit of my tolerance. I then called my GP, but it turned out she was at some sort of conference, away. By then, I knew I needed a chest X-ray, so I just called a doctor friend and she offered to let me come in on her watch, and she'd get it done for me (yes, that's how things work in Hungary - it's free, but you have to know someone).

So they found a humongo spot of infection, 14x7 cm, and she sent me home with some antibiotics. The hardest part was knowing I couldn't just go home and lie down and recover because I had deadlines I had to meet. Argh. So I tried to do the bare minimum of moving around, and sat most of the time at my computer to do my translating, but it was still too much. My fever came back and I knew I had to go to a specialist. So I called another doctor friend, one who is (or was) a pulmonologist, and she got me into this hospital, which is an institution that specializes in lung issues. On the floor below me are the contagious TB cases, whoohoo!

So they did another X-ray, they say my spot is even bigger than it was on the first X-ray, they took blood from my ear (!!!) and did an EKG. Well, my heart is good at least.

And they put me in a room with 5 old ladies, one of whom I seriously think is dying. Of emphysema. The old ladies are hilarious for the most part, they are SO MEAN to each other, esp behind each other's back. One in particular likes to discuss the details of her bowel movements, and when she's gone, the others bitch that they really don't like listening to her stories about her shit (literally). But when she comes back, they shut up and keep on listening to her stories about her shit. And I have to hide under my covers to keep from laughing at them.

In general, I'm pretty okay with being in the hospital. They offered to let me go home on the contingency that I keep strict bedrest. I knew if I went home, there was no way I could do strict bedrest, plus at this point, I was more comfortable having a few more tests done just to make sure it really *was* "just" pneumonia. I have several relatives who died of various lung problems, including cancer, so that unhappy thought crossed my mind, too. Fortunately, they haven't seemed to find anything indicative of anything other than a nasty case of pneumonia.

One thing that I find annoying (though I was prepared for it, knowing how the Hungarian health care system works) is that you get next to no information about your condition. Seriously, they bring your meds in these cute little boxes, labeled morning and evening, but the nurse actually looked at me funny when I asked her to tell me their names - and I wrote them down. Apparently, no one else is interested in knowing what they are taking. I'd also like to see the results of my lab tests. This morning, they took some more blood, I know what my values were on Friday, so I'd like to compare.

I just want to be kept informed...

At any rate, they started me on a new antibiotic, which made me really nauseous when I took it, and later in the day, I broke out in hives, literally from one minute to the next. I went and I showed them, and they gave me some antihistamine, which must be the good shit because the hives were gone in 5 minutes after I took it.

So I'm taking this as an opportunity to figure out what exactly I can drop from my life, and what I want to focus on because I think this is a clear indication that I have been working way too fucking much. Seven days a week, sometimes in the evenings as well. It's making me sick.

So, what can I do? I have a business that is just starting, and it is doing comparatively well, but it's taking an insane amount of energy to run. And I don't have a salary, I don't have sick leave, I don't have a pension. So when I fell ill, there was literally nobody who could have substituted for me. That sucks.

I have a week here, about, to think long and hard about where I want to focus my energies because I, too, feel that my attention is being splintered too many ways.

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hope you feel better quickly and get some clarity!

Oh my goodness. I hope you feel better soon!

Oh my god, that is so scary, Reka! Pneumonia really freaks me out. And now I can add: getting blood from an EAR really freaks me out! I didn't even know you could do that. Why would they need it to come from your ear?

One thing that I find annoying (though I was prepared for it, knowing how the Hungarian health care system works) is that you get next to no information about your condition.

This would drive me crazy, too. At least they are giving you the information once you ask!

Dara, the blood from the ear is to check oxygen levels, though why they couldn't use, like, a finger, I don't know...

On second thought, maybe the finger would hurt more...

Huh, well, no harm done if it wasn't too painful? The only time I've heard of sticking a needle in an ear was to administer drugs to a lab rabbit.... because it really is the most sensible point of access to the blood vessels of a restrained rabbit. :)

But I am so used to offering the crook of my arm for blood draws that it would really freak me out to have it taken from any other place. The comfort of habit has made a needle stick no big deal to me anymore. Which is kind of nice, considering how scared I used to get.

Hope you're feeling better & get well soon. <3

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