Question :

Bad Case Of Pneumonia and Return of Energy levels

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I went to the doctor two weeks ago yesterday with really bad lower back pain. I have two ruptured discs at T-6/T-7, but this was MUCH lower. They found blood in my urine and I was admitted to the hospital for treatment of kidney stones/infection. They did a CT on my pelvic area and a chest xray. Come to find out, I had a kidney infection, but also the beginning of "double pneumonia". I had some IV antibiotics and breathing treatments and went home with more antibiotics and breathing treatments. The following Monday, I went back to get a release to return to work. Luckily, my wife of 20+ years happened to call the doctor while I was enroute and said I looked terrible and in her opinion, was not any better. He ordered another chest x-ray and it had gotten worse. I was readmitted, put on IV antibiotics 4 times a day, a load of oral meds and breathing treatments and PEP Therapy with an Accapella device. I was discharged late last Thursday. I am still doing breathing treatments 3-4 times a day and the PEP therapy, but I just do not have ANY strength. I am not really coughing anything up and I NEED to go back to work.


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
I agree with all investigations done to date.  Pneumonia can be a life threatening illness and needs to be treated with respect.  The majority of cases of comment acquired pneumonia can be treated with oral antibiotics.  Severe cases are treated with IV antibiotics which are sometimes followed by oral antibiotics.
It appears you have acquired a severe case as evidenced by your breathing difficulties.
You are on the correct treatment and please continue regulars followup as recommended by your doctor.  I can understand your desire to return to work for financial reasons however the amount of energy required by the body to fight off the infection and prevent its spread is large.  Rest is your best option for a full recovery.  Energy levels sometimes take one month to return to normal.


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