Rumors Of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated....

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zack24

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
Thought I would share one of the weirdest health stories that's been causing me a bit of a nightmare for months. I guess maybe 9 months ago, I had a mild dry cough- no big deal, was going to wait until my normal annual to see my Doc. We went to the pipe show in Chicago, same cough and was miserable with spending any time in the smoking tents. Early in November, it was time to go to the huge boat show in Ft Lauderdale where we provide yacht and boat financing. I had a little bit of a fever, figured it was a virus. By the time we got to the show, I was having massive coughing spasms, so I went to a walk in clinic and they diagnosed it as a virus. Boat shows are pretty tough- long days, and non-stop hustling, and I was as sick as a dog- fortunately, Greta was able to pick up the slack. On Thursday, I almost passed out from coughing and ended up coughing up a small bone maybe 1/8" in diameter- finally figured out is was a steak bone from one of the Porterhouse steaks I love. Continued working through the weekend, and by Sunday, the coughing and breathing was so painful I couldn't walk- they ended up taking me to the hotel in an EMT cart with the lights flashing....
Spent a day recovering at the hotel and Greta drove us directly to my Dr. in Sarasota. They did an X-Ray- no big surprise, it was Pneumonia in the lower left lobe. They scheduled a followup X-Ray in 3 weeks and hit me with antibiotics. After a week, I was worse and went in for X-Ray #2. This one was much worse- involved the entire lung....so they set me up for a CT Scan 2 days later....and by this point, I had been running a fever for almost 30 days. We went in for the CT Scan, finished it, and were looking forward to a nice Italian dinner with my brother- made it about halfway, and Radiology calls us and tells us to immediately go to the nearest ER...
They informed me I had an Empyema- a pus filled pocket in the lower lobe of the lung lining . They figured treatment would be fairly minor- 3 small holes, a 2 hour procedure, and it would be drained. Once they got into it, they found it involved both the upper and lower lobe and was the consistency of roofing tar- it took an 11" incision and almost 6 hours for surgery.
Finally on the way home today with 2 chest tubes to keep draining the infection and a PICC line for the IV Antibiotics...At least 2 more weeks on the IV, and maybe 4 weeks until I can excercise again- I'll definitely be upgrading my dust collection for pipemaking and there's some question on when I ever start smoking a pipe again...All things considered- I was lucky- if there had been a 4 days delay, we wouldn't be having this conversation....:)
Next weekend, I will be firing up a Porterhouse steak (kinda like getting back on the horse that threw ya....)
Here are a few random pics- we managed to have a good time in spite of everything...
Drag Racing In The Hospital
Getting into the Christmas Spirit!
CT Lung Video




 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,264
9
Damn!! I think the drag racing was tmi, but the lung vid was very interesting.
Good luck and godspeed!!
Definitely need to work out the Dust collection.
Enjoy that steak!!

 

fordm60

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2014
598
1
Hi Zack,
Glad you doing better! I have been fighting physical stuff myself, relearned to walk last May. Seems Piper's are made from stern stuff lol. Hope you continue to recover and get well soon!!

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,442
10
You’ve been in my thoughts as you haven’t been loggin in, really glad you’re mending. :clap:

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,888
76
Glad to see you better and back here. I had been keeping up with you on the facebook. What a weird thing to happen. Godspeed to full recovery.

 

zack24

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
Do the Docs have any idea what caused this?
Yep- I aspirated a small piece of steakbone months ago. The normal bacteria in my mouth ended up in my lung with the steakbone causing an infection and all the other stuff...

 

zack24

Moderator
Staff member
May 11, 2013
1,726
0
Definitely need to work out the Dust collection.
I have very good dust collection- I'm about to have really great dust collection and wear a mask at all times.....

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,794
94
Glad you are better, Zach. An Empyema is certainly serious and I'm glad you got it drained and that IV antibiotics worked. Good luck on the healing brother.

 

fordm60

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2014
598
1
Dang Zack, so you aspirated a bone into your lung and then just kept going.....your tougher than I thought!!

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,717
2
Robinson, TX.
I've been following your escapade on Facebook, Zack. The good spirits and humor you have shown throughout this ordeal is something that I personally believe is going to have you fully recovered much quicker than most human beings. Prayers for your recovery continue and God bless,
Steve

 

techie

Preferred Member
Jul 20, 2018
597
0
Best wishes to you! Very bizarre experience. How does one get a bone in their lung?

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
3,950
68
So that's where you've been hiding! A truly bizarre experience, but glad to hear you are on the mend. Welcome back!

 

mau1

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
567
25
Canada
Damn! That's just crazy and one for the books. It will make us all think twice when something happens to us and we shrug it off. Take care and don't try and rush things. All the best.