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

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  1. zack24

    zack24

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    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

    Posted 4 months ago #
  2. ashdigger

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    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!!

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 4 months ago #
  3. fordm60

    fordm60

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    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!!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  4. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    Damn.....I’m very happy to hear you are doing better now. Do the Docs have any idea what caused this? Take care.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  5. tbradsim1

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    You’ve been in my thoughts as you haven’t been loggin in, really glad you’re mending.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 4 months ago #
  6. cosmicfolklore

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    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.

    Michael
    Posted 4 months ago #
  7. zack24

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    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...

    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. zack24

    zack24

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    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.....

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. npod

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    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.

    Neal
    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. fordm60

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    Dang Zack, so you aspirated a bone into your lung and then just kept going.....your tougher than I thought!!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. jpmcwjr

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    Oh, my-steak! Who knew?

    So glad to see/hear you are doing well now, and are back on the horse!

    Best wishes!

    John

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. bluegrasspipe

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    Man, that is crazy. I wish you a quick recovery!

    For tho' at my simile many may joke,
    Man is but a pipe—and his life but smoke.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  13. pipestud

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    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

    Pipestud
    Posted 4 months ago #
  14. prairiedruid

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    Glad to hear you are well on the road to recovery.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. techie

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    Best wishes to you! Very bizarre experience. How does one get a bone in their lung?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  16. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    Oh wow. Glad you're on the mend Zack.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 4 months ago #
  17. mikethompson

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    So that's where you've been hiding! A truly bizarre experience, but glad to hear you are on the mend. Welcome back!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  18. kcghost

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    Well, the good thing is you survived.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    lawmax3

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    Glad things are improving for you!
    Take care of yourself.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    mau1

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    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.

    "He was loosely dressed, but tightly wound". Louise Penny.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  21. woodsroad

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    Holy Cajoles!
    When they said that you inhaled that steak, they weren’t kidding.

    Glad to see that you are still above ground and recovering, Zack.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  22. wyfbane

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    Damn, Zack, that is insane. I am SO glad you are on the mend. That is a crazy thing to have happened. I will keep you in my prayers. I hope you heal 100% and can smoke a pipe again someday. You have always been a terrific influence here on the forums and you make amazing pipes.

    I am so glad we didn't lose you.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  23. crashthegrey

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    What a crazy set of circumstances. I am glad to hear that you are recovering well.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    elpfeife

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    Glad you persevered through that. Bad stuff! I really like the wardrobe you picked up in the hospital. Those duds seem like they would be good for a humid Florida summer. Harris needs to pick up some!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  25. litup

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    Wow. Who would have guessed a steak bone could cause so much trouble. I'm very glad to hear you eventually got the treatment you needed and that you're on the mend.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  26. rmpeeps

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    Hang in there buddy. 8 years ago I was I some bad shape. A few doctors were full of doom and gloom, but the one I respected the most took the tune of “We’ll see about that”.
    Keep on keeping on!!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  27. scloyd

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    Geez...that is an amazing story. Good luck with the rest of your recovery.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  28. brian64

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    RIP Get well soon! Glad you're on the mend!

    “Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin
    Posted 4 months ago #
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    piper64

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    Get well soon.

    Faugh a Ballagh
    Posted 4 months ago #
  30. jvnshr

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    I am also glad that you are doing fine Zack. Get well soon.

    Javan
    Posted 4 months ago #
  31. spartacus

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    Wild story. Glad to hear you are doing better. I hope your recovery is quick and painless.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    aldecaker

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    Get well soon. Eat slower.

    A man who serves his country is a patriot. A man who serves his government is an employee. The two are not always the same thing.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  33. mso489

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    zack, what a harrowing saga. I'm glad you made it through. Take it easy for a spell. Get back into things gradually. One time the dentist dropped a crown he was installing, and it went down my gullet. We both thought it went down the esophagus and he planned to have another made, and that would be that. But after a few days of rocky breathing, I got an x-ray and there it was, the crown brightly ensconced in my bronchial tube. Under sedation, I had it removed by a deft lung doc. He fished it out of one bronchial tube, it got away from him, and he eased it out of the other and into a pill bottle. Saved by quick work. Hope you get feeling fine, fast.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  34. jmill208

    jmill208

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    Glad you are feeling better.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  35. cigrmaster

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    Damn Zack, that had to hurt like a mo fo. I am glad to hear you on your way to a full recovery. Hang in there.

    Harris
    Posted 4 months ago #
  36. zack24

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    Thanks guys!...It has been a weird time....Just about worn out now...Trying to get used to being home again....

    Posted 4 months ago #
  37. saltedplug

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    Hey Zack, so glad to hear you recovered. You've had quite the ordeal!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  38. weezell

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    Prayers for your recovery continue and God bless,
    Sums it up. Count your Blessings, someone lookin out for ya Brother...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 4 months ago #
  39. dottiewarden

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    Strange tale. Glad to hear you're back at home. Get well soon!

    Dot
    Posted 4 months ago #
  40. stbruno70

    stbruno70

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    That is quite the story. Get well soon.

    Cheers mate

    Mason,Vice President
    Golden Gate Pipe Club
    Posted 4 months ago #
  41. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Yikes! The cow got revenge! I'm happy to hear that you're on the mend!

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 4 months ago #
  42. peckinpahhombre

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    That is a crazy story. I assume it is a cultural thing, but we have different eating habits up here in Canada when it comes to meat. We just eat the meat and leave the bones on the plate. I was very startled to learn that you yanks like eating the bone, which raises the possibility of a whole new thread, but I digress.

    In any event, I am so glad you are healing now. Get well!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  43. georged

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    Damn. That's some lottery odds shit right there. I'll bet the docs who worked on you will write a paper about it for some medical journal.

    All's well that (finally!) ends well, though. Glad you're on the mend, my man!

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 4 months ago #
  44. saltedplug

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    we have different eating habits up here in Canada when it comes to meat. We just eat the meat and leave the bones on the plate. I was very startled to learn that you yanks like eating the bone, which raises the possibility of a whole new thread, but I digress.

    Not to subtract from all of Zack's pain and suffering, but this is just plain brilliant!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  45. ssjones

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    Wow, that is one hell of a story! Glad you made it through to the other side!

    Al

    Posted 4 months ago #
  46. winton

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    Zack, Glad you are getting better.

    My worst experience with a cow was when I was small. A young bull of ours decided to scratch his new horns on my chest. It wouldn't have been too bad, but he had me pinned against a barbed wire fence.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  47. zack24

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    I was very startled to learn that you yanks like eating the bone, which raises the possibility of a whole new thread

    Who would have thought a "boner" could be life threatening?....:)

    Posted 4 months ago #
  48. prairiedruid

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    Who would have thought a "boner" could be life threatening?....:)

    Well it did last for more than 4 hours!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  49. ophiuchus

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    Aspirating bone can be hazardous to your health.

    Continued good wishes on your improving health.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    flmason

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    Zack:

    I am glad you are back home and recovering from your medical issues. It is always better to heal at home. The bed and the food are much better and no one comes in to wake you up after you have finally fallen asleep.

    Best wishes to you and your wife for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    Doug

    Winter Springs, FL

    Posted 4 months ago #
  51. tennsmoker

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    Zack, glad to learn that you are back home and resting up for a big return here.

    Next time, do like some of my sothren brethren who just keep on gnawing until there's no bone left.

    Hang tough.


    The past is never dead. It's not even past--Requiem for a Nun
    Posted 4 months ago #
  52. bnichols23

    Bill

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    Whoa! Glad you're on the mend, Zach! Sheesh, what a tale! It's truly amazing the damage just a little of the wrong thing in the wrong place can do!

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 4 months ago #
  53. cortezattic

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    Thank God you made it through that ordeal. Nobody needs stuff like that interfering with their life. Happy to see that you're back and posting.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 4 months ago #

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