If there's a person out there still interested in my maladies (I know I'm certainly not one of them), here's the latest:
It appears at the moment that I will not need the invasive surgery that just last week I thought was inevitable. The idea was that my lung wasn't healing as quickly as they hoped, and that the surgeons would have to take a chunk of stomach fat and pack the hole in the lung with it. That would have required another week-long hospital stay, 2-3 months of recovery, and probably ruined my summer!
As of today, I may be able to save August (to quote the great Chief Brody). They are going to go through my throat and install a little valve-type device and try to plug the leak that way. And that is being done on an out-patient basis, July 11th. Also, I got the call today to stop taking my IV antibiotic (which is actually on schedule) because it may have been causing my white blood cell count to drop. So, I also get to stop taking the vile-tasting antibiotic I was taking. This, of course, does leave me at a slightly higher risk for infection, but the steroid dose is much lower than it was back a couple months ago when I got the severe infection that landed me in the hospital with brown ooze coming out of my lung, so that should help. Otherwise, I just have to keep washing my hands, I guess.
I also still have the chest tube in, and my job now to to be mindful of that. If the stuff coming out starts getting cloudy, I have to let my doctors know, because it probably means infection. That is at least a good fall-back. Last time, I had to wait until I could barely move before I went back. Now, I just have to look to the tube. Still, I have faith this time that I can remain relatively healthy. If not, well, I'm screwed.
I've mentioned how supportive and helpful virtually everyone I know has been (and continues to be), and it's still amazing how much it helps me out (You have no idea). Hopefully, the end is in sight here, and we can all go back to the way things were before. I can be bitter and alone, and you can all feel bad about that, instead. I know that day is coming. You know why? Because now I have real help.