MY BEST FRIEND'S HUSBAND 33, WHICH IS PERFECTLY HEALTHY,NEVER HAD ANY HEALTH PROBLEMS, STARTED HAVING BODY ACHES ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH, BY SUNDAY HE WAS SO SICK WITH A FEVER, BODY ACHES, AND HEADACHE HE COULDN'T GET OUT OF BED. hE WENT TO THE DR. MONDAY THE 16TH. ONLY CHECKED WITH A STETHOSCOPE! TOLD HIM HE HAD THE FLU AND WAS STARTING TO GET PNEUMONIA. SO PUT HIM ON ANTIBIOTICS. BY WEDNESDAY THE 18TH HE WAS WORSE MY FRIEND CALLED THE DR. AND TOLD THEM BUT THEY SAID ANTIBIOTICS TAKE A WHILE TO START WORKING. THURSDAY GOES TO ER HE IS SO BAD THEY END UP PUTTING HIM IN ICU BECAUSE HE HAS PNEUMONIA IN 4 OUT OF 5 LOBES AND BY FRIDAY HE IS ON RESPIRATOR. THEY HAD TO LIFE FLIGHT HIM TO WEST PENN EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. HE WAS ON 100% OXYGEN. BUT TO TRY TO MAKE THIS A LITTLE SHORTER. THEY TESTED HIM FOR H1N1 IT CAME BACK POSITIVE. IT HAS NOW TURNED INTO ARDS. THERE HAS BEEN SO MANY UPS AND DOWNS THROUGH THIS. TODAY IS DECEMBER 18TH AND HE IS STILL ON 75% OXYGEN, FINALLY JUST NOW STARTING TO SHOW IMPROVEMENT. THE XRAYS OF HIS LUNGS ARE STILL VERY CLOUDY, HOPING ITS NOT TURNING INTO SCAR TISSUE. BUT WE THINK HE IS GOING TO PULL THROUGH. THE DR'S CAN'T EVEN GIVE US A TIME FRAME BECAUSE ITS NEW TO THEM ALSO. THEY SAID DON'T EVEN EXPECT HIM HOME FOR EASTER. i WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE ELSE KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS, OR KNOWS ANYONE THAT HAS HAD A CASE LIKE THIS. I HAVE DONE SO MUCH RESEARCH BUT AM HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME FINDING OTHER CASES LIKE THIS.
THIS FLU IS ABSOLUTELY CRAZY ESPECIALLY IN A VERY ACTIVE AND HEALTHY PERSON.
Hi there, I am so sorry to hear about your best friend's husband.
Yes this novel H1N1 virus is quite a doozie. It has the same attack rate and death rate as regular flu, but the different thing about it is that while regular flu tended to seriously affect young children and people over 65, this new flu is affected young children and young otherwise healthy adults.
I know it may seem like the original doctor who saw him "didn't do his job", that is not the case at all. Many people have been getting H1N1 in the community, and for the vast vast majority it is just a mild illness. I myself had H1N1 (swab proven...YUCK!) and only had a mild sore throat that lasted two days. The problem with the new H1N1 is that you can't predict who is going to get really sick. So while 100 people may have the exact same symptoms, the 1 person who is going to get ARDS (which is acute/adult respiratory distress syndrome) is unpredictable. About the only thing the studies have shown is that obese, young women of childbearing age have a slightly higher risk of getting serious disease compared to the rest of the population.
So the next question is, why do people get so sick? Well, the ironic thing is, it's not the virus itself which causes the severe lung problems, it's the person's immune system and its overzealous response! Again, this is impossible to predict, but for unclear reasons, in certain people who have the virus in the lungs, the immune system goes in to overdrive and actually starts to damage the lungs. At this point, the microvasculature in the lung gets leaky, fluid seeps in to the lungs (this is ARDS) and then the person requires mechanical ventilation to help maintain oxygenation.
The other thing is that a lot of Tamiflu (oseltamavir) has been thrown around. We have absolutely NO idea whether actually giving oseltamavir makes a LICK of difference in preventing that 1 in 100 person from going on to develop severe lung complications. All we do know is that oseltamavir is being used excessively in the community and it's only a matter of time until the novel H1N1 becomes resistant to it.
About the only thing that's going to prevent you from getting novel H1N1 is the vaccine or actually getting the disease itself. The thing is, with the vaccine you get immune protection from the virus without the risk of having the overzealous immune response which damages the lung. With natural infection (i.e. getting H1N1 yourself) you get immune protection, but there is the small chance if you're a young healthy adult of getting severe lung complications.
Unfortunately with this whole H1N1 thing, the anti-vaccine people have surfaced again (including some ludicrous videos of a cheerleader on Youtube) which has hindered vaccination of the public. It wasn't until several people with severe complications of novel H1N1 were seen that it became clear to me the benefit of the vaccine.
I just got out of the hospital after being dx with pnuemonia,(my lungs were like your friends husbands fluid in all parts of it) swine flu and ards (acute respiratory distress syndrom).
Here's my story: On November 14 right before bedtime I started feeling nausiated. This just came on out of the blue. At 3 am. I started violently throwing up. Again at 5 a.m.. All day on the 15th every muscle in my body was sore and aching. I thought it was from the violent throwing up episodes and that I must have picked up some sort of food poisoning or something. By Monday the 16th I was feeling better just give out from aching all day the day before, on the 17th 18th and 19th I felt fine and worked all of those days. I started feeling bad the evening of the 19th. I went to lay down and about 45 minutes later my husband came into the room and told me that he was taking me to the E.R. because I was scaring him. I did not realize that I was doing anything but apparently I was talking "out of my head". We went to the local E.R. but I could see through the window that it was very crowded and I begged him to not make me go in that I just did not feel like waiting in that line and that I promised to go to the Dr. the next day. On the 20th I did call my dr. but he was booked. I found a walk in clinic near my house I thought I could just go see that dr. and get some antibiotics and all would be well. After waiting 4 plus hours in his waiting room I finally was called into the back where they checked my temperature. It was 103.8. They did a chest x-ray and told me that I was very very sick and needed to go to the E.R. Like an idiot I got in my vehicle and drove myself home to have my husband take me to the E.R. By the time they took my temp at the E.R. it was over 104. I was put into the hospital and it just went down hill from there. The next I knew I was being put on respirator (I know that I needed it so there was no fight out of me...I could not hold up breathing the way I was breathing another hour.) I was exhausted. All I could do is say "Jesus take the wheel" and let go. It was the scariest moment of my life yet at the same time instant relief having the load taken off of my shoulders.
I stayed on the ventilator for a little over a week. Of course I was heavily sedated and the only thing that I remember is trying to communicate with different family members that came in to see me (not very successfully and that was agitating me greatly) my advice to any family member is to just pretend you understand what the person is trying to say by saying "OK I will do that". They are not going to remember anyways I will assure you and it will keep them from getting so upset. Anyways, I came off of the ventilator and had no problems and after a couple more days in ICU I was transferred to a regular room. A couple of days later back to ICU because I had blood clot in my lung. I was put on blood thinner and monitored. Back to regular room for a couple of days and after18days in hospital I got to come home. I had to have a rolling walker because I had been in bed for so long I had to kind of learn to walk again but that didn't take very long. I did have to come home on oxygen and I am not sure how long I have to keep this up. I have been home 11 days now and still need the oxygen. I went to a follow up appt. and was told that I still have fluid in my lungs. Hopefully, whenever the fluid is all gone I will not need the oxygen. I will not be able to perform my job wagging around an oxygen tank. I REALLY need to not need it. Whenever they did a CAT scan to find the blood clot in my lung they also found some masses that they are concerned about in my chest cavity. I did a little "dr. googling" and figured out that these are swollen lymph glands and that lymph glands do swell whenever infection is present. Sometimes whenever I dye my hair, if I have a scratch or something on my scalp and some dye gets into it...the lymph glands in the back of my head swell a little so I am not going to worry about these "masses" until all of this infection is clear. Then I will have another CAT scan done and IF they are still swollen and worrisome to the dr. I will be cross that bridge then. (it also showed that I have one gall stone and a small hyitia hernia...lol) anything else??? I wondered. I have been doing a lot of reading on all of this since I have been home (it's heck not being able to work..and being bored all day with a computer..lol). I did find an article that said that a lot of swine flu cases come on as flu-like symptoms for a day or two then goes away then returns a few days later with a fever. Exactly what mine did. Also something that I did not read but that I did notice about mine is that I had already stopped having my monthly cycles. It has been a little over a year since my last one. But during the time of the onset until the hospitalization...I had menstrual bleeding. I can't help but to think that it's some way related. I was very fortunate to find a wonderful pulmonologist. He sat in my room after I was out of ICU, held my hand and was not ashamed to give the Lord all of the credit for me still being here. Dr. Bernard Bradley a true gift from God.
I know that I probably didn't answer any of your questions but feel free to ask anything, I will try my best to answer.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you both for your input. The last 2 days have still been up and down they put the oxygen at 100%, now its down to 80%. Its nothing but a rollercoaster. The xrays are still showing he's not getting better, but he is not getting worse. But he has had a fever over the last couple days so they did a culture to see if there is infection, because they took him off antibiotics early last week because they said he had no more infection and it's up to his lungs to heal themselves. I just really hope there isn't another infection now. They do have him on paralytic drugs because he has a VERY high anxiety level. He is a very strong person thank god because he has been fighting it for a month now in ICU. It just makes me wonder how long he can be on the respirator and paralytic drug before he could get long term problems from them. I have found a little more info on the internet. I even tried to find experimental drugs on here found a couple, but everytime we suggest something the dr's don't think it will work, I wish they could do a bronchiscope(I think thats how you spell it) but they won't because its too risky with his anxiety levels. And to top it off my friend is pregnant and due in the middle of February. Everytime we get excited when there is improvement it goes downhill again. I will just keep praying and hope there is not another infection.
They stopped my antibiotics too but then had to start them up again so I guess that is a common thing for this ailment. I know that I had this awesome nurse or respiratory therapist who worked for hours on me to get me off of the ventilator. It's weird because even though I was heavily sedated and I do not remember exactly what all was going on...I knew that she was there working on me ...I could feel her presence and not sure what all she was doing but knew she there. I heard the doctor come in and I heard her excited telling him to watch and again not sure what she was showing him but what ever it was he asked me if I was ready to get off the vent. I did not want to let her down because of all the work she had done so I just said yes...again I was so out of it they could have been asking me if I was ready to have my leg cut off and I would have probably agreed...lol. But I do remember that nurse/therapist (not sure who or what she was) working hard and not wanting it to be in vain. The next thing I know I am off the vent. Except for feeling "hung over" and seeing double for a few hours everything was good. I was not aware at that point that I had been out for over a week. I thought it was the same day. So I guess as hard as it is on the family members to see all of this...the patient is so out of it ...we really aren't aware of what is going on and really aren't suffering. Mentally. Now the toll it is taking on our bodies is another story. One that no one will be able to answer...it's just a wait and see type deal. If the pnuemonia is clearing up with him that is a good thing because from what I have read that is what most are losing this battle from..the pnuemonia part going into ARDS. It sounds like they have those things under control. So it should just be a matter of time before his body heals and he is off of the ventilator. It sounds like the difference between him and myself is that I was able to get medical help with the problem sooner than he was. Maybe that has something to do with me getting better sooner than him getting better.
Does he smoke? I did. Not anymore. Never again! I don't know if smoking had anything to do with me getting sick but I do know that I never want to harm my lungs or heart again. This was just a big wake up call for me. I don't need gum or a patch or any kind of medication...I WILL NOT ever smoke again and that is after 25 years of smoking.
What is his first name? I will be praying for him, your friend and yourself.
He doesn't have the pneumonia, but there is so much damage in both his lungs. Still don't know about the cultures yet. He used to smoke but that was a couple years ago. I think he'll pull through as long as we keep his other organs from failing. He has been on the respirator since Nov. 20th. They told us with the paralytic drug that he can feel pain, because he would get bad headaches and they could tell because his numbers would go up. The said they had him on enough paralytic drug to put down an elephant, because he wouldn't stay calm. His name is John and thank you for the information
That is what my doctor said was damaged in my lungs. That is why I have to have oxygen at home. I can not do my job wagging around an oxygen tank so I hope that I can get off of it soon. I need to work to keep my insurance up and my bank account...lol.
I go to my primary care doctor today and will be getting another chest xray so I will post this afternoon after the visit to let you know how things are coming along post-care.
Keeping John in my prayers.
My brother was just released from the hospital (only to go to another hospital to begin his rehab) after a 6 month battle with ARDS and the kitchen sink. He had a severe case and was given a 2 % chance at surviving. He too, was on 100% O2, had pneumonia, infections, and developed scar tissue on his lungs. The high pressure from the respirator punched a hole in his right lung so big, they had to open up his chest cavity so they could staple his lung to close the hole. At that point the ARDS had cleared up significantly, but he still had 6 chest tubes in his chest because of all of the pnemothoraxes. (air leaks) While they were stiching up his lung they actually peeled off some of the scar tissue which makes it easier for the lung to expand which in turn makes it easier to get enough oxygen throughout the body. My brother was also on paralytics for some of the time. However, there were definately disagreements among the doctors about how beneficial the paralytic agents truly were. It is almost standard that a patient who is on a paralytic be sedated because being on a paralytic is a truly horrific feeling. They should also be able to give him sufficient pain meds. For my brother, things were so bad that every time they turned him to clean him, his oxygen saturation would drop dangerously low. However, my brother is now paralyzed (without the paralytic), most likely from a condition called poly neurapothy which COULD have been caused by the paralytic agents. Basically, his nerves are damaged. You should def talk to the doctors about this possibility. When they say that this is a roller coaster they speak the truth. But you can't give up. There were so many days when we he took turns for the worse and nobody thought he was going to make it but the human body is programmed to survive and anything is possible. There are some interesting thoeries as to why my brother did make a sudden improvement (not all the doctors are in agreement about it), if ur interested let me know and ill go into that. As for the fevers, he had one the entire time. While he had an infection and even after the coultures were consistantly negative. The fever can be caused by the ARDS itself or any foriegn thing in the body including the trach tube or the pick line or possible chest tubes he might have. Can even be caused by the general stress the illness is having on the body. We were told that the fever was the least of our problems cause it was there when the infection wasn't. Again not all the doctors agreed, but each doctor is trained in their respective field so the infectious disease doctor willl see an infection when there is a fever. The doc who wasnt concerned at all about the fever turned out to be more right about everything than the other doc's. I learned that medicine is just as much an art as it is a science. If the fever is still there after the ARDS has resided then it is time to worry about it. ARDS (along with cardiac arrest and poly neurapothy) has been my life for the past 6 and a half months. If i can answer a question for anyone, I gladly will.
I am so sorry about your brother, but at the same time I am happy he survived. What a horrible experience. We just never knew what to expect from this horrible sickness, I ended up finding some other stories online also. I did alot of research on that paralytic drug and really couldn't find alot about long term affects but the temporary paralysis. How long was your brother on it?
We don't think there is scar tissue yet or atleast not alot cause the doctors said his lungs aren't stiff. They did turn off the pressure on the vent. Its set at 70% now so that is a step forward. Hopefully your brother's paralysis is temporary from being on the paralytic drug for so long. We are almost positive he is going to pull through now. The problem is his anxiety level he has HORRIBLE anxiety. His numbers would go down when they bathed him in the morningand they would have a hard time getting them back up. But over the last week he has shown alot of improvement. The thing that sucks though is that there are so many drs that take care of him like you was saying that each one wants to do something different so that was a couple of our setbacks. I don't know how your family did it for 6 months and still alot more to come. How old is your brother? Keep me updated on his rehab. He will be in my prayers for a full recovery. God works in mysterious ways. I would like to know the theories also if you don't mind.
I of course am one of the more lucky and educated individuals who realize that "SWINE FLU" is a complete scam by the pharmacudical industry and BIG PHARMA. If one had done their research they would find the following:
Dr. Chopra is an insider; he was hired by the drug companies and worked with vaccine development in Europe. He has also worked for the Canadian government, in the equivalent of the FDA. He was a senior scientific advisor for what is now Health Canada for 20 years, working primarily in vaccines and antibiotics.
There are really very few people in the entire world who are more qualified than Dr. Chopra to comment on the issues, specifically swine flu.
The following was asked of him:
Is swine flu really a devastating pandemic that may wipe out large numbers of people? Are you doing yourself disservice by not getting the vaccine? According to Dr. Chopra, no and no way.
“No flu vaccine has ever worked. Swine flu, we don’t even know there is such a thing. It’s a misnomer. Avian [bird] flu, these are all made-up things. The whole thing is a hoax. It has been for the last 10 years. First they started with the avian flu, and then swine flu.”
For those of you who don’t remember, the bird flu epidemic -- predicted to kill some 2 million Americans -- turned out to be a whole lot of hot air, and not much else. This is why the book- 'The Great Bird Flu Hoax' was written.
Dr. Chopra was really one of the earliest advocates to warn that the bird flu was a hoax, and he explains that nobody really knows to this day what all of the major influenza epidemics of the past really were -- including the 1918 flu epidemic.
You may remember the 1976 swine flu epidemic, which also never materialized. Dr. Chopra shares the inside story on how it materialized and why so many people jumped on the vaccine bandwagon:
“All of a sudden, a rumor came out: an American marine had died of influenza and it was swine influenza. Nobody compared it to the actual swine influenza … Nobody also revealed that that soldier on that day had run 12 miles. With a fever going, this can happen: he died. This became a reality for America.
They said, “There’s going to be a major epidemic, a pandemic. It’s going to kill millions of people around the world. At least we’re going to take care of America.””
So Merck was contracted to produce a swine flu vaccine for every single American. The American population at that time was 250 million, so 250 million doses were taken care of at that time for the United States.
You may recall over the summer when the World Health Organization raised the swine flu threat level from a 5 to a 6, which meant this is a full-blown pandemic. As Dr. Chopra explains, this decision, along with the news that the virus was “mutating,” may have been completely unfounded.
And you go around in Mexico and you get H1N1 in the swine right now. So you make six, eight or ten different drugs, different vaccines as many as the companies, and then you say, “Some will be live and they’ll be given in the nose, some will be killed, some will have adjuvants like squalene oils.
… And some people are being given nasal vaccine, so that means a live virus. If you’re putting a drop in the nose like you put the drop of polio in the mouth, then those are the portals of entry that obviously mean this is a live virus. If it’s a live virus, then you actually maybe creating a pandemic with whatever you manufactured in the laboratory. If it’s a live virus then that’s what could happen,” he states.
Swine flu is quickly becoming exposed for the massive hoax it really is. PLEASE DO NOT BE FOOLED!!!!!!!
Last edited by alwaysonthago; 01-31-2010 at 12:23 AM.
Hi, My name is Brandi Cowen..I am a 26 year old..I recently just got home from having ARDS..I had developed the influenza A and pneumonia..it wasn't H1N1 although I was treated for it before they got the results in..I was on 3 ventilators and an oscillator all within a 2 month stay at the hospital..I just got out of therapy finally after getting most of my strength back and learning how to walk again. ARDS almost took me 4 times..I had to receive 9 pints of blood over my 2 month stay..my lungs tried to collapse one night after I had just gotten off of the ventilator and put into my own room..I went back onto the ventilator for the 3rd time, on super bowl night actually!
But the good news is I am home, walking again..taking care of my family and my 7 year old again like before..a little weaker but I am home and that is what matters! So to those out there dealing with ARDS..it is nothing to play around with..but there are miracles with this everyday! People are making it..years ago, I wouldn't have said that as I have heard and read that most people who got ARDS years ago didn't make it..God is great, just believe in miracles and his healing hands! I know I do..anything is possible!!!!
I had the same as your friend's husband. I was a healthy 35-year-old stay at home mom. I went to 1 hospital to ER TWICE they sent me home. Went to another hospital's ER for the 3rd time in 3 days had SEVERE ARDS+H1N1. I am alive now and doing ok but developed other complications because of severity of my illness.
This is the thing that scared me about the pandemic H1N1....there was no way to predict from a clinical standpoint who would get ARDS and who wouldn't. There were tons of young people who felt unwell, went to the ER twice, but then eventually recovered. Unfortunately, there were also many people in your boat, Linka, who presented to medical attention on more than one occasion and then eventually developed ARDS.
ARDS in the context of H1N1 infection was actually not from the influenza virus itself; rather, it was from the person's own immune system fighting it in an overzealous fashion. This is seen in many other types of infection as well. There's no way to predict whose immune systems will act in this fashion, but it is the subject of ongoing research in an area known as "immunomodulation".