I never thought I'd have to do this, but here we are!
Just after New Years I found myself getting out of breath easily with a dry cough. I went to urgent care to get some help and started what turned out to be a long stretch of doctors appointments and hospital stays. My chest x-rays and CT scans all displayed a fairly bad case of pneumonia in both lungs.
After being discharged from hospital #1 and miserable at home for another week, I had a follow-up appointment with my primary care provider on Monday, March 11th. Due to my low oxygen saturation levels and my low blood pressure, he insisted that I go back to the hospital via ambulance. I was transported to St. Joseph's Medical Center and went through a ton of blood tests, chest x-rays, a CT scan, a bronchoscopy, and a lung biopsy.
Despite showing as pneumonia, the doctors here have determined that I likely have an underlying auto immune disorder that is attacking my lungs.
Probable diagnosis: Antisynthetase Syndrome. Per The Myositis Association, "Antisynthetase syndrome is a set of symptoms that typically occur for patients who have myositis together with one of several specific autoantibodies known as antisynthetase antibodies. These autoantibodies are immune system proteins that target and attack tRNA synthetase enzymes."
I am applying for disability and using my resources at work, but with a very small pool of sick and vacation time, two hospital stays (one via ambulance) currently summing up to almost 4 weeks, and what appears to be a very detailed, life-long treatment plan, I will be struggling to survive financially.
As of now I am home and adjusting to home life while on continuous oxygen. I'll know a lot more in the next couple of weeks.