Experiencing shortness of breath can happen all of a sudden. You are not quite sure what is going on, and you might think that it is nothing serious. But then you find it difficult to breathe for a more extended period than you are used to. Before you know it, you are looking for oxygen tanks.
Depending on your location, it might be challenging to get into a hospital. So until you get a call informing you that a bed or a room is available, in-home care is your best option.
It takes time to recover from pneumonia. Being alone during the process makes it more challenging, especially with COVID-19 surging once again. However, doing away with oblivion might help. Here is what to expect when you get pneumonia:
Low Oxygen Levels
You already know that you are finding it difficult to breathe. By simply using an oximeter to detect how much oxygen is in your blood, it would have detected a lower value than 94%. This is an indication that your shortness of breath is caused by a lack of oxygen in your blood. Your phlegm is probably stuck in your lungs and is having a tough time getting out, so you need help.
If you get the chance to go to a clinic or a hospital for a check-up, the doctor will request an x-ray and blood samples every other day during your stay. The x-ray is to provide a clearer view of your lungs, and it helps the doctor make a more precise diagnosis (even though they can “hear” pneumonia through their stethoscope.) Meanwhile, the blood samples help to identify whether you are sick with viral or bacterial pneumonia.How manywhite blood cells you have is usually an indicator of what you got infected with.
You will feel a lot better with the help of an oxygen tank if you have mild to moderate pneumonia. A nurse will often visit to check your vital signs. However, you might experiencedyspnea(tightness in your chest) if you do not get enough oxygen. Call for your nurse when this happens.
Whether you got into a hospital or not, proningis an effective way to get the phlegm out, breathe better, and hasten your recovery. You will need to face downward toward your bed while keeping your arms above your head. If this position causes you to cough, that is a good thing. The goal is to get the phlegm out, and proning improves your breathing by improving the ventilation in your lungs.
If your back, arms, or chest hurt in the process, it is okay to take a break. But try to perform proning as often as you can and for as long as you can. This is because it is a recommended pose by doctors and nurses all over the world for patients with pneumonia. Whether your illness is mild, moderate, or severe, it will help you breathe better.
Antibiotics or Antiviral Medicine
Once the cause of your pneumonia is determined, you will be administered antibiotics, then antiviral medicine if a virus causes your illness. If you are found to be COVID-19 positive, Remdesiviris a common medicine administered intravenously, meaning you will have an IV stuck to you during this process. It is paired with an anti-blood-clotting injection that will be administered to you once a day.
Other medications often prescribed to patients with pneumonia aredexamethasone and cefixime. Dexamethasone can help you breathe better, whilecefiximecan assist in avoiding any flare-ups from bacterial infections. You will also be requested to take Vitamin C with Zinc and other supplements or vitamins that can best aid your immune system in these challenging times.
Even after you are discharged, you will still need to take certain anti-bacterial medications, as well asdexamethasone, cefixime, and vitamins. However, you might experience hunger after being disconnected from an IV. The doctor might prescribe medication to avoid any issues with your stomach’s acid that your changing appetites can cause during and after hospitalization.
The road to recovery is a tough one, but being unaware of what is to come can make it all the more frightening and overwhelming. Asking the doctor and nurses questions and reading about the medication administered to you can keep those worries at bay. Heed their advice and ensure that you follow the prescriptions until their completion to avoid getting worse or sick again. Remember, being mentally strong and having a positive mindset will keep your fight going.