Saturday, October 10, 2009

is it pneumonia?

I'm beginning to suspect I have pneumonia. This might be the "walking" variety, since I still seem to be pretty functional. Until Friday afternoon, my main symptom was just the eerie rattling breath sounds and the mucusy, from-the-bronchi cough. But new symptoms appeared during lunch: I coughed up a tiny bit of blood (just a wee drop), felt slightly nauseous, and in the evening, I felt a little feverish, though not for long. Blood, nausea, and fever are all associated with pneumonia (which, I discovered, comes in several varieties-- bacterial, viral, fungal, and "other"). I obviously can't self-diagnose, but because this problem has been with me for a while now, pneumonia is looking more and more likely. Dad also thinks laryngitis is a possibility, but I'm not feeling any of the pain or difficulty breathing associated with it.

As always, I continue to wash my hands religiously, though I try to avoid antibacterial soaps where possible. Don't want to contribute to the superbug problem.* I also continue to wear an N95 mask, and have, sadly, stopped kissing Mom on the cheek. Tonight, I did something not quite legal and "borrowed" one of Mom's Bactrim tablets. Bactrim is an antibiotic that is prescribed for, among other things, pneumonia. If what I have is bacterial, and if it is indeed pneumonia, then I ought to see an effect by tomorrow morning or afternoon. We'll see. I'm supposed to go see a flick in the evening, but if I'm not better by then, I might have to cancel.

That's primarily what I'm doing to keep Mom and Dad protected from my cooties. The procedure isn't perfect, so to tie up all the loose ends, I occasionally bomb my bedroom and other areas with Lysol.

*Can creationists explain why bacteria evolve? I'm aware that many creationists have no problem with bacterial evolution, or with minor evolutionary variations within species: they simply refuse to believe that one species can evolve into another. But what about the creationists who claim that there's no such thing as evolution, period? How do they explain the arrival of superbugs?



Charles said...

Creationists who claim that there is no such thing as evolution do so in ignorance of the concept of evolution. No one who understands what it means to say that a species has evolved can say that it doesn't happen.

Then again, there are still people who say that the earth is flat, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Oh, and I hope it's not pneumonia! I have been following the updates on your illness with increasing consternation. Time to tap into some superhuman healing power...

melancholy donut said...

this bug you havent been able to kick is so worrisome. i hope you defeat it soon.

why dont you drag yourself to the hospital and have a culture/test run on your sputum? is this overkill? but its been so stressful worrying about passing it on to your mother.

something to consider maybe?

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks, both of you.


Anonymous said...

could just be the common flu (not the oink oink). lots of people are getting it around here. preppin

check this ouht:


Alan C said...

Interesting question; a Google search on "creationism bacteria" points to some interesting discussions. My impressions, from a very brief perusal:

Nobody who knows the slightest thing about contemporary science denies that there are variations within a single species, or that mutations can occur. The question is how to make those facts compatible with creationist dogma, and how you do that depends on exactly how you interpret that dogma. The Book of Genesis isn't much help, since it doesn't include microorganisms in the list of creatures that were created "each according to its kind."

The concept of a species isn't a lot of help, either. The definition of species is a topic for debate across the board in biology these days, but it's particularly problematic in microbiology. One standard definition is that two organisms are members of the same species if they can produce fertile offspring, but that definition is useless for single-celled microorganisms that reproduce asexually. Some biologists question whether the concept of species is at all applicable to bacteria.

So how do creationists explain superbugs? One guesses that they might start out by asking, "Do biologists claim that a superbug is a new species from the ordinary bug it developed from?" And the answer is that there is no answer, the whole concept of species isn't applicable. Which puts the ball back in the creationist's court, which is where it should be.

Hope the asexually reproducing microorganism you have isn't pneumonia. Among other things, an illness like that would mean you'd have to spend less time with your mom for a while, which would be very unfortunate right now.