As a result of last week's bronchoscopy, the doctors discovered that I have pseudomonas, a particularly nasty drug-resistant bacterial infection. The bummer of it is, I was diagnosed with the same thing back in February and I believe it's what's been plaguing me since as far back as November! They placed me on an aggressive regimen of oral and IV-based antibiotics. The IV is administered at home, twice a day, so hospitalization isn't required and I can pretty much continue with life as usual.
I went to the radiology department at Torrance Memorial Medical Center to get a PIC line inserted into my upper arm so I don't have to get stuck over and over. The PIC line placement process is rather fascinating, utilizing both ultrasound and x-ray technology for feedback. At one point they "tickled a nerve" and I felt tingly all the way down in my forearm, even though they had injected a local anesthetic and had a tourniquet on my entire arm.
As a result of treatment, I am already feeling better. The chest congestion has cleared to barely a trickle. I can breathe more easily but have definitely been weakened by the months of infection - it'll take a while and some work to return to "normal."
Since the IV line is in anyway, I asked my doctor about the possibility of intravenous nutrition. He instead prescribed me an appetite stimulant. Hopefully this will help me gain some weight. I haven't been to the gym in about a week and a half - getting all this figured out was quite an ordeal.
For the first time in quite a while, I actually have a sense of hope and even a glimmer of optimism (although I am a realist, which optimists usually mistake for pessimists). My emotional and psychological well-being are better than they have been and I have some zeal and energy for life.