It all started the weekend before Christmas. I had a sore throat, a lot of sinus drainage, and a hacking cough. No fever, no wheezing, no aches, no pains. My nose wasn’t even stuffy. I figured, I had a cold.
By Tuesday, I was miserable and sounded EXACTLY like Harvey Fierstein. And, my general practitioner had absolutely no openings. Off to the urgent care clinic I went, because you know if I decided to tough it out with my luck, I’d end up in the emergency room on Christmas Eve or Day with pneumonia. I didn’t really get a diagnosis. I got a list of symptoms and a prescription for an antibiotic. I had some fluid in my ears, I had a “beefy, red throat” and a truly impressive cough. Take two of these each day, drink tea with honey, gargle with salt, sleep, and try cough drops.
I finished my ten days of antibiotics and still had a cough that I was sure would start attracting harbor seals before much longer. I was sick of tea with honey, I’d taken so many steamy showers and held my towel-draped head over so many bowls of steaming water, I was starting to peel. So, I headed off to see my own doctor.
Still had fluid in my ears. Before, I hadn’t noticed anything going on with my ears, but this time, I could definitely tell something wasn’t right. They didn’t hurt, but they felt….wrong. Still no sinus pressure or congestion, but the cough was starting to scare small children. This time, the diagnosis was “a touch of bronchitis.” Take this antibiotic, drink tea with honey, gargle with salt, sleep, etc. Sigh. By now, I’ve coughed so hard, I’ve pulled something in my back.
I finished THAT prescription this past Saturday. Sunday was probably the worst night to date, with a cough that JUST WOULD NOT GO AWAY. I’ve been sleeping in our guest room because it’s tiny and our hot steam humidifier can turn it into a veritable swamp (and that way Shannon gets some sleep, which is good because he’s on nurse duty/maid duty/backrub duty). First thing Monday, called the doctor…who is out of the office. Earliest appointment is yesterday afternoon. Sigh.
So, here we are. Round three. Just about one month in. No fluid in the ears this time! Got a breathing treatment in the doc’s office. And another antibiotic. This time, I have an inhaler as well in case there is asthma-like inflammation of the airways contributing to the shortness of breath and tightness in my chest. I expect to wake up each morning to see that the steam has peeled the paint from the walls, so humid has our guest bedroom become. I REALLY REALLY hope this does it. This has gotten seriously old.
I suppose I should count the small blessings. No stuffy nose, so I can still taste my food. No fever. Shannon brings me things like whole food’s ginger ale, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Dunkin’ Donut Munchkins as treats since I can barely walk from one room to the next, much less leave the house. A ready-made excuse for staying in my pj’s all day and watching truly horrendous television while eating popcorn with tons of parmesan cheese on it. All those cute seals hanging out in the backyard. On a good night, I can get all of the dogs in the neighborhood barking along with me.
It has to go away sooner rather than later. Right?