23 January 2013

Ugh. Sick.

Exactly one week ago, late in the afternoon, a colleague asked if she could borrow my office to have a private conversation with a person she supervises.  They were in there for approximately 1/2 hour, and when I came back in, the cigarette aroma was overwhelming (the person being "talked to" had just returned from a smoking break).  My throat immediately closed up, and it was difficult to breathe.  Fortunately, it was time to get my stuff and go home.  That evening, I kept feeling worse as time went on.

My usual routine on a work day is to get up, feed the starving cats, and take Dug for his walk before showering, dressing, and eating breakfast.  About 2 minutes into my walk with Dug, I realized when we got home, I would feed him, and then make a cup of tea and sit for a while before going further.  Which then made me realize I just had to call out sick.  I did so, and went back to bed.  Got up around 10 am and sent an e-mail to my doctor's office, and went back to bed.

Thursday and Friday were a kinda blur; I was exhausted, but would only be able to sleep for an hour or so, due to coughing, blowing my nose, and trying to breathe.  The meds the doctor gave me were making absolutely no difference, which didn't surprise me, because they never seem to.  But he always prescribes them first.

On the weekend, I called the doctor's office, and got the person on call, who was sympathetic, but suggested only adding some OTC things to the mix.

Yesterday, I was still miserable, and fearful that I had pneumonia, so I called the doctor's office again, and asked if I could please come in and have someone listen to my lungs.  Fortunately, one of the nurse practitioners had an opening, and as it was my husband's day off, he took me over.

What a difference.  She listened to my lungs, and said no pneumonia (Thank God!), rather I was having a severe asthma attack exacerbated by a bad cold, and then asked about the meds I had been prescribed.  I told her the long story, and mentioned that if I could have some cough syrup with codeine, I thought I could get a decent night's sleep, which would make me start feeling better far more than taking a longer course of pills, etc.  She prescribed that and a rescue inhaler.  I started as soon as I got home.

And guess what?  Last night I slept ALL NIGHT.  And today, I do feel better.  The nurse practitioner told me to stay put until Monday, so though I am not happy to be using sick days at work right off the bat, I feel like I'm moving towards being better.

I realize that codeine is a controlled substance.  But for me, it is *always* the only thing that works to allow me to sleep all night, rather than cough all night.  Every time, that has been the case.  But my doctor always waits until a week or more has gone by to prescribe it.  Which is so frustrating.

Although I still don't feel great, I do feel more rested, and like I'm on my way to feeling better.  Onward!

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