Saturday, July 16, 2005

House of Pestilence!

The last week has been NO FUN! It started last Saturday when I got called in to work for a sick co-worker. As the day progressed I could feel myself sliding into illness. My throat was sore, my chest hurt, I had a killer headache. I came home from work and crashed. By Sunday I had a nasty cough, and my head and ears were totally plugged up.

Sunday L started displaying symptoms. Monday Z joined the club. So much for babying myself. I had 2 sick men to contend with! I went to work Monday and started feeling a little bit better every day. Then Friday hit me like a brick! While at work, I got so I couldn't stop coughing or draw a full breath. My boss, (one of my best friends) called in a replacement for me, made an emergency doctor appointment for me, and booted me out the door.

My doctor says that I have a severe bronchial infection that's developing into pneumonia. He couldn't understand how I was still walking around and semi-functioning with the little bit of air my lungs were supplying to my body. He prescribed 10 days of antibiotics and an immediate MASSIVE shot. This is some new kind of shot that takes about 3 minutes to inject. It's mixed with novocaine as it will be unbearably painful otherwise. The novocaine made my hip go numb by the time I got home. The shot also knocked me out for 3 hours. This was a great relief, as I hadn't slept well for a week!

I'm breathing a little better this morning. My head is still very fuzzy and muddled. The doctor says I should feel a LOT better by Monday. Fortunately L and Z didn't get the worst of this bug. L vomited for a couple of days and Z only has a mild head cold.

Our house is a certified disaster area! Dishes, blankets, pillows, and books are stacked everywhere! I must "crack the whip" over my guys and get them to picking up their mess.

L isn't letting me do anything this weekend. I guess I'll just blog and read. Amazon screwed up on the delivery of our new Harry Potter. We won't be getting it until Monday. Oh well, I wanted to re-read the other 5 books anyway.

I want to take this opportunity to wish my friend, Vest, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

14 Comments:

At 7/16/2005 11:19 AM, Anonymous Sagepaper said...

Yikes! A friend of mine and I used to get pneumonia frequently. We observed that we got a strange "pneumonia high" that came from oxygen deprivation if we were foolish enough to continue activities while very ill. There was a calm, ethereal feeling to it. It would have been nice if we weren't having to control each breath to keep from disturbing the yuck in our lungs and going into uncontrollable coughing and gasping and choking.

It is unbearably tempting to barely breathe, rather than trigger a coughing fit. That is, of course, the wrong answer. You need to get the crud out of your lungs. I'll tell you what helped me, but obviously I'm not a doctor, and you should not take my advice over his.

Dad, a physician, says to steam yourself several times a day. Even once a day will bring relief. It's easy, either take a shower, or run hot water and stick your head in the shower/bath. This will provide moisture to help loosen thicker crud in your lungs. It immediately makes breathing easier, and speeds overall recovery.

The friend, a pharmacy school drop-out, swears by Robitussin DM, or generic equivalent. That medicine seems like it contradicts itself, but it doesn't. It has a cough suppresent and an expectorant.

The way that works is called using the "pulminary toilet." The expectorant causes the cilia (little wiggly hair things that move crud out of your lungs) to gently eject crud from your lungs and into your throat, where you swallow it. The cough suppresent ensures that you swallow it, rather than wrack your body by coughing it up.

The expectorant also helps draw moisture in to the crud, softening it and making it easier to clear because it is looser (the same thing the steaming does). This is one reason to drink plenty of fluids. With or without medicine, your body needs a LOT of fluid to soften the crud in your lungs.

I swear by Vick's Vapo-Rub, which my friend says she learned in pharmacy school does absolutely nothing, and which doctors don't frequently mention. Use as directed (smear it everywhere and stink greatly), but also just keep a jar handy, and sniff vapors from the jar periodically. That still helps, but without the goo and smell on you. Do not do as my Grand Generation does: it does not belong in your nose or ears -- external use only.

How smoking promotes illness and slows recovery: it paralyzes the cilia. Immediately, it feels better, since crud stops moving in your lungs, and it feels like your breathing is more stable. That boost does not last as long as the cilia paralyzation. The cilia are paralyzed for several hours from a single cigarette. You need the cilia to clear your lungs.

A doctor, of course, would tell you to quit smoking. That never worked for me, although I got so sick once that I could only manage two drags on a cigarette per day. If you can't quit smoking, cut back, and understand the role smoking plays in your recovery.

BTW I prefer Theraflu, which has the ingredients of Robitussin DM, plus pseudoephederine, which also helps with mucus, from your nose, throat or lungs. There's a catch, though. It can kill you if you have high blood pressure. Sometimes it causes a sudden increase in blood pressure. That is likely not to cause a problem if you have normal or low blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, though, it could result in a trip to the ER with a shaky prognosis.

All this writing about what to do is an expression of concern about you. I'm worried. It is good that L and Z did not get as sick. Hopefully they can help you. For what it's worth, your blogging buddies love you and wish you a speedy recovery.

 
At 7/16/2005 1:27 PM, Anonymous ann said...

i hope you plan to stay home from work, too. that will help your illness go away. btw, i'm sorry to hear that your harry potter delivery got messed up. it would have been a great book to read while you get better!

 
At 7/16/2005 4:25 PM, Blogger Bridget Jones said...

OMG tshsmom! HOLY CRAP! Pneumonia is nothing to mess with, and if you got that shot, esp. in the hip, they were REALLY worried (only had a real emergency once and they went for the hip). Oh man. Thank God for your boss/pal. But for Pete's (your) sake, stay home, let the guys fend for themselves and who cares about the housework!

Please get better and take it easy till this thing is completely gone, not just when you begin to feel better.

WOW.

(((hugs))), Bridg

 
At 7/17/2005 8:09 AM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Thanks for all the love, you guys!!

Sage-I'm no stranger to pneumonia either. I am a LOT healthier since I had my tonsils removed in 7th grade. I haven't had a bout with it for 12 yrs.
Steam and Vicks have always been my best friends!! I don't care what ANYBODY says; Vicks is a MIRACLE DRUG! Not up your nose, though. My Grandma used to put Vicks up her nose too. OUCH!

My love right back atcha Sage, Ann and Bridg!!

 
At 7/17/2005 4:50 PM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Dang. I've already finished the new Harry Potter book. I won't say anything, other than I rate it a 10 dead zombies along with books 4 and 5 (3 was probably 9 dead zombies).

Hope you get better soon. It's amazing how women deal with illness. I just die for two or three days. Mrs. Zombieslayer keeps chugging along, although complaining a little. And of course, less work gets done around the house.

 
At 7/17/2005 9:04 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Eek, that's bad. Hope you're feelin better. I know how it is to have to take care of a sick man when you're sick yourself. They're such wimps aren't they? ;-)

 
At 7/17/2005 10:16 PM, Blogger Sadie Lou said...

My pneumonia left me with something called pluracie (plura-see) not sure how to spell that but it's when the fluid surrounding your lungs is gone and then your lungs stick to the inside of your body somewhere--I dunno exactly what it was but it hurt like heck!
Everytime I took a deep breath or laughed or sneezed it felt like a hot poker being inserted into my chest...I hope you don't develop a case of that!

 
At 7/17/2005 10:39 PM, Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. What a scare! I hope you take care of yourself so you don't get sick again.

 
At 7/17/2005 10:59 PM, Blogger SME said...

I got Harry Potter before you did, nyah nyah. Heehee.
Are you still drinking lots of fluids?

 
At 7/17/2005 11:03 PM, Blogger MonicaR said...

Goodness gracious!

Around here I know of 3 people who have been HOSPITALIZED for pneumonia. All in the prime of life so something really nasty must be making it's way around.

LOVED all of the advice that sagepaper gives. Vicks vapo rub helps me quite alot rubbed on my chest. When growing up we would put mentholatum right under our nose - rub it right there between the upper lip and nose. The smell of it still comforts me today. Additionally my doctor has prescribed steam inhalations that calm the pain and hacking tremendously. Boil water, put a handful of dried chamomile flowers in a large mixing bowl, pour boiling water over it, add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil, cover your head with a towel and put your face over the bowl and breathe it in. It's lovely.

Hope that you are all better soon.

 
At 7/18/2005 12:28 AM, Blogger Sagepaper said...

I hope you won't be ill enough long enough to rediscover the only benefit I knoww of from pneumonia. I shouldn't put this online, but you seem to have sensible blogging buddies. Pneumonia is the BEST weight-loss program I have ever found. You don't eat, you don't want to eat, and your body is in high-gear fighting the infection. I lost 30 lbs. in 7.5 weeks once. I was stupid, I didn't seek treatment, and I continued to work as a DC courier.

I got so dehydrated one day that I got confused and pulled of at a gas station. I knew the area like the back of my hand, but I didn't know where I was. My dispatcher was worried sick, but he couldn't send me a driver without knowing where I was. He told me to go into the gas station and drink as much fluid as possible, and not stop drinking gatorade and stuff until I knew where I was. Good advice, actually!

BTW, I fixed it so "Sagepaper" is now clickable.

Keep us posted on our recovery.

 
At 7/18/2005 11:50 AM, Blogger Squirl said...

I hope you're feeling better now. That sounds horrible. And on top of all that, Amazon screwed up! Don't reread the first five. Just jump right into six. You'll pick right up. After that you probably have another couple of years to reread everything before the last book comes out!

 
At 7/20/2005 9:00 AM, Blogger Vest said...

Tshsmom. I hope by now, that, you and your family are fully recovered from your recent affliction. Despite our moderate climate here in OZ, influenza strikes at the unwary, usually in public places, doctors clinics are places you should avoid. Fortunately I have a flu & also a pneumonia shot each year which has kept me keep clear of problems, I always found a drop of the hard stuff helps me to forget the symptons. I have not touched a drop since Sat my umteenth birthday, which apparently was a joyous occasion enjoyed by my family & friends, I have no recall of Sunday.
Tshsmom. Thank you for your good wishes, they worked out ok, a pity I could not be there to help out with the vapour rub.

Sadie. Pleurisy: inflamation of the pleura, with or without a liquid effusion.

Sagepaper. Great comment, dont go away, we will all need your advice in the future, plus the comforting words of fellow bloggers on this post
Do you have any preventative advice for approaching senility and old age. Vest Daily Gaggle.

 
At 7/22/2005 7:46 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Vest, I'm more senile than you are!! Your wit ALWAYS brightens my day.

 

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