It all started as I was traveling back from Washington, D.C., on March 4. The sore, scratchy throat. The body aches. The clammy skin. The swollen glands in the throat. I tried to chalk it up to allergies, but by the time Ian picked me up from the airport that night, I knew I had a fever. When I got home my suspicion was confirmed.
I went to the doctor the next morning, and I have to admit I was disappointed in my diagnosis. An upper respiratory virus does not warrant antibiotics, so all I got was some Allergra-D 24 hour (which works for SHIT, btw—Zyrtec and 4-hour pseudoephedrine are pretty much the only sinus drugs that work for me) and a caution that if I didn’t feel better in two to five days I needed to come back in.
I worked from home Thursday and Friday because I couldn’t shake the fever, swollen throat, and I was coughing up blood. (I think it was probably from my nose, but nevertheless, it was nasty and I felt like shit.) I did convince the doctor’s office to call me in some really awesome Robitussin AC (with codeine!) cough syrup, which succeeded in getting me high but really didn’t touch the cough.
I think I slept the entire weekend—I have barely any recollection of it at all. I went to work Monday and Tuesday, but I really wasn’t feeling any better. My fever would subside for a few hours, but come back every evening around 8 p.m. My throat glands were still swollen and I was coughing so much that I was constantly apologizing to everyone around my cubicle for the noise, and one of my coworkers brought me cough drops in what I expect was a “take these or we’ll kill you” offering.
Wednesday morning I woke up and knew something was wrong. I had a tight feeling in my chest, but not the something-is-pressing-on-me tightness. This was a there’s-some-kind-of-blockage tight. I imagined it as a ball of something holed up in my lungs, and I could feel a rattling when I breathed in (and sometimes when I breathed out).
So back to the doctor I went, and as soon as he listened to my chest he started talking a little faster. Apparently my upper respiratory virus had turned into (or maybe it was all along) a bronchitis-like infection, which had then gotten worse and turned into walking pneumonia. AWESOME.
I was given two shots in the ass—Rocephin, a powerful antibiotic, and a cortisone shot for my inflamed lungs—a prescription for Bactrim DS (antibiotic), a Medrol Dose Pak (a seven-day steroid pack to continue to reduce the inflammation in my lungs), a Ventolin inhaler and Tussionex, the most powerful prescription cough syrup available (I didn’t get it, though, because even after insurance it was $50 for just 4 oz.). I did pick up some maximum strength Mucinex DM (basically a ridiculous amount of guaifenesin—the stuff that breaks up the phlegm and shit in your chest/lungs—and dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant) which is freaking awesome. I still have a lot of crap in my chest to break up, but this stuff is like Robitussin on crack. I mean, it has like six times the amount of guaifenesin in it so it ought to be good.
So I hauled my ass back home and onto the section of the couch I had turned into my home office and proceeded to work. For as crappy as I felt I was amazed at how productive I was, but I think hearing “pneumonia” kind of scared the shit out of me and I was a little afraid of going to sleep. I kept feeling and hearing the death rattle every time I breathed and started overreacting and imagining myself going to sleep and never waking up. You know, like old people WHO ARE THE ONES WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO GET PNEUMONIA do.
I’ve started to feel a little better, but I still have a lot of crap in my chest and lungs that needs to be broken up. I’m lucky in that I’m able to work from home, because my doctor told me I can’t go back into the office until Monday since 1. If I don’t rest and get rid of this walking pneumonia it will turn into full-on pneumonia, which could possibly send my ass into the hospital and 2. I’m basically the walking plague still. I offered to come into the office but several people there told me it was preferable if I kept my black death at home. No sense of adventure, I tell you.
But seriously, people. I’ve been sick now for almost 10 days. I heard about this “superbug” that’s been going around, but come on. COME ON. Pneumonia? Seriously?
I shouldn’t have said in my last post that I couldn’t catch a break. I shouldn’t have tempted fate or the mucous gods or whoever it is that I pissed off. BK is the only living thing in the house that hasn’t been scared to come near me, poor Ian’s been going around the house using Lysol after me so he doesn’t catch this, and I haven’t slept in my bed for a week.
Please. I give up. Enough is enough!