I haven't been blogging as much as I had intended this month. I haven't been riding, I haven't been sewing, I haven't knit as much as I wanted in the past week. I've been dragging. So, so incredibly tired, and nagged by a cough that comes on in a fit that leaves me nearly gagging, or with damp under britches (TMI, I know, but it's a very specific description of how nasty hard this cough is). After two sleepless nights last week (due to coughing nearly constantly when lying down and intermittently when sitting up--but I have never been able to sleep upright) I finally took myself to the doctor. Other than an annual physical, I rarely go to the doctor. I've never been a person with many ailments, and typically treat all minor ones myself nutritionally or herbally. So, to actually decide, all on my own, to seek a doctor, says something about how terrible it has been to have this cough.
Of course, at the doctor's office, I was asked all the same questions I'd been asking myself all week trying to diagnose what was wrong with me. Headachy? No. Nausea? No. Vomiting? No. Runny nose? Not lately, just off and on in the past couple weeks. Change in appetite? No. Coughing anything up? No, dry cough. Had a rolly cough around Christmas, but it went away in a couple of days. Showed up again around Jan 8th, but only lasted a day. Been around anyone sick? My grandson, who lives with me, came back from visiting with his other grandparents between Christmas and New Year's with a horrible cough and was diagnosed on Jan. 4th with pneumonia.
Then the typical blood pressure, pulse, look in eyes ears and throat, listen to me breathe normally and then trying to take deep breaths (every deep breath caused the cough to start up). Ask me if I ever smoked. Uh, no, not ever (had a grandma who smoked and I absolutely hated kissing her she tasted so bad of cigarettes). Any smokers in the home? Smoking never allowed in my home, two of my children were asthmatic (one still is if he's around enough allergens at once).
Then tell me I probably have 'just a lingering cold' since I have no obvious signs of infection. My temperature of 99.4 not withstanding (my normal body temp is 97.5, I kid you not). Perhaps I am developing a little bit of asthma (due to having two asthmatic children and a mother who had childhood asthma, adult onset asthma could be in my genes). Thankfully the doctor was willing to prescribe me a couple of medications for my cough; one that is non-drowsy and I can take it during the work day, the other with codeine to help me with the nighttime cough (I have taken codeine twice in my life--best sleep ever!!) And told me to come back Monday afternoon if I wasn't better, and we would do a chest x-ray then. But I could tell I was expected to 'be better'.
I slept awesome that night, thanks to the codeine. It was amazing how much more energy I had the next morning compared to mornings after the two sleepless nights. And the non-drowsy cough stuff worked OK too, taming my cough to more of a throat tickle than a lung spasm for an hour or two at a time. I still found myself moving through my daily work at a pace slower than normal, which nagged at me.
But then Saturday I popped out not one, not two, but three separate cold sores on my face! As if one isn't horrible enough. And on Sunday, I woke up with my left eye swollen, eyelashes mattered, and the skin feeling like it has a slight floor burn (not a sting, but a burn).
And Monday work was difficult. The cough did not want to be quelled by the non-drowsy cough medicine. So I went back to the doctor. Who took one look at me, cold-sore faced, red swollen eyed, short of breath me, and told me that whatever the cause of the cough is probably is irrelevant at this point. Because clearly my system is so overloaded that I am not fighting off germs and viruses very well right now. So I got my chest x-ray (although I have not yet heard the findings on that, since the x-ray occurred at the lab after the doctor's office closed for the day). And I got prescriptions for an antibiotic, an anti-viral (for the cold sores), and a steroid (to combat the inflammation in my lungs creating the shortness of breath and the cough). Apparently being anemic (still, after 8 months of iron pills twice a day) is not doing my immune system any favors.
Meanwhile, I am still doing my horse farm work in the morning. It's just taking me an hour and a half longer than normal to get it done. I still am doing (most of) my normal housework at home. But by the time I've worked at the farm, and worked at home, I am left with no energy to do those fun, enjoyable things (horseback riding, sewing, blogging, etc) that I really want to do.
I'm tired of being sick. And I'm sick of being tired.