Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I just cough

It seems like every spring and fall, when the winds blow and the pollen count rises, my allergies kick up and I get sick. Really sick!

Many, many years ago, I took a series of allergy shots until I had a severe reaction...and I never went back. Since then, fortunately, my allergy symptoms have lessened. I don't sneeze too terribly much and my nose doesn't run an awful lot. However, I do get headaches and, more and more seasonally, I am coming down with bronchitis and/or sinusitis. I often feel the beginnings of a cold and within a few days I am coughing horribly with a headache the size of an overripe cantaloupe and green stuff coming out of my nose and throat. Last fall I got bronchitis and a bad cough that stayed with me for months. Last week, I lost my voice, began coughing, alternately felt hot and cold, had a killer headache, and spewed forth lots of phlegm. Friday, on my way to work, I called the doctor's office for an appointment. They only had one available, at 10:45 in the morning. I had an important meeting to go to at 9:00 so I thought about it and said, "I'll take it!" I left the meeting at 10:20, allowing myself enough time to get there early and then I sat around for 30-40 minutes waiting and waiting and trying not to cough. Nowadays, people really give you the evil eye when you cough in a doctor's office, as if you shouldn't be there at all. Hello! that's why I'm here, to get drugs. It's not my fault they make us sit and wait and wait and spread germs and catch things!! I always cover my mouth with my left arm so that my right hand is not contaminated. Anyway...

There were the usual questions by the nurse, 'have I fallen down lately?'(yes, but not for the reason you would expect- I was riding Nadia bareback the other day and had to dismount with a box of stuff my neighbor had given me. I couldn't manage with the box and my bad knee and I fell as I slid off her back.) 'have I felt depressed or suicidal?' (as if I would tell her?) 'what is my level of pain on a scale of 1 - 10?' (How do you put a pain level on a cough??) The nurse escorted me into the little waiting room for still more waiting. Finally, the doctor came in, looked in my mouth, listened to me breath, grabbed a pen and prescription tablet, and asked if I did all right with Z-packs. It took the doctor all of five minutes to see me and give me my prescription after all that waiting. Before she left, I asked her what I had. Bronchitis. She asked me what I usually took for my allergies. I said nothing, maybe some tylenol once in a while. She said that I needed to take decongestants regularly so that I don't go into these types of infections. Hmmm, although I can usually tolerate my allergy symptoms on a day to day basis, I'm doing myself no good by not taking the allergy medicines throughout the season. Is there any other way to prevent getting this sick? I mean, I usually have little or no symptoms of impending illness and then I seem to catch a cold which immediately goes internal into an infection. I have been known to catch a cold, have it go away for a week or two, and then wake up one morning with severe bronchitis and gag-reflex coughing. I think the bacteria lays dormant just waiting to flourish. How can I stay healthy during allergy season? I think I almost always come down with a severe sinus or bronchial infection- sometimes even borderline pneumonia, otherwise I am incredibly healthy.

I was thinking about getting my prescription filled, going home, and resting, so I called my boss to see how the meeting was going- hoping they'd finished. He said, "we need you." So, there I went, back to the meeting, tucking my prescription away, into my purse, until I was able to fill it later that night on my way home. It's nice to be needed, I guess, but jeez, I just want to rest.

I just cough - song: I Can't Read, artist: Tin Machine, album: Tin Machine


Gail said...

Not resting will catch up with you. Get well soon.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I agree with Gail -- get some rest.


fernvalley01 said...

I agree to some degree with your doc, there are several allegy remedies that are meant for daily use during higher allergy risk times, Also a neti pot , or OTC saline sinus rinse can be a huge help in keeping sinusitis at bay

achieve1dream said...

Sorry you're sick. I have really bad allergies, but don't get sick from them although I do have the headaches and sore throat. I just don't cough. I take Allegra (actually alternate annually with Claritan - off brands on both) and it's the only thing that can keep the headaches at bay. I hate taking medicine, but finally decided being miserable wasn't worth it. Get some rest and I hope you feel better soon.