Friday, July 15, 2016

Goodbye sicknesses, hello (again!) to allergies

For the last part of May and for all of June, I was very sick. First I was sick with Influenza and then I somehow caught RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus)! These sicknesses actually happened back-to-back. It was crazy! I found out I had RSV because I was still sick after the Influenza had passed but we didn’t know what I was sick with. So my husband took me to Urgent Care and that’s how we found out. I was advised to just ride it out.

But after I was supposedly over the “contagious period” of being sick with RSV, I was left with a terrible, violent cough. From what we’d learned in our research, this cough was supposed to go away within a couple of weeks. But unfortunately, that did not happen for me. And the cough only got worse and worse! I was coughing my head off 24/7.

The cough got so bad that I hurt my ribs. Off to Urgent Care I had gone again. I really thought my ribs were broken but they were actually just possibly cracked. Once again, I was advised to allow the cough to run its course. However, they told me certain things to do to avoid further injury to my ribs, like holding a pillow against them when I coughed. They gave me nothing for my pain, simply telling me to take 600 mg of Advil 3 times a day, and nothing for my cough. One of my sisters was mad that they didn’t give me anything for my cough. And my husband and I were both perplexed why I was still coughing so badly for so long.

Then not 10 days after that, I felt something snap in my chest during another coughing fit and knew something was very wrong. My husband took me to the ER. This was my third trip to a doctor in one month because of the darn cough!! I was in so much unbearable pain from what happened because whatever it was that was injured this time hurt like hell and I cried out in agony every time I coughed because the coughing made it worse, and of course the coughing happened often! They gave me pain medicine and took X-rays and we learned that I’d torn a muscle. Once again I asked for something, ANYTHING, for my cough. And for stronger pain medicine because the rib injury had put me in so much pain that sometimes I was crying from it.

Fortunately, they suggested stronger pain medicine dosages, and THANKFULLY, the doctor FINALLY admitted that I should take something for the cough. (Gee, ya think??)

I will never understand why, when a patient is sick, the doctor does not give the patient medicine. I mean, you’re supposed to take medicine if you are sick, right?? That’s how you TREAT a sickness! That is how you find relief from symptoms! And I needed relief. This thing was so horrible that I could hardly sleep because I was coughing so much. (It was so bad that I could not concentrate enough to read or write.)

The doctor did not suggest a particular kind of medicine, just something for the cough. So I took medicine for my cough. And guess what? I GOT BETTER!!! I took Robitussin DM for the cough – along with higher doses of both Advil and Tylenol – every day for a week, 3 times a day, and I started to finally get better. Well, I took the Tylenol 3 times a day (3000 mg of it) and the Advil every 4 hours as well as the Robitussin every 4 hours. I also put ice on my sore ribs once a day for 15 minutes. I also wore a chest brace for that first week. And I did a lot of praying!! (Thank you to everyone who prayed for me during that time.)

But I did get better! I finally stopped coughing! FINALLY!

By July 1st, I was all better. My cough was gone and the pain was not as bad anymore. My rib and torn muscle are still healing and both the doctor as well as a nurse advised me to take it easy and do not exercise until they are all healed. But I am NOT COUGHING ANYMORE!

Well, sure, I have the occasional cough, but not the violent cough from before. It is SO NICE not to be coughing my head off anymore. That Robitussin DM is good stuff! I highly recommend it (and I hope they continue making it!).

While I was sick, I didn’t suffer from seasonal allergies so much. In fact, I hardly had the sneezing or watery eyes from the seasonal allergies at all. But those symptoms have started flaring up again. I am once again experiencing sneezing and watery eyes because of allergies. So I am back to taking Allegra in the mornings and Claritin at night. This is the best allergy fighting method for me and it has worked really well. I just have to remember to take them every day until allergy season is over!

But compared to what I went through with that cough, I cannot complain. Seriously, I’d rather have these allergy symptoms than that chronic, violent cough any old time! At least now I know what to reach for in my medicine cabinet should THAT particular thing happen to flare up again.

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