The only reason I even saw the doctor today was because I already had a follow-up appointment for another matter scheduled. If that appointment hadn’t been on the schedule, I would have just muddled through another day. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I should tell things in order. I’ll try not to let it turn into a “what I had for breakfast” post.
So, if you want to know more, click through…
It began on Christmas Eve with a nasty sinus headache. It got so bad, that I had to put an ice pack on my head before the pain let up enough for me to sleep. Whenever I’ve had a sinus headache that bad in the past, it usually meant that I had a sinus infection. And given how many times over the years I’ve come down seriously sick at the beginning of a holiday weekend, it just seemed even more likely that I would have to visit my doctor soon.
But it wasn’t as bad on Christmas Day. And then the day after Christmas (when my doctor’s office was still closed) I woke up feeling mostly well. I went ahead with the plan to get the battery replaced in my phone. And since I wound up outside a lot longer than I’d originally planned, the fact that I just wanted to burrow under some blankets and take a nap late in the afternoon didn’t seem unusual.
The next day I had absolutely no sinus symptoms at all. I slept it a bit later than I had planned, and I didn’t get a start on any of the projects that I hoped to get to during my week off, but I figured I had several more days of vacation left, and no one would begrudge me a day of goofing off. When my husband got home from work and laid down for a nap (something he does most afternoons), I decided to lay down, too. Nothing untoward about that, right?
It was a couple more days of that sort of thing before I finally had to admit that I had no motivation or energy for several days in a row for reasons other than it being a holiday. But even then, I just figured that I’d come down with an intense cold on Christmas Eve, and it was taking me longer than usual to shake it off. A few new symptoms popped up: sore throat one day (but then it went away the next day), some mild body aches another, but the only thing that hung on was the feeling of being rundown all the time, at least through New Year’s Day.
The last day of my vacation, I was very busy, taking down decorations and going through most of the boxes of decorations in the basement to pull out things. Since we’re going to have to move later in the year, I don’t want to haul more than we really want to keep. It was a busy day, so I attributed my exhaustion at the end of it to that. And of course I had trouble getting up and getting myself out the door to work the next day. That’s always the case after a vacation, right?
I got to the office and found out three co-workers in my group were taking a sick day. It seemed as if just about everyone that was there had gotten sick or had an immediate family member get sick over the holiday. The next morning, I woke up before my alarm went off because I developed a cough. I kept having coughing fits, so I decided to work from home, rather than expose anyone else to whatever it was that I either still had or had caught again. When I logged into the work network to let my boss know, I saw that two more people in my group were calling in sick, plus two of the people from the day before were still out.
By Friday I was feeling a lot better again. I got through the weekend, hauled some stuff to the recycler and to Goodwill, saw friends, and generally felt that I was on the mend. I went into work Monday and made it through the day okay. All week long I could tell that I wasn’t completely well, but I was feeling a little better each morning. Of course, I was going to bed earlier than usual because I was feeling tired each evening, but I was also working slightly longer days because of some big deadlines we have coming, and we’re all a bit behind in part because so many of us have been sick.
It was a little worrying that over the course of the week I had a few friends on Facebook say they had been diagnosed with pneumonia. And a few of my co-workers who had been out sick previously also said they’d been diagnosed with pneumonia.
Then this morning I woke up with a cough. Again. Not quite as bad as the two days the previous week, but a cough nonetheless. And I had an appointment to see my doctor, anyway. So after we discussed what I was there to follow up on, I mentioned this never-ending cold and the new cough. Which he said he had been about to ask me about. I was expecting him to examine me, ask some questions, then tell me that I’ve probably caught the nasty flu that’s going around, and the reason that the symptoms have never felt intense enough to be influenza was because I’d had my flu shot, so I was at least partly immune.
I didn’t expect him to tell me about lots of patients who have been coming in with this kind of thing, but when he sent the cultures in for testing, they did not test positive for influenza. I also didn’t expect my doctor so say, “Oh, good! It’s not pneumonia!” with such a heavy tone of relief in his voice after listening to my lungs. “But there is a wheeze, so we need to put you on antibiotics.”
Not pneumonia, but I do have bronchitis.
I haven’t felt horrible all week. Just not completely well, you know?
I hope the meds clear things up. Maybe if I’d gone in earlier things would be better. On the other hand, if the initial infection was viral, there isn’t much that could have been done. And if it was viral, I probably developed the bronchitis because of the worn down immune system from the few weeks of fighting off the virus or viruses.
Anyway, if you haven’t gotten a flu shot this year, do it! And if you’re feeling sick for more than a few days, maybe don’t follow my example, and get yourself looked at?