Monday, March 11, 2013

An Appreciation for Healthy Lungs!

Week 10: Describe the most serious illness you have had.
Thankfully, I have always been a pretty healthy person. I've never even had a really serious illness, that I can think of. I had the chicken pox when I was a kid, but I was pretty young (younger than 10, I know), so I don't really remember much about the experience - other than the fact that the itching was horrific. I am seriously so glad that there are immunizations now, and that my children never have to experience that particular type of infection.

The most serious illness I've ever developed was actually pretty recent. This winter has been a horrible cold/flu season for my family. It seems like we have all been sick off and on since Thanksgiving. After this past Christmas; though, I contracted bronchitis and walking pneumonia, which was absolutely horrible. In the beginning, I tried treating myself with natural remedies, thinking it was just another cycle of the bug we'd all had the month before. The infection spread into my lungs; though, after only a few days this time around - and before long, I had this really painful chest cough. I was coughing up liquid and phlegm (I know...TMI), and eventually, my breathing became extremely labored. The simple task of walking from the living room to my bedroom would render me completely breathless - especially if I tried doing it holding the baby. I literally felt like I was sucking air in and out through a straw. I'd have to sit on my bed afterward for several minutes trying to control my breath, which was extremely shallow. It was pretty scary.

After a few days of that, I finally decided that it was time to suck it up and see the doctor. I went in for an appointment with a physician's assistant (none of the doctors were available for same-day appointments), and when she listened to my lungs, she asked if I had asthma. She said she couldn't believe how horrible my lungs sounded, but I assured her that I didn't have asthma - that my lungs had only started to sound like that since I'd started feeling symptoms of that particular illness. She actually made me a little nervous; though, because she was fumbling around between a program on the computer and an app on her smartphone trying to weigh my symptoms and determine what to diagnose me with. She eventually said she thought I had walking pneumonia then prescribed me a Z-pac and an Albuterol inhaler.

I thought I was starting to feel better after a few days, but as soon as the 5-day antibiotic prescription ran out, I started feeling the pressure on my lungs again. This time, I didn't want to mess around and got right back in to see the doctor. Again, I couldn't get in to see an actual physician, this PA seemed like he knew a little more about what he was doing though. After listening to my lungs, he couldn't believe that I hadn't been prescribed a nebulizer the first time I went in the week before. He actually ended up diagnosing me with bronchitis, and prescribed me the nebulizer with a three-day prescription for prednisone. After one treatment of the Albuterol (with the nebulizer), I was feeling so much better. By the end of the three days that I was taking prednisone, I was almost as good as new.

Looking back on that "adventure, " I can promise you that I NEVER want to experience that again. It gave me a new appreciation for healthy lungs though, I can tell you that much. :)

Related Link:

52 Gems of Reflecion

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