I’ve Been Doing All This For 4+ Weeks!

November 27, 2010
  • I do love those good old remedies. I was googling around and I came across this:

    ….”With proper medication and rest, most types of severe chest infection and/or pneumonia are easily cured”….

    OK. Yes. However, add to it severe asthma and/or COPD and it takes a whole lot longer.

    This is basically what I was instructed to do, over 4 weeks ago when I got really sick:
  • 1

    Take my medications as prescribed. (Most oral antibiotics are taken for 10-14 days). Erm, Hello, I’ve had 4 weeks of them!

  • 2

    Bed rest and no activity until my cough is gone.

  • 3

    Avoid irritants in the air, and stay away from people who are sick. My immune system is already working overtime. I know, and I have done. No germy person has been allowed near the house!

  • 4

    Wear a mask/scarf if you have to go outside in the cold air. Cold air is not healthful to sick lungs.

  • 5

    Avoid cough suppressants. (I’m allergic to things like aspirin, and ibuprofen anyway!)

    A productive cough will help clear the lungs of germ-ridden phlegm. Take your expectorant, such as Carbocisteine, as prescribed by your doctor.

  • 6

    Take painkillers sparingly-I was prescribed Co-Codamol-horrible stuff!

  • 7

    Humidify the air in your house with a vaporizer. Sit in a hot shower or bath. Erm, nope, I don’t do steam with these lungs. Hot baths helped, steamy showers-were a big no-no!

  • 8

    Check your temperature once a day. Any sudden spike should be reported to your doctor. I hardly ever run a fever. If I do it’s usually only a 99.something F one! But it does mean I’m not at all well if I do!

  • 9

    Take lots of deep breaths. (I wish I could!) Inhale as much air as your lungs can take in, (would be nice) and then hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds.(What, without coughing!) Exhale forcefully, but steadily. Repeat this 10 times. Do deep breathing exercises at least five times a day. (Now you’re making me laugh!)

  • 10

    Apply a heating pad to your chest if muscles feel sore and achy. Definitely-this really helps!

  • And this was an absolute gem of a find:
    “Take it easy. Chores will still be there after you get well. If you push yourself while you have pneumonia, you may lengthen your recovery time”.
    ….Anybody want to come clean my house for me?….


    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 24, 2010

    ….What those Pilgrim Fathers doin’?….

    Scoffing their faces full of Turkey and Pumpkins, (actually, it was reputed to have been a meal of maize and corn bread-so not much truth in the history!)

    Well this is one turkey that got away. Enjoy!

    Wherever you are, enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

    ….And don’t forget the Pie!….

    The Whole Coughing Rainbow….

    November 20, 2010

    …. It’s an education in itself!….

    So apart from the fact that the Locum GP made me quite unhappy yesterday, she did come up with some interesting and informative thoughts on the current state of my lungs! I thought I would share a little as I am trying to educate myself as well as my readers here!

    Amongst the myriad of crackling and wheezing, how is it that I know that my cough infection is clearing up, when I’m coughing  practically as much, and now, apparently, wheezing more?

    Well, of course, I don’t want to gross anybody out so I’ll be as tactful as possible, but  you may have previously come across that song, Brown Sputum, you know, the one sung to the tune of  the Rolling Stones, Brown Sugar! If not, you can find it here!

    But during the last month, with my “mild pneumonia/chest infection/flu that wasn’t flu and now Acute Exacerbation of Asthma”, I’ve been through the whole Coughing Rainbow, more like the following colour splatter, ie, a more subtle and sligtly less gross to look at chart!

    So why is it, that every time I cough, Julian or my Doctor, if I’m there, says to me, “What colour is it now?’

    Believe it or not, it’s not the colour, but the change that matters. If your usual is one of the above, and you deviate from it then this is the indication for there being an infection, and not so much the colour itself. I was always told that having green phlegm meant your immune systen was working hard, and it doesn’t necessarily spell i-n-f-e-c-t-i-o-n. It could just as easily be a virus.

    But I think with all chronic lungers, be they Asthmatics, COPDers, or people like myself who are a mixture of the two, knowing exactly what is going on down there, and keeping up with the bug busting remedies is very, very important.

    I guess therefore, that having had this underlying Yeuch Couch going on for 4 weeks now, I am at least relieved that after 3.5 weeks on strong antibiotics it is somewhat less infected. But somehow, amongst the crackles and the wheeze I still have to shift the rest of the gunk, because, as my Doctor firmly stated yesterday, if it stays down there, it’s going to continue to feed the infection zone. And my lungs have fast become a one way road to Phlegm City…

    So her ideas now are, try and wheeze less, therefore, extra ventolin nebs to open things up, extra saline nebs with the PEP to cough more up, and continue the bed rest to allow my body to heal up! Drink lots of  hot drinks to soothe my tight and twitchy little airways, and above all turn the heat up: warmth in the house will give myself the best chance to recover from this.

    And so her prescription yesterday was:

    ….Another week off work….

    (And that will be another post in itself)

    Inhaler FAIL!

    November 18, 2010

    ….My Sister sent me this clip last night-it has been doing the email rounds. I hadn’t seen it before and it sure gave me a huge laugh (cough)!….

    ….So I guess, squirting the stuff in my mouth and inhaling deeply might actually work, but  it sure isn’t as ladylike!….

    Hanging in here!

    November 15, 2010

    ….I do not like being off school, sick….

    But today my Dr threw quite a wobbly with me and gave me one of her ultimatums. Either it was a case of knock this infection on the head and stay at home, in bed resting another week, allowing the anti biotics to work, or I’d just continue to get sicker and no doubt end up in hospital for Christmas. Again. Something which has been quite a usual November/December pattern for me.

    So maybe I’m learning my lesson the hard way by having to give in and Julian has contacted my colleagues telling them I’m of sick again this week. Doesn’t make it any easier for me to be home and still so unwell and in so much pain.

    She’s a tough cookie Dr-I didn’t get a tremendous amount of sympathy. And she did not find it at all amusing that my lungs-particularly the right one, are purring away. And she didn’t laugh when I said ‘maybe I am a cat’. Ugh! Where was she when the sense of humour was given out! She doesn’t even think I did have ‘the flu’-I know I blogged that I was a little uncertain myself as my chest was just so bad. She thinks I developed a pneumonia and didn’t know it, and if I’d seen her earlier than after having been sick through half term week, it wouldn’t have taken such a hold. Who knows!

    You should have seen her face when I told her I’d had to go to school last Thursday because I was playing in a concert! Priceless!

    So I’m stuck on the impossible to swallow Clarithromycin for another week and we’re treating this as a case of pneumonia because I have so much fluid, pain and fever still. Got some mighty strong codeine based soluble pain killers too. And  quite likely tomorrow I will go and get this x rayed as I do not have much faith in this pain subsiding. The codeine has so far not helped one bit.

    ….But, hey ho, this is ME! I bounce, I’m hanging in here, and watch out, school…I’ll  soon be back, but not before I have gone square eyed in front of another week of daytime TV!….



    12 of 12: November

    November 12, 2010

    …. So here follows my series of 12 photographs taken throughout today, the 12th of November, 2010….

    It is a Friday, which should be a school day for me, but if you have been following my blog recently you will know that I am currently quite poorly and have had to take today ‘off sick’-my second day off this week, and, having managed not to take any time off sick since last December, I’m pretty miffed. Today will therefore be quite a quiet duvet day for me and I apologise if my photos are slightly lack lustre for that reason!

    Anyway, read and enjoy!

    1) 8am: It’s a grey November sky out there in the back garden, and it’s terribly rainy, windy, cold and damp-not good for lungs!. Now that all semblance of the summer growth has been cleared form the beds, the plants with shapes rather than blooms take over the interest.

    2) I’m still very dosed up. Two weeks on Mucodyne syrup and 3 on antibiotics and counting! The Clarithromycin is so enormous to swallow I have to pour myself a large orange juice. And they make me feel so nauseous my anti sickness meds have been increased to three times a day.

    3) But I’m very lucky that my enforced home-hospital bed rest is made all the easier by the fact that Julian is able to bring home all the papers at night from work, quite literally from off of the Newsreader’s desks! These are yesterday’s, but hey, I’m not one to complain about stale news. I’m a total newspaper addict! (Great shot of my knee in the bottom corner there too!)

    4) 11am:. And I’m feeling a little bit queasy-not just the side affects of strong anti-biotics. Looks like I’m running a bit of a fever again today.

    5) Lunchtime: Oh wow! Julian’s Mum has sent me round a food parcel! Home cooked Chicken Soup, aka Jewish Penicillin….

    6)….and some home made oat dumplings, rice pudding and a loaf of wheat free rye bread. I am being thoroughly spoilt whilst I am sick!

    7) I loaded my afternoon hypertonic saline dose and the neb mouthpiece seized up! Had to disconnect the thing and immerse it in hot water with a dash of vinegar to clean it!

    8 ) J popped out to the shops. I admit I hadn’t even noticed how heavily it was raining, let alone the fact that all the leaves have disappeared off the trees this week.

    9) 4pm: It’s hard to get away from this headline in all of today’s papers. Just Google ‘vase’ and it’s all there! Thing is, this rare priceless artefact was found locally to us, in a house in Pinner, NW London, and has been sold at  Bainbridge’s the auctioneers down the road in West Ruislip. It is so weird seeing our little town on every news bulletin. Who would believe it!

    10) 6.15pm. Julian ran me a lovely bath. Sometimes a bit of a soak in the bubbles can help one feel just that little bit more human. (It’s not wine-it’s cranberry juice and fuzzy water!)

    11) So we ordered some of our usual Friday Night Chinese, although I really didn’t fancy much. Julian tried out a spicy Kung Po chicken dish for his main.

    12) And of course we had crispy duck pancakes!

    Good night all.

    See you next month!

    ….If you’d like to read other bloggers’ 12 of 12′s, go to Chad Darnell’s Blog….

    The Continuation

    November 10, 2010

    ….I’ve now been poorly for almost 3 weeks….

    Having this cough is 100% draining. Having this cough, day in, day out, and all night too, is not only draining on me but on Julian. I’m beginning to think I should banish myself permanently to the home hospital bed, set up in the spare room!

    Today I am finding myself ‘Off Sick’. This is the first day I have taken off sick since last December. I am gutted. One of the things I pride myself in, is the ability to drag my feeble self to school and somehow harness enough adrenaline and puff to teach, regarding how bad my breathing is or even, when I have a migraine. It is somehow less impossible than setting cover work for sub teachers to take. But today I have had to give in. I simply could not last 4 lessons and a break duty without a gap, on a day when I also have a rehearsal before school and need to rehearse with my flautist in the afternoon. Enough has become enough and I’ve thrown in the towel. Wimp!

    It was a hard enough decision to come to, too. Because my Doctor, on Monday, told me I needed a few days in bed resting and strongly advised I took time off school. And Julian was on the verge of hiding my car keys, and my Senior Colleague had also jumped on said bandwagon. So I feel it isn’t really my decision, I’m being forced to take today off. Hopefully that will be just enough to enable me to be back tomorrow, doing the final rehearsals and playing in the Concert at 7pm.

    And what did my Doctor say on Monday?

    She was concerned-even I should have been better than this after a 2 week course of Doxycycline. I still have a deep seated chest infection. Be it the same one or a secondary I have picked up last week at school, who knows, but we’re bashing this week of it with a course of Clarithromycin. The impossible to swallow, ginormous 500mg pills. The ones that interact with my Aminophylline and leave me feling sick all the time. Oh well, as long as they work. At least the Mucodyne syrup-although far from tasty-is doing positive things to the consistency of my gloop!

    But I would like to stop feeling so unwell, and to take a decent breath without the never ending urge to cough so uncontrollably.

    I wish I’d had a flu jab before I caught this lurgy. Typical.

    ….I am beginning to feel that only time will heal, and I’m in for another weekend under the duvet in the spare room, following this Concert….