Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wheeze, Hack, Drip, Snort

nectarine flowers
Originally uploaded by bonbayel.
I am about finishing off my third week of "Upper Respiratory Infection" and getting pretty tired of it. I've had a slight fever, stuffy head, cough, sore throat, tickle in my lungs that became a wheeze, sore eyes, clogged ears, you name it.

It all started 3 weeks ago (Monday) at chorale practice, where our director reminded us to be very careful about our health, since our concert was only 4 weeks off, and a third of the altos were missing that night. When I got home I felt something and immediately took an AirBorne tablet in a glass of water.

Off to snowy Maine

I continued with the Airborne, Zinc and throat lozenges the next day when I flew to Portland, ME, to help Mom move to a nice Assisted Living apartment in Brunswick, ME. I kept up the Airborne one more day, but the raising of dust, going through old papers, and exhaustion of travel had gotten to me, so by Thursday, I couldn't ignore it any more - I was coughing (and Mom was, too) and very tired.

Gulping Coricidin I discovered in Mom's medicine chest, I packed a box and rested, and then packed something else. When the movers came on Friday, Mom and I pretty much hung out in the 2 recliners until the movers took them, and since only one was getting moved to Mom's, she got it in the new apartment, and I sat on the floor until a bed became available. All in all, I felt I hadn't been nearly as much help there as I'd planned going all that distance. Sunday I left, so I wouldn't miss chorale practice, but by Monday, it was really bad, so I missed practice anyway.

Medical opinion

When I called the doctor's office on Thursday, I was told to try to get a same day appointment by calling at 8:30 am sharp. Because a massage at my chiropractor's the following Monday had brought out a definite wheeze, I finally did that on Tuesday (I made it to practice anyway on that Monday.) I almost didn't get an appointment, but they called and offered me one anyway.

The nurse practitioner was worried about the wheeze too, so she had me use some fancy nose drops I'd discovered left over from last year's earaches after a trip to Maine, an inhalor, 5-days of antibiotics (just in case, of course) and an x-ray: "Bronchitis, rule out Pneumonia."

Anti-biotics work against bacteria...

There was no lab work to determine if there was a need for the antibiotic. We read time and again that you shouldn't just ask your doctor for antiobiotcs, because we're developing drug-resistant strains. Colds and the Flu are viral infections that don't have anything to do with bacteria. When I was in high school I got a penicillin shot every week one winter because of sore throats (they finally removed my tonsils.) By the time I was 40, when I was given one more dose of penicillin for a cold, I reacted strongly - like a pin cushion. Too much penicillin, so now I'm working on overdoing other drugs instead.

I was thinking that it would probably be really simple to create a test for bacteria that could be used in the doctor's office - sort of like a pregnancy test. You cough up some substance into a container, wait 10 minutes, and voila, Doc knows whether or not to prescribe anti-biotics. They probably already have made the product, but they're not about to make it available. They make too much money selling all the antibiotics, particularly now that farmers are slowing down their use of antibiotics as growth enhancers, they have to sell more to us humans.

All my alternative cures

Besides the Airborne and Zinc, I of course tried everything else I could think of, particularly after I got home again. Delicious hot elderberry tea, thick honey on toast, tea, gingerale, salty SinusRinse nasal spray, hot packs on my back and front, Vics, wonderfully steamy "shower therapy" and last night, enormous gobs of garlic at a Mediterranean restaurant, where the waiter said he had the cold, too

Or is it an allergy?

When I chose the picture of our blooming nectarine tree for this entry, it was because it was a pretty picture. But then I started wondering if maybe it - the pollen that the bees are swarming around - is aggravating my cold? I've been enjoying lunch outside, baking in the sun, enjoying the fragrance of the flowers. and then I've come in and had a nap. Maybe I should look into Corricidin again?

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