~Ever hear of the expression ‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired’? Well, that’s me. To a T. In every literal sense of the word For over a month (though it feels like much longer) I’ve been battling concurrent colds after recovering from pneumonia. Yeah, the big P.
The next few blog posts, which I’m calling my ‘Sickness Saga’, is basically me taking you on a guided tour through my troubled immune system and sharing with you a few interesting stories, facts, and interesting information I’ve been learning along the way. So be sure to keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all time and secure all belongings.
It all started on the morning of Saturday October 26th. I woke up not feeling the greatest; slightly warm (but not feverish) and overall crummy. I went to work and completed my shift like normal. The next day, however, I came down with a fever of 101 and feeling like I got hit by a bus. I had to cancel plans with my fiance and his family and instead make plans with my favorite recliner. I spent the remainder of the day binge watching Intervention, playing Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns, and sleeping. My fever went down to 99 on Monday the 28th, which made me think that I was starting to feel better, and went to work. I felt okay at work, but as soon as I got home, my body was breathing a sigh of relief. Fever came back around 100 and I shaking like a leaf. I would take a nap for an hour or two and when I woke up I was shaking so hard that it felt like someone forced me to do the ALS ice bucket challenge. When I got up I saw my reflection in my vanity mirror I freaked the f*ck out. My face was completely devoid of color. I knew then that this wasn’t an ordinary cold, this was a more formidable opponent.
I spent the next two days at Immediate Care trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I would take alternating doses of Tylenol and Ibuprofen that would lessen my fevers, but wouldn’t break them. And the waking up shaking and completely white after sleeping instance scared me enough to seek medical treatment. The doctor ran a series of lab tests, which would later come back normal, and gave me 1 gram (two 500mg tablets) of Tylenol when my fever was nearing 103.
I remember laying on the exam table in the fetal position crying, thinking I was going to die. I did the one thing you’re not supposed to do and Googled my symptoms and according to Dr. Google it could be anything from a common cold to meningitis. The doctor prescribed Doxycycline, an antibiotic used to treat upper respiratory infections, with the inclination that I could have either bronchitis or pneumonia. I would find out that it was the latter.
Around 1am on Halloween, I had woken up from what I thought was an okay night’s sleep shaking so violently that the head board on my bed was vibrating. It felt like there were tiny knives stabbing me in the muscles between my ribs and an elephant was sitting on my chest. And if I wasn’t already feeling sh*tty enough I began vomiting. Once my stomach calmed, I woke my mom and through an anxiety attack said that I needed to go to the hospital. She nodded and shuffled my whimpering sad self into the car on the way to the hospital. My dad met us there shortly after I arrived, eyes heavy with working a grueling night shift and now worrying about me. In triage they drew blood and gave me Ibuprofen and Zofran, an anti-nausea medication. Ironically the Zofran made me more nauseaous because I ended up swallowing the tablet instead of letting it completely dissolve under my tongue and it had a horrible bitter after taste. Once I was admitted into the ER, more tests were ran and more blood was taken (which I was getting sick of at that point since I had more blood taken in such a short time frame than I had in my entire 28 years of existance. Not to mention I’m terribly afraid of needles). After all was said and done, the ER doctor confirmed via my chest x-ray that I had pneumonia. I was actually relieved because I really did think I could have had meningitis with how persistant the fevers were. I was put on IV fluids and two different IV antibiotics, in which I cursed out my poor nurse when he placed my IV catheter. While receiving this treatment, my mom was happy to see color returning to my cheeks.
I was discharged around 6:30am and prescribed two oral antibiotics similar to the ones I received in the ER. After taking the antibiotics for a couple days I started feeling more like myself and almost back to normal once I finished them a week later. I was doing pretty well for about a week and a half when I got stuck with a head cold, which thankfully lasted only a couple of days with no fevers. And fast forward to today, where I’m currently on day 10 of cold #2. 😡
If you’ve made it this far, I commend you. I’m glad to know that this roller coaster riddled with disease hasn’t made you queasy yet.
Stay tuned to my upcoming posts in my Sickness Saga, where I learn about the benefits of bananas, elderberries and everything in-between. Be well and take care of yourself ❤