Monday, September 7, 2009
An angel of mercy perhaps?
Yesterday I unwillingly answered the phone from "Private Caller" (I hate those types of calls, I want to know who you are before I pick up.). It was a nurse practitioner from the Take Care Clinic at my local Walgreens. She cheerfully asked me if I was feeling better now. Seriously? I go there on Friday morning, see a 72 year old nurse practitioner who tells me every thing looks great and I probably am on the down side of a nasty viral thing who sends me home with nothing to even help me feel better.
So I proceeded to explain to this other nurse practitioner that I feel like my airways are inflamed (have been since Wednesday), I'm coughing so much that when I'm not hacking up a lung, I'm sleeping. I have a fever that hasn't broken in 8 days even with me taking Tylenol and ibuprofen together (our pediatrician's trick to battling tough fevers in the kids).
She went on to tell me that she thinks I should have been given an antibiotic. She says that 60% of the time my symptoms are viral, but they could also be bacterial. (That's exactly what my neighbor outback said to me about 30 minutes before when she called to see how I was doing. What a thoughtful neighbor, by the way.) She asked me to stop in and see her that day or today and gave me the locations where she'd be both days. The caveat for yesterday, was that I needed to get there within 30 minutes to make sure I could be seen that day. Not too much of a problem, but we needed to pull Madeline away from her friends outside. I think we were at Walgreens 10 minutes later. If you're going wave something in front of me to make me feel better don't expect me to dawdle.
Turns out I coughed myself in to bronchitis. Yay! My throat is raw (I don't think I can feel my throat over all the other worse pains, to be honest.) Inside my nostrils are swollen. (Isn't that odd? I've never been told that before.) And I'm told my oxygen levels are down. I was getting 94-96% oxygen while they monitored me, and at one point I got down to 90%.
The nurse practitioner felt that I was on my way to pneumonia if I continued on my unmedicated (not counting my "fever reducers" if we're even going to call them that) path. She put me on a steroid to help with the bronchitis, a cough syrup that is being replaced with Mucinex DX (It is the foulest medicine I've ever taken and I clearly remember this lovely yellow liquid from when I was 7.) an antibiotic that is big enough to choke me, prescription strength ibuprofen, and an inhaler. Right now I'm only using the steroid and the antibiotic. I have not used any fever reducers in 18 hours and as of last night I saw 98.6 for the first time. I felt like celebrating. This morning I was 98.9, but I can live with that. I'm feeling better already. I'm told the steroid can do that to you. I don't like to pump my body full of medicines, so I'm going to do my best to recover and only use that is really necessary.