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calendar   Wednesday - August 12, 2015

it’s official, I’m sick

Why am I making a blog post at 2:20 in the morning? Because I’m up. Coughing. Because I am officially sick.

I thought I was on the mend, having had the worst ever waterfall sinus condition for the past week. But things got even worse and I finally gave up the foolish male stubbornness and made an appointment. Hey, now that I’ve got my legally required insurance, I may as well use it.

The doctor was so impressed by my coughing that she immediately sat me down and made me partake in a session with their nebulizer. I had no idea what that was, but it sounded like some weapon system from Star Treck. Phasers, photon torpedos, galactic nebulizer. Nope, it’s the medical version of a “Vape”; an electronic cigarette. Just what my bronchitis needs! Actually, it’s a gizmo rather like the air pump from a fish tank hooked up to widened perfume spray venturi attached to what could be a paint cup from an air brush. A gentle breeze turns a spoonful of liquid medicine into a cold steam, which you breathe in through the mouthpiece on the plastic venturi tube. I have no idea what the medicine was, but my chest felt relaxed afterwards.  I never even got around to telling her about my “deep coughing” technique wherein I cough and cough and cough and cough and then cough harder, sometimes having to squeeze the sides of my head against the muscle spasm, and cough hard until some “lungfish” of sticky mucus breaks loose. It’s harsh, but it works, and it’s got me through the past couple of days.

So I’ve got a major sinus infection going, and bronchitis, and a nice middle ear infection. Actually, I think I’ve been keeping the middle ear infection on slow simmer for years now. I think it’s the cause of my almost-always moderate hearing loss, because my Eustachian tubes never open. Must’ve been at least 5 years ago when I saw an ENT who gave me a small dose of steroids, which just barely started to work and then the ‘scrip ran out. No, sorry, you just tapered off, you can’t have any more.  Gee, thanks. And it was a couple years before that, that I tried the drainplug grommet inserted through my eardrum, which was supposed to eliminate inner ear pressure and get things draining. Didn’t work for beans. So I’ve lived with the ear thing, and the deafness that comes and  goes  gets even worse in the winter ... but I knew the inner ear thing was acting up this time when I got up a couple of mornings and found myself bent over to the side walking in tight arcs to the right, because that was what my brain was feeling was up. Middle ear messes with your balance. But I could overcome that with a few good nasal blasts of saline spray and some magnum nose blowing. So I only felt that way for a minute or two each time.

I went a long long time without health insurance, and got by most of the time by going to the local health clinic. You don’t usually get to see a doctor, you see a PA, and that’s usually good enough. Two years ago the last one decided I had COPD, gave me several long term prescriptions to asthma pills, steroidal sinus sprays, and a rescue inhaler, and sent me on my way.  Oh, and here’s a shit ton of low power generic cholesterol lowering pills. I milked those ‘scrips for all they were worth, and finally ran out of the last sinus spray and inhaler about 2 months ago. I figured this iteration of the sinus thing - generally I get 2 a year, almost like clockwork, and have for at least 20 years - was because my meds were used up. But then it hit me worse than it has in a long long time. And for all I knew, it could be a Lyme Disease flare up. I had a real case of Lyme last year, and I got a couple of tick bites this Spring, although they weren’t the “right” kind of tick and I didn’t get any of the symptoms like last time. Which can also be one of the symptoms. Like Lupus, Lyme is a sneaky little bastard. And what happens the second time? Can there be a second time?

Right. So off to see the real doctor. And tell my story, going back most of a decade. She looks at her tablet computer and names the ENT who did the minimal steroid treatment. Damn doc, you’re good; I know I didn’t mention her name because I never knew it. Yes, but our whole county is wired in to a shared medical database run out of the hospital. EMR at its finest, and it works. Sign that HIPPA form and they share everything within their medical circle.

And after all of this, I come home with 5 ‘scrips, including a much heftier regimen for the Prednisone steroid. Giant anti-cough pills. Antibiotic pills big enough to use as pillows, of a kind I’d never heard of. Even new sprays for the old schnoz. Oh baby. So I’ll be popping pills left and right for the next couple of weeks. And who knows, I may actually get well. And perhaps even be able to hear! Horry Clap! And they want to see me again ... not in a few weeks or months, but this very Friday. You know, maybe the clinic isn’t such a great solution after all. They were there when I needed them, they were cheap, and they got me well enough to continue muddling through. I think I want to do more than just muddle this time.  I had the first round of pills with lunch, then took a nap for an hour. I think I feel better already.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/12/2015 at 05:18 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
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