Sick Day

I gots the crud.

It’s been brewing for a couple of days, but last night I thought I was going to beat it. Instead, I woke up at 5-30 this morning after fighting my way out of a dream in which I was drowning…..turned out I was having a massive asthma attack. Oh, and my throat was also on fire. Lovely.

Now, I usually can be counted on to get bronchitis once every 12-15 months, but this time it’s been almost two years and I was beginning to think I was going to make it through a second winter without getting sick. No such luck…..turns out the co-worker I rode with all last week is sick too. Naturally, I blame him for spreading pestilence as I sit here in front of the computer, coughing up a lung and cursing the fact that bronchitis ALWAYS touches off my asthma.

Since I’m not, um, producing anything that looks particularly alarming, I have to assume it’s viral and that antibiotics would be useless, ergo, there is no point in going to the doctor. Trouble is, I can’t lie down without feeling like I’m going to suffocate, and there are musical sounds coming from deep inside my chest whenever I exhale (“Fweeeeeeeeeep!”). Which means I may have to call my primary-care doc and have him phone in a script for prednisone, which is an anti-inflammatory drug that has kept me out of the hospital more times than I care to count.

I used to have some pretty gnarly asthma episodes in the past, and while I rarely even have to think about it anymore, once in a while the disease rears its ugly little head and I have to deal with it. Like now, when it’s superimposed on an upper-respiratory infection. It should go without saying that I HATE dealing with asthma—I don’t like using inhalers, and I really don’t like using the nebulized medications that take 15-20 minutes to inhale and make my heart race in the bargain. And while taking a small, white, nasty-tasting pill isn’t the worst thing, there’s one small problem with it: Prednisone makes me manic.

I didn’t know this the last time I needed it, which if I recall correctly wasn’t too long before I was diagnosed bipolar. But during my lengthy history with the medication, there are many memories of bouncing off the walls while I was on it, and then crashing when the treatment was done. I remember one episode in which I slogged through a department store, so out of breath I was sweating profusely and had to sit down every few minutes, but I still managed to spend over three hundred bucks when I’d only gone in there for a few personal items.

Not only that, the stuff makes me insanely hungry—once I was on it for six weeks and gained twenty-five pounds. Kind of like Zyprexa, only without the anti-crazy properties. (I’d hate to have to take both at the same time…….there’d be no food left in the house and the dog’s chew bone would probably start looking tasty.) So it really, really is in my best interest to stay away from the prednisone, even if it means sitting up in the chair for a few nights so I can breathe and taking the occasional breathing treatments, which make me so jittery that Will’s half afraid I’m getting manic all by myself.

Heh. No worries there…….being manic, or even hypo, takes some get-up-and-go, and per the cliché, mine has got up and went. I feel like something the dog dug up under the house, dragged in, chewed on for awhile, dragged back outside, and buried again. I’ll be better tomorrow. I’ve got places to go, things to do, and people to annoy. ‘Night all.

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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