Saturday, January 23, 2010
When you live alone, falling ill can be VERY scary. Wednesday morning I woke up and knew that I was catching a cold - little did I know that it was going to go WAY beyond "common cold" into the full blown flu.
I know some of you reading this may say "oh boo hoo - little miss overly dramatic got the flu" - well in my case getting a cold, or even the flu is actually a very big deal because I'm mildly asthmatic.
Luckily I'm not severely asthmatic - mainly thanks to my mother who does not believe in traditional medical thought or practices (I actually hate even defining myself as "asthmatic" because just about every person I've ever known who's had asthma has been a whiney overly coddled little prick - I think my mother - who's mildly asthmatic as well felt the same).
Growing up, rather than telling me that I COULDN'T over exert myself my mother felt that if I didn't develop my lungs as much as possible through sports and other activities that required a lot of cardio type activity, that I'd be reliant on inhalers and such my entire life. I think that she was right considering that I rarely have had asthma attacks after the age of about 8 AND that I went on to hold the district record for the mile run for about 2 years in Broward County when I was a sophomore in highschool (I have a lot of endurance and yes I am bragging).
Asthma has never effected anything I've ever wanted to do in life which is great. I only realize that it's there when I catch a cold or a dreaded flu. Even being only mildly asthmatic when I get the flu, I can have severe breathing issues. It's rare for me to have too many problems, but if I don't watch it, my airways can become constricted enough for me have an asthma attack, which is not fun (of course it probably doesn't help that I'm a light smoker, but hey, no one's perfect. I have a certain degree of stress, but I am working on quitting. Actually after these past couple of hellish days, I can confidently state that I will never smoke again.)
The first day I was ill, I had a shit load of chest congestion and I felt a fever coming on, so I went into self preservation mode - I got to the store to pick up my "cold and flu kit" supplies (see my previous blog if you're curious as to what my kit consists of) before I knew things would get too bad. I got home, set up a big pot on the stove of water, and brought it to a boil to get some steam started.
As the day went on, I got worse and worse and at one point considered going to the emergency room, but didn't (it would have been pointless considering the wait I'd have to deal with - plus I knew no doctor could offer a "quick fix" - I just needed to ride it out). I knew from the past my best bet was to do steam inhalation treatments for about 30 mins at a time every 2 hours most of the day - so I did.
When I wasn't at the stove with a towel tented over my head inhaling steam, I was either drinking a ton of water & cranberry juice, with shots of cider vinegar (Sounds odd I'm sure but this flushes out your system of whatever is making you sick.) OR sitting in a tub of hot water with a little Vicks disolved in to help sweat out the germs (and get some more steam into my pipes to losen up the congestion).
Between doing all that and finding the energy to cook up some chicken soup with onion and garlic to eat, I was pretty spent. I couldn't really sleep, because I was having such a hard time breathing so I turned on Coast to Coast AM and the Phil Hendrie show and worked on my computer between doing everything I needed to do to get well.
This flu took me on a journey of chills - then hot sweats - then chills again from my fever, coughing fits and dizziness.
At one point I broke down and cried. Yep. Then I prayed. Mainly because I was so damn tired but I couldn't sleep because I couldn't breathe properly. I very felt alone and scared. I rarely feel really "scared" but these past couple of days I sure as hell did. Thank God for my little dog Panda - she helped me keep it together.
Finally after close to 18 hours of not being able to lay down due to not being able to fucking breath without either sitting in the tub or having my face over a pot of steaming water, the congestion subsided a bit and I was able to sleep sitting up for a few hours.
From Thursday to yesterday afternoon I felt just as bad, but I kept up with the same routine and drank a TON of liquids and ate nothing but soup, garlic and onions. After a nap yesterday (Friday) I woke up and felt a little better. I decided that was the time to de-germify my apartment.
I washed my linens, did my dishes, cleaned my bathroom, took out all my snot rags, and washed my towels. After doing that and doing another steam, sweat out, fluid flush and then feeding round I needed another nap. When I woke up I touched base over the phone with a good friend back in Florida. Then I worked on my computer a bit more and around 3am today I finally felt a million times better. Good enough to do some webcam shows.
The photos posted are from this mornings shows. I'm not 100% yet but at least I'm not dead.
Posted by Monica Foster at 1:03 PM