I’ve gotten bronchitis every single fall since I was 12 years old. For those of you keeping count, that’s 20 year’s worth. I haven’t missed a year. Sometimes I even get a bonus case in the spring. I don’t know dudes. I don’t smoke anything that actually gets inhaled. I don’t have asthma. I don’t have many things that would explain this 20 year ordeal. I just have chronic bronchitis.
So when the chest cold hit last week, I acknowledged my fate and went to the doctor before it had a chance to get bad.
Actually, let’s back up about a dozen years. I don’t know when this part began, but as far as recent years go, the only things that really get me breathing right are an inhaler, which isn’t uncommon, and a shot of steroids to the ass. Now, I suppose it doesn’t have to be administered that way. I could do the 5 or 7 day taper down, but I metabolize it better when I get the shot to the ass and I become less psychotic. Seeing as I’m borderline psychotic on my best days, I find myself willing to submit to the needle. Plus needles don’t bother me. And my ass has lots of padding. So it’s a little fast prick (insert lewd joke here) and then I can breathe again within hours.
But I always need the steroids. Always.
So when I went to the little urgent care at the grocery store I had two items on the agenda: steroids (any form, I couldn’t be picky at the urgent care) and an inhaler.
Now I’ll admit I was early in the illness so I wasn’t yet wheezing, but she acknowledged my history and stated that yes it was bronchitis, just caught early. She handed me a script for an inhaler, an antibiotic (she thought I might also have a sinus infection, you don’t treat bronchitis with an antibiotic), a script for a decongestant, and a script for a cough syrup.
No amount of talk would get her to prescribe a steroid. It didn’t matter that I had a 20 year history of this, she wasn’t going to do it. She didn’t give me a reason, just a refusal. So that was that.
That was last Saturday.
I went to work Monday and convinced my coworkers I was dying and dying loudly.
Tuesday I went in again, because I knew I’d be needed, but told my boss it would probably be best if I stayed home Wednesday and Thursday, and why. (I didn’t see her at all Monday, and she works on a whole different floor, so she had no idea I was sick and dying from the cough.)
Tuesday at 1PM I got sent home early, which isn’t unusual for a Tuesday and I decided F that noise, and went to my local emergency room. I was bad enough I needed chest x-rays and I wasn’t going to leave until I got a shot of steroids to the rump. The hospital, btw, use to be the first place I went with this crud, and that’s where the steroid treatment began. So I knew they’d hook me up.
Well, after a brief wait, and a few chest x-rays I was called back to a room and given the interesting news that I was no longer dealing with just bronchitis, I know officially have my first case of pneumonia.
They hooked me up with a breathing treatment, because my pulse was up and I was, well, that sick.
And yes right before I left, my beloved steroids to the rump.
I can’t even tell you.
It’s like for days I kept coughing and coughing and coughing almost nonstop, but nothing was happening with it. After the steroids… You know that feeling of finally being able to get under a cough to push it up, verses fighting against it for ages but never being able to get under it, so it’s just stuck down inside you? Steroids let me get underneath the cough and push it all the way out of my lungs. Now instead of nonstop coughing, I cough a few times an hour and that’s it. Maybe more if I’m doing a lot of talking.
And I’m still like super drained, because duh I’m really sick, but before that shot, the idea of going back to work Monday felt impossible. Now it’s totally doable. The next few days of rest and I’ll be so ready to return to work.
So yeah, I’m just going straight to the hospital with this crap from now on. I’ll wait until it’s fully in my lungs. No more catching it early, because doctors don’t like being told what’s going to happen, but when it hits, I know where to go from here on out.