Hehe maybe the title’s a little exaggeration but I just went through something crazy so I had to document it. And just to warn you it’s long and detailed and probably boring to everyone but me :)
It’s crazy that a month ago I thought I was a perfectly healthy 36 year old. A few weeks ago I developed a cough. I have a tendency to get a persistent dry cough for weeks/months at a time so I didn’t think much of it. This cough was a little weirder though because it sounded very phlegm-y and deep in my chest. Even though I wasn’t too worried, I did something I normally don’t do….I actually made an appt to see a doctor! I was annoyed that I had developed a cough again and I knew from last time that if I didn’t get it treated it could go for months like before so I thought I would nip it in the bud early on for once.
My doctor prescribed me with cough medicine and antibiotics. She told me to wait a week before taking the antibiotics since she wasn’t sure if it was viral or bacterial yet and she didn’t want me to mess with my gut health without giving my body a chance to fight off the “cold”. Unfortunately, a few days later I started developing a breathing problem. Carrying my children suddenly felt like I had just climbed many flights of stairs. Walking across campus at work even put me out of breath! I decided to go back to the doctor who told me I had developed pneumonia! Which was weird because I had no fevers or chills. Just a cough and trouble breathing. After googling, I figured I had “walking pneumonia”.She immediately told me to start taking the antibiotics, gave me an inhaler, prescribed me some inflammation meds and had me use a nebulizer in the office. She also told me to buy one to use at home but honestly I didn’t feel like the nebulizer helped much so I ended up putting off buying it. I figured the antibiotics would just fix me right up. Either way, I felt pretty much “ok” and continued going back to work.
After I finished my medication I started feeling better. I still had a cough but other than that I felt normal. But only a few days later I noticed I was getting worse again :( I left work early that day because I couldn’t stop coughing and breathing was getting really difficult. I called my doctor and they asked me if I had gotten the nebulizer and I told them no. I ordered it that day but it’s only available through amazon so I had to wait for it to come the next day. I went home and tried to take it easy but even at rest I was having trouble catching my breath. I tried to use my inhaler which was difficult because I couldn’t get a good breath in. I ended up calling my DR again and telling them I had to wait another day for the nebulizer to arrive and that I was having a really hard time breathing. They told me I could come into the office and use the nebulizer. I drove in and used it and I felt much better afterwards. They told me if I needed to I could come back in the morning and use it again. I went home feeling much better.
Until I got home….and couldn’t breathe again! It was getting really annoying. At some point I finally decided to call boyrobot who was on his way home from work. I am not sure why I decided to call him but as soon as he picked up I started crying because I couldn’t talk or breathe. I ended up having to text him. The funny thing was I told him I’m ok….I just couldn’t breathe and that it was scaring me. The whole time I didn’t feel like my life was in danger. I just felt like…I need to just give myself time to catch my breath. Boyrobot was urging me to call 911 which felt super silly! I finally gave in and let him call our friend that lives nearby to take me to the hospital. (Thank you again Cheryl for dropping everything and taking me!!!!). I went outside to wait for Cheryl and sat down in the grass. As I was sitting out there I started feeling better and feeling so silly about what was transpiring. Was I really going to go to the ER over this?
Cheryl arrived a few minutes later and just walking to the car got me out of breath again. I figured ok, maybe I should just go and see what they say. Inside, I felt calm and in no danger..but on the outside I was freaking out and sort of crying. Isn’t that weird?!?!?! Cheryl dropped me off while she went to go park the car. I told the receptionist I couldn’t breathe and she called for a wheelchair and they wheeled me into the ER. They put me on a nebulizer again which didn’t seem to really help. They also made me pee to make sure I wasn’t pregnant (I’m not!) before they took chest xrays. Just going to a portable potty next to my bed got me really out of breath. By this time boyrobot had finally arrived. They prescribed me a pill to help sedate/calm me because they said the more I freaked out the harder it was for me to breathe. All of my vitals were going out of whack and honestly after this point everything gets completely fuzzy. The last thing I remember was feeling so restless and annoyed that I couldn’t breathe and that the breathing treatments weren’t helping. After that I have no recollection of the rest of the night other than what boyrobot has told me.
According to him, I proceeded to throw up, wet myself, and was under the possibility of being put under and intubated! The only way they could get me to breathe was on a bipap machine but they said my body could not sustain being on the bipap machine for that long. Boyrobot overheard the nurses talking about me and saying how sad it was that I am so young and this was happening to me. When I got admitted to the ICU they asked him if I had a will and testament or if I had a DNR which really freaked him out. I feel so bad I put him through this. So thankful for my inlaws who were able to watch the kids so that boyrobot could stay by my side the whole time I was at the hospital. I am not sure how they finally got me stable but maybe the steroids they were giving me started working because the next day I woke up and felt normal again. It’s funny, I woke up and was wondering why am I even here? I had no idea everything that had happened the previous night. When they told me I was stuck in the ICU for a few days I was so shocked. For the next few days, my vitals were continuously monitored and I was poked and prodded all day. I had daily blood draws and even a daily stomach shot. I used to hate needles but I was a pro by the end of my stay! Before I left I met again with the DR that had treated me the night I came into the ER and he was like “wow, you look like a completely different person!”. All I could think was…have we met before? I do not remember him at all! After a 4 day stay I am finally home now. I am still not sure what happened. They think maybe I had a bad reaction to a viral infection and maybe have some underlying asthma that exacerbated the symptoms? Now that I am home I am feeling better but I still have my nagging cough. I have some followup appointments with a pulmonary specialist to make sure I’m ok and to see if maybe I have some asthma? (hope not!!!). I am just thankful to be home again…the hospital stay was truly miserable. I didn’t get to shower the whole time I was there!!! I am so so thankful to be reunited with my kids again as well since they weren’t allowed in the ICU.
Anyways, even though I never felt like I was in any real danger…I do get teary-eyed thinking about what happened and what could have happened? It can all change in a blink of an eye. And it’s even scarier when you have young children and a loving husband. It just reiterates everything I said in my last post. I love and appreciate all of the people in my life and am so grateful for this life!!!!