Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

whooping cough

If you are around here long enough you'll hear me talk about  having had whooping cough.   I caught it from a patient almot 2 years ago.  I had the shots as a kid but was allergic so was given them in half-doses that weren't effective.  I had a drippy nose for days that I blamed on allergies.  On 11/5/10 the  nose was worse and I was coughing a bit.  I thought I was fine and kept working.  By mid-afternoon I had stopped in the middle of a windy road with no pull-offs to vomit mucus from my coughing.  I saw a dr. that day and started an antibiotic to prevent spreading it to others.  I was so sick that when I called someone to help me with something that afternoon after I went home early I could barely talk on the phone.  I saw my own Dr. 2 days later.  He didn't even have me remove my mask.  He had been warned I'd be in with this so at least he didn't have to be too afraid listening to me cough from outside my exam room/all over the building.  He loaded me up with cough meds, said no work for a full week (which was 2 because i had vacation and couldn't have gone back anyway).  He told me no contact with my niece for a very long time as this could kill her.  I didn't go many places because I was so sick but I wore masks everywhere that week.  Mostly I slept becasue I was so sick and the cough syrup was made of vicodin.  After 2 months of coughing turned into wheezing I was diagnosed with asthma and chemical sensitivies meaning I can't handle perfumes, strongly scented candles, cigarette smoke, even a lot of laudnry detergents without asthma.  My lungs never recovered.  My quilt block says that my life will never be the same.  I truly believe this was the beginning of the end of my working.

The rest I'm copying here from my facebook.

When you cough with pertussis it feels like you have glue in your throat and it won't move. Coughing is the only way to get air and so you cough until you stop the car to vomit mucus, you faint, you are gasping for air you can't get. This happens over and over and over. As a healthy adult when I caught it I would have my oxygen levels dip to the low 80s over and over if I t ried to sleep which increases the feeling you can't breathe. The antibiotic you are given protects others but won't help you. Any baby who comes near you, even during the 2 weeks you just have a runny nose, can catch it and die, pretty much choking to death. If you have had a full vaccination series you still need a booster. What you think is bronchitis can spread to your baby/grandchild/cute baby in the church nursery/library/grocery store and that child can die, especially if they're too young to have had enough vaccines. Because I'm a rare adult who has had the full-blown disease (shot allergy, my mom likes to point out she tried) I can only say that I know why babies die from it, and that it must be terrifying to be tiny and have no idea why you can't stop coughing to breathe. (The reason is that the cilia lining the throat that normally move mucus die and then the disease creates thick glue that is stuck). This link takes seconds to click on some color choices and then another $1 goes to research. Please try it out. For the babies.

Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com


Anonymous said...


I remember very well when you were going through this. Thank you for finding a way we can do something to help.


Michal Ann said...

Galatians 6:9

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. (AMP)

Thank you for doing such good things even in your own misery. My sister and bro-in-law had whooping cough some years back and it was horrible. There's a resurgence of it in areas nearby. We're a "capital" of non-vaccinating parents.

Had a couple hours sleep, cramming...my head is jumbled but I will carry on, praying for grace and relatively easy choices for the palpation test. Now, to review blood flow through the heart and many other chapters of Anatomy.

Blessings, today, Jen!

Lurid said...

Hi Jen. Thanks for posting this. I added a square to the quilt. Not being able to breathe is just horrifying. I had a chest tube in about eight years ago when my lung collapsed and that feeling of having to think hard about every breath so you don't wind up with searing pain that spreads through your whole body is very memorable. I'm sorry to hear whooping cough changed your life so much. But glad you can still share in the efforts to fight it.

Michal Ann said...

Subject: Whew! Passed some finals!

As you know, I worked very hard to prepare for two more finals but was insecure about Kinesiology. I did my best today in spite of /thanks to 3 hours sleep. By the "luck" of the draw I pulled cards to demonstrate muscles and ligaments for the practical exam. I was so happy to finish the course with an A-

Now don't say "I knew you would" because it's HARD!! I also managed to do well in the Anatomy final although it covered a lot of new material that stymied me. Cadaver Lab, First Aid and TWO COURSES ARE FINISHED, two more to go (plus 2 clinics and a major presentation).

THANK YOU for your kind words, prayers and encouragement. LOTS of work to do tonight!! No fainting allowed. (See Galatians verses above.)

Still don't like Lurid's creepy profile picture of an impending murder... :(