24 January 2013

In Which I Know Best ...

Hello all!  I hope you are all staying warm and safe this week, since it sounds like it's cold/snowy/freezing in so much of the country.  As you already know, I have been waiting for winter weather, so my complaint is not with that.

This is a story about how I have been incredibly sick for the past week, and how it took way too much time and effort to get the right meds.

A week ago yesterday, I left work feeling kinda sick.  I thought it was because a co-worker who had just returned from a smoking break spent about half an hour in my office.  I had a funny taste, and my throat felt scratchy, and I was having a hard time breathing.  But then even once I got home, I just kept feeling worse.  Figured, well crap, I'm getting something, and then went to bed.

My usual morning routine on a work day is:  get up, feed starving felines, take Dug for a walk and feed him, shower, dress, fix and eat my own breakfast, go to work.  About two minutes into my walk with Dug, I knew that when I got home, I'd have to make myself a cup of tea and sit for a bit.  First I thought I would just go in late, but after about half an hour, realized it just wasn't happening.  Sent an e-mail to my boss, and to my dr's office, and went back to bed.

Thursday and Friday were just kind of a blur.  Coughing, chills, runny nose, congestion, the whole thing, and every once in a while, a slight fever.  Dr said he would prescribe something, and it is the same thing he prescribes every time I'm sick, which I learned through experience and another dr I saw in an emergency masks the symptoms.  Plus, I could not get more 1 1/2-2 hours of sleep at a time.  Now, I know from a lifetime of previous experience that the ONE THING that works for me, every single time, and gives me a chance to get sleep, is codeine cough syrup.  ALWAYS.

I asked the dr for some.  He said he thought it wasn't necessary (he usually says this for about two weeks).  Over the weekend, I called the on call dr, who was very sympathetic, but said I should add some over-the-counter meds to my prescription meds, and they would help.  Which of course they didn't.  So finally on Tuesday, I called the office again, and asked if someone - anyone, the janitor, the electrician, anyone - could take a listen to my lungs.  Because I felt no better, and was starting to worry that I had pneumonia.  They said that a nurse practitioner had time and since it was The Tim's day off, he took me right over.

She talked to me, went over things, and did an exam.  No pneumonia, thank goodness, but "severe exacerbation of asthma from a bad cold."  (I had no idea I had a cold!)  And most importantly, she prescribed codeine cough syrup.

Tuesday night, I slept the whole night, and yesterday, finally felt like I might live.  The dr told me to stay put until Monday, to be sure I'm doing better and so I can get some much-needed rest.

Today is the first day in a week when I felt like a human being again.  Granted, a human being who still feels like crap, but such a noticeable improvement!

I know that codeine is a controlled substance, and shouldn't be taken for anything and everything.  But for my entire existence it has been the one drug that allows me to get a decent amount of rest whenever I've had a bad cough.  And I always have to suffer for about 10 days at a minimum before the dr even considers it.

I can't decide if I should ask for a refill and hoard it, or switch drs.  Or both.  But thank God I feel better.  I can't remember ever feeling so terrible for so long.  For no reason.



Lorraine said...

Bridget- DO these people think you're going to take the prescription and start peddling cough syrup on the street?

I'm glad you're better.

Brenda said...

Glad you are finally feeling better. I'd try talking to the doctor about the codeine cough syrup situation some time you are in to see him for something else. Especially if you point out that you won't need a refill, and your illness history, he should see your point and put a note in your chart. If he doesn't, then I would think about getting a new doctor.

Pam said...

I'm glad you're feeling better! I hate when I know what I need and I can't get anyone to listen to me.

sprite said...

I sometimes think nurse practitioners actually listen to patients better than doctors do, rather than thinking they know what the problem is.

Mereknits said...

You poor sweet thing, so sorry you have been so ill but glad you are on the mend.

Michelle said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend! I have a similar story with codeine cough syrup. To make a long story a little shorter, previous pediatrician would prescribe it, new one won't. So now every time someone in the family gets sick enough to get the good stuff, we hoard it. And all future cold-like illnesses are debated if they are worthy of it. Truly, for my son, it is the only thing that can calm his cough and get him some decent sleep. And, if you're not sleeping, you're not getting better. So frustrating but it's the game we have to play now. Hopefully, you will find a better solution.

KSD said...

Nurses --- doing the real work of doctors at a fraction of the pay.

Keep feeling better. Love ya!

Kathleen Dames said...

Glad you're on the mend! I was going to suggest something along the lines of what Brenda said. Rest up, dearie.

kathy b said...

gosh sounds like the cruds you had were awful!!!!
I always feel like colds and flu are such a waste of our time!!
Glad you feel better