Breathing Treatment


Before Christmas, my mom said that she had a sinus infection, so I knew that I, at some point, would also have a sinus infection. I know that they aren’t supposed to be contagious, but my immune system has yet to figure that out. Well, a couple of days after Christmas, it finally showed up. It seemed to be really nasty on Tuesday, almost gone on Wednesday, and back by Thursday. But when I woke up on Friday morning, I knew something was horribly off. I was coughing more than I usually do, which is pretty amazing considering that I cough on a daily basis. My left eye was runny. At first I thought it was just tears from the pressure of the infection, until I decided to wipe my eye with a facial tissue.12 It wasn’t tears. It was pus. As the night went on, my eye kept getting more red. My cough was also increasing and I was starting to have trouble breathing.3 I went to bed and was trying to get comfortable but I just couldn’t breathe. Eventually, I called the on-call doctor and she told me to get my butt to the ER for a breathing treatment. Unfortunately, getting to the ER at about 4:30 in the morning is not the best way to get quick treatment. Most of the ER shuts down after midnight until 8 in the morning, even on the last weekend of the year. I was triaged quickly and had an X-ray, blood work, and EKG hours before a bed was available for my butt. I waited around 4 hours for that bed and my breathing just kept feeling like it was getting worse; my eye was also getting more nasty by the minute. Oh, and my infamous cough was starting to scare everyone in the waiting room. When I first got to the ER, one or two people had on masks. By the time I was called back to a room, almost everyone had one on. I honestly started to empathize with Typhoid Mary at that point. It’s odd to be treated like a biohazard when you can’t breathe. After the sun came out and the television had gone from infomercials & overnight news to Saturday morning children’s programs, I was called back to a room. It was another hour before I had my breathing treatment, and another hour after that before the doctor could secure the “eye room” to do a proper examination of my eye. He4 wasn’t sure if the conjunctivitis had caused any lasting damage to my eye, so he wanted to view it under a slit lamp. The room was empty and across the hall, so I’m not totally sure why it took so long or why, after it was over, I wasn’t allowed to just walk right back across the hall to my assigned bed. While I was in the eye room, the nurse brought me three 20mg prednisone tablets. She kept asking later if the steroids were helping. I kept responding that I couldn’t tell if the steroid was working, but that I knew that the breathing treatment had helped. By noon, I was being discharged with a diagnosis of conjunctivitis and bronchitis. I also had a prescription for the ophthalmic version of Neosporin ointment.5 I didn’t have any prescriptions for the bronchitis. I guess that they thought they had done enough to help get that under control.6 Since it was a holiday weekend, I couldn’t get in to see the family doctor until at least Tuesday, so I was trying desperately to make it through without going to the hospital again. There were a few times when I didn’t think I would make it. But I did. Instead of getting a Tuesday appointment, I got a Wednesday one and the family doctor, who I don’t always agree with, agreed with my belief that the Emergency Room doctor should have given me a prescription for another 4 days worth of prednisone. Because it had been five days since the initial dose, he had to start me on a new 5 day course of the drug. He also told me to use my inhaler regularly until I was feeling better. I’ve spent most of the last week just trying to pass the time. I’ve been avoiding social media and anything that required any real energy usage. I became even more of a recluse with a sad, unfulfilling life7 and a penchant for tantrums89 while I was recovering. Kidding.10 Fancy talk for a Kleenex. ↩Really fancy talk for a Kleenex from a Star Wars box. ↩No, I don’t always have trouble breathing when I cough. I cough like healthy people do healthy stuff. Cough variant asthma is the funnest. ↩Yeah, I never got to see the on-call doctor I had talked to on the phone. ↩No, really. ↩They hadn’t. ↩Did I mention that that creep has a reference to me in his Twitter bio? ↩Oh, he had more words for me after I turned down his altruistic offer of a possible book deal: I tried at least. BTW, I’ve been a pro writer since 1983. You have no idea how much damage you’ve done to your writing career before it even got started. No agent, no publisher, will want to deal with someone who intends to damage another writer’s sales over a disagreement on social media. They’d be too worried you would do the same to them if you ever got mad at them. Easier to give you a form rejection and move on. And trust me, this little tantrum you threw on Goodreads is going to be seen by every agent and publisher you submit to when they Google your name. Good luck with your career. I think you’re going to need it. Yep. Now he wants me to be afraid that I will never be published because I didn’t take kindly to his insults and his tacit support of a friend’s outright bigotry. ↩It takes chutzpah to say a woman would be a […]

From My Sinuses, With Love