The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Cough - The Beginning

I have mentioned The Cough a couple of times in the past. It represents a period which continues to impact my life. Over the next few days, I will try to tell the story.

The Cough began in April of 1997. It was preceded by a flu that lasted a few days and had all the usual symptoms; fever, aches, loss of appetite... It ended with a tickle in the throat which triggered coughing spasms that resembled Whooping Cough. I would cough until I wheezed, gasping for breath, and until a headache overwhelmed me. Nothing seemed to help. A "dry" cough. I sucked on various lozenges, used Chloroseptic sprays, and drank cough medicine by the gallon. Still I coughed. My doctor was no help. He suggested cough medicine, he sympathized, he queried me about possible allergies. I have no allergies and the cough medicine had no effect.

In May of that year, we took a flight to Dayton, Ohio to visit some friends for a week. While there, the "dry" cough turned "wet." I was now coughing up phlegm. I carried tissues, I sucked on lozenges constantly. When I got back home and then to the doctor, he prescribed amoxicillin. It had a minimal and short term effect.

I took to sleeping in my recliner in the living room. Faye could then sleep and I was more comfortable. In short order, I was coughing up phlegm that was like glue. Thick greenish brown mucus that dried hard. It was not just from my throat but also from my lungs. I started suffering shortness of breath.

In July, we met Faye's sister and her family at Universal Studios theme park in Orlando. We stayed only a half day before I had to leave. The heat and humidity combined with my breathing trouble made it impossible to stay. I ended up in a hospital emergency room right after we arrived home.

My O2 saturation was 64%. I couldn't walk more than 20 feet before needing to rest. I was admitted after a couple of nebulizer treatments got that up over 90% and I was considered stable

Thus began a two year battle for survival against a bug called Pseudomonas. I would learn a lot about doctors and medicine, little of it good. I would spend 2 separate weeks in hospitals. I would be on antibiotics and inhalers and Prednisone for those two years. I would miss a lot of work days. I would make numerous visits to emergency rooms. I would be tested, scanned, and mostly pitied.


TheLogistician said...

Of course your doctor was of no help; that's not his role in the system.

I've had chronic bronchitis for over 30 years, from trying to work day and night when I had pneumonia. The phlegm thing is ridiculous. Over the years, I weaned myself off of the antibiotics though. The most helpful thing? A daily steam in a steam room full of eucalyptus oil, coupled with taking the highest dosage of Mucinex (formerly a prescription drug) you can find, LONG ENOUGH FOR IT TO ACHIEVE CONSTANT BLOOD SERUM LEVEL to really work.

Steven Scott said...

As soon as I read the title I remembered sitting at a picnic table at a theme park. I was 16, the memory is really hazy...

The last time I was on vacation and an uncle [in-law] who lived nearby showed us around, he ended up in the hospital having hemorrhoid surgery. Despite being in the greek Prefecture with the highest per-capita income, visiting the hospital made me determine that i'd buy a plane ticket and fly home on my deathbed before checking in to a hospital there.

Douglas4517 said...

I am not happy with any hospital, here or elsewhere. First, it tells me I am
near helpless. Second, it puts me under control of people I don't know. Over
the next couple of days, you will see why.


Douglas4517 said...

"Of course your doctor was of no help; that's not his role in the system."

Little did I know at the time. I thought doctors were there to help you get
better but the incentive is stronger for maintaining the patient's