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Can't Breathe

In the last year of his life, I visited my grandfather in the hospital. He'd bulled his way through congestive heart failure, cancer, and pneumonia all at once, but for a while it was very touch-and-go. He had tremendous trouble breathing, and told me, "In the long dark quiet of the night, when you have to fight for every breath, and you're too exhausted to fight anymore but you can't sleep either, you start to think about how much longer you might have."

For my grandfather, who could have given Leonidas lessons in Stoicism, this was a massive admission of human frailty. I am not half the tough guy my granddad was. I've had this lung infection for almost two weeks now, and my breaths are getting shallower and shallower, and I have less and less energy to cough, which hurts more and more. This is day three of an antibiotic course, but so far I don't really feel any better.

Fortunately I'm not 80, I don't have cancer or congestive heart failure... but the long dark quiet of the night is still awfully long, and awfully dark.

I would like to breathe freely now, please.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
blanchemains
Dec. 12th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
Don't you have a history of asthma? Maybe try an inhaler and see if that helps?
fenriss
Dec. 12th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
As an asthmatic, I know how it is to struggle for breath. My thoughts are with you, old friend.
aghrivaine
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:04 pm (UTC)
I had asthma when I was a kid, and it's a lot like that, only it goes to 11. But, I think last night the tide turned and it's on its way out.
arya
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
If you've had bronchitis for this long, your asthma is probably rearing its ugly head.

(I totally sympathise, as I've had bronchitis for the last month-- got over the flu well before Thanksgiving, but the gorram lung crap just won't go away. Sigh.)
aghrivaine
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
I theorize that, at this point, it's full-on pneumonia.
arya
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
If you're not feverish or hacking up chunks of lungbutter, it's probably just bronchitis. Still, you should go see a doctor-- some antivirals or antibiotics can knock that shit out.

If you don't have insurance, though, let me know, and I can ship you some Singulair (preventive asthma meds, helps with the breathing even if it's not being caused by asthma) and some cough suppressants. I also have some hydrocodone cough syrup which *doesn't* taste like assjuice, though you might not want it since I was sipping directly from the bottle while I had the flu. I didn't backwash or anything, but my germ-encrusted lips were on the bottle edge... so your call :)
aghrivaine
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
I have insurance, it just really sucks. High deductible means, practically speaking, I pay for everything out of pocket, but doctors won't give you the "no insurance" price for services, either. Since I've already got Mexican antibiotics, which is about the only thing that is the real treatment for bronchitis. Other than that, it's rest, liquids and not moving around much. That part I've got handled!
arya
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Antibiotics won't help if it's a viral infection.

It's way too late in the year to pay off your deductible if you haven't already, I agree it's like no insurance at all.

Let me send you my cough suppressants, they only treat the symptom and not the cause, but being able to breathe is freaking priceless. And they didn't cost me anything, I have a backlog of cash in my flex account that I lose if I don't get rid of it all in time (which is soon) AND my copays are cheap as hell. (I have a $250 deductible but my allergy shots burn through it every January.)

Oh, and the Singulair doesn't cost anything either, my doctor gives me stacks and stacks of professional samples, so I've never actually had to fill a prescription yet. They're the kids doses, so you just take two of them instead of one, and apparently I'm his only patient who likes the chewables :)

Edited at 2009-12-12 07:54 pm (UTC)
aghrivaine
Dec. 12th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much - I've actually got all the medicine I need, which is why I'm reluctant to go to a doctor. What's he going to do? He's going to say, "Do what you've been doing and wait. If it gets worse, go to the hospital."

I'm on it! But I've got all the cough-suppressants, inahlers etc. I'm just so freakin' tired of laying on the couch like a lunger. I don't know how Doc Holliday did it.
blanchemains
Dec. 12th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Doc Holliday did it with laudanum, I'm sure. It probably worked beautifully, too.
aghrivaine
Dec. 12th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Ooooo...
arya
Dec. 12th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
If Emma Bull can be believed, it's because Wyatt Earp could do magic :)
leo9
Dec. 13th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
argh.... that sucks.. I hope you begin to breath easier soon.. my mom and my stepmom keep getting respiratory problems too. I have been fortunate to stay healthy thus far.

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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