Tuesday, May 06, 2008


At the end of March, I came down with a very nasty respiratory flu. (Yes, I got the flu shot like I do every year.) You know the kind. The flu that makes your whole person hurt in the strangest of places and comes with a nasty initial high fever followed by an annoying, lingering low-grade fever. I was miserable for nearly a week with fevers.

After that, I dealt with the after effects of the flu including running nose and coughing. I believe it was the most I've coughed in my entire life within the span of three weeks. My lungs physically hurt and I went to the doctor twice for assistance with how horrible I was feeling.

Anyway, you may have noticed that I've not been posting as often. The flu was the reason. Unfortunately, I am still dealing with horrible side effects. Now, I have coughed my way into a nasty case of "rib pain" along with "chest wall pain." Last Thursday, it was so bad that I actually went to the ER to get some more effective pain management.

When asked to rate my pain, I answered with this: "Right now, it is a 9. When I cough, it is a ten." My doctor pretty much brushed me off and said, "Take Advil or Aleve." Well, my body just sort of laughed at the Advil and kept right on hurting and hurting and hurting, which is why I headed to the urgent care. Sigh.

In any case, the ER doctor was so kind and willing to listen. After several chest x-rays and a d dimer test for potential pulmonary embolism, she diagnosed me with the same thing my primary doctor had diagnosed. Unlike he, she provided me with hydrocodone for the pain and a genuine amount of attention to what I was actually telling her. :) The blessing in that drug is that it is an opiate, which interupts pain receptors plus it acts like a cough suppressant at the same time. Essentially, it knocked me out for nearly 2 days and then I lowered the dosage to 1 pill ever six hours.

Now, the pain is subsiding although still there with movement and coughing. I'm amazed by how much one little muscle between two ribs can reek so much havoc on my body. I also suffer from fibromyalgia, and this has not been good for my other muscles. I'll get through, but I hope and pray this particularly nasty muscle pain and spasm go away soon. The kind ER doctor told me that it could take a few weeks since it took weeks to create the issue.

I guess I'm feeling old lately, but hopefully with Spring in full bloom now in Wisconsin, I'll be back to my old self soon...at least the me that doesn't require narcotics for pain.


Childlife said...

Oh, soooo sorry Jen! That is just miserable! I really feel for you -- I had pneumonia so many times between October and March that I just wanted to curl up under a rock and die. :( Hope you're feeling much better soon, and hugs to the girls!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea you were still feeling so yucky!! I hope that the coming days prove to be filled with better health Jen! I know you are tired of this!! Big hugs!