I’m going on my third week of pneumonia which I caught in Utah at the beginning of my trip. The combination of polluted, dirty air (and I thought Inversion only happened in the winter!), the climate as dry as a bone (my eyes felt like shriveled raisins the whole time. I was so happy to get back to the Texas humidity. It’s like breathing velvet down here), and the altitude (I’d like to keep it under 1000 feet from now on, please) just did me in.
As you can imagine I was a dandy houseguest in my travels. I laid around watching TV while my children ran wild. We did do a few fun things, but I had to load up on ibuprofen first. And I was super fun at the family reunion. Being at 7000 feet did not make my body happy. I shuffled along, coughing like an 80-year-old smoker the entire time.
This is what surprises me about pneumonia: I always imagined it would be like drowning; lungs full of liquid, coughing up all sorts of yucky stuff, that sort of thing. But for me it’s more like my lungs have been lined with glue. They feel very sticky, and make all sorts of bizarre creaky noises. My favorite is when it sounds like a zipper every time I breathe in or out. My lungs are noisy enough at times to wake me up. Icky. My cough is mostly dry and hacky, except every once in a while when it sounds like I’m about to die. And then there is the sensation of someone standing on my chest. It makes me panic a little, not being able to take a deep breath. I have an inhaler that helps a little bit, but mostly it doesn’t.
And then there is the fever that won’t die. Even with several advil and tylenol I haven’t been able to knock it below 101 today. Fevers suck. They make my skin hurt and my bones hurt. They make me do crazy things like take long walks outside in the 102º weather because I’m just so cold.
This morning I started my third course of antibiotics. Hopefully these will work. They’d better. Because they cost $30 per pill. $30 per pill. Moving along . . . .
I’m getting mighty sick of sleeping completely upright (not just elevated; upright. It’s like sleeping on a plane every night.) Sometimes I try to flip over on my stomach (oh, how I love sleeping on my stomach!) but then cough for twenty minutes until I throw up in my mouth. So I pile up my wall of pillows and hope my concoction of codeine cough syrup and Advil PM can keep me asleep for at least a few hours.
Fun times indeed. This much I know: I will never take breathing for granted again (or sleeping on my stomach.)
Thanks goodness for a mother who now lives nearby and can take care of her sickly daughter.