For context in this post I refer back to THIS post from August. I was horribly ill, nearly ended up in hospital, and have not stopped coughing since. People insisted it was the ‘100 day cough’ and it would go away soon. Personally I did not fancy hacking my way into November so I went back to the Doctor (a week after I asked for an appointment urrrrgh). It was ten past seven in the morning on a Thursday and I was the first patient. Dr C looked about as awake as I felt. He picked up on three things. 1, the delirium I had at the beginning, 2, I was still coughing and 3, my diabetes was still fluctuating.
That got him all suspicious and so he listened to my chest, listened to me cough between that and testing my peak air flow thing and hummed a lot. My peak flow was not high enough but he said results fluctuate through the day so he wanted a week’s worth of results. Red flag one. He implied it could be asthma. Red flag two. I have had one severe chest infection in my entire life never mind anything remotely sounding like asthma and he did not sound convinced when he said it. He asked if I had been in any contact with anyone who has tuberculosis. Red flag three of the violent flashing variety. I’m going to refer you to St John’s for a chest X-Ray to check your lungs. Well I had a panic attack then and he had to calm me down. Head between legs and everything at twenty past seven in the morning. When I was once again converting oxygen to carbon dioxide at a normal rate he calmly stated ‘To be honest, putting this all together I’m convinced what you had and still do have is pneumonia’.
Well. Well. Well how on earth do you respond to that? Pneumonia is for old people in January surely? It is not for twenty four year olds, bad immune systems aside, in freaking July! Surely?! Along with my referral to get an x-ray and a meter for flow I also got a bottle to, get this, spit into when I brought stuff up from my lungs. Charming! He printed off my prescription for the peak flow meter and printed me off several for my anti-depressants and insulin. I left rather daze and with a fistful of orange paper slips I could not put into the chemist as it was not open yet.
Seriously though, it was a reminder of just how weak my body is and just how ravished it is due to my various ailments. It was also a reminder that I am the one who knows my body best. Family kept telling me the cough would go, I’d stop being tired, it would be ok. Something kept nagging at me though that told me that was rubbish. I knew I had to be back at the Doctor and I regret not having the strength to listen to myself and just go. I feel like a weight has been sat on my chest for months now and that is not acceptable at all. I should have gone sooner.
Given I have been walking around, attending university and even previously working I assume I am beyond needing hospital treatment. Other treatments could involve yet more antibiotics but having spent months being told to basically get it together I almost don’t feel sick enough for them. I’m so used to being sick. I spent three years worse than this, constantly picking up bugs and ailments and fighting them off three times slower than anyone else. My family think I am always ill and complain a lot but the reality is I’m nearly constantly unwell and I don’t mention it most of the time. It is hard for me to admit that maybe I need something. Rest is the important thing and frankly I don’t have time for that. The first draft of my dissertation is due next month. I have source analyses and essays to write. I feel rather lost with it all. Take paracetamol, drink a lot, wrap up and slug on. It is just who I am. I go back to the doctor next week hoping for help but…the sort that does not interfere with my life.