The Case of the Missing Lizz

This last month has been such a blur for me. My health decided to skydive, without a parachute, and it hit the ground hard. I haven’t gotten quite this sick in a long time, and it’s just as miserable as I remember.

So, what exactly happened? Well, I do kind of mention it in these posts: Being “Normal” SickThe New Diet So FarMy Virus Has Returned, and I mention a little in my LEAP/MRT Diet: Phase 1/2, Week 2 post.

In summary: Right before starting the new diet, I got sick. Continue reading

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My Virus Has Returned… With Enthusiasm

Being sick while chronically ill is hard. Like, really hard! Normal colds already last longer for us than the average person, thanks to our overworked immune systems… But I got to come down with an even better virus (please tell me you could taste the sarcasm there)! (This post will probably contain a lot of sarcasm, FYI.)

germ-158107_1280

It looks like this cold plans to stick around for the 4 weeks. Minimum.

Luckily, my sinus infection seems to have cleared up, almost entirely! Though pollen season is starting, meaning my sinuses are clogged again. I don’t think my sinuses are very swollen, however, due to a lack of sinus headaches!

A few days ago, through Thursday, I thought I was finally starting to feel better! Friday, however, was awful! My doctor did warn me that this virus tends to be a roller coaster: cruddy, better, cruddy, better, rinse & repeat. I was really hoping that I would just slowly get better.

Then, I woke up coughing. I had a little tickle Thursday, but I summed it up to allergies. Friday, I woke up and immediately started hacking. Hacking like I haven’t hacked in years. Wonderful, just wonderful. They weren’t dry coughs, but I wouldn’t call them very productive. I took cough syrup, and went about my day.

As the day wore on, however, things got worse. By 10pm, not even cough syrup could slow the constant coughing. I managed to cough enough from 9pm until midnight to lose my voice (almost completely). My throat feels as though it’s bleeding, and I keep gasping for air.

Poor Dan didn’t get to sleep until way last his bedtime because I kept needing things from him: medicine, the humidifier being set up, more medicine, and a cough drop. Yes, a cough drop. No, it’s very much not approved on my LEAP/MRT diet… But Dan reminded me that sleep is one of the most important things when sick, so if it will help it’s necessary. It did manage to slow the coughing somewhat, so, totally worth it! (I’m still coughing a lot, but now I can catch my breath before my next cough.)

I’m writing this post at 2am Saturday morning because I’m still massively struggling. My throat hurts horribly (I’m going to use some chloraseptic spray soon; you don’t swallow it, so it should be okay), I’m coughing a lot, my ribs and abs are sore from coughing and I’m just hoping I don’t bruise a rib (it’s happened before), my neck/shoulders/upper back are tense and sore from the coughing fits, I have horrendous hip/pelvis nerve pain, and my head throbs when I cough. I’m also getting random dizzy spells, which may be due to hyperventilating, and my low fever is back. Overall, this is awful!

Thumb Infection Handout and Thumb

(Handout from urgent care)  Pic is from my Insta story

I did start antibiotics today, though not for my cold… I managed to get my thumb horribly infected. All of my hangnails get infected when they tear (same thing happens if the skin splits around my nails). Usually, I can get the infection to clear up in a few days… Not this time. I finally went to urgent care when it wasn’t even mildly improved after a week! Apparently, I was doing pretty much everything right, I just needed some oral antibiotics to finish it off! I’m hoping they’ll also help boost my immune system enough to finally get over this virus. (I do realize antibiotics won’t help a virus directly. I’m thinking there may be a small bacterial component, which is drawing from my immune system, that the antibiotics can wipe out.)

I really hope I’m not still coughing like this in the morning… And I hope I can get some good sleep tonight!

Being “Normal” Sick While Chronically Ill

First of all, it’s extremely difficult to determine if you’re actually sick, because colds, the flu, and infections tend to mimic the symptoms of the chronic illnesses… differentiating between a cold and a flare can be extremely difficult. (I go more in depth about this problem here.)

cold-156666_1280I realized I was sick this time because I suddenly felt like I was swimming through cement. I also was having a lot more gastrointestinal distress than comes from eating the wrong thing, and it stuck around for a few days. My digestive system decided to switch from my normal IBS-C to suddenly having IBS-D type behavior. (It’s calmed down a little now, but I’m still having some problems.) Then, I started getting off and on fevers in the evening. My fever spiked to 100° F (my normal is 97.6° instead of the average 98.6°) before I decided I should really take some Tylenol for it.

Then, after a week of most definitely being sick, and still having to carry on with life… it got worse! I woke up with a start because both nostrils had swollen shut and I could barely breathe. Then, when I sat up (far faster than I should have – thanks dysautonomia) to be able to breathe better, I realized it felt like I’d been hit in the face with a sledgehammer. Every time I would bend over during the day, I got severe pre-syncope symptoms. Same would happen while I was standing/walking. So I called my doctor and managed to get an appointment for the next day. Continue reading

Why Today is a Bad Health Day

I’ve still been having nerve pain in my arm. Joleen worked on it a ton on Friday (I had to reschedule because of the bronchitis, I didn’t want to get people sick since I was still coughing Monday). I thought it’d be okay, but I should have known better; nothing good can come of an hour of nerve massage on a fibromyalgia patient. My muscles feel bruised (she had to work out some knots she thinks are being caused by the nerve pain), my ribs feel bruised, and I vaguely feel like I got bruised in general.

Last week, I also did too much. Way too much! (read more)

Albuterol Jitterbug

Because of my asthma, I always have had a rescue inhaler… Since I was about five. Thankfully, I don’t have to use it often anymore. Throughout school I had to use it quite often because my asthma is mostly exercise induced and we had to do a weekly mile (two in high school) in physical education. I also got sick a lot in school, and illnesses love to settle in the lungs if you have asthma.

asthma-airways

 

Continue reading

The Difficulty of Chronics vs Being Sick

Since I got diagnosed with all my Chronics (see the sidebar for the list), it is very difficult to determine when I’m sick. Why? Well, let’s break that down, shall we?

First, the symptoms of the common cold (source: Mayo Clinic):

  • Runny or stuffy noseflu2
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Slight body aches or a mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild fatigue

And the symptoms of the flu (source: Mayo Clinic):

  • Fever over 100 F (38 C)20100902155255-1_0
  • Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat

Those seem pretty straight forward, don’t they? Well, unfortunately, my Chronics make it anything but.

Continue reading