Woke up and couldn't breathe. The boy went to work, 'cause I thought it would dim down - I thought it was just early morning coughing, with a chest cold, and I should stay home, call Kaiser, it would lessen, and I would go to the doctor that evening.
It didn't lessen at first. I called Kaiser, they told me to come in then, I didn't have any way to get there (the boy was at work and he's in the middle of a deadline project, trying hard not to get sick himself (and take care of me) and couldn't take off work that early).
So long hot steamy shower to let me BREATHE, sitting very still 'til the boy got home 'cause movement caused coughing, which caused pain and not BREATHING. Spent much of the day scared, and wondering if I should pay the 50+ for taxi, along with paying out of pocket for whatever medicine got prescribed, versus not having to go to the doctor alone (easier both physically and mentally) and being able to use the HSA. Didn't budget to be sick, and wow, just going to the doctor this month has cost me $40 so far.
Eventually, the boy could leave work, and he took me to the doctor. Who used scary words like bronchitis and pneumonia. Chest X-ray didn't show pneumonia (yeah!) but I do have bronchitis. Yeah me! for realizing I needed to go in before things got too bad. I am learning.
I had to get a "treatment" for the asthma - breathing in from this tube of gaseous medicine - it tasted horrible, made me cough (which still hurts), made me gag, but allowed to me breathe. The doctor actually talked to me, listened, gave me a go back to work date (not as early as I would like) prescribed me antibiotics, steroids, and a nice codeine cough syrup (which I won't use as much as I _should_ because of my wackiness about addictions and hang-ups about medicine). Sent me home, me with explicit come in if this happens, this is okay and normal, didn't make me feel silly for having come in.
(The doctor was suprised I had not had the asthma treatment before. I hated it, and it made me feel horrible - I was close to tears by the end - but it _worked_ in that I could breathe easier afterwards, and afterwards the chest pain was clearly muscular, when before it wasn't). Suspect should have had one during the months of asthma hell last year.
This doctor was very good at telling what the side effects of the treatment were after I took it and was in tears and panicing because of how it made me feel. His calmness, and assurances of what part was the side effects of the drug, let me moderate my own reactions to the side effects. I don't like it when my body doesn't work right, and certain things (dizziness, lightheadness, rapid pulse) tend to make me panic. I can control the panic if I know for how long those things will last, and calm down so I don't make it worse. But I need to _know_.
Very long time at the doctor's office. But he did everything he needed to do. Listened to me, heard what I was saying (which isn't normally the case - my last doctor downplayed most of my symptoms, and focused on asthma, and I suspect I did have some other infection with the asthma that time, but got tired of trying to get her to listen to me) and then told me the information I needed - what side effects were normal, which ones were come in right away, how much coughing could hurt before I had to come in - most of them tell you that the side effects aren't common, don't go into detail and that always leaves me wondering if I should mention if I get them. I like it when they tell the ones I need to report back to them. It lets me be in control of myself, and not the lady on the advice line, who doesn't know I have migraines since I was 17 and that when I tell a doctor something hurts, it means it HURTS and it is not normal. Medicine and my body don't mix well, so most of the time I get minor side effects, so it is essential for me know which ones are minor (to avoid the advice nurse helpline which isn't normally helpful).
So good doctor. Still in pain, but managable, and no longer scared. I like not being scared.
Also, soon will be gooned, as codeine goons me, and the steroids are making me jittery, and I need sleep so body can heal. So, since jittery and coughing equal no sleep, and cough syrup equals sleep, no coughing, but gooning, going to break down and use the cough syrup tonight. I will do my best not to interact with anyone while gooned.