It started over Memorial Day weekend with a scratchy throat. I think I'm getting sick, I remember mentioning to my husband, as we drove back from New York. I remember saying it out loud, just in case I needed to remember it for dating purposes, or in the rare instance of death (my husband could tell the coroner - She did say she wasn't feeling well.).
Little did I know....
It morphed from a scratchy throat to a sore throat to a cough. A bad, bad cough. The kind of uncontrollable cough that kept my husband up at night and had me keeling over in involuntary fits and had my kids yelling, Stop it!!! The kind of cough where I didn't cough hard enough to break a rib, but where it didn't seem so outlandish that people do.
After a week of this, I had had enough. I went to the doctor. Not the minute clinic, not my OB - my regular doctor. I forget I have one of those every once in a while. I usually only go once a year (if that) for my yearly check up. Otherwise, I tough my illnesses out. I am busy enough taking my kids to the pediatrician's office to ever take myself.
But this time was different.
The doctor came into the room at an opportune time, during one of my hacking coughing fits. She listened to my lungs and looked down my throat and immediately pronounced my illness - bronchitis. She prescribed antibiotics, which she confirmed are safe for pregnant women, and sent me on my merry way.
But did I take the antibiotics? Noooooooooooo.
It's not that I have anything against them in theory, and I have certainly taken them before. But I am pregnant and anxious and painstakingly cautious. I don't like to put any kind of medication in my body unless I absolutely need it. I am the ultimate, suffering martyr! Never mind that I drink soda and use bug repellent and eat at McDonalds. I shall not ingest any medication unless I must!
I decided to give it a few days. And voila, without the antibiotics, I got better! Which only stroked my pregnant, martyr ego. See! I thought, I have resisted the temptations of modern medicine, and have cured myself! It was only a virus! Of course I know better than the doctor!
I lived 9 glorious days cough free. They happened to coincide directly with my trip to North Carolina, so I am grateful for that.
But last Wednesday, it all came back with a vengeance.
First there was the body aches. Then the chills. Then the fever. Then the googling of fever and pregnancy and the resulting freak out that my unborn child's brain was being fried. This fever knocked me out in a way I haven't been knocked out before. I was down for the count for two full days - in bed all day. My life revolved around 6 hour Tylenol intervals, with the aches and pains resuming around hour 4, and the remaining two hours being an exercise of watching the ticking clock until I could take the Tylenol again. For being so fervently anti-medication during pregnancy, I was relying on Tylenol around the clock just to be able to function.
I ended up at the OB's office, who sent me to Labor & Delivery to get a flu test (which took 4 hours - this is a whole post in and of itself, which I may or may not ever write - suffice it to say it was the most egregious example of the downfalls of modern medicine I have ever experienced). The flu test came out negative. So they prescribed me...
And this time? This time I took them.
The fever went away almost immediately after the first dose, and for about a half a day I was walking on cloud 9, filled with gratitude to rejoin the world of the living. But the cough.... the cough still lives. I have two days left in my antibiotic course, and every time I take one of those little pills I plead with it: Please make this worth it! Please clear my lungs! Please, I can't live the rest of my life like this!
I'm really writing this post for myself. Because God willing, in a few weeks time I will be better and healthy. And at that point, I may start to have antibiotic regret. You know, that whole "I'm a mother I must suffer and be a martyr" thing might start up again. And I might start thinking, Did I really have to take all of that medication? Couldn't I have toughed it out? Now my poor, innocent, pure baby has been tainted by chemicals and toxins and the temporary lack of any probiotics!
Yes, Shannon, you did have to take it. You know why? BECAUSE YOU ARE MISERABLE AND SICK AND EXHAUSTED AND YOUR BRONCHIAL PASSAGES ARE SWOLLEN AND IRRITATED AND OVERALL SUPER PISSED AT YOU THAT YOU WAITED SO LONG TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Please let me get well soon.