This has sure been a fun month-and-change.
At the New Year’s party I caught a cold, which promptly hit me three days later. I tried keeping on top of it at first, using vitamin C and garlic and everything else I could throw at it, but the stupid thing got bad a couple days later and I ended up having a lousy weekend followed by a cough after the congestion went straight to my chest.
And it stayed there, a vicious, persistent bout of chest congestion that would not go away for anything. It was the worst at night, severely impacting my sleep to the point where I went through a lot of the month zombified. I finally went to see my doctor last week—good gads, that was only a week ago?—and he prescribed prednisone to help me get past it by blocking inflammation. The pred worked wonders pretty quickly and I could breathe again.
Then I get a call a couple days later: my potassium is inexplicably low, this in spite of the fact that I’m on medication that should have the opposite effect, so he prescribed a supplement. I started taking that.
Two things promptly happened. First, on Friday my wife had a scratchy throat and developed some congestion in her chest that night, although she never caught the cold I had and this was now more than three weeks later. She had a fever the next day so we went to urgent care. She tested negative for the flu, but because it’s often a false negative that early on they gave her Tamiflu—and on that she’s had a bit of success, which makes me think she does indeed have the flu. This is a bad enough thing for her, but it’s also bad news for me, a high-risk individual who not only just got over a bad cold but is still on a steroid that depresses the immune system. So my doctor put me on a preventative course of Tamiflu too, thank goodness. (I had the flu shot back in October, but fat lot of good that’s done anybody this year. Some years are like that.)
The other major thing that happened was a complete shock. Sunday night after the Superbowl, lying in bed and waiting to fall asleep, I couldn’t fall asleep at all because I had thin, watery saliva trying to sneak down the back of my throat all night. In fact my whole mouth was incredibly wet, which was odd because if anything I’m used to having the exact opposite problem. Falling asleep was darn near impossible without feeling like I was drowning. My mouth felt a little moister the night before, too, so I thought: the most likely culprit has to be the potassium. So my doctor took me off that and told me to try supplementing via diet, but last night I still had this hypersalivation going on. Today I felt different, so hopefully that’s finally behind me—I’ll find out very shortly.
But then there’s today. I woke up with my sinuses a wreck, and part of the reason, I expect, was that I finally used my neti pot yesterday after putting it off, with the goal of trying to flush out some lingering gunk that stayed behind after the cold. I felt maybe the sinus trouble was a contributor to the hypersalivation. Anyway, massive sinus headache today and everything is a wreck up there, but also my throat feels a little bit scratchy and my breathing feels wrong and if I’m being honest with myself, this feels like a new cold not quite catching on.
To make a long story longer, but bring it to a point, I think I might be on the cusp of the flu. With any luck, and a lot of prayer, I hope if that’s the case that having started Tamiflu early will let me ride it out at this level and no worse. If I can avoid developing another debilitating bout of chest congestion for another few years or so, or fifty, that’d be swell.
But the Patriots lost, so there’s that.