For the last two weeks, I've been walking around with this dumb cough. I used to get it every year, but when I was pregnant, apparently I was overwhelmingly healthy, because I didn't get sick that much. This year, the year after having my son, seems to be the year where my body is making up for lost time, because I've been sick more, had some age-related issues I never had before, and I've just felt funkier than usual.
Not this funky, though. Unfortunately.
Anyway, because I'm still breastfeeding the little guy, it limits my options. For instance, that cough medicine with codeine that I've been dreaming of? I can't take it.
The worst part isn't really the cough. I could handle coughing every once in awhile. But what happens to me is, I get hit with these horrible extended coughing fits that usually culminate with puking.
Yes. I said "puking." It's gross. And then afterwards I feel like I've been run over by a truck. So that's been going on, daily. Luckily when it happens at work, I've had opportunities to get to the bathroom. What I've been afraid of - it happening while I'm driving the car - hasn't happened. What I didn't know to be afraid of happened yesterday.
I haven't been sleeping that great. Mostly I lay there, wondering if I'm going to fall asleep, just to be awakened by my own coughing. Or what usually happens, it takes me awhile to fall asleep, and then just as I'm dozing off, Exton wakes up and wants a feeding. And then I cough.
So I finally got so frustrated that I stayed home from work yesterday, and I made an appointment with the doctor. The appointment was for the late morning, and while I was at home, I actually thought I was starting to feel better. Hardly any coughing. I got a late start leaving and I considered calling them and canceling the appointment, but I didn't.
On the walk up to the office, I started coughing a little. I got in line to check in, and saw that there was a a "self check-in" kiosk, so I thought that would be faster, so I tried it. But, my Kaiser card didn't work and I had to tap out my name, and while that was going on, my coughing escalated. I couldn't talk. It was really scary, actually, because I felt like all the people in the waiting room were watching/listening to me. A woman was sitting at a desk (separate from the check in desk) right in front of me, and I croaked out, in between coughs, "can I sit?" She had a chair next to her desk, facing away from the room. I sat down and coughed. And coughed.
And then I puked. All over my shirt, and my jeans, and I was so embarrassed. I haven't thrown up in public in years (and I was probably drunk and in my 20s when that happened so what did I care?), and I just felt so gross and dirty.
The woman at the desk was so nice. She helped me clean up. I kept apologizing in my tiny voice, and she kept telling me it was OK. She even said, "This is a medical facility. I've seen much worse." It was weird, though, because my shirt just looked wet, not, puked on (but the inside was... messy). Then she offered to check me in, and she found out that my appointment was next door, which I was actually relieved about. I really wanted to get away from that roomful of people.
I walked around the corner to the right room, where I saw a woman who is not my regular doctor (which is good, because my regular doctor is a man). She took me right away, which is good too, because as soon as I was alone in the room with her, I lost it. I just started crying. I mean, damn, it was just some vomit, no big deal, but I was sooooo embarrassed. She was also really nice (though, it must be said: not as nice as cute Dr. Reid would've been, I'm sure; then again, I don't think I want to see him while wearing a puked-on shirt). It was a good day for Kaiser doctors.
Anyway, she took her time with me and checked me out, and I'm fine. She recommended that I keep using my nasal spray allergy medicine (which I lost somewhere, somehow... I have to take a better look for it), and she gave me an inhaler to use when the coughing gets really bad. She said it will probably be a little longer until the cough is gone but because I'm breastfeeding, it's harder to treat. She said I didn't have any kind of infection. Just a cough.
Which Led Zeppelin song is that from? In My Time of Dying? Gonna go have a listen. You should too.