I’ve had a cough for three weeks now. It’s been more annoying than anything else, but last week, I also started to feel short of breath and very lethargic. Sick? Me? The cough was bad enough to actually get mentioned in conversation with my sister (who suggested bronchitis) and with my mother (a RN and my personal health line who suggested a trip to the doctor). So I went to the doctor.
I hate going to the doctor. Especially when the diagnosis is basically we-don’t-know-why-you’re-coughing-here’s-a-drug-to-make-you-stop. I hate taking drugs. I’ve been pregnant or nursing for 9 years now, and basically anything and everything is not recommended to take while your body provides nutrition for another body.
And yes, I’m still nursing that 17 month old who is at that obnoxious, demanding and possessive stage that signals to me it’s time to start seriously weaning him.
“What is your plan to wean him?” asks my skeptical husband as we debate the prescription drugs sitting on the table near me.
“I’m already working on it,” I claim. He cocks his eyebrows in doubt. “It’s a gradual process.”
I asked the doctor if the cough would go away untreated. “It’s been three weeks,” she said. I agree that three weeks can seem like an eternity, but it’s really not.
We talked about possible causes – something triggered the cough. A cold? Maybe, I can’t remember that long ago (it seems like an eternity). An allergen? Maybe, we did start closing all the windows and turning on the heat, and I have a bad habit of starting fires in the kitchen which generate smoke.
Bill and I decided that changing the air filters in the house was a good idea. It had been about a month since he replaced the 30 day filters with other 30 day filters. We went to Home Depot and bought “up to three months” filters with extra allergen filtering capability. They are a bit more expensive than the standard 30 day filters. We also bought an air freshener that goes right on the filter. Right now my house smells delightfully like cinnamon. Cool. But probably releasing an irritant into the air with every cycle of the heater!
And for the cough? I’m taking the one medication at night after Pete goes to sleep and skipping the morning dose. I’m a really bad patient. But I am noticing an improvement – not only am I coughing less, but my minute per mile pace is getting better – not good, just better. Yeah, I’m sick, but I’m still going for my morning run when I’m motivated to do so. Not only am I a bad patient, I’m an annoying sick person too. See, look at me! I’m sick but I’m running two miles anyway. And making dinner, and doing the dishes and tending to the needs of the whole family. And you think you can spend the day in bed because you have a witty bitty cold?
Ah, time to go to work now. I’ll consider being sick some other time. Perhaps when I hire a nanny and a governess and a cook.