|From Al's Flickr site|
For the last month or so, I've had a persistent cough that hasn't gotten better but seems to have gotten worse as the weeks have gone by. Finally, when talking with my sister on iChat yesterday, I had to stop and cough, hack and wheeze for quite awhile. She looked at me and asked why I hadn't gone to a doctor about it, and I hemmed and hawed and said I was sure it would get better by itself. But it hasn't, and she reminded me how long I've had it. I got on the phone and made an appointment to see the doctor, but the earliest possible appointment was next Monday, and that was to see a nurse practitioner, not the doctor. Good enough.
Then it occurred to me that Monday is the hike up Mount Higgins, a new adventure for all of us, so I got on the phone, called the clinic back and said I would take ANY opening they had. (I had turned down one for today, thinking I wouldn't be available.) So guess where I went today? To see the doctor, and it is what I thought: I have bronchitis. The doctor told me that it MIGHT eventually resolve by itself, but to try this inhaler (I've never used one) and take an antibiotic. The inhaler delivers albuterol (known internationally as salbutamol), which I discovered has been misused as a performance enhancing drug. I have to say, I LOVE the Magic Box (the Internet) to learn what I am actually putting into my body. Nowhere on the insert did I learn this information. I know what side effects to watch for, but it is essentially a bronchodilator that allows the bronchial passages to relax and take in more air. Wow! Does this mean I'll be able to hike up hills with less effort? Given the expense of the drug, I don't think I'll be trying it for that. I just want to stop coughing.
Lung Defend I got at the health food store. I think the two of them should help me beat this thing before I have to put antibiotics into my system that may or may not help. She told me that most bronchitis is caused by viral agents, not bacteria, which means I could take the antibiotic for no good reason. This mixture of herbs was recommended by the practitioner as having had good responses from several of her clients. Dr. Andert told me I can give it a couple of days but, in her words, if it doesn't begin to turn around by then, start the antibiotics. That sounds good to me!
I haven't felt sick at all, but the cough has become problematic, and I sure didn't want to end up getting REALLY sick just because of my stubbornness. Now I feel quite secure in letting the albuterol and Lung Defend do their work. Till next time!