I’m ill and I HATE being ill.
A little over a week ago, I began getting a slight tickly little cough which progressed into a regular feeling of needing to clear my throat. I knew lots of people had been down with colds so I figured that these new symptoms were going to end up heading the same way. I rarely get colds but I’d had one back in January and now hoped I’d escape a second occurrence.
The anticipated sore throat didn’t emerge (phew); neither did any sort of nose stuffiness (hooray!), however I did have a bad hayfever reaction one morning at work – puffy eyes, sneezing, wheezing etc., but I took an antihistamine tablet, used my prescribed asthma inhaler and thought no more of it…..
Over the course of the following few days, I carried on with my routine as normal…cycling to work and back and attending work meetings etc. My cough, though, seemed to be getting worse and my sleep patterns began being interrupted by regular coughing breaks: Go to sleep…wake up a few hours later….begin coughing & clear whatever nastiness was lurking… then go back to sleep.
I’m not a regular attendee at the local GP surgery and instead prefer to self-medicate, often according to advice given on the NHS Direct website. I grabbed some Benylin chesty cough mixture (non-drowsy), some paracetamol and some tissues and figured that if I used those and kept myself properly hydrated (plenty of fluids), I’d be ok in a few more days.
But, the cough got even worse…..At times I sounded like a dying Cyberman:
(Ok…maybe a little over dramatic ;D )
Anyway, things were getting worse. I was creating a used tissue mountain and was not getting enough sleep. If I lay down – I coughed. If I sat upright – I coughed. Couldn’t win. My muscles were aching from the coughing fits that wracked through me and at one point, I coughed so hard, I threw up!
It was at that point that I decided enough was enough and it was time to involve the medical might of the NHS.
By some miracle, I managed to get a same day appointment at my local GP surgery. I even spoke to one of the GPs on the phone who was clearly convinced that I shouldn’t be made to wait several days for an appointment.
In the end, I saw a different GP from the one I’d spoken to, but after about 15 mins of stethoscope action and blowing into one of those tubes that measures your lung capacity – I was rewarded with a prescription for some chest infection busting drugs. Turns out the Doc reckoned my asthma was being aggravated by the chest infection which was making the cough worse. I popped into the village pharmacy on the way home and now have these (the inhaler I had already):
Antibiotics (for the infection) and steroid tablets (to help reverse the asthma symptoms).
Lots o’ little white pills – yay!
The NHS is a very crucial resource, and thanks to the administrations of one of its GPs, I know I’ll be right as rain in no time! 🙂