Sunday, January 24, 2010

Flu, Steroids and the Lottery

I've never been a morning person. So, when I woke up on Friday morning, I was seriously considering negotiating with my alarm clock to somehow roll back another hour so I could get more sleep. Of course, it would also need to have the power to stop time for the whole city. Not the whole world, just the city. After all, my commitments were only on a local level, namely getting 3 out of 4 kids out the door to school. Malcolm is in afternoon kindergarten.

Dave had been away all week. It was a particularly easy week kid-wise. They had Monday and Tuesday off so a lot of the homework that the teachers normally assign for the whole week was not assigned. Nevertheless, I chalked up the exhaustion to the week of being solo.

Later that day, I started feeling really awful though. I had chills and aches, but no fever. I slogged through the busy afternoon shuttling kids back-and-forth to karate and Girl Scouts. Then got home and my husband returned from his trip after dinner, but still early enough that the kids could visit with him. He had been in a different time zone so he was pretty jetlagged.

The kids were pretty tired too...and relatively quiet (which is very, VERY rare). So, I buried my shivering self under blankets and we all watched some iCarly as a family. I think I helped put the kids to bed, but I can't remember. I kept shivering and aching until I fell asleep. Still no fever! There's no medicine you can take for shivers! I suppose I could have asked Dave to make me some hot tea because I was too cold to get up and do it myself, but I felt bad for him because he was so tired.

The next morning I wake up and I'm at 101.2! I pop an Advil and stay under the blanket pile. Finally, I stop shivering and the aches subside. Now, I'm hungry and I need my coffee! I must be feeling better. Dave had two kids out at Andy's Cub Scout event and his basketball game. I hung out with Harry and Lilly and then drove her to a birthday party. Ah, two kids are so much more palatable when you're sick than four.

As the Advil wore off, I spiked a fever again, only I was trying to take a nap so I didn't bother with any more medicine. THEN, when I finally woke up, I had hit 103.2! Yikes! Again, more Advil, fever down and (almost) feeling normal.

Such is how things have been going for the last 24 hours. 101.2 this AM, time for more Advil, but this time my peak flow was also down. A peak flow is a device that is used by asthmatics to see if the illness is acting up. Anyone with asthma knows that you have a normal peak flow when you're healthy and if it goes down, this is a bad sign. Since 2006 when I was diagnosed with severe asthma, I have been working with a pulmonologist. After much trial, error, pneumonia and ER visits, we have come up with a plan that every time my peak flow dips below 300, I MUST take prednisone, which is a steroid.

One of the most painful trials and errors was when I used too much prednisone as a treatment plan per my doctor. This ended up shutting down my adrenal system and it took two years for it to come back up to normal. So, it's a fine line between an asthma attack and taking too much prednisone. I think we finally have a handle on it. Asthma is SO different for everyone individually I have learned.

Anyway, I did have to go to a GP doctor today because the nurse was concerned about me. My lungs were clear so I have no pneumonia and weirdly enough, my fever did not come back this time! This morning's Advil has since totally worn off. The doctor was puzzled. He said it's probably a virus and to watch the fever for a couple more days.

He also mentioned that prednisone could also be holding the fever back. What it does is basically comes between your illness and your immune system fighting said illness, which is pretty scary when you think about it. In other words, you're still sick, but you can't feel it. I'm one of the lucky people that don't have too many nasty side effects from this "wonder drug". For me, I get a huge burst of energy, but I can't turn it off at night when I want to go to sleep. Then I end up getting only a few hours' sleep but feel fine the next day and not sleep deprived. Weird! I should only be on it for a few days so I will recover from at least that symptom quickly.

There is some more good news other than my fever not coming back. When I parked my car in the almost empty doctor's lot, I noticed a pile of junk that looked like it fell out of someone else's car. I know if it happened to me, I'd want someone to turn it in. However, there was no one at the front desk on a Sunday.

There was clearly a lot of trash (including an empty box of cigarettes), but there were also CD cases, which turned out to be empty and a slew of lottery tickets. This person was not only a smoker, but somewhat of a gambler! Since I had found a dollar bill in a parking lot on my birthday last week, I thought, "I'm on a roll. If this turns out to be a huge sum of money, I will do the right thing....but what is the right thing?" There was NO ONE around. If someone had been parked there, I definitely would have asked them about it. I am probably the most honest person you'll ever meet.

All of the scratch tickets were duds...except one...only $2, but a winner nonetheless. Now, what the heck do I do? If I turn in all of this stuff, it's mostly trash and the winning ticket will probably get thrown away with it. Plus, when there was no one at the front desk and several different doctor's practices, to which office would I bring it?

I don't know if this was the right thing, but I left the pile there in case someone came back for it, but claimed the ticket for myself. I figured no one would come back for it and it would just get thrown away anyway....right? I have no idea if I was right.

BUT...I turned it in at the grocery store. Dave had gotten most of the groceries this AM for us since I was "under the weather", but I had a new found energy (drug-induced) so I ran in to pick up the things I forgot to put on the list for him.

I am kind of embarrassed to cash in scratch tickets. I feel like maybe someone will judge me as someone who is hoping to get to Easy Street, the easy way. I NEVER take the easy way out. Anyway, I got over it and cashed them in. I asked the guy for two more dollar tickets. Ta-dah! One ticket yielded $2 and the other $1!! I'm up technically $5 since I didn't pay for the ticket in the first place!

OK, so it's not the thousands or even hundreds I would have liked. I can't really expect to win the lottery when I don't 100% believe in it OR when I cash in a ticket found based on someone else's bad luck.


Post a Comment