Today I feel better. Yesterday after posting that I was on the mend I then seemed to take a turn for the worse - my temperature started to rise again, I developed pain across one side of my chest, started to sweat a lot and sensed my cough was changing into something maybe worse. So after 10 days of fighting this thing and feeling completely exhausted, I accepted it was about time to start antibiotics since my infection was likely turning bacterial. I started to read about pneumonia and decided I didn't want to take the risk.
I then started to worry about my father who seemed worse than myself and not really getting better either. I called my mother and insisted that she call the doctor the next morning whether he agreed or not. My father, in the typical British manner, prefers to struggle on without medical intervention. We are all now so conditioned by GPs telling us that what we have is a virus and there is nothing they can do for us, that many are now scared of calling a doctor unnecessarily. Recognising when one has deteriorated enough to make that call is tricky. I believe that often when ill and gradually deteriorating you are not able to take the right decision yourself, and the call is often made far too late.
Now 24 hours and 4 doses of antibiotics later I can safely say I am now feeling better. For the first time in days I was able to lie down and have a nap without coughing almost continuously. And my father now has his antibiotics too so I can relax I think. Phew!
Let me tell you, swine flu is no 'walk in the park'. Of course one shouldn't panic, but at the same time it should be taken seriously. I am fit and healthy without any underlying conditions, but I have to tell you there were a few moments when I really struggled and started to wonder how much worse the cough was going to get. It must really be a concern for the many people that do have underlying conditions.
Here's my swine flu tip: If you start to feel a little tired and unwell, take time out then, sleep a lot, eat really well, get lots of fluids, take some vitamins. Do everything you can to get shut of it in its early days. I instead carried on about my business. Although I felt very tired I did nothing to get more rest and I think that is partly why it hit me so hard the following week. My daughter, when she felt tired, slept, and slept, and slept, and then she was fine. Maybe that helped her?
Isn't it nice when we feel illness on the retreat and normal health start to return? Isn't good health such a wonderful thing?
Yesterday I watched a lady on the TV who had been awaiting a lung transplant for the last 2 years. She had cystic fibrosis. Everyone at the hospital talked about how wonderful she was and what a positive outlook she had. But without a lung transplant soon she will not have much future.
I asked my husband about cystic fibrosis. He said to think of the annoying secretions that I had experienced on my lungs over the past few weeks, and to imagine experiencing that all my life. I can't.
I wondered whether with new lungs she would be cured, or whether she would always suffer from this terrible condition.
Here's the MedWorm section on cystic fibrosis and here's the one on swine flu. You can read what happened next in my swine flu story here or read more about when I first realised I had the swine flu in my previous post.