Today might not be a very fun post. For the last few days, I have been fighting a cough, and let me tell you, it has been taking its toll. Sleepless nights, or nights where I wake up every few hours to hack up a plethora of yellow gunk that has been filling up my chest occupies the hours when I should be resting. The rest of the day is a dry, tickle-hack. Last night, as I was driving to pick my son up from daycare, I coughed so hard I nearly blacked out on the highway.
I’m writing this down now because I’m sick of talking about it. I’m sick of this cough being the main topic of conversation. I’m tired of conversations I have with others being punctuated by this cough. So my options are to just sit in silence, hoping to not disturb the crap living in my chest, or wake it up. It’s depressing.
One of the things I learned about myself over the years is that a childhood spent fighting nearly every damned cold, strep, cough, flu, allergy attack, and anything else listed on a bottle of NyQuil was likely spurred on by asthma. Meaning anything from a kitty cat sitting on my lap or a headcold would turn into this bullshit.
In my adulthood, with the help of rescue inhalers, medicine, and exercise, I have been able to get my asthma under control. I avoid cats, horses, ferrets, bunny rabbits, and hay whenever I can, which limits my exposure to happy, fluffy, cute critters, but allows me to breathe without wheezing.
The other day, I don’t know if it was a snoot-full of hayfever, some crap going around town, or Mercury in retrograde, but it hit me hard. I got on my inhaler and some medicines, but it was too late. Deep inside my chest the goddamned asthma gremlins went. Then it turned into laryngitis, and now it’s settled into my chest.
I feel like my ribs are bruised from the inside out. The mucous, the phlegm, the coughing until everything goes dark. That rattle in your chest that says, “One more cough and you’ll get this out and then you’ll be fine!” is a lie your body tells you as something inside is trying to kill you. I’m pretty sure.
But I do get sick of talking about it. Especially since difficulty in breathing means it’s something always on my mind. You know what they say: oxygen is a lot like sex. You never think about it much unless you aren’t getting any.
The worst part might be this is triggering my depression. I haven’t been able to spend much time with my son this week. Too tired to go on a bike ride. Trying to catch up on sleep I missed the night before. Making meals I don’t want to eat. The pills, the endless cycle of drinking, pissing, coughing, sleeping, and avoiding people because of it.
This just sucks.
I feel like I’m living a half-life right now. I’m not a lot of fun. I’m crabby. I’m depressed. Then that dark storm on the horizon says, “What if it’s something bad and this is the rest of your life?” God only knows I have been working in a building that has had three asbestos remediations this summer, with the last being an “oopsie! We didn’t tape off the door to your office very well!” moment.
Who the hell knows, this could just be my life. I think it’s shaded by a childhood where I was sick a lot, and I still remember what that was like, being stuck inside while all the other kids were out playing. Alone.
Anyway, I’m writing about this today because writing helps me stay sane. Today, I don’t feel very sane. I feel really rough.
Oh, and there’s always the chorus of people saying, “Why don’t you go to the doctor?” Have you ever been to the doctor? Yeah.