March 10, 2009

In Which I am Potentially Justified

SO remember how I have now been sick for MORE than a month and I can’t kick it, no matter what, and Maisy is having the same problem and we have BOTH been to the people vet multiple times and medicine either does NOTHING or causes life threatening extreme allergic reactions and I finally just stopped mentioning it because of my amazing nobility and fortitude? Me and my amazing nobility and fortitude have chugged along, politely asking Death to wait on the porch while I finish the novel, not whining…

And here we understand, Best Beloveds, that when I say I “stopped mentioning it” I mean I stopped mentioning it HERE ON THE BLOG. Scott, were he under oath, and if there were not laws preventing husbands from having to take the stand against their wives, could testify that my nobility and fortitude may have reached dizzying heights here, TEXTUALLY speaking, but when it comes to “words I say with my mouth,” I MAY have mentioned my ongoing illness a few ----*cough* thousand *cough* ---- times.

A day. *cough*

Come to think of it, I may be misappropriating some nobility and fortitude. It is SCOTT after all, who has had to listen to my ENDLESS string of self diagnoses, several of which have been fictional, many of which have been antiquated and unlikely, and all of which have been potentially fatal, and he has EVER EVEN ONCE smothered me with a pillow.

I have run theories past him all day long for 34 days now, ranging from,
“I must have a brain cloud. I am DYING OF A BRAIN CLOUD IN MY CHEST!” to
“Can you get lower respiratory leprosy?” to
“I truly believe I have contracted a galloping case of black lung.”

He has responded by saying calm, wry, good humored things like,
“Do you need Meg Ryan to throw you into a volcano?” and
“No. You cannot get lower respiratory leprosy. Because there is NO SUCH THING,” and
“Absolutely. This is black lung. If only you hadn’t been born a West Virginia Coal Miner….oh. Wait...”

But I HAVE stopped whinging here on the blog. Mostly because WHAT IS THERE TO BLOG ABOUT beyond, “Hi! Still sick! Maisy is still sick, too! Phlegm sucks! Not being able to work out sucks, and in the spirit of OVERSHARING, would you like to know that if I exercise and get my heart rate up over 110 I get excessively short of breath and dizzy and cough until I vomit? IT IS SO SUPER!”

It starts to sound fictional, you know? Like I should either just be diagnosed with the Percolating Lupus and DIE already or stop whining about what is essentially a long, debilitating, boring cold.

WELL – This weekend, Maisy got worse. Again. That’s how the lung leprosy works. You get a little better, but never ALL THE WAY better, and then you get worse again. Over the weekend, Maisy’s cough worsened to the point that no one in the house was getting any sleep, and the poor roo had had huge pink PANDA BEAR eye circles.

I said to Scott, “I am taking that child BACK TO THE VET on Monday, and PS, I think this is because I smoked all those years, and some deadly ninja form of stealth emphazima has HIDDEN down in the bottom of my lungs plotting to kill me and it GOT OUT AND ATTACKED MY CHILD.”

Sunday night, my friend Julie called. Her son, who has been fighting this same endless “cold” for about the same amount of time, was in the emergency room. With the FRICKEN WHOOPING COUGH. Yes! Yes! Pertussis! An ANTIQUATED yet SERIOUS illness---- just the sort of thing I might have self diagnosed if it had a more romantical and fatal sounding name. I mean, whooping cough, for the love of Peter Rabbit, just sounds silly.

Turns out a strain of it here in Georgia has grown itself into some new mighty and sideways shape that can get PAST the vaccinations and sicken you ANYWAY. I took Maisy to the vet yesterday. WHOOPING FRICKEN COUGH! The vet had just gotten a CDC alert about this... SO. Maisy got the proper meds and MERCIFULLY SLEPT and woke up this morning, after just one day of them, with her pink eye circles reduced by 60%. PS: The vet says we are no longer contagious as we’ve now had it more than three weeks….

I made a vet appointment for myself, and so hopefully by the weekend I will be on the road back from The Brink of Death, 1895 style.
Is it TERRIBLE of me to be so HAPPY that I prolly have pertussis?
It makes all the whining feel (somewhat) justified.

Posted by joshilyn at March 10, 2009 7:31 AM

My grandmother had a story about racing for the doctor one night when her younger sister (? I think?) had whooping cough. The way she told it, it was a terribly frightening experience, one that left them unsure whether the child would live or not (she did.)

So glad you don't have the make-you-dead version of this. Since it would have interfered with finishing the book and all ... ;)

Posted by: AJenTooMany at March 10, 2009 8:16 AM

Woo hoo! At least they'll finally be able to fix you!

Posted by: Cathy at March 10, 2009 8:59 AM

Poor Babies! Wishing you better health swiftly.

Posted by: JulieB at March 10, 2009 9:12 AM

Whooping-freaking-cough? Heavens to Betsy (that seems called for, given the diagnosis). I'm so glad you figured out what it was and hope that you will ALL be on the mend soon. Now I will no longer feel guilty for also making up diagnoses, because obviously, you just never know.

Posted by: Leandra at March 10, 2009 9:32 AM

Maybe that should be included in the title of the new book somehow. Or in the "forward" section where you normally thank your friends, family & editors you can now devote the finishing of the book entirely to Whooping Cough.

Saints in Whooping. It has a ring to it, no? Whooping Saints?

Anyhoo, I hope the vet rewards Nobility and Fortitude with good drugs. Feel better! :)

Posted by: Tammy at March 10, 2009 9:46 AM

Well, on the bright side, at least it wasn't tuberculosis! (You have to look on the bright side at times like these.)

I'm very glad that you at least know what the heck it IS. Feel better soon, so that you may properly bask in all the glory of having FINISHED THE NOVEL.

Posted by: Aimee at March 10, 2009 9:47 AM

i know your pain. i had that diagnosis two years ago, in ga., by the way, and people acted like i was making it up. sure, they'd pat me on the head with wild "oh yeah, right" eyes peering off to the side. it's a bruiser. it took months to get over, sorry to say.

Posted by: dramamama at March 10, 2009 10:43 AM

I've been gone from FTK for many months due to having my first baby. But now I am back on the computer and have caught up on all of your posts.

So it appears that I've almost completely missed your illness. So glad to hear it now has a diagnosis and hopefully a cure very soon.

Most importantly, the book is finished (well, into revisions anyway). HOORAY! Now the important question, when can I get my hands on it :)

Feel better soon!

Posted by: Patti D. at March 10, 2009 11:19 AM

Yikes! Our school sent out a notice yesterday that it's going around.

Sooooo glad to hear Maisy's finally feeling better. I hope the vet can make you feel better immediately too.

Posted by: Katrina Stonoff at March 10, 2009 11:28 AM

EGADS !!! Thank heavens you have a name for your crud. Rest up and feel better and don't self diagnos no mo'! (... okay, that last little bit might be asking too much).

Posted by: eden at March 10, 2009 12:58 PM

It is nice to have a name. . .a name to actually call it. It's nice to know that you are, indeed, NOT a hypochondriac with horrible, terrible lung diseases--aside from whooping cough, that is.

My daughter had scarlet fever five times. FIVE TIMES. Turns out that scarlet fever is the rash that comes with strep and removal of her tonsils cured both things, but the first time she was diagnosed I had visions of the Velveteen Rabbit and big piles of smoldering stuffed animals.

Get well.

Posted by: Roxanne at March 10, 2009 1:02 PM

Saints in Pertussis? OF Pertussis?

Isn't it just a little bit good to know that you WEREN'T having the miseries over "just a little boring cold," but were in fact SUFFERING from THREE WEEKS of PERTUSSIS, a horrendous DISEASE that apparently makes you WHOOP your LUNGS half-way out? Apparently, you HAVE been a saint, as any AVERAGE person with PERTUSSIS would have been huddled miserably in the Emergency Room every night, moaning ghoulishly, or, worse yet, would have been unable to STAND it and would have wandered away into the woods... Okay. I think I have made my point. Thank heavens you now know what it is and the Vet can make it GO AWAY!!


Oh, and I didn't get a chance to respond to your previous (hilarious) post about Slovenly Nocturnal Novelist-Creatures. So, have you finished that book yet? And, have you decided on the title??


Posted by: Jennifer at March 10, 2009 2:18 PM

As someone who first got bronchitis when I was 3 weeks old, and who had it like clockwork every winter for ages, I so, so sympathize. Yes, PHLEGM SUCKS!

In fact, I think I might have that put on my headstone when I go.

Funny, though, I don't think I ever got whooping cough.

Not that I want it, mind you.

Just out of curiosity, though, do you actually go WHOOP WHOOP when you cough? I thought that was one of the ways the doctors diagnosed it.

Posted by: firefly at March 10, 2009 2:57 PM

Darn it! I was sure it was TB! And the dratted pertussis is not nearly as antiquated as we all would like (neither is TB).

(adults less likely to whoop than unvaccinated kids, but that vomiting after the coughing fit? classic)

Who am I? The random public health nurse who usually lurks over here in the shadows of your blog. Nothing like infectious disease to bring me out for a moment!

Enjoy improved health and sleeping for all! (Don't expect the cough to magically disappear though)

Posted by: Gwen at March 10, 2009 3:33 PM

Good grief, who'da thunk it?! They didn't whip out leeches to treat it did they???? Hope you and Miss Maisy both are both totally whoop-free soon.

Posted by: DebR at March 10, 2009 4:09 PM

Amen on finally getting a diagnosis (or at least for Maisy and hopefully for you as well). I just have one question. Have you finished the book yet?

Posted by: Deborah P at March 10, 2009 5:04 PM

I had this last year. You will feel better, but if they gave you what they gave me to make me feel better...

Well. Just don't be alarmed at the little green men and the fact that you are apparently shrinking and also the fact that you get home from work and have no idea where you are or how you got there. It is just the megaton anti-whatever, and your senses will return to you, eventually.

Posted by: megan at March 10, 2009 5:50 PM

Now THAT is scary. Not that lower-long leprosy didn't sound scary, but we all know there is no such thing so the scary was pretty much imaginary. But whooping-fricken-cough? That's for-reals kinda scary. What's next, diphtheria? consumption?

Posted by: kmkat at March 10, 2009 7:08 PM

Just an enquiry from One Across the Pond - you weren't all vaccinated against this as babies? I was, and I'm more than a year older than you, Joshilyn (the Meaning of Life Birthday is creeping up on me...) Measles, nope, no vaccine at the time; but whooping-cough, no hassle... Poisoned sugar-cube, according to my mother....

Posted by: Liz at March 10, 2009 8:30 PM

I bet you don't want to know that pertussis is clinically diagnosed by a 100 day cough. Yes, darling, I did say, 100 days... of coughing. I'm so sorry. Truly I am.

Posted by: Debra at March 10, 2009 8:48 PM

I had that. It SUCKED dirty old sticks. You will be sick 90 days. 120 if you used to be a smoker. Pinky Swear.
My deepest sympathy and buy a really whole lot of ricola drops.

Posted by: Juno at March 10, 2009 9:31 PM

Eek! A version that can sneak PAST the vaccinations!? Bummer, I'd thought my baby was safe.

At least now they know what it is, maybe they can find a treatment for you that doesn't cause hallucinations.

Posted by: Brigitte at March 11, 2009 8:41 AM

Apparently, like Tetanus shots, one needs a booster periodically, otherwise immunity decreases, so the shots we all got as kids are probably no longer protecting us. Perhaps that should be a note on ALL of our "questions for the doctor" lists (assuming that you are a little OCD like me and keep such lists)--"should I get a FRICKEN WHOOPING COUGH vaccination again?"

From my internet research, it appears that the "whoop" refers to the great gasping breath that one must take after a prolonged coughing spasm has completely emptied one's poor stricken lungs. The Internet Powers That Be also say that it is not unheard-of for a person to TURN BLUE while in a coughing spasm, due to the inability to take a breath in.

Yikes! Feel better soon.


Posted by: Jennifer at March 11, 2009 10:54 AM

Hey Tulip, just wanted you to know someone posted a review of Gods in Alabama on Suite 101 today. Here is the link for you (and no, sorry it wasn't me)

Feel better soon Joss

Posted by: Tina at March 11, 2009 11:53 AM

GAH, sorry I meant it was up on the "recommended" list today, it was originally posted in 2006 :) sorry, but its still getting exposure;)

Posted by: Tina at March 11, 2009 11:54 AM

When you mentioned how many days + the vomiting, I wondered.

A year ago, the freaking whooping cough would never cross my mind.

But it seems to be making a come back...

Please take care. I can't believe you finished your book while you were so sick.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at March 11, 2009 12:39 PM

soon as I heard "cough til you vomit," I thought whooping cough. It ran through our town a few years ago, and that was the symptom we held onto the longest. Buck up, only three weeks to go.

Posted by: melissa Montez at March 11, 2009 7:09 PM

FYI, just today the CDC put up an update about pertussis. Not so uncommon, it turns out.

Posted by: mom, again at March 12, 2009 9:59 AM

Bless your heart, being sick and having a sick child has got to be in the top 5 worst things. You have such a gift- you can make a nightmare sound funny. Glad you're on the mend. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger?

Posted by: Judy Black at March 12, 2009 12:57 PM

Not that uncommon as we would have thought. My sister, who is FIFTY, got it last year!! Had to wear a mask & the whole nine yards. that you posted this, maybe I better bring my daughter in...she has had this "cold" for over a month too!! YIKES! Sending some happy healing thoughts to you and yours!!

Posted by: Nicole in WI at March 13, 2009 10:47 PM

I once had a cold that I absolutely KNEW to be West Nile instead. When I went to the doctor and said, "I think it's West Nile," she smiled condescendingly and said, "Well, there's no test to definitively rule that out, but..."

That was all I needed. I didn't listen to anything else she said, and have spent the last three years talking about "the time I survived West Nile."

But you're luckier. You really HAVE pertussis. I'm so jealous.

Posted by: TC at March 17, 2009 7:13 PM