So the asthma takes a win, and now I'm concerned about work

Hi guys,

So as you know, we had the hurricane. That two weeks basically came to a stand still, but also had bits and pieces of emergency issues, phone lines being down, and people generally getting back to normal. I must say, everyone was very stressed!

Meanwhile, I had started this new job in May as a pediatric oncology social worker. Well, it's really two jobs as I cover several inpt. floors and but also a whole outpt. clinic. Generally, I never feel like I'm in the right place at the right time! But after my boss moving to extend my probationary period, which really there is just too much to be done at this job, I worked overtime, caught up on a bunch of paperwork, and was doing well. I was due for a day off the day the hurricane hit :(.

So anyways, found out yesterday that they are taking me out of the oncology clinic, and putting me on an adult ICU floor as they think my skills would be better used there. Frankly, I'm a bit mystified why the doctor in my clinic and I didn't get along, but I'm also relieved because I think this arrangement might be much better, less stressful, etc.

Anyways, so I've been having an asthma attack for two weeks. Well yesterday I finally called and got 10 days of antibiotics. I also tapered down to 20 mg pred. Well...I've been wheezy since about 2:00 yesterday. I was hoping it was a fluke and used my neb. several times throughout the day/evening. Well, come to find out...I definitely have bronchitis and a sinus infection. I am miserable. My peak flow is down. Except, I'm not sure what to do about work today. I need to transition my clients to the new social worker, and there is a big patient case that I have all of the parts to work on.

I don't know. What would you do? I was thinking maybe I could go in for the morning, just to do the two most important things. But really I think I need to rest today, nurse my cold, and take lots of neb. treatments, so that tomorrow can be better.

Also, I think I might need to call my doctor to see if he wants me to go up one dose on my pred. taper, as I'm still having breathing issues. And I look at the weather outside, and it's all fallen dead leaves, and this awful misty gray. Perfect mold weather!

Bee

8 Replies

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  • Hi Bee, I really feel for you. You need to prioritise the important things. I think you should see your doctor and check your condition and your medication. I know your job is importatnt so maybe like you say go in for a couple of hours, take your time, do what must be done then go home and rest. Ive just had a 3 week exacerbation, ive lost time at work...not appreciated but understood and lost 3 weeks of college, so loads of catch up. you have to take care of your health Bee, or your might get worse. Take care, keep warm and dry, eat well, and rest. Well thats me mothering you, hope you feel better soon. x jay.

  • Thanks Jay! You said all the right things :). I hope your asthma is doing a bit better too.

    So I staid home today...best decision ever! I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning, having trouble, and had to do two back to back nebs. Then I upped my pred. to 30 mg for the day. Then I went for acupuncture, which is very relaxing which made for a good day for the most part.

    But still, this evening, about 5 p.m. started having trouble again, and was coughing so hard I couldn't catch my breathe. I definitely have bronchitis, if not pneumonia (I've had pneumonia like 16 times and that's how I cough when I get it).

    I think I will go into work tomorrow, best I can, but call my doctor and see what he wants me to do. That coughing attack was scary! I've had worse, but really sometimes I feel very alone with this. My friends are pretty much useless for advice...or I should say it's just out of their experience. But sometimes it seems unfair that I have to make decisions about this, when sometimes, even with a detailed asthma action plan, I don't know whether to think ""well, this takes some time to turn around and I'm following the plan"" or ""um I should go to the ER.""

    I feel a bit better now. I can breathe, just generally uncomfortable. I'm off to drink some tea, then do another neb., then take my steroid inhalers.

    Bee

  • You really are suffering arnt you Bee. Im glad you didnt go to work and had a chilled day. I had a review yesterday, thought i was doing well compared to where i was but she up'd my steroid inhaler to 8 times a day and said i must see the dr if not significantly better by monday. hey ho. You do sound poorly though. I really think a trip to the doctor is needed to help you get some control. Im a receptionist in an Emergency Centre and dont you every worry about going, we see lots of people who need some help with their asthma, if you are on your own its scary to deal with an attack and having people about who understand can be very helpfull and comforting. Keep in touch and take care Bee.

    Jay

  • Thanks Jay. Yeah it's been crazy this week. I have a newish job, but have been nicely surprised...my supervisor and others have been really caring, and have had no problems with my doctor's appointments or using my neb. at work.

    It's been pretty bad though. I take one dose of pred. in the a.m. 15 mg and one around 5 pm, 15 mg, and I can tell by the minute when it wears off! Then I get confused, because when I'm busy at work I forget about the pred. wearing off, but my neb. wears off about the same time. So I'm always like ""oh yes, I need to take both!"" As I'm wheezing, getting tight, and wondering why I feel so bad.

    One good thing is my doctors have been very attentive, and I'm supposed to talk to both of them on Monday. When I went in the other day the ENT took cultures and sent me for a CT scan of my sinues, so I guess I have a horrible sinus infection. Then the pulmonologist was like ""darn when you get sick you get sick!"" He put my on Augmentin for my lungs, but they tell me this doesn't cover every bug for the sinuses, so they might put me on a second antibiotic on Monday.

    I guess because of the hurricane they were concerned about the water supply too, and any saline that could have...well been contaminated. I got a real talking to! I am supposed to go down on my pred. dose on Monday, but at the moment I am highly skeptical that this will work.

    This weekend I plan to hang out, read, drink tea, and use my meds. The asthma does seem better at home, as my apartment is much more allergy friendly than most other places.

    I will check in though. It's comforting to know people here understand. One thing I did find out is that if I am sick, my pulmonologist has orders to put me in his schedule that day, so this is awesome!

    Bee

  • Well, so I've hunkered down for the weekend for a good long rest with a book. It looks like I'm going to be spending quite a bit of time on here, as I have no voice, and I'm in withdrawal from communicating with the outside world. Oh, and I'm on oral steroids, so please excuse me, but I'm a bit rambling!

    Doing O.K. at the moment, though. I can breathe pretty well, but I can hear this weird crackling noice in my chest if I sit still. It's kind of freaky, but I don't think it's any worse than my usual. LOL.

    I also went and got makings for chicken noodle soup, so hopefully that will do the trick!

    Bee

  • That sounds like a great plan...and don't worry, I ramble much more than you even when not on steroids! lol.

    Hope you have a nice rest and lots of reading material (Kindle? The instant gratification can be a bad idea for reading addicts like me, but so good as well!)

    Hope the crackling noise goes and you feel better soon. It does sound like at least you have a great employer and medical team; obviously you'd rather not need all this, but if you have it then it must make things less stressful to know they're understanding and you don't have to fight to get anywhere! I used to find it the hardest, even with less severe symptoms than yours, to be stuck in limbo not knowing who to call or what to do; much better now I have someone I can get in touch with who can advise.

    PS Just remembered - are you playing the cello much these days? Hope it was ok during the hurricane!

  • Hi Philomela,

    LOL. Great minds think a like. Yes, I think my cello is O.K. I stuck dampits (humidifiers) in it during the storm, as I was parched, so thought it must be :). I keep meaning to tune it up when I have a bit of energy, and am thrilled that our new church organist, who is from Austria I think, says she'd like to play some Beethoven and Schumann. It's so hard to find a pianist that accomplished...so I'm thinking of working slowly up to a recital maybe.

    So the weekend of rest worked pretty well, I actually knit a whole hat, which was quite nice to wear today! But I went back to work today, and as predicted, things got worse again. Still a bit better I think. Well I'm not getting bad chest pain anymore, but get quite wheezy when the pred. wears off in the middle of the afternoon, and definitely need my neb!

    And what a day. I've been reassigned the ICU (ITU I think you call it), and since my supervisor was out today, there was no um...orientation? So I was thrown on this floor, along with my others, and of course still feeling quite under the weather, with new people no less.

    Then I called my pulmonologist, and he was like, why are you calling me, it takes a while to get over a sinus infection? Well, he told me to!! But when he called I was on the middle of this new floor, with new people, and had to find a quiet place to talk to him...which took forever because I was sort of lost on the floor.

    Anyways, he agrees I can stay on my current dose of pred. for 4 more days of 30 mg. Thank goodness, because it's working, but just barely. Because maybe I'm crazy, but aren't you supposed to wait to taper until you can actually breathe more normally?

    Then I'm waiting to hear back from the ENT doctor about the antibiotic. At least if I don't hear from him, I'm supposed to see him on Wed.

    Does anyone else find it just takes forever to feel better? I've done everything my docs have asked me to do, and tried to be more stubborn than the asthma! But sometimes I just get so sick of taking another breathing treatment, or taking more pills. I know I have to though, but like you said, I know a lot of people who get along fine without 5 doctors.

    Bee

  • So good news...I heard from the ENT, and the sinus infection bug I have is responsive to the antibiotic I've been on for a week. So it's working, it just feels like it's taking forever!

    Bee

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