Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for April 14th, 2013

Went to U-C Clinic, Have Bronchitis

with 3 comments

Folks, as you know from today’s earlier blog, I have been sick for not one, not two, but five long weeks.  And I’ve been to the local urgent care clinic, Prompt Care, at least twice before . . . once I’d been given antibiotics for a sinus infection, the second time I’d been given prednisone and sent home again.

Well, today I went back to the same clinic and saw a different doctor.  This particular doctor has seen me several times in the past few years, as this particular clinic serves a lot of people in my particular situation (low income/underinsured/uninsured) but has a rotational physician system (this is why you don’t see the same doctor every time).  Anyway, he said three things:

  1. I have acute bronchitis,
  2. I do need an antibiotic, and
  3. He doesn’t know how this was missed the last time I was in there, as he agreed I’ve been sick with this for at least the last three weeks by looking over the notes the last doctor left (they were consistent, but not as bad, as what I presented with today).

We have a very nice pharmacy here that gives out a certain amount of free antibiotics a year, and I’m going to take advantage of this free program tomorrow when they open up.   (I also was prescribed a cough syrup to help me sleep at night.)

Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same as before — rest as much as possible, drink as many hot liquids as possible (tea with honey, again, or clear soup) to break up the phlegm and work to tolerance (he was surprised I could work at all under the circumstances, and said that I’m much more ill than he can ever recall seeing me — which, considering he works at an urgent care clinic and has seen me ill many, many times, is really saying something).

Anyway, that’s the update.  But I’d still like any thought you might have, including anything regarding holistic cures, because this illness is obviously very, very far from over.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Still Really Sick

leave a comment »

Folks, if I knew what was going on for sure, I’d have put a stop to all this coughing, wheezing, and sneezing weeks ago.


I’ve counted up how long I’ve been sick and it’s been at least five weeks.  I have been to the doctor twice in that time (Prompt Care; all I can access and afford).  Once I was given antibiotics; the second time I was given prednisone, mostly because I have been on antibiotics five times since late October and the doctor was afraid the antibiotics were not helping.

As a woodwind musician, I have better lung capacity than most.  And I found out years ago that it is possible for me to have a bad bronchitis or even pneumonia and have it not sound nearly as bad as it is due to my extra lung capacity.

I wonder if this is why I keep staying sick and nothing seems to improve.

I am going to have to go back to the doctor again in the next few days, and I will do it.  I’m not looking forward to it, mostly because I know I have limited energy and I hate wasting my time on things that are intensely frustrating (like the doctors telling me I’ve already had five courses of antibiotics since October, so this can’t possibly be an infection).**  But I don’t see a choice; I’m going to have to go, and I’m going to have to insist that they do a chest X-ray if I continue to cough like this for another twenty-four hours.

This is why my editing (paying work) remains way behind and I have absolutely no idea when it can be finished — something that’s never before happened, even when I’ve been extremely sick.  But usually, within three to four weeks, I’ll start to have a bit of physical energy, stop coughing, my sinuses will drain and then I’ve been able to get caught up again.

Not this time, I fear.

Those of you who pray, I’d appreciate some support right now.  And for those of you who don’t, please wish me well, send positive energy if you have any, or even send along your best home remedies for nasty coughs that don’t go away.  (Maybe it’ll help, and it certainly can’t hurt.)


** Note: The doctor I saw last week had no doubt I was sick.  He just didn’t think this was an infection, and I didn’t present in a way that was symptomatic for pneumonia.  But I’m wondering if, because of the one time I actually was diagnosed and how many times I had to go back (three) before I got a chest X-ray and thus a diagnosis, I just don’t present in the usual and expected way due to being a woodwind musician since the age of ten or eleven.

Written by Barb Caffrey

April 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm