Lessons Learned from Illness

The picture I posted is of my youngest son and I on our way to Colorado. This was my son’s first trip to Colorado to see the mountains and snowboard. The weather was gorgeous. He had an amazing time. I had sinus drainage which turned into sinusitis. I went to an urgent care and received a prescription for antibiotics. Days of medicine would not be enough to clear my head and ears. The pain and pressure I experienced flying back into Texas was horrific. I do not wish that pain on anyone.

Less than a week later, I am at an urgent care in Texas with a cough and shortness of breath. I was diagnosed with acute bronchitis. I received a nebulizer treatment, a steroid shot and prescriptions for a second antibiotic (had to keep the first one going) and an inhaler. I have never used inhalers prescribed to me in the past but in the following days I was dependent on that little gizmo.

I am now a month out. I still have an occasional cough. I used the inhaler a few days ago. My energy is still low and I refuse to stand on the scale to see how much I have gained since not exercising for a month.

I have learned a great deal in this last month. First, I need to focus on my health on a daily basis. This means take a whole food (not synthetic) vitamin, a quality probiotic and use more essential oils and apply them more frequently. Second, rinse and repeat!! Third, never allow physical weakness to feed into negative mental thoughts. “Thoughts turn into things” Watch your thoughts closely. Lastly, I will NEVER take Levaquin again if I can avoid it. I have a medical background (I am not a provider so all of this information is my personal experience and lessons, not a prescription for others) and I had no idea of the risks to your tendons from taking this antibiotic. After talking with friends in the medical field, they shared stories of patients whose tendons ruptured while on taking Levaquin. I just wanted to clear up an infection in my lungs not permanently harm my tendons.

Providers should make you aware of this risk before sending you off and leaving you to find out that you agreed to and paid for a medicine that could cause permanent damage.  I wish that more medical offices and urgent care centers had more (any) nurses to provide better education and answer questions. Sadly, most of them are staffed with medical assistants (a 6 month program) that lack the necessary education and experience to support the needs of the patients. Never allow yourself to become a victim. `No one can make you agree to a course of treatment. EDUCATE YOURSELF. Take responsibility for your choices, ASK/ASK/ASK. If you don’t know…..someone else does. Contact your friends and ask them to ask their friends. One day you will be able to return the favor.

The next best advice I can give you is Google. If the doctor wants to prescribe a medication, pull out your phone and research the medication. Do not accept the prescription until you have had the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered. What type of medicine is it? (i.e.-bronchodilator, antibiotic, antihypertensive, calcium channel blocker) Why am I taking it? What is the dose? How often do I take it? What are the most common side effects? What are the biggest risks in taking this medication? What are my other options?  When you go to the I would ask the pharmacist all the same questions. Why? Because each medical provider has different knowledge and experiences with medications. I would also confirm with a pharmacist that there is no contradiction with ALL of the medications, vitamins and over the counter medications you are taking. It is a good idea to keep a list in your wallet or on your phone because when you are sick the last thing your brain wants to do is remember the details of your medicine cabinet…..accurately.

I would love to hear about your experiences with taking care of yourself to stay healthy and lessons learned from illnesses. The best lessons are the ones we learn from each other. SHARE/SHARE/SHARE