Looking at the Mucus

Many years ago I was diagnosed with allergies to dust mites and mold after suffering with pneumonia/bronchitis every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Acute exposure would send me into asthmatic spasms resulting in the need for an inhaler and daily allergy medication. After many years on the medication my insurance company stopped covering it. I was able to purchase the tablets from a local pharmacy with money from a medical spending account. Then the unthinkable happened – the manufacturer discontinued the production. I was faced with purchasing the components individually and making my own allergy cocktail. It was so expensive that after 1 month I had to admit defeat. I went to the doctor, tried several other allergy medications and finally weaned myself off all allergy drugs. That was about 2004 and I’ve instituted other control measures like: new pillows every 6 months, changing bed linens every week, vacuuming daily to weekly, replacing carpet with laminate floors, changing the furnace filter once a month in the summer and 2x a month in the winter… Basically using every tool in the arsenal except allergy medications. And this year I have failed. I’m starting this Advent with an old familiar friend – mucus and a horrible cough which I’ve determined will NOT become bronchitis/pneumonia.

I drank lots of liquids which just fueled the mucus making machinery. I resorted to Mentholatum and Halls cough drops. At first it was just a cold at least that is what Sparky had. But mine metamorphosed into the precursor of bronchitis. I attributed this to the immunological assault of the Shingles vaccination I received. The first one wasn’t bad but this second one about killed me. My arm was sore as in “don’t touch my arm or neck or back” and it was red and hot. That lasted a week. In the interim my cold went from a minor case of post nasal drip and a slightly scratchy throat to mucus gushing from my sinuses in every direction. The only way I could breathe was to lay on my side. If I laid on my side my arm was screaming in pain. I was sleep deprived. After the arm pain subsided the mucus went from annoying and inconvenient to persistently trying to kill me and thicker than rubber cement. I drank more fluids, especially hot fluids. Slowly the mucus switched to annoying and inconvenient but with a cough. Even with the illness gone, I currently sound like a whiskey drinking chain smoker who gargles broken glass. Although I sang Alto at the Messiah Sing with saintvi, I think I could do a baritone/bass part now…

22 thoughts on “Looking at the Mucus

  1. do get well. now I know why my arm was red after the 2nd shot. we thought maybe she had injected to high. I can now sleep on that side and soreness gone. do we have to do this again in 5 yrs.?

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  2. Under the heading of “Misery Loves Company”, this post made me feel somewhat better. I used to have to wear nose tampons while vacuuming until Mike bought me a vacuum with a HEPA filter. I admire your proactive approach and along those lines, the thought crossed my mind that maybe the cats should go outside. NOT!!!

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    1. When we had cats I was tempted to vacuum them to remove all loose hair. One would have allowed it and the other, well I’d probably lose an arm! I miss them but Sparky is deathly allergic (he suffered for 7 years before son#2 was diagnosed with allergies to cats). The cats were given to good homes… They wouldn’t have survived as outdoor cats in the city!

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  3. Praying that we both will feel better soon. As far as I know I don’t have allergies, but I’m still getting over this cold thing I’ve had. BTW I’ve never had the shingles vaccine. I supposed I should, but this post doesn’t encourage me.

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  4. Hope you feel better. I’ve had few allergies since I was a kid. I was a sickly child and have pumped up my immune system. The only thing that has gotten me as an adult was when the cacti bloomed in Texas. Well, maybe you should try some honey in tea. That made me feel better.

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  5. ouch, can’t “like” this post with all the suffering you’ve had!

    I found a few rounds of acupuncture, one for ten consecutive days, ‘cured’ my sinuses for about 7-8 years. So tough getting there ten days but it sure works! Due for some more needles about now 🙂

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    1. I’m 99% sure this is a virus. At least I hope so. Changed the linens today and vacuumed twice this week. I’m pretty sure everything is as clean as I can get it.. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I will be completely cured by Christmas!

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  6. Oh, you poor thing! You really have it bad…. I wish there was some medicine that would make you feel better more quickly. It does sound to me as if you’re taking all possible precautions. I’m so sorry you’ve been so sick!

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  7. I’m glad you’re still alive honey! I find Altoid mints really open up my sinuses and help me to breathe better when I am suffering. And I sometimes use nasal mist or the Netti pot but not the latter when I have a really bad cold or a lot of drainage and sinus mucus because that would just spread it further.

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