Journal #8: The Last 5 Weeks

It all started April 6th, I started to come down with a cold. I had a stuffy nose, achey body and I was starting to feel warm. I knew I was coming down with a cold, so I took a half a day off school to go home and try to sleep it off.

To my dismay, I woke up feeling worse than ever. I decided I needed to go to the doctors because this had been the 3rd time over the course of 5 months that I had caught a cold and I knew something was up. At this point, I had felt a tight chest pain and felt very weak. I knew this wasn’t a cold, I had caught the flu for the 3rd time this year. The doctor confirmed my self-diagnoses and I was off with a script for 2 inhalers and some antibiotics.

I started to develop a bad cough, it sounded as if something dry was stuck in my throat. I started to cough so persistently and in particular during the night that ii felt that I couldn’t breathe. I would fall into these coughing fits and felt paralyzed because of them this lasted about a week. I went to the emergency room because I had felt so sick and light-headed because the coughing had caused me to put strain on my lungs. I walked out of emerge with new antibiotics and a diagnosis: I had asthma

After  3 days the sickness gradually went away and the cough diminished, yet something else came up. I had now developed these cough-like violent spasms that I couldn’t control. Every 15 minutes or so they would come and they would stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. I went back to the doctor and was told to take another antibiotic and another inhaler.

Drug count: 3 antibiotics and 3 inhalers (I was not taking the antibiotics all at once, I was taken off the antibiotic A and put on antibiotic B and so on and so fourth)

The spasms kept going, I was becoming more tired as the days went on. I had a bad attack and went back to emerge. After blood test and another chest x-ray, the doctor said I did not have asthma and probably had a whooping cough like spasm.

I was approaching the 4th week mark and nothing had gotten better. My attacks kept me up at night but they became a little less intense during the day. Then I noticed a change the spasms had become less violent but this time they were not leaving, they were an on going thing, 24/7.

At this point I was referred to a pediatrician and was taken off antibiotics, put on another pill and another inhaler. She then decided that the diagnosis was upper respiratory chronic cough syndrome. Two days later I went to emerge in  a bigger city and had more tests done, saw more doctors and they ruled out a tic, asthma and the pediatricians  diagnosis. I was now left with no diagnosis, a coughing spasm, pure frustration and a sheet of paper telling me to visit the ear, nose and throat doctor. Great! another doctor.

Drug Count: 3 antibiotics, 1 relaxant, 4 inhalers, 2 other medicines

After having a tube go up my nose and being told everything looked good, the doctor said it could possibly be vocal cord dysfunction. Vocal cord dysfunction is the abnormal closing of the vocal cords when you breathe in or out. It’s also called laryngeal dysfunction or paradoxical vocal cord motion. Like asthma, vocal cord dysfunction can be triggered by breathing in lung irritants, having an upper respiratory infection or exercising. The bad news was I could have this for upwards of 2 months.

So that brings me to today, I have currently been unable to go to school and sometimes going outside is difficult because of the different triggers. It has been an emotional roller coaster full of stops at Frustration Parkway and Waterworks Avenue but I am slowly on the mend and I am passing time  with you guys on my blog, so I guess it isn’t all bad!

Everything happens for a reason, what that reason is I don’t really know yet but when I do i will let you know

~Donatella

 

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