Nearly 4 weeks ago I caught a severe disease. It started like a small flu, feeling tired, and needing afternoon sleep for five days. Then severe coughing ensued. Coughing and unbearable migraine. I got antibiotics and felt like drowning in my own lung-fluids for a couple of days. I had almost an NDE on a Sunday morning, gasping for air as if I had not taken a breath for 3 minutes. I got another box of the same pills and took them all. 10 days after the first pill, I felt like 85% of my former self. This was a strong improvement.
But after that, things stopped improving. Ups and downs from day to day, around that 85%.
A paroxysmal cough emerged, 5 to 15 times a day. Sometimes this cough caused near unconsciousness and sometimes closing my throat completely and preventing to breath for 10 seconds, feeling like choking to death while wandering around. This was more frightening to my family than to me.
So this week, Monday, 3 weeks after day one, I decided to be good enough to follow a course for work. That was a big mistake. Coughing like a barking dog doesn’t seem very polite in business conditions, so I had to go out and escape more than a couple of times. But much worse, I had no concentration anymore after just two hours.
So doctors again.
On Monday I saw Mrs E. She told me to lose weight, an advise I started following immediately. Diet is always related to health. 3 weeks of disease had already eaten 2kg.
On Tuesday I saw Mr H. He said he didn’t hear anything. What a surprise. Then he told me my blood pressure was too high. It always is when people are watching. Doctors are people. When I had my own meter, measurements were usually normal, except when someone wanted to watch me take it. This says more about my psychology than about my body.
On Wednesday I went to see Mr. S. I see him every 10 years. This was the third time in 20 years, and probably the last time because in 10 years time it’s very likely that he will be retired. He put me on some breathing machines with Helium and Nitrogen-oxide and took an X-ray of my lungs. He told me my asthma had completely gone. This was a complete surprise. He took away part of my identity. Now I have no more chronic disease to brag about. But I still coughed like a barking dog, be it only 6 times this Wednesday. He said my lung capacity was excellent. He didn’t hear anything either. He said that a severe bronchitis can lead to coughing for 4 to 8 weeks, after it has been cured.
On Thursday I went to see Mr. V. He remembered having removed my tonsils 20 years ago, and told me they were still absent. Then he went to look very deep in the abyss of my throat. This was the most painful procedure. But he saw what I had always felt these past 4 weeks: just below my vocal chords, in the higher parts of my wind pipe, I had the remnants of a severe infection, leading to a lot of fluids, and paroxysmal coughs. “It’s almost cured”, he said. “Just rinse your throat with chamomile tea, 3 to 5 times a day. But I smell that you have already been doing that. It’s too late now to find out whether you had a pertussis or not – but you will be back to normal in less than two weeks.”
So here I am, with a deep soar throat. Needing only tea to alleviate the pain, and patience for the coughs.