Cough, Cough, Pee…

Illness, plus pregnancy-related incontinence, has been debilitating and humbling for me this holiday season.

Last night, I coughed so violently that I vomited—violently—about 10 times.  It’s because I have Reactive Airway Disease (RAD)—asthma—that becomes more severe during pregnancy.  It was first diagnosed when I was pregnant with my son, now nearly 5, when I was constantly coughing and wheezing, no matter how much I rested in my attempts to recover from what I assumed was illness.  Now 23-weeks pregnant with my second child, I’m in the midst of Round 2 of RAD/asthma hell.

I knew I was run down early last week, but, pre-Christmas, I couldn’t rest.  So, I pushed on when my body started aching, then again when my coughing started.  I finished all of the Christmas shopping, the wrapping and shipping of gifts. I hand-addressed and mailed all 150 of our holiday cards.  On Christmas Eve, I made a turkey dinner for my family of five, then waited until my son was asleep to set out the Santa gifts, feeling so sick, so achy, that it took all my inner strength not to cry. 

Christmas Day, I stayed awake all day to play with my son, an only child every Christmas while my stepsons, ages 15 and 13, spend the day with their mother.  The day after Christmas, I pushed myself again, not wanting my son to be bored, taking him outside in the snow, shoveling a bit because my poor husband is suffering himself from a kidney stone. 

But, yesterday, I stayed in bed all day, napping and reading.  When my son walked upstairs from the living room, where he was watching TV with my husband and stepsons, to ask me to come down to give him some milk, I would stand my ground—from my bed—telling him to ask one of the three able-bodied men downstairs to help him.

But, while yesterday’s rest resulted in me no longer aching, no longer having any other symptoms, my coughing became so severe that I vomited—again and again and again.  My poor husband was completely freaked out, but didn’t know how to help me.  Today, he joked, “I would have held back your hair, but, because it’s so short, there’s no need to.”

As of this afternoon, I have my Ventolin® inhaler in hand, which I will use every four to six hours, as directed, to open my airways.  It’s already helping.

I’m still coughing, still going through incontinence pads, but no more vomiting.  Thankfully, no more vomiting…

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