Have you ever tried breathing through a straw? That’s exactly what it felt like for me for a month. Either something severely messed up my immune system out of the blue, or this is an awful glimpse into my 30s. I was diagnosed with an ugly case of bronchitis and it basically screwed with my breathing the entire time. I’ve been sick for the entirety of April and am barely starting to feel better.
Speaking a full sentence would leave me winded. My energy levels were down because I was usually nursing a low-grade fever and always had shortness of breath. To spare you even more of the unnecessary details of my little medical misadventure, after an allergic reaction to an inhaler prompted a visit to urgent care, I was finally prescribed antibiotics four weeks into my sickness.
And just like that, my road to recovery was finally visible.
Being sick has been so unpleasant because it turned me into a mute little hermit who wanted to do nothing. Granted, I am usually pro hermit. But I guess if you’re forced into solitude, the fun just gets sucked out of it.
I was miserable, but here are five things that helped make me comfortable as possible!
My throat gets very sensitive when it’s dry, so the urge to cough was triggered a million times a day if I didn’t have something to help my throat. Tea and honey usually did the trick for me, the honey being thick enough to coat my throat. I like to drink decaffeinated black tea because I was already hopped up on medicine, I didn’t want the extra caffeine in my system.
I also had a lot of cough drops within reach as well. My favorite flavor is the strawberry one by Halls.
And as if the tea and cough drops weren’t enough, I had a humidifier going on as well. It was my first time using a humidifier. Let it be known that you should use filtered water. I was out of it when I read the instructions and used tap water, which may have inadvertently caused more damage than good––major user error.
Bottom line is, you’re going to do a lot of coughing, so do your throat a favor and coat it.
If you’re going to be on bed rest or couch ridden, you’re going to need some form of entertainment. Yes, of course you need some rest and sleep, but sometimes all you need to do is just veg out and relax, too. Because I had to stay home and remain couch ridden, I needed a low key activity that wouldn’t tire me out. I chose Desperate Housewives on Hulu and got all the way to season three. Yeah. Like I said, I was sick for a month, okay? I had a lot of time on my hands!
This was like a God send at times. My coughing would get so bad that I would gag (literally). To prevent this from happening, I had to take a whiff of Vicks to pull me out of the coughing spell. If anyone were to see me doing this out in public, I’m pretty sure I would get some questionable stares. But the menthol smell was soothing to my airways and it actually brought back pleasant memories of when my parents used this on me as a kid.
This one is self-explanatory. It literally helps you breathe right. When you’re feeling congested and stuffy, you’ll take any help you can get. I’ve used this product for years, mainly to alleviate the effects of snoring when I’m traveling with others. This was actually my first time using the clear ones, which I found to have a stronger adhesive and lift than the regular ones. The grip on the regular ones would usually lose some of its hold by morning, I found the opposite with the clear ones.
I’m lucky I have my family to help me through anything. Funny enough, a few of my siblings who live in different cities and states were all sick, too. We were all sick with bronchitis and pneumonia, and my siblings were there for me whenever I had any questions about random symptoms. It was a shared experience and misery loves company. In addition to my lovely siblings, I also had my parents who helped take me to doctor appointments when I wasn’t well enough to drive, and just took care of me. When you’re sick, it’s comforting to be around people you love. They make everything bearable.