Jan. 18th, 2007

Doctor update: My lungs look clear, which is a huge relief. No lung cancer or pneumonia (which was the more possible of the options, I suspect). I sat in the room for about a half hour after handing over the X-rays. As time ticked by, I worried more. I had visions of the doctor sitting in his office wondering how he could tell a 25 year old they had lung cancer. Rational, no. Just like me, yes. This was even after the radiologist who took the X-rays showed me them - now, I'm no doctor, but my lungs looked empty. (And my stomach tiny, since it was also empty.)

So, while that was a relief, it also adds a bit to the frustration, because it means I still have no answer. My peak flow (amount of air I can exhale rapidly, or something) was really fucking lame. Really lame.

Since the cough has been going on for so long, the doctor was hesitant to assume an infectious cause, so no antibiotics. He gave me prednisone (steroids) that I'm to be on for a week with the hopes that they will reduce any inflammation in my lungs. At the same time, I'm to continue with the inhalers, whose effectiveness will hopefully increase as the inflammation decreases. I have a follow up appointment in two weeks. Depending on how things are going then, he may do more breathing/lung tests (which would have been useless to do today since I have a cold on top of everything else) and/or send me to an allergist.

I'm a little wary of the steroids since I have fairly vivid memories of my going on them a decade ago. At 16, I was diagnosed with lyme disease after the onset of my main symptom - Bell's Palsy. I don't remember the dosage, but I do remember being incredibly awake and hyper for the first day or two. Then I completely crashed. I may have been depressed, but I couldn't stay awake for more than an hour. So I slept through the remaining days I was on it. The pharmacist didn't seem to think I would have the same reaction to my current dosage and I hope she's right. Otherwise it looks like I'll be sleeping through the weekend. She suggested I don't start taking them until tomorrow if I want to have any hope of sleeping tonight. I agreed.

So, that's that. The mystery continues . . .
Mmmm. Coffee.

I woke up with the worst headache this morning. I suspect it was as a result of the beginnings of caffeine withdrawal. Often, when I'm sick, I drink much less coffee - dairy isn't so great for congestion and while, when I was a barista I could drink coffee black, it's rare I find coffee I like enough to drink black nowadays. Plus, I've found my stomach is less fond of black coffee these days as well . . .

So, after two days off the stuff, I'm in the midst of a pot. And boy does it taste good . . .
Anyone have any tried and true secrets for reducing red, puffy eyes? I've never been able to find anything that works and I'm not looking forward to a meeting with 5 undergraduates and my advisor tomorrow looking like . . . well, like I do right now . . . and I'll only wake up looking worse.



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