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Worst Winter of my Life!!

Worst Winter of my Life!!

What. A. Winter.

I’ve never been so sick, so many times.

A weakened immune system

It started in December when I had bronchitis. My lungs were on fire and I needed an antibiotic and a course of oral steroids (prednisone) – which impairs the immune system.  I knew I didn’t have a choice. It was either take prednisone or end up in the hospital. (As a mom to 3 kids who were hospitalized numerous times with asthma and pneumonia, I knew what the possibilities were.) So I took the prednisone.

I knew my immune system would be impaired, but I am a germaphobe and felt like I could protect myself. Then January came, and I started a cold and low-grade fever. I thought, “Here we go again!” I was preparing for the worst and was worried since I was scheduled for a flight a few days later. I was really surprised that my cold only lasted a couple of days. Yesssss!

Then came the flight back, and The Hubster was sick with what we thought was a cold. But then he got worse. He ended up with influenza (the flu.) I tried to avoid him and stay in another area of the house, but I got sick anyway. I went to Urgent Care, and told them that The Hubster had the flu and I feel like I’m getting it too. I also told them that  I have asthma and was on prednisone in December, so my immune system is down. Urgent Care doc was surprised to hear that my lungs were already full of gunk, so they started me on prednisone (again), and an antibiotic.

From one sickness to another

Fast forward to March, and I started with a little scratchy throat. I thought, “This can’t be happening….again!” How can I be sick so many times this winter? I have used almost all of my sick time at work and am now using vacation time while I am home sick. (I don’t work at one of those places that let you work from home. I am supposed to be in my office 40 hours a week.)

So, I headed back to my Primary Care Doctor this morning (since I can’t get a same-day appointment at Asthma Doc’s office.) I had to remind Primary Care  Doc that I have asthma (which lets him know any respiratory infection is going to be 10 times worse for me.) And to remind him that I was on prednisone in December and January, so my immune system is down.

I feel like my lungs are a LITTLE bit better than January’s bronchitis, I’m not at the “burning” stage yet, so I want to hold off on the prednisone. I feel that if I go on another course of prednisone, it will set me and my immune system back even further. He agreed, and said to try the antibiotic first and see if that helps me get better. Then he diagnosed me with bronchitis, laryngitis and an ear infection.

So, time for chicken soup, orange juice, nebulizer treatments and cough medicine. And some mindless entertainment on Netflix.

Anyone else having a rough winter?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • kristalelzey
    1 year ago

    This was me last summer!!! Three viruses back to back and I still feel that I’m recovering. I understand 100% how you feel. You’re lycky your doctors understand. My primary kept telling me that I had costochondritis!!!!! Many months later I’m diagnosed with severe adult asthma and I’m on two inhalers, singulair, nebukizers and a slew of allergy meds.
    Hang in there

  • Andrea M Jensen, CHES (R), AE-C author
    1 year ago

    I always remind them that I’m a Certified Asthma Educator (so they know that I know what I’m talking about!) And I know my normal treatment when I have bronchitis and which antibiotic works best for me. Good luck to you and I hope you can start to feel better!

  • tlinseman
    1 year ago

    My sentiments exactly. Lab-confirmed diagnosis of influenza B in January. I was prescribed antibiotics, Tama-flu and prednisone. I recovered completely, then just last week April 5, first a sinus infection, spread to lungs, doctor’s visit, and same prescriptions. At least I didn’t get pneumonia – I’ve had the vaccine: I’m over 60 and have asthma.

  • Andrea M Jensen, CHES (R), AE-C author
    1 year ago

    It’s frustrating when it’s one illness after another! I’m hope you are feeling better with your last bout of illness. Take care of yourself!

  • ejmartin2001.
    1 year ago

    @klizdunc, has your doctor tested you for eosinophilic asthma? I was recently diagnosed with it. Your immune system would be permanently compromised, and you would have multiple food and medication allergies, which you hadn’t mentioned. I was begun on immunotherapy injections (monthly) to boost my immune system, which would reduce lung flares, and greatly reduce the number of times you would require antibiotics and steroids. I wish I’d been tested earlier, I’m 55 now and already have osteopenia. Good luck!

  • Andrea M Jensen, CHES (R), AE-C author
    1 year ago

    I have already scheduled a visit to check into that. I do have multiple food allergies as well as seasonal allergies. My last endoscopy showed some unusual results. I’m so glad you have found a diagnosis and can get the help you need. Asthma is so tricky to treat since it has so many endotypes and phenotypes. Luckily, more and more doctors are becoming aware of the different types of asthma. Good luck to you too!

  • Rosemarie
    1 year ago

    I too have been dealing with illness this winter. It took three months for my lungs to clear from double pneumonia and shortly afterwards I developed bronchitis, for which I am taking antibiotics and prednisone. I am interested in your comment about eosinophilic asthma. When I had a general blood test (CBC) this year, it indicated a very high eosinophilic count, and I do have allergies. Is that something for which immunotherapy injections are indicated? Are those also called “allergy shots”? I did receive allergy shots many years ago but they were not very helpful. Thank you.

  • klizdunc
    1 year ago

    I agree! I tnought last winter was bad, but this has been the worst! My asthma only bothers me when I have a sinus infection. I had a sinus infection in December, another 1 in February along with bronchitis. In February I was given antibiotics and prednisone. The beginning of March, I felt like I was getting another sinus infection but I was bound & determined to fight it myself! Lots of fluids, fruits, Neti pot, nebulizer treatments. I thought I was getting better & my cough seemed to be improving & then I woke up in the middle of the night with a 102 fever, coughing & terrible pain in my back. Since it was a Sunday & my pain was terrible, I went to the ER. I was admitted for 3 1/2 days with pneumonia. I’ve never had pneumonia, but I don’t want it ever again! This winter can’t be over soon enough!

  • Andrea M Jensen, CHES (R), AE-C author
    1 year ago

    Wow! And I thought my winter was bad! This is the first winter that I was really worried that I would end up in the hospital. I’m sorry to hear that you actually did! Please take care of yourself and get the rest that you need. And I agree, I am ready for spring!

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