So my back injury seems to be on the mend. I’m down to one day a week at the PT office and seriously thinking of investing in a Teeter.  I’ve become a traction fan.  Every visit, I lay on my back with my knees bent, and the PT puts a band under my calves, grabs the ends and leans off the massage table – effectively stretching out my back. It is…better than chocolate…better than wine…and…that’s where I’ll stop. It feels great. So…unless I want to pay a PT to come to my home and pull on me weekly, I need to find another alternative. I have a friend with a Teeter and she loves it. I’m ready to hang upside down – although, since I have gained 15 pounds with my lack of boot camp, I am a bit fearful of being smothered by my belly.  Best to wear a leotard.

While my back is better, I have unfortunately developed a respiratory infection that refuses to back down.  A month ago, I started shivering at work. My office is eternally cold (I’m surrounded by menopausal women) so originally I just thought that the air conditioner had been adjusted. Nope – my coworkers sent me home when they could no longer distinguish what I was saying because my teeth were chattering.  Home I went and about half way, the shivering was gone…replaced with an “Oh, my Lord…I’m on fire!” Sure enough – I had a temp of 102.

The cough started the next day. I had a pre-set appointment with my MD for the following week. I had felt exhausted for a few days – most likely due to my usually very effective immune system trying to ward off whatever this crazy virus is. The MD reported that I had clear lungs and it just had to run its course. Two weeks later I called for antibiotics.  One Z-pack down and it’s still running.  I’m now living on Halls cough drops and a large bag of Poise pads.  Don’t judge – if you’ve never been a fifty year old women with a bad cough – you have no idea how that effects the rest of your body.  If you have been fifty with a bad cough, you already knew that was on the shopping list.

I had to teach a class on Friday after two other instructors were sick. One had been literally throwing up in the classroom on Thursday. Friday, I startWho Needs Oxygen Anyway-ed lecturing and made it through two hours before the class was begging to either hold the class outside for better ventilation or provide them with respirator masks. Talking made it worse. The last coughing fit had me doubled over – I’m sure making them think they would now see TWO teachers breakfasts in one week.  We decided that I could give them ample amounts of book work without actually being in the same room. My coworkers then asked that I leave and take my germs with me.

I’ve talked to other people with this bug and its seems to run the same course – about a month or six weeks before you finally have relief.  This is not encouraging to me – I enjoy oxygen as much as the next person.  Oddly enough, the cough hasn’t bothered my back – in spite of the fact that my original injury was brought on…by a cough. Apparently, either the traction is working or my back has become impervious to coughing. (I love the word impervious and you so rarely get to use it in a sentence!)  I guess I should be counting my blessings – it’s not often that people are kicking me ‘out’ of work – they are typically calling to say “There is a problem – when are you coming in?”  Maybe I can work from home this week- since I keep getting escorted to the door anyway. Suddenly…the cough doesn’t seem so bothersome.  I’ll let you know how that pans out – if you need time off, come see me. I’ll cough in your direction – I’m a giver that way.

Have a great week!



Posted by:Sheri Saretsky

I spent ten years as a single parent of three boys. I then married my wonderful husband and he was inducted into the world of boy raising. Now we get to add my peri-menopause to the mix! Its been a crazy I wouldn't change a minute of....

2 replies on “Who Needs Oxygen Anyway?

  1. I feel your pain Sheri. I didn’t have the back problem but have coughed for 5 months finally being diagnosed with cough induced GERD which becomes a viscous battle between sinuses and stomach contents. I’ve gone through boxes of pantyliners and become nauseated by even the smell of a cough drop. I seem to finally be getting better with the help of my accupuncturist and handfuls of herbs. Unfortunately through my ordeal no one sent me home from work! Milk it for all you can and stay home! I loved the line about wearing a leotard due to risk of being smothered by belly. So funny!


    1. Thanks for the comment! I’ve thought about trying something non-traditional since traditional medicine isn’t touching it. It did seem a bit better yesterday so here’s hoping that by June I’ll be breathing again!


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