Well, it happened again. Back on December 12, 2012, I wrote a blog entry about my health woes. Little did I know that in 15 days, I would be back in the hospital again.
Back in November 22, 2012, 14 days after I came home from the hospital, I went in to the emergency room (ER) with what I thought was a cough caused by bronchitis. I was given antibiotics, but unfortunately, the cough didn’t get better. It got worse. I was coughing nonstop and the cough was suffocating me. Many of my friends kept telling me that I may have whooping cough, as all my symptoms (the type of cough, duration, and intensity) fit the classic Pertussis symptoms.
I went to my pulmonologist for help. He gave me prednisone (a steroid), which stopped the cough for a few days. However, I soon needed to be off this steroid because it affected my muscles and I was unable to climb stairs and get off sitting positions. My proximal and girdle muscles were so weakened. Fortunately, as the steroid left my body, my muscles returned to normal.
As the cough didn’t get better, I kept returning to the ER, only to be given some medication that didn’t work and a few days later, I’d be back in the ER again. On December 27, 2012, I went in by ambulance and was admitted as an asthmatic patient. In the hospital, I was given megadoses of a steroid called dexamethasone (decadron). As decadron is 6.6 more powerful than prednisone, my muscles once again were attacked. I stayed in the hospital for 13 days and then I was transferred to a nursing rehab facility. I had to be weaned off the powerful steroid slowly (it took over 1 month), and I had to relearn to walk again, as I was now confined to a wheelchair.
I am finally able to function a bit. I still have difficulties getting off chairs, but once I’m up, I can walk as if nothing happened.
And the for those of you who are wondering what my cough was, here’s the answer: I had WHOOPING COUGH (Pertussis). If you are wondering, I had whooping cough when I was 5 and I was vaccinated when I was 30. But, because many new parents are choosing NOT to vaccinate their children (please heed my words, the vaccine is less dangerous than the actual disease), pertussis is on the rise. Specially susceptible to reacquiring the disease are teenagers and adults. I also found out that pertussis requires revaccination every 5 years. So, go get the the DPT vaccine. You won’t suffer the way I did. And, by the way, the steroids that I was given was fruitless. Nothing can stop pertussis once you get it. It has to run its course. I wish I had known that. I wish I was not misdiagnosed.