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the county health nurse called me

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

I haven't posted because we were without power for a couple of weeks. I was late going through some mail but opened a letter from the County Health nurse dated November 2 Monday. She said I needed to call right away and it was CONFIDENTIAL. Remembering Anal Cancer sites that described it as a cancer affecting primarily homosexual men, I thought, "Oh no, I've got HIV!" I was secretly thinking maybe my husband gave it to me. (I watch too much television).

But turned out I tested positive for pertussis! I spent three months coughing and the CT scan revealed pneumonia in the lower right lobe a few weeks ago. Now that I am feeling better, I got the flu vaccination the other day and next am going for the shingles vaccination. I think doctors are just too nervous about getting sued to give us common sense advice. We have to advocate for ourselves. I am not a physician but I don't think anyone wants what I had and there are vaccines. Pertussis is highly contagious and a lot of people are getting it and our systems may be compromised. I urge you to ask your doctors about vaccinations.

Fondly,
Sandy

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Sandy,

That is so odd, isn't it? It is so contagious. Did they ever treat you for it? Wondering why your doctor would not have contacted you directly? I would have thought that they would have wanted to quarantine you and treat you right away to prevent the spreading of such a dangeerous disease.

I hope you are feeling better these days! Wondering how lng someone is contagious? Did you call your doctor?

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

Yes, my doctor, when I called him and told him I was sick prescribed a Zpack and prednisone. This is because, I find out I have a condition called bronchiectis or something like that. Oddly, he never explained this to me before, but I am sure it is the same condition my mother had, which looks like pneumonia on the ct scan. So anytime I get sick even the slightest, I am supposed to call him and do what he says. I took the medicine and a week or two later, I called him again because I was still coughing. That time, he had me come in and took the blood test and put me on more QVar, which I am always supposed to take when I am sick, I guess and go off of it as soon as I am better. He prescribed another round of the Zpack but I refused to take more prednisone because of the side affects and I really felt it wasn't asthma since it was more in my throat. I never heard from him about the pertussis. Some of this was the confusion around the storm - "super-storm Sandy". O my gosh what a mess. But I am thinking this was not good but it is the way things work. By the time I found out how contagious I was, since my doctor had told me even the last time I saw him, "I am calling this asthma", (before the CT scan from MSK said it was pneumonia). When I went to see him, I believed it was for the last time since his communication is so poor, but when I saw his friendly staff and he actually talked to me and explained to me what is going on, I hate to say good by. But I can see doctors at MSK now and I guess that's where I am going next time for a lung treatment. (This doctor is a pulmonologist who I have been seeing for years). It's hard, isn't it, to change doctors? Especially ones who have become so familiar.

Dog Girl
Posts: 100
Joined: Sep 2010

Sandy,

Isn't it amazing how fear can gripe us in a nano second once we've had a health scare with cancer? I know the year I was dx with AC I had abnormal mammograms as well. Of course I got that letter on a Friday night after I had been traveling all week, so that was a long weekend for sure. But I am always looking for the bright side so I'm thinking that if I had to lose a breast, I would get a really GOOD one as a replacement and then they would have to make the other one match, so I would have a rack at 51! Fortunately I didn't have BC, just AC... :)

I did ask my Dr. at my physical this year about the pertussis vaccine and he said if I wasn't around a lot of kids or at a hospital a lot (or nursing home) that he wouldn't recommend it. I did get my shingle vaccine though. I understand some insurance will start paying for it at 50 and some at 60. I'll be 55 in a couple of weeks, so I was lucky enough that my plan starts covering at 50. However as a warning to everyone, check with your insurance to see under what conditions they will pay for it. They covered it 100% since I was getting it at my Drs office, but if I had gotten it at a walk in clinic they wouldn't have covered very much of it. And this is an expensive vaccine.

Bottom line is I'm glad you know what is wrong and you are on the path to good lung health as well as NED foreever!

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

Aren't kids given the vaccine anymore? When my daughter was a baby she had a DPT shot or a series of them. Oh my gosh. I hated seeing her get shots. This was 42 years ago!

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2848
Joined: Jan 2010

I don't like getting scares like that in the mail! I'm glad to hear that you are feeling better. I also glad you now have power! Thanks for the good reminder about vaccines. We all need to be more carefu these days!

kirby77
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2012

Several years ago, public health was at my door and notified me of the same thing. I felt like Typhoid Mary. But the truth is I had been coughing for weeks and months, and the past two physician visits I insisted that I recieve a blood test for pertussis, and was given Azithromax twice(which is the treatment for whooping cough.)
Luckily,none of my co-workers came down with it, we work in a confined space so there was opportunity. Whooping cough is on the rise, seen more often in children but now seen in teens and adults at greater frequencies. Adults don't usually have the hallmark "whooping" cough that children do, so it's not the first thing providers think of.
Vaccination is available, and should be considered. Thanks for bringing this topic up.

Also I can't imagine having a persitent cough now, especially since even a sneeze may trigger the urgency to rush to the toilet to save myself from embarrassment.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2011

That's exactly how I felt, like Typhoid Mary!

I am sorry about the urgency problem. A pelvic physical therapist may be able to help with that. I think that is a real quality of life issue you have. I hope it will subside. I have some toilet issues too, mostly urinary. Psyllium Husks have saved me. My Colo-rectal surgeon said we can't do better than that or near as well, no matter how much fiber we try to have in our diets. The quality of psyllium husks is much better. (Pardon my spelling). Like Metamucil.

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