My Letter To Those Who Are Really Sick – Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1, no, I’m not being silly regarding the title. Many would say having COPD means that they are sick. Others think of COPD as having a peg leg, or like dragging an anvil around. Those people likely don’t think of themselves as sick unless they can’t get out of bed in their usual way one day.

Here’s a scenario: You have been to the doctor and are really sick. Your doctor likely sent you to radiology for a chest x-ray Your doctor can see some pneumonia. You maybe have an exacerbation. Your doc will likely put you on steroids, such as Prednisone, and a strong antibiotic.

Prednisone is a steroid, it’s an anti-inflammatory drug which manages inflammation of air passages in the lung. Inflammation might be present in both COPD and asthma. Prednisone is not a favorite of people, because it has some nasty side effects: it can cause sleeplessness, muscle cramping, intense hunger, weight gain, osteoporosis and more. Did you know that Prednisone has also been given for those experiencing pain? I was put on it for a Baker’s cyst behind my knee.

If you have a lot of mucus, your doctor might put you on an expectorant, such as Mucinex. Do not take this without your doctors okay, and after he/she reviews your other medications. If you have yellow or green mucus, or if you had a sputum culture that came back positive for bacteria, this can also tell if you have blood in your mucus. Your doctor will likely put you on an antibiotics, if you weren’t put on them right away.

Did the nurse take blood from you? How did the results turn out? This is the time that your doctor will review it and determine if you have something else going on. This blood panel can tell if you have signs of diabetes, if your white count is high or low, if you are anemic, if your potassium level is ok or if your cholesterol levels are high, to name a few reasons. Your arterial blood gas results will show how well your lungs can move oxygen to the blood and carbon dioxide out of the blood. It also measures your acidity (PH).

The doctor will be able to tell if you are dehydrated as well. Be sure to drink lots of water. If that doesn’t work, they might want to put you on an IV for fluid. If you don’t feel better within a matter of days or a week, the doctor will likely want you to call the office. They might need to increase your dosages of some medication or even change them. Regardless, even if the doctor doesn’t ask you to call, if you aren’t feeling better within a week or less, make a list of what you are experiencing. Then do call your doctor or his nurse and let him/her know that you aren’t feeling any better and what is going on.

Remember to pace yourself. Do move around and take your medications as prescribed. This is healthier for the whole you. I’m hoping that you feel better soon.

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

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