Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fighting the enemy

We've had a very wicked enemy with us the past 12 days and we 
are trying to kill it. It's called Pertussis/Whooping Cough. I've got 
it. Dennis escaped it, thank goodness.

I didn't realize until yesterday that we need a Pertussis booster 
every 10 years….To quote my Dr, "Actually the booster only lasts 
3-7 years, but we offer it every 10 years." And then she turned both 
her palms up as if to say…'I know, doesn't make sense.'

Something about how the shot is not as strong as the one we had 
growing up. …which would explain why Pertussis is back with a 

So I've been homebound for the past 12 days. But since I've been 
on antibiotics, I'm no longer contagious. Strange that before this 
illness is even very bad, the contagion period is over already. But
the symptoms continue to progress. Or like my Dr explained 
yesterday, "You are no longer contagious, but when you are 
around people, wear a mask to make them feel more at ease."
Funny, because she said that while she was wearing a mask, and I 
had a mask on, and so did the nurse!

One good thing I have going for me is I have not had an 
antibiotic in over 10 years. So the two I am taking now might 
be able to kick this Pertussis, or so thinks my Dr.

However, my odds would be a lot greater in my favor if I had 

started on the meds the very day I was exposed, or at least the first 
day I had symptoms. But I didn't know that then. "Best if started 
within 72 hours of symptoms."

I have a really good immune system. I just don't catch things like 
colds and flus and viruses. But Pertussis does not care how 
healthy you are. It is extremely contagious to every unprotected 
person who is in the same room with an infected person.

So let's see, what should I write about from bed….

Btw, if you have any sad Pertussis stories or horrors, I can't 

handle knowing them right now. Save them until I'm well okay? 
But if you know of anything that may help, I'd love to hear. My 
Dr keeps telling me, "There is nothing that helps this. There is no 

Even though I caught this from my sweet little granddaughter, I 

am very thankful she is on the mend. It's still going to be rough for 
her for a while.


Ryann said...

Sorry you have been sick. Take care of yourself.

Grandma Honey said...

Thank you Ryann.

K Raven Rozier, MA, HHP, MH said...

Hope it's not too severe and that you have a speedy recovery!

Anonymous said...

How much are you suffering? You say you're in bed. Do you just stay in bed, or do you have energy to be up and around? Are you allowing family to visit you, or are you playing it safe and telling them to stay away? Did your doc have an estimate for how long you'll be down with this? So sorry you're having to deal with this, GH. No fun.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you are sick Jill! Could you give us more details of what the symptoms are and how they progress? Is it a really bad cough? And how did Dennis escape? Did he take antibiotics? Hope that is not too many ?s!
PS It says further down on this page that I have to prove I'm not a robot. Why would a robot want to write to you?

Grandma Honey said...

I am doing really really well now!!!!! So exciting and what a relief. I've been pretty much in bed for 2 weeks. Den has never seen me sick in bed in the 15 years we've been married. I wasn't horribly sick yet…that was yet to come….but the coughing wore me out and I needed to stay by the vaporizer. Pertussis is really bad stuff. I didn't think I had such a great chance of killing it since I got started on the antibiotic so late, but every day since beginning it on Monday I am SO much better. I still cough a lot of the night, but not much at all during the day. Pertussis gets worse in the 3-7 week range and I have not hit those weeks yet, but I feel like it's going away. I've been isolated at home the past 2 weeks and have let no one in. It's so contagious I didn't want to risk it plus I didn't feel up to seeing anyone anyway. Dennis did not get it because he got his booster shot and I didn't. I feel like I'm well on my way to recovery. When I left the Dr's office on Monday she said the new antibiotic will either kick this, or I will have it for 3-6 months. I feel so incredibly blessed.

What I didn't realize about Pertussis and I don't think most people do…that unless you KNOW you've been exposed, like I was, you would never know in the beginning stages that it's a serious thing. It starts out as a very mild but strange "cold" and cough. Then by week 2-3 when people really feel sick, it's too late to treat them. I can't tell you how many people I've heard from who really suffered for a long time with Pertussis because they had no idea they had it until it was too late to treat. One little booster and we are protected. This stuff is incredibly contagious. You just walk by someone who is coughing and get it. And coughing is normally everywhere but you can't tell a Pertussis cough from a cold/flu cough.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Jill. So glad you are recovering! Are you incredibly bored from being in bed? Sounds like you are not used to being sick in bed!

Grandma Honey said...

I'm not in bed anymore, but still hanging around here. I didn't really get bored because I just didn't feel good. You know how that is.

I'm not a TV person but a friend suggested I go back to my childhood to bring peace. So I started watching episodes of The Donna Reed show on youtube. I've had enough of that, but it was sort of fun while it lasted…and also interesting how much TV families have changed. Donna Reed and her TV husband got along so well. They are kind and considerate and loving always. Very sweet to watch and more my reality. Why can't parents be written like that now on TV?

Scrapally said...

I'm sorry you have been so sick. I had not idea. Caught up in my own moving craziness and Amanda and I being sick as well (we have colds/coughs but I don't think it's whooping cough). I think ours came from unloading a Uhaul in the cold rain! Anyway, glad you are on the mend! Sending hugs your way!

grandmapeg said...

So very happy that you are on the mend! Our friend didn't realize he had whooping cough until after it got bad enough for him to go to the doctor. He thought he had a normal cough at first. He got exposed by his oldest daughter. (I forgot to tell you that)

Grandma Honey said...

If your friend knew his daughter had the WC, then why didn't he suspect that is what he had when he started coughing?…and then he could have been successfully treated earlier. Just trying to figure this out.

grandmapeg said...

His daughter's doctor never diagnosed it as Whooping cough ,but after he got so bad and went to the doctor and was diagnosed with it, they figured out that is what she had since she was still suffering with it. She lives in another town a few hours away.

Grandma Honey said...

Okay, now it makes sense. And it illustrates why we need to be protected from it because often the exposure is unknown. …so one doesn't know they have it until it's too late to treat.

Donna Tagliaferri said...

Another shot I need to get? I had no idea we could even get it......I am sooooo sorry you have been ill. It is awful and it Akers so long to be better. Coughing is the worst....I am so glad you are getting better. Hire people to help you over the holidays...much love

Grandma Honey said...

Yep another shot every 10 years for the rest of your life. Trust me, you don't want Pertussis.

Connie said...

I hope you get feeling better soon. This is the second case of pertussis I've heard about this week! Take care!