Although I have been vaccinated - even as an adult - and though my kid has all of her vaccines, I admit to feeling very creeped out by the concept. For example, every year I think of getting the flu shot and then I wuss out because the idea of taking a shot of flu - which I've experienced on a few occasions - is too horrible.
For some reason, taking a shot of DTaP (which is abstract and meaningless) seems less concerning. Though I still don't like the idea.
At any rate, if I've never been "pro-vaccine", I'm certainly a person who recognizes the need for vaccinations and has had them.
The reason I hadn't updated my pertussis shot with a booster is simply because I got distracted and busy and I hadn't been to the doc in a while. I read about the resurgence of this "disease" (people, they call it a disease) and thought, hmmm, I should make an appointment with the doc. I'm in that age-range.
And then I got side-tracked.
I desperately wish that I had taken the two hours to get the shot. So far I've missed almost 3 weeks of work never mind that I can barely leave the house (except for medical appts). I'm too tired to cook even the simplest things, though eating well is so important. Having little appetite compounds the challenge. My husband is managing everything right now - including the fucking renovation which still isn't fucking finished (plaster work is on hold till I'm well, fyi, I'm not crazy) - so he scarcely has any additional energy to throw at making healthy meals at the end of the day. Let's put it this way, M has been making lots of scrambled eggs for dinner.
I never know when a coughing fit will besiege me. I've finally determined, after many fits, that following the trigger cough, though I have exhaled (as is the nature of coughing), if I hold my breath for as long as I can (and this takes massive, conscious effort since I'm weak and panicky anyway), I can minimize the worst of the inspiratory stridor experience. When one's larynx spasms, there is no way to get air into the body until it releases (which it does on its own terms). Trying to inhale is an exercise in futility. At least if I try not to breath, I'm suffocating on my own terms (and shortening the fit). My eyes are pink from breaking blood vessels during the coughing fits. Fortunately, I haven't passed out or broken any bones from the wracking violence.
While I have hours where I merely feel very tired and blah, undoubtedly this is the most acutely sick I have ever been. The doctors assure me that I will recover, that this will not kill me, and since there's much evidence of even young children recovering on a regular basis (and this does kill babies), I have no reason not to believe them. It's just cold comfort as I encounter the worst of this.
Who makes a fucking bug that lasts 2 months-ish and is at its worst just before it gets better? Do you know how tiring it is to be sick like this for so long and then to have to shore up a maximum amount of energy just as you have practically nothing left?
I have renewed respect for, well, just about everything: people who endure chronic illness, the complex joy that is breathing, energy, optimism - and the list goes on.
Please go and ensure that your booster is up to date. Even if you don't much like the idea of vaccines. I assure you that this is thousands of times worse than any creepy feeling you will have when getting the shot.
Update: My oldest/dearest friend, a doctor, came over to visit today and to bring me food/keep me company. Man, she cleared out Whole Foods for me - my fave "food boutique" in the universe - and brought me all kinds of soup, pre-made healthy meals, quick things to eat without effort, and enriched breads (like challa and cranberry loaf). While she was visiting , she did an evaluation, observed the stridor (which hospital docs hadn't seen in action because it comes and goes and they weren't in the room when it happened) and prescribed me a short course of prednisone.
Hil senses that the stridor I have may be compounded by a narrow windpipe (ridiculously, this is a thing that actually runs in my family and, while it's never caused me any problems, it has been a significant and medically managed problem for various family members). I was scheduled yesterday for a laryngoscopy, to check, among other things, the state of swelling in my throat but the doctor was called into emergency surgery and they couldn't tell me when he would next be available. As I was waiting in the hospital, having had no sleep in 36 hrs, shaking from sickness, I opted to leave rather than wait and see. She suspects this is what he would have prescribed.
And of course, I'll be following up with my GP again tomorrow.
Point is, I guess they do prescribe steroids for pertussis under certain extenuating circumstances. This is one of those times I'd be very happy to be in the centre of the normal zone.
PS: Don't scroll down too far on that laryngoscopy link. Holy fuck, that looks incredibly scary. Sometimes it's better not to know what's coming. And maybe I'll be able to avoid it after all.