You won't believe this. I didn't. I've been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly called whooping cough. Apparently the immunization I had as a child is no longer doing its job! Fortunately, I caught the disease during the early stages and took a specific antibiotic which not only makes it so I can’t pass it on to others, it may considerably lessen the recovery period. Normally, pertussis takes from four to eight weeks to run its entire course. The disease starts with cold-like symptoms, and usually by the time you suspect that something is seriously wrong, it’s too late to do much about it.
The day before I started feeling symptoms, the family I got it from called me and told me they suspected they had pertussis because they’d been sick for weeks and a family in their neighborhood, who had contact with their children, had been positively diagnosed with the disease. Still, I wasn’t at all worried. After all, I’d had my share of illness recently (see previous entry). Whooping cough was definitely not on my agenda.
The next day I started feel achy and stuffy, and after another day I went into the doctor and told him I’d been exposed to whooping cough, mostly because the mother of that family was feeling so worried and guilty. I began taking the antibiotic, even though I’d be finished with it before the blood test came back. I’ve never been a big believer in fixing what isn’t broken, but the threat of eight weeks recovery helped me make the choice!
Good thing I did. The tests came back positive. I was stunned. My cold symptoms had slowly become a bit better, and I hadn’t started coughing horribly. I was weak and tired, but that’s normal for a cold. Yikes! Since then the coughing has stepped up more, but at least I’m not contagious. I’m praying my children and husband don’t get this. If any of them start to feel achy with a cold, I’m taking them in. Meanwhile, I’ll just sit here and cough for a few more weeks.