Monday, September 29, 2014

Dealing with Bronchitis While Pregnant

Talk about speaking too soon. 

In my last post, about 4 days ago, I was telling you how I was feeling much better after having a sore throat. Well, at about midnight on Friday, I woke up with the worst burning feeling in my trachea and bronchial tubes, every time I took a breath. (I didn't come up with that lingo all on my own, the doctor told me so.)

I was extremely worried for my baby because I was having so much trouble breathing. It hurt so bad, and my anxiety wasn't helping any. I tried to breath in the steam from a hot shower, and that helped momentarily. However, once I left the bathroom, the breathing was bad again, and my anxiety was through the roof. I got myself so anxious that I threw up. I was so worried about being sick while pregnant, and I was so worried about my baby not getting enough oxygen, that I called the hospital to see if I should come in. The nurse said to come in immediately. Moments later, a tired husband and I left our house at about 2:30 a.m., worried out of our minds. Or maybe that was just me. Did I mention that I worry a lot about keeping my baby safe in there?

When we got to the emergency room, we were happy to see that they weren't busy. We got in to a room very quickly. After answering a lot of questions, it didn't take the doctor long to figure out that I had acute viral bronchitis. He wanted to give me a steroid shot to help me breath, but agreed that it wouldn't be a good idea since it is a class C drug for pregnancy. Instead, he gave me IV fluids and humidified air with oxygen. That really helped me calm down and breath a little easier.




The doctor was really concerned with my heart rate exceeding 120 beats per minute, so I had to be monitored a little longer and try to relax. Anxiety + Bronchitis + Pregnancy is not a great mix, just in case you're thinking about trying it all out together. Just don't.

The ER doctor was really great. He understood that I didn't want to take any medication, unnecessarily. Also, he was willing to forgo a chest x-ray because I just wasn't comfortable with the risk of harming the baby. He didn't want to do anything that would make me more anxious and make my heart rate any faster, so he did a great job at keeping me calm and understanding my wishes.


One of my couch buddies while I've been sick.


Fast forward to today. I am doing better. It doesn't hurt to breath, and my cough isn't as painful, either. The past few days were spent on the couch, or in bed. (I made sure to stay propped up in a 45 degree angle when resting and sleeping. This helped my breathing immensely.) We have been using a Vicks steam humidifier since before going to the hospital. That thing has been by my side every moment of every day of this illness. The only occasions that I would get up from the couch or bed were to take a steamy shower to help me cough, to re-hydrate (I have been drinking about 120 ounces of water a day) or to go to the bathroom. My husband fed me and took great care of everything else along the way.

My friend that is also a nurse gave me some good advice today. She said that I should try to walk around a bit and breath deeply to avoid infection in my lungs. So, I am going to go outside and let the dogs out. It sounds so simple but it is a big step for me. After all, I just spent well over 72 hours in a resting state.

While I am still worried about the possibilities of infection, pneumonia, etc. I am trying to stay positive. I feel like there is always something I could worry about so I am trying to focus of the bright side of things. For instance, I am still feeling my baby girl kick me (mostly in the bladder) and it makes me so happy to feel her active and moving around in there! I hope she's been oblivious to all the pain and struggle I've been dealing with this bronchitis.