09 May 2012

applied nursing

 As a lifelong (but aware) member of the hypochondriac society, it was only natural that since a couple weeks ago my neighbor was diagnosed with pneumonia eventually I'd get it too. I've been slower than usual shaking this annoying bothersome cold that came on with the last days of school. Stress is what one of my nursing teachers said. "Stress will do that." But I'm a healthy individual and ever since I quit smoking I am even healthier, able to weather the cold that makes most people miserable for weeks in just a few days.

So now I'm in my 2nd week, or is it 3rd? Still sniffling, not miserable but not completely over it. Yesterday I mowed, (riding mower) and had a hard time breathing. Well, it's been humid, that would explain it. Or maybe there's a lot of pollen in the air, after all it is the merry musical month of May and every day something new blooms. The birds are hysterical with it.

Pneumonia, I learned not long ago, doesn't have the typical "cold" symptoms. Defined, it is fluid in the lungs. Result of that is poor oxygenation, which can cause syncope (fainting). I'm light-headed. My cough is non-productive.

This past semester we studied, among other things, the digestive system. Once one knows the layout, it only makes sense that sleeping on one's left side facilitates bowel elimination, while lying on one's right will help gas to pass. I generally sleep on my left. Last night I switched to my right, thinking if it's atelectasis (lung alveoli closed due to fluid, or whatever) causing my light-headedness and general feeling of poor oxygen perfusion, a change in position might help shift things around. Bingo. This morning I've got a productive cough and feel more "all there."


Eileen said...

I learned something new today - I had no idea that sleeping on one side or the other could have any impact. It's good to know because sometimes things don't work as I'd like.

Hope you're feeling back to normal very soon. Take care!

meowmom said...

Thanks, Eileen :) It does help that the cough now actually moves stuff out. Dry coughing seems so pointless.