Pertussis

Two blogs in a row about child pornography, child sex slaves and other disturbing subjects is enough. I don’t want to scare away those who read this blog.

So, today the subject is illness. Not a happy subject, but certainly different from the dark theme called out in the blog’s name: Hostile Entry.

There have recently been numerous articles written about Pertussis. I glanced at them. I’ve had my shots. I’m healthy with a strong immune system. I don’t need to worry about such an old childhood disease.

My mother had whooping cough when she was very young. She told me about it with horror, many years later. I was sorry that she’d suffered, but it was years earlier, and I certainly wouldn’t get it. I’ve had my shots. I won’t get sick.

Then, in September, my grandson Trevor caught a cough. He didn’t have a fever and when he wasn’t coughing, he felt fine. Fine enough to run around outside playing as nine year old boys do. But then, he would often stop and cough uncontrollably and then, throw up. It wasn’t an ordinary cold, that was for sure.

Evidently, this scenario is happening in countless locations across the country. Many children and adults are become infected with whooping cough, even those who have had their boosters at appropriate intervals. The medical community is now suggesting that the booster that’s usually given at age eleven or twelve should be given sooner. Trevor, at nine, hadn’t received it. They’ve also discovered that the old vaccine is stronger than the new one.

His whooping cough was treated with antibiotics to ensure he didn’t infect anyone else and to start his recuperation. Weeks later, his cough continues although he’s better.

And now, his mother is suffering from whooping cough. Even though she had the Tdap booster shot (as did I and Trevor’s great grandfather) she was infected by this highly contagious disease before we knew that Trevor had it. So she coughs. And cannot breathe. It’s frightening for her and for anyone witnessing her inability to inhale.

And what can I, the grandma and mother, do about it? Be sympathetic, which I am. But more important, I’ve delivered all the frozen chicken soup and chicken broth I made last winter and stored in my freezer, to the suffering duo. Had I saved it for such a need? Not intentionally. But chicken soup has magical properties which, I hope, will soothe their suffering over the next hundred days.

Yesterday I made more chicken soup. I’m stocking up for the hundred days it takes them to recover.

And now, the feelings of the victim herself, my daughter Susan.  I don’t think anyone wants to experience what she’s expressed, below.

I’ve vomited violently, repeatedly, out of control, while trying to clear my airway of spit/vomit/ mucus, while my breathing pipe is sealed closed for five to ten seconds or more. I cough out all the oxygen, gag and can’t inhale in new air. Then the cough spasm begins again. My body shakes, ribs dangerously bend, feeling broken. Eyes stream as if I’ve been sobbing (no – it’s just from the vomit response) which leads them to swell beyond belief. My entire body aches from the miserable workout. I have deep dark circles in a puffy face, which appears scary. It’s not what I want to be for Halloween. Today, I’m weak and shaky. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Today is day 18 of the 100 Day Cough. 82 more days of hell.

About writerladyjane

I'm a writer with an almost completed memoir, titled The Invasion. Most of the blog posts relate to the general subject of my memoir and are about my experience of Federal Agents entering my home and arresting my then-husband for child pornography, as well as the following two years of threats on me. There are also posts that are of a lighter nature and some to do with my travels, especially a trip around the world I took with my daughter. I have an MFA in creative writing from Fairfield University and live in Westport, CT.
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