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Sixth week of 'flu/pneumonia....how much longer?

(30 Posts)
Worried345 Fri 08-Mar-13 14:29:46

Six weeks ago, DS1 was off sick from school for a week and I had a similar virus - but coped with him plus f/t self-employed business. Then I collapsed at the end of that week with much more severe symptoms and, was diagnosed with full blown flu and pneumonia at OOH service.

Duly took antibiotics for a week, felt extremely ill, began to feel slightly better after 2 weeks and across the next 3 weeks, was still not fully recovered but definitely making progress. I felt nauseous for weeks and also had stomach pains and the cough went on and on.

Last two days, DCs have both got another virus - same as before and DS2 is really sick this time with chesty cough, fever/shivers and vomiting and off school.

My symptoms have now come back - pain in chest, wheezing/chesty/painful cough, shivers and fevers at night, which wake me at 3am, extremely cold all the time, to the extent I have a hot water bottle under my top when I do the school run in the car and still feel cold with chest pains. Circulation is bad and I have icy cold fingers and toes.

So it's not quite as bad as it was when it was at its worst 6 weeks ago - at least I'm not lying on the toilet floor, vomiting and delirious for hours! However, I'm NEVER this ill for this long. I absolutely cannot cope with anymore disruption to my busy life (single mum, running f/t business alone with no back-up). I NEED to be 100% well.

Haven't slept all night as up with very sick DS2 - but have still had to work all day (from home) and care for DS2 anyway and am also working this evening, after the school run for DS1.

I really can't do this anymore but have no option but to cope. Could this be swine flu or one of those recent strains that knock you for six for ages and actually kill some people?

I normally ignore illnesses and just get on with it but this one has gone on and on and on. No time to arrange a GP appointment at present and it'd be days before i could see anyone anyway. However, unless they think I need more antibiotics, there's not much they can do except, I presume, tell me to rest (which I can't do as a single mum fully reliant on my business income for all of us).

Has anyone else had such a long lasting and recurrent virus like this, recently? Could it just be that i did indeed recover from one virus but at the very last part of it, have now caught a completely different virus that the DCs have both got now?

Any hope that I'll finally be fully well in the near future?

Our house is freezing too, as the boiler broke down about a month ago, so fully reliant on electric conductor heaters only and v little and only lukewarm water from immersion heater. Don't think this has helped either and I'm at my wit's end!

Worried345 Sat 09-Mar-13 06:50:17

Bumping my own thread.... anyone suggest how long it takes to recover fully from this kind of thing and why it seems to have come back with a vengeance?

BumgrapesofWrath Sat 09-Mar-13 06:54:56

I'd get yourself to a doctor asap. If the pneumonia hasn't cleared you might need IV antibiotics

hazeyjane Sat 09-Mar-13 07:07:14

ds was wiped out for the whole of last term with pneumonia, he had a spell in hospital on iv antibiotics, and then a further 4 weeks of antibiotics afterwards.

You need to get to the dr.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 09-Mar-13 07:20:35

I am sorry you are feeling so rotten.

I am going to give you a stern word I'm afraid - your post is full of 'I can't see the dr' and 'I can't be Ill' etc. Well, you are ill and you NEED to see a dr!

Go to wherever you can see a dr fastest, so walk in or OOH over the weekend? You may need IV ABs as mentioned above.

You also have to rest. You have to.

Can you pay a temp to help with the business or pay for help at home? Do you have any friends or family who can help. It is time to stop saying you can't be ill and start working out how to get better. You risk hospitalisation from pneumonia if you won't slow down enough to recover properly.

Snazzynewyear Sat 09-Mar-13 07:26:08

Lots of illness has dragged on for bids this winter. You need medical treatment as others have said. I had three courses of antibiotics before Christmas before I was fully well again. Go to a walk in centre if you can't get a gp appointment quickly.

TippiShagpile Sat 09-Mar-13 07:33:52

Agree with others - you need to go the gp. Even if you have to wait a few days/a week for an appointment because it sounds like you're nowhere near recovering. If you had a broken leg you'd get medical help. There's no point being a martyr and slogging your guts out if you end up with long term health issues or a stint in hospital. sad

You also need to get your boiler fixed - that's just crazy to be managing without hot water/decent heating.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sat 09-Mar-13 07:37:38

FFS recognise the seriousness of what you are saying. You are very ill. Get yourself to a doctor or A&E before you collapse.
I've had pneumonia, expect to be very ill for some time. Unfortunately it's worse for you as you have either picked up another bug or the pneumonia has not cleared.
PLEASE get yourself looked at and call in some favours so you can get some rest.

Megsdaughter Sat 09-Mar-13 07:42:09

Go to A&E, three years ago I was exactly the same, it was swine flu with pneumonia, I ended up in ICU, on oxygen because i thought I could carry on and it would clear up..

I collapsed eventually and was blue lighted into hospital.

Go now!

magso Sat 09-Mar-13 09:36:25

You MUST slow down. Your body is crying out to you. Your family depend on you for the future too.
Right I had a similar tale to Megs daughter. Not SP but SN child and DH away a lot so did not feel I could rest. I got admitted to hospital and if DH could not have made it back home in time DS would have had to go into foster care!! Two weeks in hospital on oxygen and left with disabling illness and now only able to work part time. Please don't be as stuborn as I was.
Time to get medical help, and get your freinds neighbours afterschool and school contacts to help. (Hug)

Worried345 Sat 09-Mar-13 09:45:05

Thanks. I get the message. I need to go to the GPs don't I? I can't bear the thought of the OOH service again as I'm sure the experience I had there last time made me much more ill.

Had to take the DCs, drive the 30 mins journey there late at night in ice cold conditions. They were running 3.5 hrs late. I kept going in and out back and forth from my car as there was nowhere to sit in the waiting area. I kept half passing out in the car and three times, passersby knocked on the car window asking if I were OK.

DCs were crying with embarassment and DS1 was cruelly abusive to me, telling me I was faking it and to sit up and stop collapsing. Finally saw a junior doc who diagnosed and prescribed. Drove on - now v late at night - to late night pharmacy. Couldn't get anyone to come to security window of pharmacy for ages and by this time it was subzero temperatures. You weren't given access to the pharmacy itself so had to queue outside the security window. DCs were furious at not being home and warm in bed and DS1 still being totally horrible to me.

Had to wait for 15 mins in ice cold night for pharmacist to get antibiotics, then drive home with DCs and get them to bed. I never want to go through that again and would happily, happily pay anything for a GP to do a home visit, which they don't do nowadays.

So I'll phone my GPs on Monday but won't probably get an appointment till Wed/Thurs and will have to take more time off work, which I can ill afford.

With work, the kind of job I do is solely reliant on me doing it and no temp or anyone else could do it. So I can't get a fill in.

I name changed when I started a thread on AIBU when I first got the flu, as I am too enbarassed about the fact that there is literally no one I can call on for help in RL. I could try to find a nanny agency to provide a temp child carer but the DCs are too old really to tolerate a nanny but too young to be self-sufficient. Also, the extra costs would increase my current stress about loss of earnings with time off ill.

I could call another school mum and ask a favour, if necessary but I really hate doing this as I can rarely reciprocate, given my circumstances and then feel horribly beholden.

I'm now beginning to think I may well have swine flu or one of those new ones that are really nasty and that also the pneumonia wasn't properly cleared after one week of antibiotics.

Just taking 4 days off work, at the start and reducing work for the following 2 weeks, decimated my income and also has given me a backlog of other stuff - business and domestic, that is so stressful, I wake regularly at 3am every day and cos of also having the shivers/fever, don't get back to sleep before we have to be up at 6am. So I'm really worried and exhausted. Being up all night with sick DCs too means I'm shattered during the days.

I've now booked to get a new boiler and whole system fitted for the week after Easter - which is going to cost almost £5,000 and take a week to do. So that's another stress for the outlay and loss of earnings too. Meanwhile, we have enough warm water to share bath water of about a foot - one after the other - but after a month of no CH, the house - which is fairly old, has ice cold walls, black mould on the inside of windows (that was another job I was planning to get done this year but being ill and the outlay on a boiler will mean it'll have to wait now) and I never now feel warm.

I've also wondered if the window mould isn't helping the chesty coughs we all have but haven't had time or strength to start scrubbing it off with a mould remover and the spray makes me wheeze too. Might try to tackle that today.

I'd LOVE to go to bed for the whole w/e and sleep or rest but that's just mot feasible in my circumstances.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 09-Mar-13 09:55:29

No, an appt next week is too late. Get anyone you can to watch he kids & go to somewhere now. Tell them you are really ill and feel worse not better.

You must stop making excuses. Do please listen. You could end up hospitalised if you leave it.

And if your DS is rude to you, bollock him.

Pay a specialist cleaner to sort the mould on monday.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 09-Mar-13 09:57:20

You have so many excuses, every sentence is 'I could do x, but....'

I feel I am not beng nice to you but you have to stop t now and do what needs to be done. Health comes first. Because without it everything else is impossible anyway.

mercibucket Sat 09-Mar-13 09:59:24

How old are your kids? If they are old enough, you need them to pull their weight. Who would look after them if you are in hospital? Phone that person now and ask if they can help before you end up hospitalised.
I also had this in nov and it took 2 months and a month off work, and I still need inhalers now. Rest is incredibly important. It might not seem you can afford it, but better to be in debt than dead, sorry to be blunt
Big unmumsnetty hugs to you xx

tasmaniandevilchaser Sat 09-Mar-13 10:04:12

Worried JUST STOP! You're not thinking straight. You will end up collapsing, and being admitted to hospital, then you'll still have no-one to look after your DC, and your business will still suffer.

A week of antibiotics is not enough for pneumonia, standard advice is 10 days. The hospital only gave me a week's supply, it wasn't enough. It took me 3 lots of antibiotics to get well after pneumonia last year and I had tons and tons of rest, help with childcare and 2 months off work.

Your cold, mouldy house, stress, lack of sleep and the illnesses dragging on will make you very ill. I imagine you're finding it hard to eat healthily as well if you're so stressed and busy. Get some tonic from the pharmacy and keep warm.

Now is the time to call in favours. Lots of people wouldn't care if you can't repay the favour. i wouldn't.

Your DS1 was probably upset to see you so ill and that's his way of dealing with it.

Hope you get well soon, but you really really need to rest.

FancyPuffin Sat 09-Mar-13 10:14:58

I'm sorry you are feeling so crap.

I'm going to be very blunt here, apologies in advance.

No one in the history of ever has 'had time to be ill'. Your body is sick you can't can't get better by not treating it.

Re-read what you have written, do you not see that it's a bit silly to say you are this ill but going to wait confused

My dh is self-employed, this is our main income, we couldn't afford for him to be off work. He had a stroke a year ago. Not saying this to be competitive or anything just that but just because your circumstances don't fit with doesn't mean you can't be very ill. Sometimes life just sucks.

It comes down to a choice, run the OOH gauntlet today hopefully get anti-biotics and maybe start feeling better in a couple of days or try and wait till Wednesday and probably need hospital treatment.

My Mum had pneumonia and wouldn't see the doctor until she collapsed and had to be bluelighted to hospital.

Like I said, I'm sorry you feel so ill and I hope you feel better soon.

lucjam Sat 09-Mar-13 10:32:38

get a friend to have your kids, if they are a true friend they wont care that you can't reciprocate.

what about kids dad is he about to have them? or your parents/neighbour?

then get to A&E, stop burying your head in the sand, clearly you're not going to get better without adequate medical care and rest. the longer you leave it the longer your recovery wil take and the more your busness/kids will suffer.

i would find someone who can have your kids for the day with the ability to extend it to over night, take a few items with you to a and e like a toothbrush/pj's etc incase they want you in for IV anti-biotics. you are clearly really ill and you can't go on like this.

i am based in the south east and am willing to help you out if you are local. this can't be much fun for you.

now go sort it out - NOW

magso Sat 09-Mar-13 10:32:58

Its awful being ill with ill kids. If your GP practice is open this morning give them a ring. GPs often keep space for urgent patients. If closed get to the OOHs now -whilst it is daylight and warmer. Its been 6 weeks and you are feeling worse again. You need medical help and TLC - to yourself.

Hope you can all start to feel better soon.

Snazzynewyear Sun 10-Mar-13 00:06:17

My GP practice gives appts on the day for urgent cases. Ring them on Monday and be adamant that you are urgent (because you are). If they won't accept that, I think you need to go to A&E on Monday and get treatment that way. I wouldn't advise going tomorrow as Sundays are never great in hospital and I don't think one more day will be decisive, but I do think you need help asap beyond that.

Everyone else is right that you need treatment and if you want to get well as fast as possible, you should seek it sooner rather than later because the more you decline the longer it will take you to recover in the end. So it's actually more cost effective to take a week off now (for instance) than to end up taking 3 weeks off including a hospital stay because you don't get treated.

Ask whoever is your best option to help you as a favour. It's not the time to worry about paying the favour back - you can worry about that later.

You're also probably right that the coldnes of your house is not helping any of you. If you can either get the kids to stay somewhere else for a few nights (your parents, their other grandparents, their dad's, a school friend's house?) that might help them. Otherwise buy 2/3 cheap heaters and use those in the living room (all sit together there) and then in the bedrooms at night. You might be able to ask for some on your local freecycle group.

If you're willing to post location, maybe someone on here will be local enough to help in some way. I am in the nw.

VestaCurry Sun 10-Mar-13 00:35:51

Agree with all the advice about either A&E or GP asap. You sound really unwell. Please ask for help with your dc's from anyone you know via school. Sod being beholden to people, there will be someone glad to help I'm sure and a thank you bouquet when you are well again will be welcome. When you get this ill, everything goes round in your head like a washing machine on an endless cycle. It's really crap, but you must get control of the situation, so you can regain your health.

((((massive unmumsnetty hug))))

VestaCurry Sun 10-Mar-13 00:38:47

Mumsnetters will rally to help if need be, am always amazed at how fab people on here are to total strangers

Worried345 Sun 10-Mar-13 07:04:27

I am phoning the GP on Monday morning and will say I need an urgent appointment. Yesterday, there were some demands on me but I was able to spend a lot of the afternoon sitting, wrapped up with electric heaters on and this really helped.

Incidentally, the reason I name changed for this was because I'm embarassed about having no RL support. There isn't a father or ex in the DCs lives and never has been. My parents died a while ago and there is no other family around at all.

Lack of time has meant that I've not been able to build on friendships with other school mums but in an emergency, there are a couple that I would call, if say I needed to be in hospital and get them to help me sort of emergency paid child care or something. Nearest neighbours are so horrible that I've been to the police about them in the past and they'd be the last people I'd call on for help. Don't know any of the other neighbours at all.

But it really is just me and I'm usually tremendously strong. I made the decision not to got to OOH yesterday because my past experience there made me feel much worse. I think I need to be seen by my proper GP too and not just a junior doc who hasn't slept for 3 nights.

Keeping warm and staying still helps a lot. I will need to go out sometime today and do food shop as there's nothing at all in the house for the DCs to eat. But will rest later on.

DC2 has SN, which makes it harder to consider asking another school mum to have him to stay and it would also be v hard for DC2 to be away from familiar environment. Obviously, I have to balance this against the fact that if I'm hospitalised, DCs lives will be hugely disrupted and there's absolutely no one who could have them locally for any length of time. DCs have never even done sleepovers - for various reasons.

So I will see the GP hopefully on Monday and I'm not so ill as I was the first day of the original collapse when I was completely delirious for 4 hrs and vomiting constantly all that time. Thanks for all the helpful comments.

lucjam Sun 10-Mar-13 09:15:11

Glad you have a plan. Let us know how you get on. Also, why not internet shop and have it delivered that way you don't have to go out. Take it easy and hope you can have a relaxing Mothers Day, take care xx

Worried345 Tue 12-Mar-13 05:25:04

Update: saw GP yesterday, who checked out my chest. She said I didn't need more antibiotics but should understand that it can be 2 months to get over pneumonia and that I'd probably also had another virus recently too.

She also checked my blood pressure and it was high (150/70). It hadn't been tested for 10 years but had used to be low. She said BP can often go high after bad illness and not to worry. But does anyone know the best natural methods to reduce BP again - would it be exercise - which I can't currently do - or relaxation?

Finally, she cleverly noticed I had a facial sore that she said was one of those precancerous things you get from the sun and she sprayed it with nitrogen or something, to treat it and asked me to return for more treatment in 3 weeks time.

So I felt she was pretty thorough and tuned in - but of course I'm slightly freaked out that I not only still feel ill, post-pneumonia - but now have high BP and sun damaged skin, despite not having seen any sun for ages and not having been out of the UK for about 16 years now.

To recover properly, I need to keep calm and rest. Any reassurances from anyone about high BP and sun-induced skin lesions would be helpful and thanks also for all the previous support.

Stripedpyjamas Tue 12-Mar-13 08:30:40

Got a lesion on bRidge of nose some years back, tended to bleed. Having it iced is not enough. Must be removed surgically, no worries though. Routine procedure. Btw also have suffered bad colds since x mas, not as bad as you, but checked this thread for possible miracle cures! Hope you feel better soon. And my son could also be really stroppy when I was ill while I was single parent. Our anxiety is picked up I'm afraid.

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