Remembering I Don’t Have Nurse’s Training May Have Saved My Life

On Friday, I was diagnosed with bronchitis by a doctor at the urgent care facility near our home. On Saturday, the nurse from my insurance company came to do a medical profile, and as she talked with me about past and current health issues, she recognized that I was struggling.

She listened to my lungs and immediately told me that when she left, I was to return to the urgent care facility for reevaluation of my lungs. She thought antibiotic given and the Albuterol inhaler wasn’t sufficient. She scared the bejeebies out of Douglas and me when she informed us that I could develop pneumonia within a couple to four days, if I didn’t take care of the situation.

When she left, I told Douglas that I’d only been on the medication for a day, and I didn’t think it appropriate to go back so soon, and he agreed that we should give the medicines time to work. I went back to coughing my head off and suffering, believing that I would be better in a couple of days.

It wasn’t that I thought the nurse was incompetent, but a MD had prescribed the medicines and hadn’t thought I needed a breathing treatment or stronger antibiotics. For me, doctors are higher than nurses, so if the doctor was satisfied, so was I. Also, it felt like going back was similar to sending your food back to the kitchen and causing embarrassment to the chef. I didn’t want the doctor whom I like so well to think that I didn’t trust her care.

Then, early Sunday morning, I was still awake after 3:00 AM, unable to sleep for coughing. I prayed for relief, and when I finally slept, I dreamed that I was in a hospital with my throat closed up and in so much pain that I was unable to breathe. I awoke from the nightmare sweating and determined to be at the urgent care facility early.

I saw another doctor, and after listening to my lungs, she did a chest xray, ordered a breathing treatment, and told me that she was glad that I had listened to the nurse and returned. My lungs had deteriorated badly over 24 hours. Thankfully, I didn’t have pneumonia, but I was on my way. I now have stronger antibiotics, a nebulizer machine to have breathing treatments four times a day, and I am starting to feel better.

As always when I develop bronchitis from a cold, it will be a long haul to wellness, but at least I am going in the right direction today. I thank God for His timely intervention, and that He has a sense of humor and knows just what to do or say to each one of us. The dream and having a nurse come on the day I needed her are not coincidences to me.

I told the newest doctor that I should have remembered that I don’t have nurse’s training, and that I can’t think that I know better than someone who does have training and who cared enough to warn me to get help. You have to be your own advocate, as well, and not worry about hurting feelings and causing trouble. It is your health, and no one can tell the doctors what is happening but you. I realized that even if it had turned out that I didn’t need stronger treatment, it was a trip worth making.

12 thoughts on “Remembering I Don’t Have Nurse’s Training May Have Saved My Life

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  1. Oh Regina, I am so sorry you have taken ill – this time of year is especially hard. I too usually start with a cold that makes a bee-line for my lungs and wages a hefty bronchial attack. I was so worried that my fate would not be good should I get COVID19 so I have been one of those ultra-cautious people even though I don’t have any pre-existing conditions (that I know of!). I am glad you had a nurse that took the time to really listen to you. I can honestly say – the best care I have received in the past has been from attentive nurses and Family Nurse Practitioners. My hat goes off to these unsung heroes.
    I pray that you are on your way to whole health again.


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