Tag Archives: sick

Turns out… getting sick when you’re pregnant is awful.

Ahh, the b word… bronchitis. Apparently, not something you want to get when you’re pregnant. It was the day after my baby shower (which was an awesome day – post on that coming soon!) and I started to get a headache as I was sorting through our teeny, tiny baby presents. I chalked it up to fatigue, stopped what I was doing, and climbed into bed. What followed was a fitful night of fever complete with shivering, shaking chills and inexplicable hot spells. The covers were on. Then they were off. I opened the window, closed the window, opened the window and turned on the fan. Heat went on, heat went off. When the sun started to come up, I was a delirious and sweaty pregnant person. Preeeeeeeetty gross.

In the back of my head, I knew this wasn’t an emergency or I would have gone to the ER. Something stopped me from overreacting, but I still needed some guidance and my doctor wasn’t open yet. So, I did what I always tell my pregnant friends not to do: I googled my symptoms. The internet is a whole new world of insane for pregnant women who are sick. I immediately felt myself losing touch with the reasonable person I was just a few minutes prior (that whole “I don’t need to go to the ER” thing) and started thinking things like, “This is it. You’ve gotten some rare form of the flu and have one day left to live.” Of course, my husband was away for a couple of days and that left me to talk to the dog about my newfound anxiety – he’s usually a captive audience, but he just wanted to go back to sleep since I kept him up all night with my feverish activities.

As soon as I could, with my flu fears fueling my crazy mind, I got in to see the doctor. I started going on about how I didn’t want to take any flu meds, and if it was the flu what did it mean for the baby, and what could we do and… he stopped me. He seemed much less concerned than I was about my symptoms (as in, I was convinced I was dying thanks to internet message boards and he knew that this was not the case). He gave me a flu test (which confirmed that I was flu-free), listened to my chest, and rightfully predicted that I was coming down with bronchitis. I left with instructions to rest, hydrate, and call him in a couple of days to update him on how I was feeling.

The next day, right on cue, I began wheezing, coughing, and embarked on almost two weeks of bronchitis hell. Being pregnant complicated matters – making recovery longer, more difficult, and everything in general way more uncomfortable (like coughing when a little person is smushing both your chest and your bladder, at the same time). I proceeded to create what I can only call a nest out of pillows, blankets, and books. I was surrounded by Gatorade bottles, ice packs, Tylenol, Popsicle wrappers, and spent most days watching terrible daytime television. I stayed that way for way too long – seriously, the weather went from the last dregs of winter to the first signs of spring during my convalescence. When I finally felt good enough to emerge, I disinfected everything I had touched for the previous two weeks and slowly, but surely, became a contributing member of society once again.

The silver lining in the entire situation was also what made me a little completely stir-crazy: I had to clear my schedule and “do nothing” for almost two weeks. Even well into the third trimester, I had been thriving on my busy schedule but being sick forced me to cancel everything and settle in for some true rest. I really couldn’t tell you the last time I did that!

Given all the resting I was doing, plus the sleepless nights spent wheezing and coughing, I had a lot of down time to think and reflect. In the home stretch of being pregnant, and on the brink of a major life change, I decided I was grateful for the down time, even if I was feeling really gross.

Soon enough, we’ll be welcoming the baby into our lives – learning a whole new way of balancing out priorities, responsibilities, and obligations. So, for the next few weeks I’m just going to soak it all in. Instead of over-scheduling myself and squeezing those last few activities in before baby, I’m just going to relax, take lots of deep breaths, and enjoy the calm before succumbing to the insanity of having a newborn.

I’ll let you know how that goes 😉

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It’s mid-January and it seems like everyone is sick – including myself. I’m usually very attentive to my body when I’m not feeling well, but this time around I was determined to push through – on top of the regularly scheduled craziness, I was headed to Phoenix for a business meeting last week that I didn’t want to miss plus a visit with my best friend who lives in Scottsdale. I could not, and would not, let my progressively worsening cough stop me – westward ho!

Cut to this past Monday when I was walking into the doctor’s office, tail between my legs. The official diagnosis was bronchitis (and at this juncture, I’d like to publicly apologize to my neighbors on the plane ride to and from Phoenix as well as everyone else I met along the way). I dutifully picked up my antibiotics and went home dreading the second half of my prescription: get some rest. Rest? What’s that?

The worst part about having something like bronchitis is that you don’t feel bad enough to wallow in your own sick misery, but you don’t feel good enough to operate at 100 percent. Tuesday morning I called in sick to work and tried to go back to sleep, but with my mind racing, the dog barking, and the sun up… there was no sleep on the horizon. Since I was awake, I figured I’d do what any normal PR professional would on a sick day: I answered some work emails.

A few hours later, I peeled myself away from the computer and finally set about getting some elusive rest. I watched everything on the DVR, played fetch with Cooper for a while, and straightened up the house a bit. OK, now what – watch bad daytime television and reality show reruns? I decided to put my energy to more productive use – since I was sick, I headed into the kitchen to throw together some chicken noodle soup.

Without further ado, here’s my spin on the perennial comfort food – I take a couple of liberties with the more traditional approach by using low-sodium chicken stock, olive oil instead of butter, and swapping out high calorie egg noodles with egg white noodles. This recipe is easy enough for a weeknight and hearty enough to be a stand-alone meal with plenty of leftovers. Stay warm and healthy this winter and try, if you can, to get some rest!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Low-sodium, low-fat chicken noodle soup - delicious!

Ingredients
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 or 3 large carrots, chopped
3 or 4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp. salt
pepper to taste
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (or 2 1/2 cups of low-sodium, 2 cups regular)
1 1/2 cups of water (optional) 
half of a lemon
3/4 of a package of egg white noodles
a handful of fresh parsley
whole wheat crusty bread

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium pan over low heat, then add the olive oil.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, salt, fresh pepper, thyme, and bay leaf to the pan.
  3. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Place the chicken breasts on top of the vegetables, then pour in the broth. (At this point, I usually also add about .5 to 1 cup of water to the broth – I prefer my soup to be a little less concentrated.) 
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred into small pieces using two forks; return to pan.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and add the noodles, simmering until noodles are tender. (I love NoYolks – my favorite!)
  8. Roughly chop the parsley and stir it into the soup.
  9. Squeeze in a little lemon juice.
  10. Serve soup alone or with a piece of crusty bread (I highly recommend a piece of the wheat ciabatta bread from New Haven’s Chabaso Bakery – yum!)
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