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Monday, February 16, 2015

You're kidding me, right?

After being sick for 26 days, and failing one course of antibiotics, costochondritis finally sent me to the emergency room.
Friday night, after canceling our Valentine's plans, I started feeling sharp pain in my ribs when I coughed. I ended  awake all night, in so much pain coughing that I certainly couldn't sleep. It didn't improve all day Saturday, and overnight I was starting to have labored breathing as well, so Sunday I snuck off to the ER. I had to sneak because David was riding in a parade, and I didn't want to... I guess rain on his parade, har har. Once he left, early Sunday morning, I drove to Ochsner, even though I work at Tulane, because I didn't want to get stuck in downtown parade traffic. I didn't have to wait, but I ended  being there for three hours for:

- a breathing treatment
- a chest x-ray
- a Toradol injection (to help with the inflammation of the rib-cage - and it has helped enormously)
- a nasal swab for pertussis

But obviously it's not pertussis , because I am fully vaccinated, having received the booster in 2007 before my clinical rotations started.
Except it is pertussis. The PCR came back positive. Huh?!
At this point, its too late to treat the infection, so I am just waiting it out. I got a cough syrup  with codeine for night, so hopefully  I can sleep , and I am taking antiinflammatories for the ribs. And now I am wondering how effective this vaccine really is. There is no way ALL the whooping cough cases are in or due to the unvaccinated. It is certainly unsettling.  I wonder if we are overestimating the duration of immune memory engendered by the vaccine? 


  1. Crazy! Glad treatment is working, so sorry about the MG timing...

  2. Ugh. I am so sorry Gracie. That is awful. I hope you get to feeling better super soon!!!!

  3. Wow - that is really concerning. Is it possible also that there are variants strains of pertussis just like the flu?

    I hope you feel better!

  4. UGH I had costochondritis a couple of years ago after a particularly vicious bout of bronchitis. Worst pain of my life. I'm glad you're getting some relief from the injection!

  5. Dang, you've had a rough go of it. Being that sick, for that long would be the worst. Feel better soon, girl.

  6. Ugh, that is miserable. I'm so sorry. How much sick leave do you get? Hope you can take enough sick days to get enough rest. How long is the pertussis booster supposed to be good for?

    1. The booster is good for ten years, so they say!

  7. No wonder you've been feeling so dreadful. That's very disturbing to hear. You think that you're protected when you've been immunized.

  8. Your husband must be furious with you?! Sounds terrible...poor thing. Hope you feel better soon!! Kristen

  9. That sucks. You think you have your I's dotted and T's crossed and this sort of thing happens. I am wondering about vaccine efficacy over time as well. We are planning a trip to California and I am worried about the measles. We are all vaccinated, the kids more recently than me and B obviously, but I am wondering about the need for some kind of booster.