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Sick; also tired


Sometime around this past Sunday or Monday, I developed a sore throat; also, half my nose is clogged up, and I'm coughing occasionally. Which made me unhappy, but wasn't such a big deal, especially compared to the Death Flu that everyone else has been getting.

Until I tried to sleep.

For the past four nights, it's gone like this for most of the night (with each cycle lasting maybe a minute or two):

  1. Start to drift off.
  2. Startle awake at a small noise coming from my throat.
  3. Realize I'm holding my breath.
  4. Start breathing.
  5. Repeat.

When this kind of thing has happened in the past, NyQuil has gotten me over the threshold into sleep. And/or sleeping sitting up.

This week, nothing's helped. NyQuil, valerian, sitting up, cough drops, elevating my head, anything else I can think of. I tried digging out my Ambien last night, but couldn't find it, and anyway I'm not sure it's a great idea to take Ambien if what's waking me up is lack of breathing. (Though I'm not sure that's what's happening.)

Each night, I've apparently eventually gotten some actual sleep, 'cause there's a period between around 4 a.m. and around 9 or 10 a.m. each night that I don't remember, and because I'm still vaguely functional during the day. But I've gotten groggier and groggier as the week's gone on.

According to various medical sites, the main things to do for a sore throat are drink lots of liquids and get lots of sleep. And wait for your body to deal with it.

I'm hoping the sleep part of that is optional.


If you can stand it, I (from two and a half weeks into what's turned into a nastily persistent bronchitis) I've found that sleeping propped up at say 30-45 degrees minimizes the bubbling noises and the not-breathing.

I had this very problem, or something that sounds similar, last fall, which was horrible because sleeping is about all the good I ever get out of being sick and I couldn't sleep at all because my throat hurt so much. I finally went to the doctor (which I never do). He basically said, there's nothing I can do, but he suggested Afrin nasal mist. And I thought--that's never going to work because it's my throat not my nose that's the problem. But it did! It was awesome.

Your mileage may vary, but maybe it'll help.

Thanks for the suggestions!

David: Yeah, I tried half a dozen different angles of propped-upness last night; that's worked for me fairly well in the past. But to no avail this time.

charmingbillie: I hadn't heard of Afrin, but on your recommendation I went and got some. Tried one dose so far; it seemed to help a little bit with the clogged nose, but hasn't cleared it up entirely. But I'll try another dose in a few hours. ...Kind of scary stuff--various sites note that if you take it for more than three days, you can develop a dependency on it, after which if you stop, the congestion gets much much worse. But I'm hoping I'll be feeling better in less than three days anyway.

This may sound a little woo-woo, but have you thought about trying a Neti Pot? I was skeptical, but when the bad flu from a few months ago moved up into my head, I was willing to try anything. The Neti Pot turned out to be a godsend. (If you haven't heard of it, it's a teapot-shaped thinger that you fill with warm salt water, and then you use the pot to pour water into your nose, basically. It flushes out the sinus cavities. Takes a little getting used to, but a lot of people swear by it.)

Everyone always says "liquids", but I'll just reiterate it, for the heck of it.

Actually, mostly I just wanted to test the guest login thingie :)

If you are concerned about the stuff in medicine--

They recommend saline drops for babies (not to suggest that you are, dear) and you can buy them in the grocery store/cvs under the brand "Little Noses". They come with a spray nozzle like the Afrin. They help loosen stuff so you can blow and breathe...

You might try the old fashioned toweled head over a bowl of hot water to steam your head--it's also nice on the throat.

I hope you feel better soon!

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