How to Survive Bronchitis

So, it’s a well-known secret around here that I’ve had bronchitis for the past two weeks. Seriously NOT fun. I’m starting to feel better, though, and think I’m finally on the upward trajectory of this whole thing. I’d really better be cuz I have a math test and a Political Science test this Friday and really would like to be feeling like a normal human being by then.

Anywho, bronchitis has been interesting. At first I thought I had a really bad cold, but then Troy encouraged me to go to the doctor with him last Thursday, just to be sure. I was pretty surprised when the doctor said bronchitis. I’ve never had it before and didn’t know much about it, so I did some research a few days later. According to The Mayo Clinic, “Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs.” Which explains why I constantly felt like I had been running even though I was just laying on the couch with infrequent trips to the bathroom. My doctor said I had acute bronchitis that had morphed from the cold I got on Catalina Island and that antibiotics wouldn’t help, so he prescribed an inhaler to help calm down my bronchial tubes and lungs so I could breath better and told me to drink a lot of water and rest for a few weeks. He said it should last for about 3 weeks. Yippee. lol

I’ve had a few friends give advice on how to be more comfortable and it has helped, so I figured I’d pass that advice along. Here are a few tips to make bronchitis not feel like you’re going to die:

  • Use a humidifier

When my friend Rebekah came over the morning before I went to the doctor, she suggested I try using a humidifier to make breathing a little easier. That reminded me that I had a warm-air humidifier in my bathroom, so I went and set it up. Ohmygoodness. That thing seriously made a difference. There has only been one night when I haven’t used it in my bedroom because I could tell a total difference in how well I slept. I only wish I had two of them so I didn’t have to keep moving this one from the bedroom to the computer room.

This is the humidifier I have. I love that there are three options for additives. You can put stuff directly into the water (I really like Vicks Vaposteam), you can pour stuff into the little cup on top of the steam vent (Kaz Inhalant is great for that) or if you don’t want to mess with measuring liquids (or risk a curious toddler or pet playing with the liquid), there’s a little door on the side where you can put pre-cut Vapopads. The great thing about those is that when the vicks scent is gone, you can dab essential oils onto them and create your own vapopad scents.

  • Decongestant/Expectorant

My doctor said the worst thing to do with bronchitis is the suppress your cough and that what is needed is something to break up the mucus and help it get out of your lungs. Sounds lovely, right? Yeah………………………………..

I have found, though, that when I take my decongestants, it’s so much easier to cough and my coughing isn’t quite so painful. I’ve been using the Walgreens Mucus Relief and this stuff really helps.

  • Up Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great thing. It boosts your immune system and just helps you feel well overall. Plus, when you feel like crap, it’s the only thing that sounds good. I went about 3 days without eating any solid food and only drinking orange juice cuz that was the only thing I felt I could eat. It’s really great having friends who are willing to do orange juice runs for you. So, you may want to stock up on some OJ or call a friend to have them bring some over.

  • Drink Lots of Water

Any time you’re sick, water is going to be your best friend. It helps flush out toxins and keep your body functioning properly. My doctor said that it’s especially important to drink 2L of water a day when you have bronchitis, so be prepared to drink a lot. To make it easier for me, I got a water bottle with a straw. The bottle is 32oz (1L), so all I have to do is drink 2 of those a day and to my surprise, sometimes I drink 3.

To make is easier, you could also get one of these cool infuser water bottles and put fruit in there to make the water taste better.

  • Use A Heating Pad

This sounds silly, but a heating pad really helped me out for a few days. There were two days that the coughing was so bad that I cried because my chest was in so much pain. Using my heating pad helped relax my sore muscles and make some of that pain go away. I really like my Thermipaq because I can just microwave it and wrap it around my body while wandering around the house. My electric one has been good for the times when all I want to do is lay on my couch and rest.

Yes, having bronchitis has been a not-so-fun experience, but I think these things really helped make it better than it could have been. I’m so thankful to be feeling better and that this wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

Do you have any bronchitis tips and tricks that make it easier for you?