Swimming with bronchitis?

SydneDSydneD Senior Member
edited July 2015 in General Discussion

So, I am prepping for Kingdom Swim in a few weeks (the 25th) and after being sick for over a week, was diagnosed with bronchitis today. Can't really do anything without sounding like a lung is going to come shooting out at any second. Can't talk, can't breathe, and can't even do things like fold laundry without coughing.

I'm on my second day of no swimming and right now, pretty much just want your stories of being sick and then getting instantly better and kicking butt on your 15-mile swim 2 1/2 weeks later.

Anyone??

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  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    edited July 2015

    So hear you! Sorry you're ill! Was sick through a good part of April with flu/bronchitis. I have a 5.4 mile swim coming up a week from Friday, and April was just about a wash-out training-wise (it also resulted in sitting out some runs I'd planned). I did get in a bit of training when I had a lull of feeling well in between two bouts of illness. Good thing or I might have lost all of April. What's finally helped (and I'm not even a believer in over-prescribing antibiotics) was a course of Zithro. That and soon afterward, an inhaler (Ventolin). I still sometimes get coughing spells unexpectedly but fortunately now they don't interfere w training. In mid-May, I was able to do the swim leg of an Olympic tri relay and at the end of May, 2 Bridges (though I did the shorter race)--the latter was very difficult, going against the current a good part of the way, but I didn't feel sick either in the tri relay swim or 2 Bridges.

    I'm not going to be doing anything as long as what you're planning anytime soon, but the take-away: my prior training seemed to kick in once the recovery was underway. Also sometimes antibiotics, if a doctor determines you need them, can really help. Also have been taking regular vitamin C and fish oil. I find ginger and other hot spices help w/ breathing, and I take a store-brand Mucinix, which I think works okay.

    Training for my 5.4 mile swim is going well. I recently swam the race distance in training w no ill effect!

    Hope you feel better soon and will be able to do the swim. If not, is there any program whereby you can defer your entry until next year? When I ran the New York Marathon, the option was available to withdraw from the race and bypass the lottery the following year. But it's been ages since I did that marathon so I'm not even sure if it's something they still do. No refund was involved, but it at least secured you a place in the following year's race.

    Hope that helps!

    SydneD
  • During my training this winter (doing the 10 mile Kingdom swim, so I'll see you there) I came down with a severe sinus infection that lasted 10 days. To make my swims more bearable I drank a lot of hot tea prior to pool sessions, coughed a lot underwater and backed off my training a bit. It sucked, but I considered it to be hypoxia training and just reminded myself that it would pass.

    That being said, we are 17 days away; at this point the hay is in the barn so to speak. Good Luck!!!

    SydneD

    Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus and tenacity; compromise on any of these and you become average.

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    Thank you both! I am considering a swim today, despite my husband's reservations. My doctor is on my swim team so that helps. She knows the kind of crazy I am, and even said she would try swimming. Usually it's my go-to to knock things out of me.

    @dpm50 - Can't defer, but also don't want to unless something dramatic happens. Basically, wanted exactly the stories y'all are sharing. Got sick, kept going, did it, was fine. That's the goal.

    @OnceaRunner - You're right. At this point, the training has been done. Or has it been done? Is it ever done? Did I do enough? Is it ever enough? 17 days? 17 DAYS!! Oh dear..... Yes, you can see how my insanity works. ;)

    OnceaRunnerdpm50
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoCharter Member

    In 2012 I did the Big Tortuga swim in Texas as my qualifier for the Rottnest Channel in 2013. I had a horrible sore throat/incoming cold but since the event was my only option (other than a self organized qualifying swim) I swam anyway (squeaking in under the event time limit - I am not swift even when well). Once I was swimming the general malaise and aches I felt as part of my illness became irrelevant and I actually felt pretty good enough after the swim to have a big night out drinking with my friend who kayaked for me :-)

    SydneDOnceaRunnerdpm50

    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    The water fixes everything! At least, that's what I keep telling myself. ;)

    dc_in_sfdpm50IronMikemsathleterosemarymint
  • Leonard_JansenLeonard_Jansen Charter Member

    From about 2007 to the fall of 2014, I had a bleeding condition that I didn't know about. This caused massive blood loss and I raced a number of times with it (and felt like death). In 2011 I finished the Pitonof race and still don't remember how I got home. In 2012, I finished leg 1 of 8 Bridges and then a few weeks later finished END-WET (the 27 mile version). Two weeks after that, I collapsed and ended up getting 4 units of blood to keep me alive and three days in the hospital. I had been down to less than 50% of my normal hemoglobin levels and they attributed it to an ulcer. So they healed the ulcer and said I was good as new. Turns out I also had Cameron erosions in my stomach which were still bleeding. Last summer I collapsed twice with pneumonia, several nasty infections and chronic migraines (I NEVER have headaches normally.) Turns out that I had bled out almost to the 50% level again and couldn't fight off anything. They finally found the erosions and I am on lots of iron and an antacid. Basically, the idea is to have my body make red blood cells faster than I lose them bleeding since the erosions often don't heal very well and my doctor said the surgery is awful and often doesn't work very well.
    Regardless, it is working and I am back to my usual hemoglobin levels.

    Be brave.

    -LBJ

    SydneDOnceaRunnerdpm50

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” - Oscar Wilde

  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    @Leonard_Jansen --
    Oh. My. God.
    That sounds absolutely hellacious and I am in awe of the fact that you are still doing what you do while constantly working with a deficit. I once had a white blood cell issue after an allergic reaction to man-o-war sting (long story), and I felt worse than I ever have in my life. No ability to control my body temperature and it was 103 down to 96 up to 103 within minutes. It was terrifying.

    Many years ago, before I became a reformed triathlete, I raced an entire season with undiagnosed whooping cough. (Never knew the vaccine could wear off, but apparently, that's a thing.) I did a 1/2 Ironman, and a ton of other races, thinking that the excessive weight loss and pleurisy was a result of allergies (which I have in abundance) and/or asthma (which I do not have) because my doctor kept telling me it had to be that. Nope. Whooping cough. Public health hazard. Bad doctor...

    I definitely know I can do things under physical stress, but the not being able to breathe the last few days was, um, unfun with this big one coming up. Thankfully, the robitussin with codeine seems to have helped and I slept last night. Hard. (Can I go back to bed now?)

    Going to try a swim tonight. Y'all inspire me to keep on getting in that water! :)

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Yikes! Scary! You went through a lot! Hope you stay healthy and "full-blooded" now and can fully enjoy your swims!

    Leonard_Jansen said:
    From about 2007 to the fall of 2014, I had a bleeding condition that I didn't know about. This caused massive blood loss and I raced a number of times with it (and felt like death). In 2011 I finished the Pitonof race and still don't remember how I got home. In 2012, I finished leg 1 of 8 Bridges and then a few weeks later finished END-WET (the 27 mile version). Two weeks after that, I collapsed and ended up getting 4 units of blood to keep me alive and three days in the hospital. I had been down to less than 50% of my normal hemoglobin levels and they attributed it to an ulcer. So they healed the ulcer and said I was good as new. Turns out I also had Cameron erosions in my stomach which were still bleeding. Last summer I collapsed twice with pneumonia, several nasty infections and chronic migraines (I NEVER have headaches normally.) Turns out that I had bled out almost to the 50% level again and couldn't fight off anything. They finally found the erosions and I am on lots of iron and an antacid. Basically, the idea is to have my body make red blood cells faster than I lose them bleeding since the erosions often don't heal very well and my doctor said the surgery is awful and often doesn't work very well.
    Regardless, it is working and I am back to my usual hemoglobin levels.

    Be brave.

    -LBJ

    SydneD
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    If you didn't get a prescription for albuterol, get one. It really helps stifle that spastic cough and lets you breathe more normally. I've had some horrible bouts of bronchitis and I suffer from asthma as well. Hope you feel better soon!

    SydneDdpm50rosemarymint

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • ttriventtriven Senior Member

    I don't have an immediate fix besides steroids, unfortunately. You can take oral steroids for the condition, I don't know if that's allowed or whatever. I would think it would be ok, esp with a prescription, and you would be off them in 10 days or less. But I remember you mentioned this is a recurring thing when you get sick and I have had that same problem, and I have pretty much fixed it completely, very simply. I went to an allergist/immunologist, and he gave me the pneumonia vaccine. He said he did not think I had allergies, but he suspected that my immune system was weak against pneumococcals and things similar to pneumococcals. He tested my titers or however you say that, and he was right. Immune system weak against those pneumococcals. So then he gave me the shot. Then the next time I got sick I DID NOT GET A SINUS OR BRONCHIAL INFECTION. And, I didn't even get as stuffy as usual. I thought it was normal to not be able to breath whenever I got sick. I didn't know I could get sick and still be able to breath. We tested the titers 30 days after the shot and they came back about 65% stonger. Which supported his theory.

    So, I sent a friend to him with a similar problem, but the bad news for her was she has allergies. If you do not have allergies, you can get a pneumonia vaccine at CVS minute clinic. You don't have to go to a fancy doctor. You could give this a try when you feel better. It has made a huge difference in my life and my training. good luck in the meantime. You have some time!

    dpm50lakespraySydneD
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    I'll second that! If I have a major workout coming, I take a whiff or two, and it really helps. I don't use it for lighter workouts or just everyday use--I'm able to use the store brand Mucinex. I'm hoping that as time goes by, the need for the albuterol will fade, but it's definitely helped the transition back to training.

    wendyv34 said:
    If you didn't get a prescription for albuterol, get one. It really helps stifle that spastic cough and lets you breathe more normally. I've had some horrible bouts of bronchitis and I suffer from asthma as well. Hope you feel better soon!

    SydneD
  • MvGMvG Islamabad, PakistanCharter Member

    @SydneD: No better training than rest in your situation, perhaps a few short easy work-outs to keep the feel for the water and keep the muscles supple. Surely no major efforts, you will not build up anything and put undue stress on your system which will keep you from getting back in shape.

    SydneD
  • SydneDSydneD Senior Member

    Hi Y'all,
    The bronchitis is clearing up, although my son seems to have something similar now.
    I am actually starting sublingual allergy therapy tomorrow since many of my illnesses come after allergy issues. I have really, really super bad allergies and tried the shot therapy three different times, but couldn't stop having anaphylactic reactions. Fun! (I have literally tried EVERYTHING out there so I am hoping this works!)

    Suffice to say, I am on the mend and did a 2-hour open water swim yesterday, just to shake out the pre-race nerves.

    Now, I will be hoping the allergy treatment kicks this larger issue in the butt, and that Lake Memphremagog is ready for me. ;)

    OnceaRunnerJenAdpm50
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    SydneD -- glad you're feeling better! Hope your swim goes (has gone?) well!

    I'm happy with mine, as I felt great and got a new PR (best time was 8 years ago and I was in my 50s!).

    Then, for ten days afterward, I felt great--went to swim practice the Sun. after (race was on a Friday), joined my group for easy open water swimming Tues., Thurs. and Sat., and then did Grimaldo's mile (time was slower paced there, but I chalked it up to not having had much ocean swimming practice.

    Then yesterday evening... BANG! Body aches, fever, cough! And here I thought I'd become bionic! ;)

    Problem is, now I have two major swims coming up--one on 8/15 (Boston Light relay, so at least with three teammates, my distance likely will be only a couple miles) and the Valley Forge Marathon Swim on 9/4. How to train if I''m sick? I so want to do these swims, plus swim with my group in practice. But I worry about setting myself back and really having problems.

    Thoughts and "get well vibes/prayers/energy appreciated!

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