Today is my grandpa’s 92nd birthday. Every year I look forward to his birthday lunch…and I have never missed it. Except this year. Maybe.

I’m on Day 5 of this round of bronchitis, and I’m at that interesting stage (and those of you who have been through it can understand and possibly sympathize) where it all comes to a head. The antibiotics are working and the crap that has been in my lungs is deciding to pack up and leave. On the surface, this sounds great, right? And it is, however, there is only one way out. And that, my friends, is where things go wrong. With everything finally “breaking up” in my lungs, I am coughing more than ever. I wish the crap would just dissipate, but I have to put in some serious work to get rid of it. This means coughing almost non-stop. It means hunching over with a heating pad covering my back (sometimes on my hands and knees) to cough. It means coughing until my eyes water and coughing until I pull a muscle (I’ve already pulled two). It means coughing until I gag…and then coughing some more.

Last night was the first night I actually started to sleep, but I awoke every 45 minutes like clockwork to cough. My night went something like this: Cough for 5 minutes. Spend the next 10 minutes recovering. Fall asleep for 45 minutes. Wake up and cough for 5 minutes. That was the cycle for the entire evening.

So my dilemma is whether or not I feel well enough to head to Chicago for the weekend. I want to see my family so badly – my parents, my grandparents, my sister and her kids. I feel pretty awful, but I tell myself to suck it up and just go. But then I wonder if I will do more harm than good. I haven’t had much sleep in almost a week, and I don’t know if the 3-hour drive each way combined with all the activity will push back my recovery. I can’t imagine missing my grandpa’s birthday, but I also worry about getting all the way there only to realize that I feel awful and want to turn around and go home – there is nothing worse than feeling stuck like that.

What am I supposed to do? My parents say they completely understand (and I know they do), and I know that with being so sick and being pregnant, I really need to watch out for myself and the baby. It’s just that I was looking forward to this weekend for so long.

I need to decide by this afternoon. I hate situations like this.

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