I’m home. Pretty miserable. I had what I thought was a sore throat and possibly sinusitis on Sunday. So I thought that if I took some extra vitamin C, got plenty of fluids, and got some rest that in a few days I’d be okay.
That was until Tuesday, when my ears began to hurt and then Wednesday when my fever shot up so that I drank liquids but didn’t have an appetite. I had no energy on Wednesday whereas on Tuesday I had too much. I lost three pounds in one day. When I called the doctor early Wednesday morning, the earliest appointment I could get was Thursday afternoon.
Thursday afternoon, the doctor confirmed that I had streptococcal bacteria infecting my throat and complications (ear infections). I was told I’d be highly contagious until after 24 hours of antibiotics, although I read on the Internet that would be 24 to 48 hours. Next week, if the ears haven’t drained, I’ll need to have minor surgery.
I was exposed to the bacteria two to five days before the signs began to show. Where could I have been exposed? Anywhere. I’m sure, though, that I didn’t notice anyone at work, or at the pool, or at the dance, or dance class that was visibly sick. Most people would think twice before coming to any of those places with a serious illness.
So I began to wonder if someone had decided to tough it out, thinking they just had a bad cold or a flu and then, after seven days, felt better and gone on, not realizing they were still very, very contagious for the next two to three weeks. Perhaps they were one of the lucky few for which the symptoms only lasted three days.
According to Yahoo! Health info, most sore throats are caused by viral infections.
In general, sore throats are most often caused by a viral infection and not strep bacteria. Strep throat does not occur with coldlike symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or a runny or stuffy nose. The more coldlike symptoms you have, the less likely it is that your sore throat is a strep infection.
The test for strep throat is quick and painless. I had a swab culture done after the doctor saw my throat was still red and had white spots. If I had been living with a housemate I might have gotten to the doctor earlier, but things get a little fuzzy when you’re feverish. One key symptom is fever: If you have a 101 degree fever, see a doctor ASAP!
I’m not one to take any type of medication without serious consideration. I declined using a highly addictive painkiller three days after surgery. I don’t take aspirin at all. Mostly, I can stand the pain and even meditate it away. Yet I know my body well enough that I knew I needed help. After all of my reading, I think any strep infection should be treated with antibiotics, if only to keep it from spreading, particularly to others who might not have as much resistance. (The surgery I had a year ago has made me more susceptible to throat infections.)
I am glad I had the good sense to take time off of work before I reached my fever state. And I think of this as a medical vacation although one that is very painful. Perhaps I’ll catch up on my reading between my four-hour naps.Powered by Sidelines