Rough Road

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How is it that a “bug” that seems to be going around be considered “atypical”? Seems to me that if a lot of folks are getting it, i’s more “typical”. But who am I, as an amateur hypochondriac, to second guess my doctor who I’ve been going to for 17 years? The guy knows me…maybe too much, but I suppose the doc-patient relationship should be wide-open. Sure he cringes at some of the things I’ve shared in our time together, and he knows those secrets die with me. After that, a team from Geneva can compile the records and have at it.

Tuesday, November 18th: I went to the doc with some symptoms I knew didn’t bode well. Swollen lymph nodes under my chin, and a very weird feeling centered at the bottom front of my throat that I would say I would “normally” feel in my sinuses as the nascent stirrings of a full-blown something-or-other coming on. But in my lower throat? Rx’d me round one of antibiotics…Augmenten for 5 days. That didn’t help and by Thanksgiving I was fairly miserable. Sore throat, cold symptoms, deep ear pain, neck pain, but no fever. So what would any one do about that? Self-diagnose off the internet of course. And what’s one of the dumbest things a hypochondriac can do? Self-diagnose off the internet. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 2nd: The symptoms had ratcheted up even worse. Add to that, my self-diagnoses of throat cancer, brain cancer, Squammus cell carcinoma, and at the very least strep. But yes, I was missing some symptoms for all of those too. Like lack of appetite. Crap, I put on 10 pounds from end of October right up to December 2nd. That was depressing but with me feeling sick, my son sick (flu turning into pneumonia), and Thanksgiving pigging out (oh, is that pumpkin pie and whip cream all mine?), I could not say I was withering away. Back to the doctor and it was round two of antibiotics. This time Amoxicillian and some nasal spray.

Thursday, December 4th: 4:45pm (yes I can pin it down that precisely), my sore throat went from a 4 on the 1-10 pain scale to a full-blown 9. What the hell? And it wasn’t the typical scratchy sore throat that’s supposed to go away in 2-3 days. This sucker felt like my throat was tightening up from getting karate-chopped. Kept plugging along with the meds.

Monday, December 8th: I decided to stop my “walking big pharm” strategy of NyQuil, DayQuil, Mucinex, Tylenol and Motrin, because I figured those chems in my system were doing more harm than good.

Wednesday, December 10th: nothing had changed with the existing symptoms except now I added knife-piercing migraines, chest pain and assorted aches in my body. So back to the doc. He tossed the Amoxicillian and ordered a CT scan of my head, along with me convincing him to order a full blood panel on me so I could either start chemo or sigh in relief.

Thursday, December 11th: Things got better the next day, and I figured I had finally hit bottom and was trending upward again. I wanted so badly to get back to my routine so I did 30min of cardio and 300 crunches- half my normal MWF workout. Not killing it, but no migraine either.

Friday, December 12th: I tried to hit the weights. Bad idea. A huge knife-pain in my head. And the sore throat was not improving at all. I mean, come on! So I went straight to the doctor’s office and waited for him to see me without an appointment. I love my doc.

He was in a huge rush but saw me right away. He had had it also. He checked me out, no signs of anything but an “atypical” bug. So he Rx’d the “magic bullet” of antibiotics; the Z-pack. He said I would probably get better in a couple days at most. But the great news was that I wrangled my blood-work results from the front desk even though he hadn’t seen them yet. But I was not going to wait more days for more results. I even looked at them before he did. While I know what I am looking at and looking for, I waited until he pronounced them “excellent” before breathing a huge sigh of relief. No “Big C” as far as we can tell. Just a damn atypical bug I guess.

Saturday, December 13th: Sore throat still about a 5-6 but that’s a helluvalot better than the 9 I was enduring. I just want it to end. Sore throats are not supposed to last a month. Other symptoms have dissipated. I’m not quite back 100% but I finally think I am going to beat this thing.

Addendum: I am not a fan of “Big Pharm” scourging inside me, and the dreaded super antibiotics, while effective now, will soon be useless against the super-antibiotic-resistant bugs that have been evolving since antibiotics were invented. It’s nature. These things will evolve and eventually (I just read) kill 10 million people a year. So we have to stay a step ahead somehow. We need to evolve too. Maybe washing our hands more is a start. Mitigate the spread. And we have to have drug companies who are willing to do the R & D. It sucks, all of it. We have a lot of much bigger health issues in this world, but looking past those bugs will come back to bite us.

From somewhere not as hot as it should be,


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