Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Evil, thy name is Strep

I have had strep throat in my life all but two times. The first time hit when I was 20. It started with a sore throat and started hitting hard as i was taking my last final (physical science, which I think had something to do with it). If you have ever had strep throat you know it SUCKS. Besides that, i'd say the sickest i've ever been is the night i puked like 40 times. Barfing, all night long. It was horrendous. I calculated that if i got up 7 times to puke, and actually heaved 7 heaves each time, then yeah, that's 49. It's amazing my body was able to keep anything down after that, having been so used to tossing things back out.

Anyway, that being said, strep throat is WORSE. Yes,it starts with a minor sore throat. But everything does, from the worst of things to the most minor of colds. I am currently in the midst of my 2nd bout. It started with the sore throat and then, mere hours later, it hit me with no warning: BAM! I had the aches, painful skin, the chills and shakes, the heavy head, and the beginnings of a fever. And it has gotten increasingly worse. Yesterday was the lowest of the low, or highest, depending on how you look at it. My temperature didn't drop below 102 and got as high as 104. I took a cool bath which is so unpleasant but i thought it might work. It didn't, really. Shot straight back up. I realize that a fever is my body's way of fighting the infection but it's so darn miserable. I pumped myself full of drugs and no dice. Stubborn fever. And then there's the conflict of a fever with chills. You're freezing, so you pile on the blankets while burning up inside, and then all the blankets trap in the heat, which makes you hotter, but if you take them off you get cold again. What to do? Aag.

Pretty soon you just give up and accept your imminent death. You just can't fight it. Drugs don't help, nothing helps. I drink so much liquid to flush out the infection and also to let myself sweat, but no. No sweating.So you let yourself burn. I'm pretty sure i could have breathed fire if i'd had the energy to exhale significantly. Steam must have been shooting out of my ears and nose. The pressure on my head is immense. It's like there's a 50 lb weight constantly on my face. I can barely open my eyes. And, my joints hurt, my muscles hurt. I feel like i have arthritis. I can't move my neck well. I'm starting to get freaked out, like i have meningitis or something. Sorry if that's not spelled right. But guess what, I don't care.

This was last night. Finally Sean got home and looked at my throat and sure enough, white spots! I knew to look for them (thanks, mom). So we called the doc and he told us to come in in the morning. I spent the night with shallow breath and sweating profusely. I have learned that sweating doesn't ease the pain but it does cool me down. And when I say profusely, i mean pro-FUSELY. Literally drenched, from head to toe, and freezing. Shivering, teeth chattering. I had to change my clothes, flip my pillow over about 3 times, and lay down a blanket over my wet body-shaped spot of the bed so as to not try to continue to sleep in my own sweaty nastiness. So gross. I woke up with a temp of 102.

So we went to the doc and after doing the throat culture, he confirmed my suspicions by saying, "congratulations, you do have strep." So we got me some antibiotics and went home. Meanwhile, i've taken drugs and i still have the aches and heavy head, but my temperature has dropped way down. My throat, however, has gotten much worse and it's killer to swallow or even talk. But nevertheless, never again will i take having-no-fever for granted!! I couldn't even sleep, being that hot. Hopefully it'll pass soon. I just wanted to share my pain with you as a way for me to whine. :) But maybe to also give you some tips so you can catch the warning signs should you ever become prey to the strep demon.

3 comments:

ROB said...

At least your skin isn't falling off...just kidding. Sorry about your sickyness, and to top it all off you may have blood in your urine in two weeks as can happen after a strep infection. Yes...yet another usless random fact that has nothing to do with dentistry but I am have been forced to cram it in there. (sigh)

Jen said...

What?? Blood in my urine?? THanks, Rob. I"m totally freaked out now!

Rob said...

Just a little kidney damage...usually no big deal. but sometimes....