I’ve been sick since mid-December with mild congestion. All this time, I’ve just been resting, keeping warm, eating soups, taking a higher dose of my vitamins, etc. I was doing everything to keep me from visiting a doctor. I remember sleeping right through the new year because I was heavily medicated – my symptoms worsened a bit. Again, I still thought that I could handle these symptoms.
It was around this time when I started reading about the deaths that have been occurring due to the flu. I was scared… I have such a weak immune system. I still kept at it. I developed a strong productive cough, moderate congestion, body aches, and headaches.
I remember it happened on a Wednesday, I woke up extremely groggy. Feeling hot with a bad headache. My whole body hurt. I needed to get up to get ready for my fire class. Part of my morning routine was to get my coffee – I need coffee before I do anything to start my day. Not even halfway through my drink, I sat down for a long time, thinking about how “off” I felt. My head felt heavy and I was really struggling with my breathing. I checked my pulse and got a reading of 124 bpm (I was just sitting and I barely had any coffee!) I took an extra strength Tylenol and seriously just waited… waited for it to kick in. I sat for nearly an hour before getting ready.
Why of all times didn’t we have a thermometer? I went straight to CVS and bought all kinds of things, called my boyfriend to keep him informed, and checked my temp as soon as I got in my car. I was at 103.7 F!
I was extremely troubled. I have a new job – not just any job, it’s for the county. Me, being the anxious wreck that I am, I didn’t want to just not show up to this mandatory class. So, I went, but I swear to you, I slept for most of it. We had a test and left early.
Just awful. I was thankful for having a day off the next day. The next 4 days were a struggle, especially at work. Fever went away on Saturday, checked at different times throughout the day. I kept thinking it’s finally over!
On the 14th, I noticed I felt a little warm again – checked my temperature and read 99.7. What… is going on?
Next day, I woke up with some blockage in my throat. As soon as I got up, I felt this extreme pain when I tried to swallow. For some reason I was salivating excessively so I kept swallowing or spitting. Both ways hurt like hell. I went to Kaiser not long after. I was seen in less than 10 minutes! At the end of this visit, I ended up with advice and Ibuprofen 600 mg -____- Of course. So I took the med right away and it was pretty effective, but I still had to deal with this insane discomfort in my throat for the rest of the day. I had soup once and that was it, all day.
Next day, I went to work. Not important. It was horrible. I came home crying to my mom and told her I might have to go back to the hospital again. I told her I was afraid of dying. It hurt so bad, I had only one meal again. Soup and water with my meds. Checked my temperature again, 101.7. Time for bed.
I did not go to work today. I ended up at Kaiser again. I cried on the way, telling my boyfriend that I was extremely frustrated with myself. It was such an awful feeling. My tonsil was so swollen, it occluded part of my airway. It hurt to cough, swallow, and spit. I had cough fits that would make me almost-vomit. I told this new doctor every thing I was going through and what I was doing routinely… how it got worse in a span of 2 days. I was diagnosed with something else. Peritonsillar Abscess. This is basically a collection of pus that spreads beyond your tonsils – a rare complication of tonsillitis or strep throat…
I was immediately hooked up to an IV – Rocephin, Dexamethasone, and NaCl for roughly 3 hours. I was very dehydrated by this point. No food in my body. As soon as I felt that cold rush of liquid in my body, I fell asleep. I’ve never been this sick in my life! I’ve never been hooked to an IV – ever. I was so stubborn and did not take what I was experiencing in the beginning seriously…
I’m finally home, eating normally. I can’t even begin to thank this doctor.