Tuesday morning I went to Kaiser to see my usual doctor because my throat just wasn't getting better. She took a look but didn't see anything obvious (like a tonsil the size of a half dollar or a pus-filled abscess) so she took a strep throat culture and decided that after testing was complete they'd be able to prescribe antibiotics, which I thought sounded like a great idea.
So I went home. I even popped off at my parent's to do a quick tidy-up because Mom was coming home from her travels in Germany and France, where she's been since the beginning of June, on Wednesday afternoon.
And I started to feel really lousy. My fever, which had been teetering between 99 and 101, decided to shoot up to 102, and my throat started to really hurt. I could barely swallow a couple of sips of water. I took more anti-inflammatories and hoped I just needed some sleep.
I woke up around 4:00 am in pain and barely able to force a trickle of water down my throat. Seanie took me the ER because there was no way I was going to be able to swallow any painkillers, and I was going to dehydrate quickly if I couldn't drink or eat.
After waiting an hour or so for a room, I put on a hospital gown and lay back. The doctor tried to get me to open my mouth, but I barely could. With a tongue depresser, she tried to force my jaw a little farther, but it hurt so much that I started crying and hyperventillating, so she couldn't see a thing. They put me into an IV drip that put a bag of anti-inflammatories into my system, then a bag of antibiotics, hoping that the combination would reduce the swelling and pain so they could see what was going on in my throat. They also did a throat x-ray to try to diagnose the issue. To help rehydrate me, they put two bags of sodium chloride into the IV drip, too. As that was working its way into my system, the nurse in charge of me told me I had to force a small cup of water down because one of the things that would help my throat was using it. That just seemed mean! It was really hard to get all of the liquid down because each swallow felt like agony and left me gasping for breath. After I got that first cup down, she brought a second one and said I had to swallow two tiny little steroid pills. I managed, but all the effort exhausted me and I fell asleep for a while.
No matter. When I woke up we were still waiting for results. My strep test had come back negative, so the ER doctor suspected an abscess, but until my jaw had loosened up she couldn't visually inspect my throat. Finally, she did - and saw nothing.
So basically, after all that we're still at "some sort of infection". She gave me a prescription for some antibiotics, which I'm to take four times a day, and told me to go on a alternating routine of motrin and tylenol for the pain. After all the fluids and the steroids, I feel a lot better. Almost normal, even. But I think that's the high of the steroids, and as they work their way out of my system in the next day or two I expect some of the discomfort will return, but hopefully not too much.