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19 July 2014 @ 04:20 pm
The sore throat saga continues (Part III)  
Thursday was mostly OK. I felt well enough to take my car to Jensen's for some maintenance work, and spent much of the day at my parent's house, sitting quietly and preparing some packages for mailing. As the day wore on it definitely felt like my throat was closing up again. The left side of my lips went tingly, and it was getting harder and harder to swallow. Unlike earlier in the week, it wasn't painful to swallow - the hefty doses of painkillers were seeing to that nicely - but it was not working, mechanically. Before bed, Seanie and I spoke to an advice nurse, who scheduled a follow up appointment with my doctor for Friday morning and advised me to double up on Tylenol and Motrin, upping the dosage amount on the Motrin to ensure I'd get some rest that evening.

She hypothesized (and I'd come to similar conclusions on my own) that as the steroids I was given in the emergency room processed out of my system, the symptoms were returning and escalating beyond the antibiotics' ability to keep them under control.

On Friday morning, I was pretty darn unhappy. I couldn't open my mouth more than an inch and a half, my speech was muffled and painful, and that whole not being able to drink and eat thing wasn't good. So Seanie takes me over to Kaiser and I pretty much beg my doctor for steroids. She agrees to put me on a diminishing course of steroids, because obviously I'm never going to get better if I can't eat and stay hydrated.

There's a bit of a problem getting enough food down into my stomach to allow me to take the steroid pills. I asked Seanie to scramble me two eggs, but he went overboard and made seven, assuming my appetite was going to magically make an appearance. I filled a bowl with scrambled egg, but for every tiny mouthful I took in, only about half of it went down my throat while the rest just sat in my mouth. It was awful. It was like the opening of my throat had swollen so much that it was now the size of a pencil eraser, so only the tiniest amounts could be taken in at one time. I was exhausted by the time I'd eaten the equivalent of one egg.

So six scrambled eggs went down into the garbage can while I struggled to swallow enough liquid yogurt to line my stomach and hopefully keep the steroids from coming back up. Because trying to vomit through my mess of a swollen throat sounded neither pleasant nor, frankly, possible.

Well, all I can say is thank goodness for the steroids. After taking them, I have been feeling well enough to try and write another blog post, and I've been able to eat regular food again. I'm still not quite able to concentrate enough to read, unfortunately, but I've been watching shameless amounts of television, which counts for something, I suppose.

At the moment, my body has been craving exercise. A week of forced immobility has made me very restless and just a short walk sounds marvelous. But Seanie insists I must keep resting, because every time I've tried to go and do something, like the car on Thursday, I tire myself out and bring about a relapse.

I'm so bored though. And I've gained at least five pounds that everyone says I'll lose once I'm off the meds because it's all water retention, but what if I don't? I feel so fat and bloated and icky.

For the first time in my life, I've also developed something of a gas problem and I'm constantly burping, which is unbelievably weird.

And to top it all off, I don't even know what I've got. "Bacterial or viral throat infection" doesn't sound like something that should be able to take someone out of commission for a week, but with no official disease diagnosis that's all I've got! It's rather disappointing.
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jeanniejeannietran on July 21st, 2014 04:07 am (UTC)
A friend of mine went through something similar, only she had more fevers. Her strep test was negative too, but she kept having to go to urgent care and they finally gave her the strep antibiotics and she finally got better.

Also, SEVEN eggs? Is he mad? Even if you were perfectly well and completely ravenous, you could never eat 7 eggs. I could never eat 7 eggs.
Suzik00kaburra on July 21st, 2014 04:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really don't know where seven eggs came from.
I assume he panicked.
Narratoraswirlymatrix on July 21st, 2014 08:29 am (UTC)
Ugh, no. I'm sorry you had to go through all that -- and are still going through all that? I fell sick Monday night, and the doctor was able to diagnose a kidney infection when I finally went to UCSF on Friday. I hope you get better soon. :(
Suzik00kaburra on July 21st, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Man, a kidney infection sounds so much worse :( How are you doing?
Narratoraswirlymatrix on July 21st, 2014 07:47 pm (UTC)
No... It sucks, lower back hurts, you run a high fever (I was 100-103 all week), but I can open my mouth and breathe and eat and drink, etc. I'm fine now, pretty much.

How are YOU?
Suzik00kaburra on July 21st, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC)
I'm better.

Ever since they put me on steroids, the swelling in my throat has been kept under control so I can eat and drink. My appetite hasn't really returned, but I am able to get food inside me to keep going, so that's good.

Today I'm even going to attempt to go back to work, so things really are improving. Seanie thinks I'm rushing it, but the majority of my job is sitting around and goofing off on the Internet anyway, so I figure I might as well give it a try since that's more or less what I'm doing at home now.
Narratoraswirlymatrix on July 21st, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
That's what I thought, too, when I went to work on Friday and Saturday. But sitting upright takes a lot of energy and I was wiped for Sunday. You should take another day off!
Suzik00kaburra on July 21st, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
Well, it's only a five hour shift tonight, and I have Tuesday off so if it does wipe me out I have recovery time.

I just couldn't take another afternoon watching TV and thinking about my empty bank account!