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strep throat saga

Oh joy I have strep throat for third time this year.

Just to review my medical history: I am a healthy female who rarely needed antibiotics and had never had strep throat, for 34 years.

Then I had it last March 13, saw my doctor, went on amoxicillin for 10 days and knocked it out. Then I had it May 12. more amoxicillin. I woke up yesterday, June 20, with that FEELING again - now I know just what it feels like. I know what it tastes like: infectiony. I know that ibuprofen makes it tolerable, mornings will be miserable, late morning will be better, but the pain will be around all day. I know that if I start a 10-day course of antibiotics it only takes ~24 hours to feel amazingly better. And I know that medically speaking you're supposed to be so contagious you avoid the whole public, but last time I had it I failed the rapid test at the immediate care and it took three days for the culture test to show positive results, my doctor said I could just work since maybe it wasn't strep so I was at work the whole time, so apparently when in doubt nobody cares if I go to work... it's not like ebola. that experience made me care a lot less about self-quarantine.

So I'm sitting here debating... do I go to immediate care today (Sunday) in an attempt to start antibiotics again, or wait until I get a free moment to go to my real doctor.

Factors for consideration:

1) I'd like to talk to my primary care doctor about why I can't shake this infection, not an immediate care doctor. that means I can't do anything today because it's sunday.

2) My monday is BOOKED at work, too much important stuff, so no seeing my real doctor then. It'll have to be Tuesday.

3) Have a flight monday with an instructor. it's supposed to be too windy but if it works... I'll really have this flight thing made, he's already signed me off on my biannual I just wanted a last flight to work on crosswinds, it was a personal decision.

4) probably not nice to go flying with an instructor if I'm harboring an untreated strep infection.

5) but he's probably tired of me trying to cancel and reschedule shit too. so if I really want to fly, I should go to immediate care today.

6) I have a good book to read if I go to immediate care today. it'll be a relaxing hour in the waiting room.

7) gosh, wednesday almost my whole afternoon is clear, that'd be a good time to go to my doctor. of course it means exposing everyone I see for three days.

8) maybe if I don't see any doctor and push through it my body will learn to fight it alone and really defeat it for good?

9) of course that one guy at my work said he didn't treat strep in college, and the infection spread and screwed up his heart forever. so I should probably at least talk to some doctor.

10) almonds make it feel a lot worse, that's a shame, I love snacking on almonds.

11) I wonder what my five year old is planning to do with that giant box of dead flowers she picked up from the shedding mimosa tree in the back yard.

12) well, at least she picked them up.

13) wow I can't believe it's 9:30 already. I should change out of my pajama pants.

I'm going to keep doing nothing. for now.

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
astrogeek01
Jun. 21st, 2015 02:44 pm (UTC)
Go to urgent care get antibiotics
Make appointment with primary care physician on weds to talk about why you can't shake this infection.

Seriously what is up? O.o
lavenderspark
Jun. 21st, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC)
I agree with this. Get the meds now, but talk to your doctor asap.

Also, I would give your instructor the option. Tell him you have strep, but you're willing if he is.
dark_phoenix54
Jun. 21st, 2015 03:01 pm (UTC)
What the guy at work said about the heart. I have three leaking heart valves because I wasn't treated in time as a kid, it turned into rheumatic fever, and did in the valves. It can also cause brain damage, and I think kidney damage. Nothing to screw around with.
spacefem
Jun. 21st, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC)
dammit, I like my brain.
randomdreams
Jun. 21st, 2015 04:28 pm (UTC)
I was dating a woman who didn't have the money to get her strep infection treated. We found her unconscious from septicemia in her house, and she spent three days in intensive care.
Extremely unlikely this would happen to you, but still, pretty exciting.
siduri
Jun. 21st, 2015 03:21 pm (UTC)
Well, I do hope they can figure out what is up and that you feel better.
excentric397
Jun. 21st, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC)
I agree with what everyone said. Never mess with a bacterial infection, and always take all the meds, even if you feel better. These infections can kill you, let alone do the damage that was already mentioned. I believe that if you don't take enough meds, the strongest bacteria survive, thus repeat infections. Maybe ten days is not long enough, or you need a stronger drug. Good luck.
randomdreams
Jun. 21st, 2015 04:31 pm (UTC)
Strep's pretty contagious, and airborne (in this case, in multiple senses of the word) transmission is common, so I'm voting against the spending an hour in the very cramped conditions of a 172's cabin.
litlebanana
Jun. 21st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
I think you should go get the antibiotics.

You might want to get your kids checked to see if they are carrying an infection around. I know a kid who was getting a strep infections for about a year and it turned out her best friend was a "carrier" of strep and wasn't having symptoms, but with managing to infect other people.
browngirl
Jun. 21st, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC)
Ugh, strep throat. My sympathies.
(Deleted comment)
crazedturkey
Jun. 21st, 2015 11:19 pm (UTC)
I'm going to be a dissenter here obviously as an actual primary care physician. Obviously I haven't seen you - so can't make a comment about you personally - but a few thoughts - particularly based on what other people are saying here!

1. Amoxicillin is not the treatment for strep throat and would not reduce your risk of rheumatic heart disease.

2. Rheumatic heart disease - which is the reason for 'strep throat' is almost unheard of in white, urban populations these days.

3. The vast majority of sore throats/upper resp tract infections are probably viral. The evidence tells us that antibiotics reduce the illness duration by 6 hours only.

So they are equally as effective as taking time off, resting and allowing your body to fight the infection itself.

4. Antibiotic overuse is a real issue. The bacteria are becoming resistant - what's worse a few days off work to recuperate - or me not being able to treat your meningitis? That's not a threat btw it's reality.

5. "But I felt better taking the antibiotics" see point four - you would almost certainly have anyway. Science.

6. The average number of upper resp infections in a year for a normal healthy human is 6-8.

7. But I tested positive in the strep throat test - you know that test is so unreliable we don't use it in Australia?

8. See your doctor of course - but seriously - flying/going to work while sick. No you won't get better....
spacefem
Jun. 22nd, 2015 02:05 am (UTC)
I'm not sure.

I've now had three different doctors totally happy to prescribe antibiotics for me.

The most reluctant was the second... who waited until I had a positive culture test. That's the one where I went in on a Sunday, fought it on my own for three days and felt miserable, got the antibiotics on Wednesday and overnight felt amazing. I can't believe that was a coincidence.
crazedturkey
Jun. 22nd, 2015 04:00 am (UTC)
There is an issue with user pays systems - like the U.S. Where patients ask for something/present saying there must be something that can be done - so the dr prescribes. It also happens a great deal in primary care here - because it's user pays. It happens less so in state run primary care, because to be honest were not getting paid so we don't care about saying no then. (Having said that I work in user pays - so I lose money by not prescribing because it's slower but it's better medicine),

There is also a generational issue - particularly here in Aus. Drs would knee jerk prescribe for many years. Younger Drs know the science and don't.

Finally we also see high levels of prescribing here in Australia by urgent care/fast turnover centres because you make money giving the patient what they want in a few minutes than the 20 minutes it takes to explain why you can't,

Obviously I'm not your dr so I can't comment on your specific case - Something to consider about what you believe that's all.

And if you think you're the first person in a long career who's said 'I can't believe that's coincidence to me' you'd be wrong. Data trumps anecdote! But you know whatever. ;). I don't particularly care either way. I just thought you were interested in science and I was a little surprised to see the responses by your other commenters.

Edited at 2015-06-22 04:07 am (UTC)
pineapple_sour
Jun. 22nd, 2015 05:00 pm (UTC)
I'm a big fan of doing nothing for my health as well. And by fan, I mean, I procrastinate horribly. I hope you feel better soon.

Edited at 2015-06-22 05:00 pm (UTC)
jume
Jun. 23rd, 2015 03:26 am (UTC)
Does your clinic/doctor have an online contact form? I used that to contact my PCP about my wrist strain because it was going to be 2 weeks before I could get an appointment, and she wrote back really quickly.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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