I don’t know if it’s working in a hospital or what, but I sure have plenty of ailment stories. And for some sick reason, people enjoy hearing my take on these things, so here’s another one for you.
When I took my lunch break on Friday, I realized I had a bit of a sore throat. Not the stinging/burning sore throat that is common with colds. This was deeper in my throat. It kind of felt like I had a golf ball sitting in there and the pizza we ordered had a heck of time trying to pass through it. Not horrible, though, so I returned to work.
I left at 5:30 and felt fine, but still had a bit of an ache in my neck and throat. Within the next few minutes, I went from fine to fever and felt like I had been hit by a fast-moving train. I stopped at Kwik Trip and bought a few bottles of Gatorade. Check out the map I’ve provided. If this doesn’t illustrate how fast this came on, I don’t know what will:
All the way home, I was in a panic. My 33rd birthday was Saturday and the fever, body aches, and difficulty swallowing had not been invited to my party. I didn’t have time for this. Wearing long pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and two fleece jackets, I crawled under six layers of blankets and shivered myself to sleep.
Two hours later, I woke up and my temperature reached 103. If it had not been the day before my birthday, I would have waited it out, but I needed this cured and FAST!
The strep test came back positive. I knew people who had strep before. They popped a pill and life was good again. This is what I expected.
I left Gundersen and went to Walgreens to pick up my prescription. The pharmacy is a hopping place at 10:00 PM. When I finally made it to the window, they informed me it wasn’t ready yet. So, I did what any miserable human would do: I went to the cooler and picked out a bottle of Gatorade. Then, I wandered to the Tylenol. Opened both and consumed them before paying. I felt like such a little rebel.
It was after 10:30 when I finally put myself back to bed. The fever returned at 3:30 and I woke up to the sound of my teeth tapping out Morse code.
Saturday morning, my birthday, I was still running a fever, but felt a little better. I believed I was on the upswing and the antibiotic was a miracle drug. Still, I delayed my plans for the day to fit in a little more rest time to let the meds kick in. I also used this time to Google crazy strep throat horror stories and complications. This is actually something I wouldn’t recommend doing when you have strep.
Throughout the weekend, I continued popping Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and taking the antibiotic every 12 hours. The last and only other time I have had strep was back in 7th grade and I don’t remember it being this miserable. The stiff neck and headache started getting worse Sunday afternoon. Sunday night, I was still fighting the fever and the fever was winning. My teeth hurt. My eyes hurt. Everything hurt.
This morning, I woke up at 3:30, the magical time of the morning when the Tylenol wears off and the fever wakes me up to play. I wondered if I should call in to work, but decided not to. Woke up at 6:00 and prepared myself for a twelve-hour shift. Grabbed three bottles of Gatorade to get me through the day and by the time I got in to work, I was on fire and feeling like my head was going to explode. Good effort, Melissa.
I fell asleep on the couch and didn’t get up until 1:00 this afternoon. I could taste blood draining down the back of my throat. Further investigation revealed my swollen, puss covered tonsils.
The seventh dose of the antibiotic was like the winning lottery ticket. Within a few hours I had some range of motion back in my neck, could swallow without looking like I was trying to ingest razor blades, and my temperature returned to my normal 96.5. (Yeah, it felt like the cremation process began when I reached 102.)
Basically, the moral of this story is strep throat sucks. It was bad enough to make me consider wearing a hazmat suit everywhere.
Even though I had strep, my birthday was still fantastic. Even an icky infection can’t make me forget that I’m a pretty lucky lady. And don’t worry. I still have a lot of my birthday month left.