Saturday, April 13, 2013


So much for self-diagnosis.

When you are raised a "doc's kid," you grow up with the mentality of not "bothering" a doctor unless you are really sick. Bear in mind that those were the days when patients had the luxury of calling their physician at home at any time of the day or night and could even ask him/her to make a house call. When your dad has endless dinners and evenings and weekends interrupted, you learn "not to bother" other physicians unless you are in dire straits.

I have not been in dire straits.

Every single symptom listed on the Mayo clinic website for influenza was my own. Every single one. I could have created the list. It was a slam dunk for self-diagnosis.

But even if it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, it can still be a squirrel.

I have a nasty case of strep.

Strep without a flaming sore throat? Strep with a dry hacking cough? Strep with sharp sinus headaches?

Apparently, yes.

I have never had strep before. Thought it was a really bad throat infection. Little did I know that it can affect kidneys and heart. Hmmm.

No wonder I have not been able to get on top of this "flu" bug. After 10 days you would think that you could walk downstairs and back again without feeling short of breath and breaking out in a sweat. No wonder every day I continue to feel like crap. No wonder, indeed.

I am allergic to penicillin, the drug-of-choice for strep. My doc wrote a script for a cousin of that drug which works with most people allergic to the penicillin. I was still leery as she talked about this, as I have never known WHY I am allergic to the drug, but have known since I was a pre-schooler that I am. I was just a bit concerned that if I indeed had gone into anaphylactic shock as a toddler due to penicillin, I was not eager to give even the "cousin" a try.

My doc wanted to know that my husband was going to be home when I take the first dose. 

Oh, THAT reassured me!

And so I went home and did what any daughter would do. Call her 88-year-old dad and ask him if he remembers why I am allergic to penicillin. God bless his memory. He said with authority that anaphylaxis was NOT the reaction to the drug that I had all those years ago. He believes it was a bad rash.

So, armed with relief from the man whose dedicated professional life influenced the way I seek (or more aptly, DO NOT seek) medical care, I started up my 10-day course of strep-killer.

Have I learned a big lesson here? 

Maybe, maybe not.

I think I might be more inclined to seek a medical opinion if something lasts as long as this has, but you know, again, when it quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck and looks like a duck, I think I will always have a lifelong propensity to self-diagnose duck.

1 comment:

Cole said...

That's awful! I've only had strep once but I only made it two days before calling the doctor.

I will say, my kids have had strep a few times and when Tristan woke me at 2am (3 months) ago and I looked in his throat with the little flashlight, no one could've convinced me that he wasn't going to be slapped with a strep diagnosis the next morning at the doctor's office. WRONG. That squirrel was a duck. Even the doctor who examined him thought it was a duck until the strep cutlure came back negative and Influenza Type A test came back positive.

We've been praying for that awful virus to leave your body and will continue!