Friday, February 7, 2014

The January Sickbed Blues

I know, I know, I haven't been writing.  Guess what?  Chicken butt.  Sorry, too much time with my 7-year-old.  Guess again.  Seriously this time.  I've been siiiiiiiiiiiiiick.  For those who don't understand the multiple "i"s I loaded that word down with it means a month-long, ever-mutating kind of sick.

Over the holidays in December, I felt tired and suspected I was drawing near my annual sinus infection so I got some antibiotics and cruised along.

It didn't go away.

Don't get me wrong, I was in no way miserable.

Then, around the first week of January, after being stuck in the house for two weeks with both kids and my husband, my husband came to bed one night complaining of a sore throat.  He offered to sleep in the basement so I wouldn't catch it, but I didn't accept the offer, figuring I could take it.

Guess another time: I couldn't take it.

Within two days, my husband was laid out flat and had to miss a dinner party.  I attended, but felt pretty weak and tired.  I didn't finish my dessert.  Something was wrong.

Then my throat started throbbing and throbbing and throbbing.

I went to the Kroger Little Clinic where they told me to gargle with salt water and take Zyrtec.

I went to my general practitioner who said she was not giving me another antibiotic, but did test me for strep and mono.  I didn't have either.

A week later, I was unable to eat solid food and the pain was getting worse, so back to my doctor I went.  She gave me a steroid injection.  In my ass.  It worked for 6 hours.

Two days after that my doctor sent me to an ENT, a strapping man in a tight pink sweater.  He gave me a powerful antibiotic that he assured me was safe to take even though I have Crohn's Disease.

Here's what happened: my throat starting improving and . . . the antibiotic sent me into an epic Crohn's flare-up!  Oh, and I had chills and fevers for three weeks.  At random.

Here's a few illustrations to help illustrate how my gut felt about being on the antibiotic.

I actually stayed in bed or wrapped in a blanket on the couch looking like a lonely old biddy for almost a month.

With growing concern, I contacted my ENT, my gastroenterologist, and my primary care physician.  I was told to finish the antibiotic if I could (I did), start on a new antibiotic for my bad gut (I did), and oh-my-god-you're-very-dehydrated.  At least that helped explain the all-day sleeping marathons.

After 10 days of drowning in Gatorade, I started to improve a little, but not enough.  So, I got off ALL antibiotics (because they are the devil), started a new medication as recommended by my Facebook Crohn's homies, and then remembered, hey, doesn't over-the-counter Pepto Bismal work for these kind of gut problems?  Turns out, it does.

Now, why I didn't think of this a month ago, when I opened my medicine cabinet every night and saw the magic pink chalky medicine winking at me, I can't say.  But, I am gloriously happy to feel better, have an appetite again, have energy again, and all for less than $10 a bottle.

Thank you for bearing with my absence, dear readers.  This winter has been a doozy - and I'm not even going to mention the ice, snow, and mounting snow days my kids have had - but we're halfway to spring and I'm ready to get back to writing on a regular schedule.

Hope you are staying warm and healthy on your end of the blogosphere.