Much to my relief, it wasn’t strep. Although in some ways, if it had been strep, this week might have been a bit easier. I could have at least gotten some good antibiotics which would have kicked the infection out and had me better in a few days. I, however, had little ulcers in my throat. Viral, which means no antibiotics and basically the only thing to be done was to “manage” the pain.
The PA I saw gave me a script for some viscous lidocaine she told me to gargle with 3-4 times a day. Despite the jokes I know I’m going to endure, I have to admit I have a pretty bad gag reflex. I couldn’t swallow pills until I was in my late teens, because I’d start to choke on them. My husband gargles salt water anytime he gets sick, but the second I try it, I start gagging. I resigned myself to trying to gargle the prescription stuff, only to find it’s a gel. Do you have any idea how freakin’ hard it is to gargle a gel? Especially one that has to be sort of squeezed into your throat and then makes your throat go numb? I was lucky to get one partial gargling sound made before it started to slide down my throat and I nearly threw up. Although it was truly horrific, I did it 4 times a day, in combination with ibuprofen or Tylenol and managed to feel just slightly better….until I lost my voice.
By the end of the teaching day on Wednesday, my voice was down to small wisps, but I made it threw the day. I went to dinner with a friend (in hindsight a bad idea since we talked throughout dinner and my voice vanished by the end of the night). The next day my voice was a tad better, so I trudged in to school. The last part of fourth block was a total wash for me. I couldn’t speak at all. Sure, the kids loved it, but my throat was burning and I felt like death. I called in on Friday to rest.
Friday saw less pain in my throat and a revival of my voice. It also saw the start of a full fledged head cold. Late Thursday night I had traded my throat daggers for a stuffy nose. I woke up at least 10 times trying to find a way to breathe that didn’t leave my throat raw. I got very little sleep, and started pounding the generic DayQuil as soon as I got up.
This entire weekend I’ve felt like poo. Sure, my throat now only stings instead of pierces, but my head is stuffy and I keep getting that horrid little tickle in my throat that signals a pathetic little cough is coming. This is not the worst of it though. My husband has not only developed these symptoms (sans throat ulcers but plus an ear infection), but has also contracted pink eye. I’m guessing it has to be from the baby, even though his eye hasn’t been pink for 5 days now. All day yesterday my husband said his eye felt scratchy. Since he’d been out blowing the leaves around the back yard, I figured he got debris in his eye. By the time we were settling in to watch a movie, his eye was no longer just scratchy, but red and weepy to boot.
The poor guy spent over two hours at doc-in-the-box today to get three prescriptions (totally over $200) to vanquish his various ailments. I have been wiping down everything he touches with Clorox wipes and washing my hands 50 times an hour, but I have a terrible, horrible feeling that my eye is going to begin pinkening soon.
This is particularly awful to me. Not just because I’ll get to be even more uncomfortable than I already am, but because one of two things is going to happen: Either I’ll have to apologize for years of teasing I’ve given my best friend for her bought with pink eye, or I’ll have to admit that I am a dirty person. I’m not sure which of these options is going to be more painful for me. On one hand, the idea of being dirty is really bothersome to me. I love being clean. Now, I’m not crazy about it. I don’t shower three times a day or have separate sponges for each type of household job, but I simply cannot stand to be dirty.
The first thing I do each morning is jump in the shower. If I have to wait, even thirty minutes after I get up to shower, I spend that time thinking about how dirty I feel. Even on days I get up only to go work out, I really desperately want to shower. I don’t care if it means I’ll have to shower when I get home, I don’t like the idea of being at the gym and being dirty. It makes the sweating I do there even grosser. I even brave the spider ridden, fungi filled bathrooms at campsites (in flip flops, of course) to shower while camping. That’s how much I like to be clean.
Then again, the thought of eating my words and admitting that pink eye is not, “the dirty person’s disease”* as I have taunted my best friend for something like 10 years now, is equally upsetting to me.
Please, oh please, oh please, don’t let me get pink eye! I can deal with my husband being dirty. Afterall, he can go several hours (sometimes even 24) without bathing. I can even deal with my son being a bit dirty. I know he is at times, we only bathe him every other day (he has baby eczema and bathing him daily is really bad for his skin). But I can’t be dirty! I just can’t!
*I realize it’s not really the dirty person’s disease, but anything gooping up my eye just freaks me out and feels really, really dirty.