A Valuable Health Lesson Learned

Make sure you understand the prescription(s) you've been given.

Make sure you understand the prescription(s) you've been given.

Alright, so that was a much longer break than I anticipated. That’s because as soon as I got back from my (amazingly fun) bachelorette party, I got super sick.

I was fevering and coughing horribly for a couple of days, so I went to my doctor (Dr. Carol Barnes) to make sure it hadn’t turned into bronchitis, as I’m susceptible to that, sinus infections and strep throat when I get sick. The doctor examined me very quickly, decided it wasn’t bronchitis and that it was just a virus. She offered me a prescription that “should prevent it from getting any worse.”

When I got home, I looked it up on one of the websites I work on, RxList, which is all about prescription drugs. She gave me acyclovir (Zovirax), which is used to treat chickenpox, shingles, and herpes. I thought it was weird that she’d given this to me, and I said as much to Mr. Man before I took my first dose. We decided she was the doctor and knew best and that perhaps somehow it would cross-treat whatever virus I had.

That was a dumb idea.

After three doses (I was to take one pill, five times a day), I woke up at about 1 a.m. with a high fever (I didn’t take my temperature, but I knew it was high from how much I sweat when it broke), and my throat had completely closed up. I could breathe, but I couldn’t talk at all. I was up all night sipping water and waiting for the swelling to go down.

I went back to the doctor the next day. Dr. Barnes wasn’t in, and I met with a different male doctor whose name I forget. He agreed it was wise for me to have stopped taking the acyclovir and was unclear as to why she had given it to me. The nurse at the office said it was to “boost my immune system to kick the virus faster.” The male doctor also said I did not have bronchitis, or strep throat or a sinus infection. He sent me home saying to get lots of rest and fluids. Oh, and they did not refund the money I spent on my prescription.

That was Thursday. On Sunday, I was still fevering and coughing, and I woke up with pink eye. I’ve never had pink eye before, but when I noticed my right eye was all goopy and it was very, very pink, I was pretty sure that was it. So, off I went to the urgent care clinic.

The doctor was not friendly and also examined me very quickly.

“Sounds like a pretty bad case of bronchitis to me,” he said.

I asked how the other two doctors could have missed it, and he said it was possible that it hadn’t developed into bronchitis yet and that it might still have been just an upper respiratory infection. He also was perplexed as to why Dr. Barnes had prescribed me acyclovir. He confirmed my pink eye and said I needed two days of bed rest. I asked for a doctor’s note because I had already missed almost a whole week of work last week. He scribbled one out and sent me on my way with a prescription for Zithromax (azithromycin), an inhaler, and medicated eye drops for my pink eye.

I spent two more days in bed and finally went to back to work Wednesday.

So the lesson I learned is:

If you’re unclear about a prescription your doctor has given you or it seems like an odd choice, call the office and confirm why you’ve been given it. If it seems fishy, don’t take it until your questions have been answered.

(Obviously, I’m not going back to Dr. Barnes.)

Even though I’m finished with my antibiotics for the bronchitis, I still have medium-thick cough that is bugging me and preventing me from doing the workouts I want (running and weightlifting). In the meantime, I’ve gone on a walk every day along the beach trail. It’s not ideal, but at least I’m doing something for exercise. I’m also drinking a lot more water, which I think is helping. I’m hoping I’ll be back to normal after another week.

As for Lent, I’m still going strong! I haven’t had a single glass of red wine or any meat. (And that was hard when we were at the giant buffet in Vegas and there was every meat imaginable!) I only have a couple of weeks left, and I think I’m going to make it!

Oh, and I did finish my Cat Fancy freelance article before I left for Vegas, and it felt absolutely wonderful. It was just the right amount of stress for me to feel a huge sense of accomplishment when it was finished. I’m really proud of the finished product too. Now, I have the CatChannel freelance assignment to work on that is related to the main article I just did, which is due April 10.

And of course, the wedding plans are coming along nicely. We’re working on sending out our invitations. We’re shooting to have them all out by the end of this month. All in all, we’re making excellent progress and are pretty much on target, I’d say.

Goals Update:
I accomplished all three of my most important things for today:

  • I filed my taxes.
  • I went on an hour-long walk for my exercise.
  • I cleaned up the apartment.

But Wait, There’s More:

  • I also made the best breakfast muffins ever from a recipe I got from Alicia Kachmar’s blog, Create! I made them even better by adding dried blueberries and craisins. Mmm!
  • Tonight we’re meeting with Pete from Cafe 207 to seal the deal on our wedding after-party!

Tomorrow’s 3 Most Important Things:

  • Follow up on wedding items:
    • Get Adam’s wedding band.
    • Get our wedding cake arrangements figured out with our wonderful baker Christina.
    • Send a portion of our balance to our wedding caterer, Iva Lee’s.
    • Continue working on/sending out our wedding invitations.
  • Make a healthy meal plan for next week.
  • Go grocery shopping. Specifically, I want to make sure to hit up our Farmer’s Market. I’ve been slacking on that lately for some reason.
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One Response to A Valuable Health Lesson Learned

  1. Jennifer says:

    A terrible story, but a good lesson! I hope you’re feeling better! We got your invitation yesterday–so cute! Can’t wait ’til May!

    Oh…look what happened while you were out sick: http://www.copyblogger.com/twitter-writing/

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