Thursday, May 27, 2010

You give me fever

...."You" in this case being strep throat. I've got it, and my temperature today at the doctor's office: 101.8. Is it hot in here, or is that just me?

Having a fever really validates that you're sick. It's like the ultimate trump card, definitive proof that you are not well and thus cannot go to school, work, etc. No one questions you if you have a fever. I rarely get fevers, which is maybe why I still find them sort of exotic. As a kid, I always hoped the thermometer would give me numerical evidence that would make it seem merely coincidental that I had been struck down by illness on the very same day as my math test. Unfortunately, my temp was usually a stubbornly normal 98.6 and I had to rely on my acting skills to get out of school.

Today, however? Today I have an actual fever. Which sucks, because from what I can tell, it's gorgeous out. But I'm contagious and thus have to spend all day indoors, with only Maude to keep me company. And let's face it, she's not the greatest conversationalist. And even if she were, I can't really talk anyway since my throat is so sore. I cannot swallow without severely wincing and/or crying out.
I've tried Chloroseptic, lozenges, gargling salt water, and copious amounts of ibuprofen (seriously, I practically OD'ed on Advil yesterday, taking 6 times the recommended daily dosage), but nothing soothes the pain.

I've had tonsillitis twice and strep throat several times. Apparently, my tonsils just aren't up to their designated task, which is to keep me from getting sick, not make me sick. From the Wikipedia entry on "tonsil":

These immunocompetent tissues represent the defense mechanism of first line against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. Like other organs of the lymphatic system, some believe them to be involved in helping fight off pharyngeal and upper respiratory tract infections, but there is no conclusive evidence to that effect.

Immunocompetent? More like immunoINcompetent if you ask me (zing!). I give my tonsils about a D- and that's being generous.

Another thing about tonsils: they are really ugly. Seriously, this is the stuff of nightmares:

Let's get a closer look, shall we?

I'm sorry, but THAT'S FUCKING DISGUSTING. That picture came from a decidedly anti-tonsil site that had this to say about tonsils:

Although the tonsils and adenoids, when healthy, do help fight infections, sometimes they cause much more trouble than they are worth. If the tonsils are frequently or chronically infected, they are no longer working properly. In fact, they have been 'subverted' by the enemy bacteria, acting as reservoirs for infection.

In other words, your tonsils can become TRAITOR TONSILS!

I hope, right now, a battle is taking place on my tonsils and that the antibiotics I took this morning are kicking some serious ass. This is what I imagine the antibiotics look like:


*Ok, I know I'm abusing the ALL-CAPS. But cut me some slack: I have a fever, remember?

WTF ADDENDUM: I have just learned from my doctor that my throat culture came back positive for Group C strep. Apparently, I have an unusual strain -- A & B are the common ones. All Wikipedia says about group C is:

Includes S. equi, which causes strangles in horses,[10] and S. zooepidemicus - S. equi is a clonal descendent or biovar of the ancestral S. zooepidemicus - which causes infections in several species of mammals including cattle and horses.


Am I unknowingly a cow or a horse?

I am stunned by this new development. Fortunately, the antibiotics I am taking should work against my weird farm animal variety of strep. Thank God for small favors.

1 comment:

Coley said...

I have to say--the only thing worse than NO fever is a low-grade one. I remember being in school, having a bad cold, and feeling like crap. But my temp. would hover just around 99-99.1 Sick, yes, but NOT sick enough to warrant staying home. I'd rather roast at 102 and feel justified in staying home!