Two weekends ago I came down with what seemed like an upper-respiratory virus: congestion, low-grade fever, and general aches and pains. In addition I felt sharp pain in my face whenever I coughed (which was often).
The fever disappeared within two days but everything else hung on, and dug in. After nine days of feeling that I’d been beaten with several efficient hammers, I reluctantly made an appointment at the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center.
“Reluctantly” because I figured there wasn’t much to be done about a virus and that I didn’t have a full-blown sinus infection that could be treated. But I was so tired of hearing my own breath wheezing and clotting that I figured it was time.
Besides, my Aunt Elna was known to have broken ribs while coughing, and eeeewwww.
Professional demeanor prevented the doc from saying “You sound like crap” but I think that’s what she meant. No pneumonia (“although it could turn into that”) so just as I thought: no antibiotics.
Instead she prescribed a short course of steroids (the asthma has kicked up considerably), bed rest, lots of liquids, inhaler use every four hours and a neti pot twice a day. She did write out a script for amoxicillin but said not to fill it unless I still have face pain in 10 days’ time. Apparently “sinusitis” isn’t supposed to be treated with drugs until it’s gone on for two to three weeks.
As a kid one of my biggest fears was getting water in my nose. I was always the one who pinched her nostrils before jumping into the pool. As an adult who pours water directly into my head via the neti pot, I can tell you that child-me was right. It’s not comfortable. I really dislike it. But I’ll do it because doctor’s orders.
(My friend Sonya Ann wrote a very funny, if slightly mucus-y, column about this very topic. You should go read it.)
More things to read
The big win: a prescription for a codeine-based syrup (aka “the purple drank”) so I can get some uninterrupted rest. I took a half-teaspoon last night and knew no more; can’t imagine abusing it recreationally, a la the link above.
So I may maintain radio silence for a few days, especially since I have a magazine deadline on Tuesday. In the meantime, here are a few good reads:
“5 PF lessons from Wrestlemania” at I Pick Up Pennies: Large and sweaty men in Spandex apparently have much to teach us, money-wise.
“It doesn’t matter that you can’t take it with you” at Red Debted Stepchild: Ever heard the phrase “life is short – buy the shoes”? I hadn’t, until Erin of RDS brought it up. Or, rather, shot it down: “Maybe instead of YOLO-ing like crazy when it comes to spending, we should be applying this ‘life is short’ philosophy to our relationships.”
“Hoarding, divesting and the frugal impulse” at Funny About Money: Should you buy more expensive (but longer-lasting) clothing once in a blue moon, or churn the cheaper stuff every year?
“Don’t get fooled by financial aid letters” at Reuters.com: “The confusing and sometimes misleading financial aid letters that colleges send out this time of year can cause unsuspecting families to sign up for educations they can’t afford,” notes money expert Liz Weston. Some schools don’t include the total expense of attending, for example, or mix loans and grants together under “gift aid.” If you know someone whose child is about to pull the trigger on a college acceptance, make sure the family reads this article first.