fun with sore throats

So, I’ve been sick the last 48 hours.  It started off with a vicious sore throat on Wednesday night, so bad that I had to take a Tylenol to go to sleep.  I woke up Thursday morning still with a sore throat and with a general feeling of malaise added in.  Great.  Friday morning, Lyd comes into my bedroom telling me, “Momma, my throat hurts.”  Great.  She’s got the same thing I do.  After some back and forth conversation, I decided that she shouldn’t go to school if she was sick.  She didn’t like staying home from school (“But who will be the snack helper if I’m not there, Momma?”), but we agreed that we didn’t want to get any of the other students sick.  (Although I found out later that the bug she has seems to be making its merry way through our small school, yet my child was the only one kept home.  Sigh.)

Lyd was not excited about staying home, so I suggested we call Lyd’s Grandma (my mother) in Wisconsin to get her opinion.  After I explained the situation to my mother, she immediately replied, “It sounds like strep throat!  You all have to go to the doctor TODAY and get antibiotics!  Don’t go to school!”  Okay then.  Not being one to just trot off to the doctor willy-nilly, I consulted my Big Three books on sore throats:

  1. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age Five — said to go to the doctor right away and get antibiotics.  Not what I was hoping for.
  2. Naturally Healthy Babies and Children — said to wait 2 or 3 days, try these herbal remedies, and if you’re not getting better, THEN go to the doctor
  3. How to Raise a Healthy Child … In Spite of Your Doctor — said that most sore throats are viral.  Don’t go to the doctor unless you’re not better in a week.  If you DO have strep, a week isn’t going to make a difference, and if you DO have strep and take antibiotics within the first 48 hours, your likelihood of the strep recurring again in the next month is more than doubled.

So, being the slightly biased against western medicine person that I am, I wasn’t inclined to rush off to the doctor.  But, the complicating fact was that my husband, JJ, is leaving tomorrow for four days in Wisconsin, making it much harder for me to trot off to the doctor since I would be dragging at least one child along with me.  When I presented all this information to my husband, JJ did something that he rarely does.  He directly told me what to do.

(Going off on a tangent here, my husband hardly EVER gives me any kind of direct order or command.  While the Bible does say “wives submit to your husbands” it equally says “husbands love your wives.”  My husband has told me that if he ever makes me feel as thought I MUST submit, then he’s probably not doing a good job at loving me.  So, the times when I feel that I Have To Submit are blessedly few and far between.  But every once and a while, he tells me what to do.  And when he does, I always feel that I had better do what he says, lest my conscience prick me.)

JJ said, “Go to the doctor, Emily.”  So, despite my not really wanting to go, I did.  At the doctor’s office, I learned that practically every patient who had been in that day had been complaining of the same symptoms as me: very sore throat, low fever, mild chest congestion, general feeling of malaise.  Every person had been swabbed for strep, and every culture had come back negative.  I, too, was swabbed for strep, and I, too, did not have strep.  The doctor said that it was just a nasty viral sore throat, and that it would likely be gone in a week.  (Ha!  The “don’t go to the doctor, it’s probably viral” book was RIGHT!)  She gave some suggestions for facilitating me return to health (rest, lots of fluids, keep taking Echinacea and other vitamins, eat healthy, etc.) but also gave me a prescription for antibiotics in case I got significantly worse over the next few days.  However, she said, “Don’t fill this prescription without calling me first!”  So I felt pretty comfortable with that.

(I have to admit that despite my somewhat anti-western medicine stance, I actually like my doctor a lot.  I’ve seen her about 4 times in the past 2 years, and I’m really starting to think that she is a doctor after my own heart.  She doesn’t prescribe antibiotics like candy, and at my previous visit we got into a big discussion about Gardasil, the HPV vaccine for which there was a poster advertising it in the exam room, and she agreed with me that the vaccine is too new for her to wholeheartedly recommend.  She even has concerns about the vaccine schedule in general that the CDC recommends for children!  So, I like her.  She’s a kindred spirit.  She’s from India, which, I confess, biased me against her at first.  However, our similarities of views on vaccines and our discussions on the over-use of antibiotics made me change my mind wholeheartedly.  As I thought about our conversation afterwards, I realized that perhaps being from India is a GOOD thing, in that she’s not indoctrinated with American Western medicine views the way doctors trained in the USA are.  Now, I readily confess that I was wrong to be biased, and I happily state that I like and trust her very much.)

In the end, I was glad I went, because it gave me peace of mind that I (and thus, Lyd) do NOT have strep.  I hope Curious J doesn’t get it, but so far, so good.  I actually wonder if she might have had this earlier in the week, because a couple of nights earlier in the week she was waking up every two hours at night.  Poor baby.  I hope she doesn’t get it!

After my doctor visit, I went to Whole Foods to stock up on healthy herbal remedies to help Lyd and I out for the next few days.  I got some chewable gummy bears laced with Vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea for Lyd, some more sore throat tea and lozenges, some zinc lozenges, more Echinacea capsules, more Grapefruit Seed Extract capsules, and a few other things as well appropriate for J if she gets sick.  I hope to be able to return some of these unused items to Whole Foods in a few weeks, but I’d rather have them on hand if I need them.  So, we’re ready to be sick now!

Finally, I made chicken soup from scratch for supper.  Yum.

Now, I’m off to bed.  I hope to start feeling better tomorrow.