Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Use to Treat: Sinusitis, Malaria, the Bubonic Plague...and Babies?

This is Day 17 of the Great Autumnal Cold of 2011. A record breaker, I am now convinced.

The only other time I can recall that could possibly rival it would be the winter of 1989 when the entire Speech and Debate team of East High School contracted bronchitis and we all spent 6 months passing it back and forth amongst one another (that's what happens when you spend several hours together on a school bus week in and week out) and trying out various antibiotic regimens. It was, truly, the gift that just kept. On. Giving.

I know I feel worse today than I did on days 1, 2, and 3. What can I say? It was slow to warm up.

I also know that, in spite of the first round of antibiotics (a simple regimen of amoxicillin), I've landed flat on my back, legs twitching in the air (and not in the good way) with a massive sinus infection. This should come as no surprise.

So...I broke down yesterday and e-mailed my doctor - I hate calling the doctor and so luckily, with the advent of technology, I can e-mail him instead thereby giving me an opportunity to cross fingers and toes that he won't make me come in for a visit before prescribing miracles (which is what I did the first time 'round).

My lucky streak continued. His nurse called me in response and, after reviewing my medical record, noted that I don't respond particularly well to amoxicillin (probably because of the winter of 1989...antibiotic resistance being what it is and all) and told me she'd have my doctor (in his defense, he's new to me) call in a prescription for something a little edgier.

Enter doxycycline.

Now, me being me, I researched it before I took the first dose this morning. In the list of illnesses to which its efficacy is particularly potent, I mean, besides treatment of massive sinusitis like I have, was for the prevention and treatment of malaria.

Hrm. Good! Good to know. Yes, now I'll be protected from the dreaded malaria.

Except, as Acr0nym pointed out, I'm A) not traveling to a malaria-infested region and B) am already pretty well protected from malaria just by the mass quantity of quinine via tonic I ingest. Still...one can never be too cautious when it comes to malaria, right?

Anyway!

So yeah. First dose swallowed. Work commenced. And then I start to feel really wiped out, bone tired, more tired than I've felt since the dread disease began in earnest more than 2 weeks ago. Huh?

So, during my lunch hour, even though I didn't eat because side effect #1 of doxycycline is loss of appetite and I certainly wasn't hungry, I still surfed some of my regular news sites (which, contrary to popular belief, don't all revolve around celebrity gossip). This led me to an article from the Denver Post regarding the Black Death - bubonic plague - and how, after centuries, a comparison between medieval strains and modern strains had been conducted and found to be quite extraordinarily similar and how, even though the disease hadn't changed, we, society had changed enough to be able to ward off the deadly disease.

So I'm reading this article - the history of 14th century Europe being of the fascinating to me - and run across this sentence: "'But simple antibiotics today, such as tetracycline, can beat the plague bacteria, which doesn't seem to have properties that enable other germs to become drug resistant,' Poinar said."

Huh. Where did I just see mention of tetracycline (wait...isn't that the stuff women take for the prevention of babies??? Oh wait no, that's ortho tri-cyclen nevermind)???

HA! Yes, in the information I was provided about my antibiotic. Turns out, doxycycline is in the tetracycline family of antibiotics. Not only that but, doxycycline? Is the preferred member of the tetracycline family used to combat the Plague of the bubonic variety.

Wow!

So, it dawns on me. I am currently being treated for sinusitis, malaria, and the bubonic plague all at the same time!

Woo hoo! Now, all a sudden, I want to travel to a third or fourth-world country and test all this out. All except that I'm completely wiped out exhausted from said antibiotic...

Which, turns out, is another side effect of said miracle cure...along with nausea, sunlight sensitivity, vomiting, decreased urination, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, fever, chills, sore throat, severe or persistent headache, throat irritation, vaginal irritation/discharge, bloody stools, chest pain, red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (attractive), severe diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, unusual bruising or bleeding, unusual joint pain, vision changes, swelling of hands, legs, face, lips, eyes, or throat, trouble swallowing, or hoarseness.

Jeebus.

I think I'd rather have the Plague, thankyouverymuch.

At least, for the next 14 days.

I'm guaranteed 2 things over the next couple of days at least: continued sinusitis joy and my period. I'm almost certainly guaranteed diarrhea and a looming yeast infection. I've (hopefully) headed these two off at the pass by purchasing Good Belly pro-biotics (you know, to counteract the effects of said antibiotics) with the intention of ingesting it. The rest of the side effects, if I'm lucky, won't occur.

Still...I find it fascinating that, even though I'm now protected from one of the most deadly infections ever to decimate the human population, I'm still at risk of yeast infection.

Oy.

Good times. Good times.

3 comments:

Teresa said...

One word - YOGURT!

PATTY LEIDYS ZERO HOUR said...

Holy crap woman! Feel better soon. I took that stuff once or twice..I feel yer...umm itch... :D

Anonymous said...

Good Belly is a miracle!! I love the cranberry/watermelon.

-Dayna