Six Weeks of Sickness

tags: personal

It started with our toddler, moved to my wife and finally wiped me out. It wasn't one bug but a mix of different bugs that made life miserable for whomever was under full attack. The end result was a lost April and a rough start to May. Fortunately, we now seem to be fully diagnosed and armed with the necessary drugs to get better. And, on the bright side, I learned something.

So what went through the Mensching household? It started with double ear infection, double pink eye for our toddler. My wife picked up a sore throat which often turns into strep. However, this time she developed bronchitis instead. That wiped her out which meant I took care of the toddler for a couple weeks.

Right as she started to recover, I picked up something that manifested with flu symptoms. I was laid out for a full seven days. After that I thought we'd mostly recovered but last week our throats were sore again and the coughing returned. So, my wife and I went to the doctor. She was diagnosed with residual bronchitis and I with strep plus a sinus infection.

Now we have the drugs that will hopefully get us fully mended.

So what did I learn? First, I knew that antibiotics were useless against viruses. The week I was out with flu symptoms seemed like something caused by a virus. Thus no trip to the doctor since it seemed to clear up in the typical 5-7 days.

Second, I knew that when you start an antibiotic treatment you need to see it all the way through. If you only take the antibiotics while you feel sick, there is the possibility that the bacteria will not be fully killed off and what remains could mutate into something more resistant to antibiotics.

What I didn't know was that bacterial based infections don't typically go away without being treated by antibiotics. So, while a virus must run its course, a bacterial infection needs to be attacked directly with antibiotics. I thought rest and drinking lots of water was an acceptable way to address both. Turns out I was wrong.

And that fact makes drug resistant bacteria even scarier.

Anyway, I'll be sure to finish my full 10-day regiment of antibiotics. The doctor says I should be feeling better by Monday. So here's hoping to more enjoyable and productive days in the near future.

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