30 May 2008

when is a cold not a cold?

When it's acute bronchitis.

Yes, I caved and went to the doctor today. The deductible is paid for the year, I've been coughing for 2 1/2 weeks, and today I just felt...worse. Plus, stuff had a new greenish cast...and you know that means infection. So, I went.

I had a new doctor today. At this practice I've had one doctor I liked well enough and one I emphatically did not. This doctor (youngish and cuteish) talked with me and I was pleased with what I learned. He is not a fan of antibiotics and neither am I. He didn't make me strip down for the cursory physical exam. Big points for the new doctor. Everything was sounding clear and my temp was nearly normal. I think. It was in C...and I don't do well in converting body temperatures. It seemed like I might just have a cold after all.

He, of course, ordered bloodwork. (I have to say, the most painless blood draws I've ever had have been here at Euromed.) The quick test shows either + or - for the presence of infection in the body. (It's some sort of C-something test.) I had +++. Triple plus.

While we were waiting for the quick test results, they tried to give me an inhalation treatment. It made me gag. Violently. Wretch might be a better word. Or heave. Yeah. Fortunately the nurse stopped it early (it was supposed to be ten minutes!) and the doctor said his first rule was not to make the patient worse. Otherwise, he would have a rival. (It made sense at the time.) Yea, doctor! More points.

They took sinus x-rays (even though I told him I wouldn't let him drain my sinuses) and they came back clear.

Meanwhile, the slower labs came back. They said my white blood cell count was slightly elevated. But, what worried the doctor was the differential that showed my NEW white blood cells were at 19 when the highest they should be was 8. I said, in an asking sort of way, that this was because I'd been fighting a cold for so long. (This is what Russian grammar does to my English speech pattern. Since the only difference between statement and question is inflection and not word order, I start to do the same thing in English when talking to my Russian friends. And I do not use contractions.) He said maybe, but he wanted to rule out pneumonia.

They took chest x-rays (WAY embarrassing) and they were clear.

So. I got a diagnosis of acute bronchitis and an entire apteka to take home(an antibiotic, an expectorant, a nasal spray, an herbal cough suppressant for bedtime with a little codeine and an antihistamine also for bedtime because neither of us believes that it's really non-drowsy) AND the doctor's phone number in case I develop any side effects or pain.

This doctor wins. Should the need arise, instead of toughing it out for weeks on end with OTC meds, I will return to be diagnosed another day. Provided, of course, this works!


Jessica said...

I've been a lurker on your blog for a while and just wanted to say that I hope these meds work and you get better soon. I know from personal experience, it sucks to be teaching when you don't feel well.

june said...

well, thumbs up for the doc but thumbs down for bronchitis. Hope the meds clear it up stat.


Suzanne said...

young, cute, and handing out his phone number? I'm sure you need to consult with him on a regular basis.

votemom said...

you sound miserable. i'm so sorry.

Tami said...

I'm with Suzanne. I think you need to go back for a checkup in a few days! ;>)
(Hope you're feeling better soon.)

Matt and Carla Morgan said...

Ugh! I hope you are on the mend.

New doc sounds like a winner :)


Chris said...

I hope you feel better soon, and recover quickly!

Tina in CT said...

Hope all the meds make you feel better. I know how miserable I've been when I've had bronchitis.

I agree with the others about going back to see him. Did you notice if he was wearing a wedding band?

Annie said...

Well, that sounds altogether (apart from chest x-ray) like a fairly nice visit to the clinic! Doctor sounds lovely. I think the antibiotic will set you right. Too bad it is so near the end of the school year! Hard enough this time of year, to keep those high spirits under control - without reduced energy!

Jim said...

Ugh. Sorry to read that you have an infection. But the Augmentin ought to kill it over time. It usually takes 2-3 days for that to work for me, though. I am very prone to sinus infections (I get them almost every time I fly).

But at least this doctor gave you meds instead of wanting to drill a hole in your nose! :)

Feel better.

Holly said...

Oh I have been a bad, bad blogger buddy! I'm so sorry you are/were so ill! Good to hear you've found a good doc though, that's more than half the battle.