"My soul is elsewhere, I'm sure of that. And I intend to end up there." -- Rumi

Friday, July 1, 2011


And no, not the good kind.

You knew you were going to get one of these eventually.

So... I've been sick, in some form or fashion, since my host-sister Nata's birthday.  That was back in the middle of May.  That was almost six fucking weeks ago.

It started with a classic sore throat -- swollen tonsils with white patches.  I get this pretty often, so came to Georgia armed with one precious dose of a week's supply of amoxicillin pills.  14 months in the second world, one Hail Mary.  One I did not want to use up before I'd even been here a month.

So I waited it out, and it got better on its own.  (Bonus, sometimes it definitely does not no matter how stubborn I am about hoarding my antibiotics.)  But then I got a cold.  That turned into a sinus infection which lasted a while, and a sore throat on and off, just for kicks.  After that finally worked itself out, I actually felt pretty okay for maybe a week, but all my recent outdoorsy activities caused my arms to flare up in a sun allergy, or in other words -- a hideous gross splotchy itchy red rash.

The allergy finally faded maybe on Sunday night.  Pretty much right in that same hour, I started coughing.  I haven't stopped since.  Have you ever thrown up from coughing so hard?  I have.  Twice now.

I've been doing my best to not let all these varied inconveniences stop me from all the assorted fun to be had (and there has been a LOT, you have to admit).  But this cough -- along with associated throat pain, headache, and dandy pulled muscle under my left rib -- has finally worn me down.  First amoxicillin capsule, 3:30 this afternoon.  Three pills a day, for seven days.

I am just praying that whatever crap is in my body is in fact bacterial.  This is my last resort before I need to cave and see a Georgian doctor.  And THAT, I do not want to do, not one tiny little bit.


  1. I have nearly thrown up from coughing so hard--when I had whooping cough. I never quite got to that point (despite retching), but then I broke a rib.

    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a nasty disease, and amoxicillin wouldn't do anything about it.

    That may not be what you have, since the truly horrible am-I-dying coughs don't start for a few weeks. But here's what I felt when I had it--if this sounds close, *please* go to the doctor.

    It started as an annoying cough but I had no other symptoms--I had maybe a sore throat in the morning that seemed to be caused by post-nasal drip, but otherwise, I felt perfectly fine when I wasn't coughing.

    The cough got worse at night.

    Cough medicines didn't *touch* this cough, not even prescription-strength cough medicines. The only thing that provided a tiny bit of relief was real behind-the-counter Sudafed.

    After a few weeks, the coughs turned occasionally into those retching, I-can't-breathe coughs, when I had to gasp for air (i.e. whoop).

    The only antibiotic that does anything at all for it is azythromicin. And worse--if you don't catch it with azythromicin quickly enough, all it'll do is make the cough no longer contagious--it only actually cures it if it's caught in the first few weeks. After that, you literally just have to keep coughing for a couple months until it goes away.

    That might not at all be what you've got, but whenever someone complains about a horrible cough, I jump on them about pertussis, because I don't want anyone else to suffer it, and it really needs to be caught when it doesn't seem like that big a deal. Mine wasn't caught by doctors, it was caught by Janet when I complained about the cough on LJ--so please, compare your experience to mine, maybe compare it to the description on WebMD, and consider if maybe you need to brave Georgia medicine for azithromycin.

  2. Welp, you definitely got my attention. Enough so that I just bit the bullet and made an appointment for Monday. Congrats? :)

    Seriously though, thanks for this. Your symptoms sound pretty damn close to mine, and the internet confirms. I do not want to be dealing with this nonsense for the next two months. If it is whooping cough, maybe I've caught it early enough for the antibiotics to actually help.

    I quote the very nice insurance hotline lady: "Your doctor won't speak English so I'll be translating over the phone." Fantastic. :)

  3. Man, hope the doctor can help you out. Get well soon!

  4. Whooping cough SUCKS. Get better soon! *hugs*

  5. I don't think it's pertussis, just because the coughing doesn't sound to me like the kind of whooping (duh) cough you get with it. But then, I'm not a doctor, either.

    I'm surprised amoxicillin won't fix it, I thought it would, mostly just because pertussis is bacterial. Hopefully the doctor can figure out what it is, and get you better and fixed up.

  6. Hey, sent a whole bunch of messages (from various people) to your narwen account, let me know if you can't get to them.

  7. Bart -- I got 'em! :) *So.* Fantastic. You are the best.

    Matt -- believe me, I hope it's not whooping cough either. But I do have to say that two days on the amoxicillin has made not a dent. That should not be. Even my nastiest bout of tonsillitis looked worlds better after two days of amoxicillin. So I'm glad I made the appointment.

    If nothing else, it will be a great blog entry. :)