Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bad Eggs, Part 2

When I woke up this morning with my guts still aching, I decided that things had gotten really ridiculous and I had to call a doctor. I had done somewhat better with keeping in small portions of bland foods on Thursday, but Friday was an utter fail in this area, and dang, that's a lot of days to be sick.

But first I did the thing I had been avoiding all week long and looked up the effects of eating bad eggs. Yep, I clearly have salmonella poisoning. Which, by the way, it seems is not technically food poisoning, but rather some demon-spawn bacteria of its own. And while every website that I read said that salmonella poisoning usually lasts 4-7 days, which I am still safely inside, I also learned that it can be extremely dangerous in people with chronic conditions, which, ahem, I happen to have a few of. So I called my doctor immediately, all the while cursing myself for being too chicken (no pun intended) to have looked all this up earlier.

And on the other end of the phone, I encountered an nurse who curtly informed me that there was NO WAY that I could possibly be sick five days later from having eaten bad eggs, and that it was clearly a virus. I resisted telling her that I was at that very moment looking at information from the USDA that said otherwise, since she was referring me to the front desk to book an appointment anyway. She was also my nurse when I arrived at the office, and when she told me the same thing there, I did correct her in person, at which point she rolled her eyes and said that it was unlikely, but if I insisted on thinking so, the only way to prove it was to do a stool culture, then walked out. Quality care right there. (As a side note, I have used this doctor for several years and have never had difficulties with any of the nurses before, so I think this one must have just been a Saturday fill-in.)

When the doctor finally did come in, though, he was great, as always. He immediately recognized the symptoms. He did say, though, that by six days after eating the offensive food and five days after first getting sick, I should be a lot better than I am. I swear I should have gotten my medical degree myself, because I knew the reasons I wasn't getting well, and he said I was right:

1) I am breastfeeding Liam (okay, pumping, but same effect). When I'm having such a hard time keeping in fluids, outputting so many definitely isn't helping.

2) the average person is not quite so dependent on daily prescriptions for their health as me. What with my myriad of health issues (all tied back to my stupid thyroid), if I can't keep in my prescriptions, I really can't get healthy.

3) the aforementioned "especially serious in people with chronic conditions" aspect

So he said that unfortunately, he has to put me on (yet another) prescription in order to fight the bacteria that are currently clawing out my insides (my words, not his). The reason that this is unfortunate is that the only prescription that will achieve this is Very Not Friendly to breastfeeding. It's normally supposed to be a 10 day course of medicine, but between me already having been sick this long and the breastfeeding, he prescribed an aggressive 5 day course instead.

So, now this aggressive medication gets to attack my already weakened insides. When I was reading Ben the side effects (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intense headaches, fatigue), he started laughing and said, "Wait, those are the side effects or what we're trying to get rid of?" It seems that I may not feel a whole lot better right away, as has been indicated by the fact that nothing I've eaten today has stayed in and my raging headache. But my doctor did say that if I don't feel like a new person by Tuesday, I need to come back in and we need to do something else, likely involving a trip to the hospital.

Regarding breastfeeding, the medication will necessitate an entire week of pumping and dumping (five days while on the medication plus two afterwards to get it out of my system). Good thing I have literally 218 six-ounce bags of frozen breastmilk in the deep freeze (and, apparently, have been OCD enough to keep count of them). In spite of his voracious eating habits, I still don't think Liam will be going hungry.

As for going hungry, just let it be stated, for the record, that I think I would rather starve to death than ever eat a plate of scrambled eggs again.


Rachel said...

Pedialyte. Drink it!! They used to make Pedialyte popsicles. When I was really sick a few years ago, those were the only things that helped...

I'm so sorry you're sick :(

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness! What a mess. I hope that today is better!