Sick - How Serious?

Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've been sick since about Friday. At first, it was just a scratchy throat, but it turned into a headache, general acheyness, and very painful swallowing. Made me a little tired and I kinda preferred to sit on the couch rather than do anything. Today, the swallowing got a little better, and the headache is starting to clear up, but I have a dull pain in my right ear - the kind that feels like I need to pop it, but I can't. What is going on here?

Normally I would just go to a doctor, but my mother is a stubborn homeopath and probably wouldn't take me to a doctor unless I needed a splint on something. So in addition to knowing what this is, I'd like to know - how long can I wait before saying "ok, enough fucking around, take me to a doctor"?

Charles Kinbote on

Posts

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Well, you might have had strep throat or tonsillitis that turned into an ear infection.

    It's possible - but rare - for that infection to spread to other, more vulnerable parts of the body and turn into, for example, meningitis.

    Honestly, you should go see a doctor now. Homeopathy is bullshit and there's no reason not to see a doctor. But since mom isn't going to listen to reason, here's what I'd say: If you're not running a fever and your ear is just plugged, it's probably not all that serious. If the pain gets any worse, if the symptoms don't go away after 48 hours, if you start running a fever over 101 F, or if you start to show any other symptoms then you need to get to a doctor because you don't want to have long-term hearing loss or contract meningitis from this.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    If I manage to avoid running a fever over 101, am I pretty much safe from permanent hearing loss? I know it's stupid to dick around with my own health, but forcing my mom to take me to a doctor could lead to a serious argument with serious ramifications, and with a month left before I am out of the house I would like to avoid that kind of situation.

    Charles Kinbote on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Can't you just go on your own?

    People get ear infections all the time with no significant hearing loss. Your hearing might be affected for a few days, that's typical. As long as the pain isn't intense or stabbing and it doesn't last for more than a couple days, you're probably going to be fine. It's just that most infections - and this is no exception - are better treated earlier rather than later.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I'm 17, so going on my own isn't a real possibility.

    The pain isn't intense - it's something more than a dull ache, but I wouldn't describe it as "stabbing". I just broached the issue with my mom, and she reacted about as aggressively as I expected. If there are any other warning signs to watch out for, those would be appreciated, but otherwise I guess I'll wait at least a day before pressing it further. How long do ear infections usually take to run their course?

    Charles Kinbote on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited June 2008
    If you have an ear infection, which is definitely what it sounds like, you want to get treatment for it immediately. You need antibiotics to make it go away, which requires a doctor visit. It's possible for an ear infection to go away on its own, so even if you never make it to the doctor you may be okay, in much the same way that if you play russian roulette you may not splatter your brain all over the wall. It's a stupid gamble.

    If your mom is too vapid to let you go to the doctor, and if you can afford to pay out of pocket, I'd recommend you try to get a friend to take you or, in a pinch, call a cab. You're looking at a couple hundred bucks all told for the visit and scrip, though, if you don't have insurance cover it.

    ElJeffe on
    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    I had a viral infection that sounds almost exactly like this in May. I basically just had to wait around and find out the hard way if death was imminent because I had no health insurance. I obviously didn't die (the whole thing was over in about a week), but I don't recommend it anyway. Try to convince your mother to let you see a doctor if you can.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • CyberJackalCyberJackal Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Any way you could see a school nurse or something? That might be a way to see a medical professional without going to the expense of a doctor (assuming the nurse doesn't advise seeing a doctor).

    CyberJackal on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    ceres wrote: »
    I had a viral infection that sounds almost exactly like this in May. I basically just had to wait around and find out the hard way if death was imminent because I had no health insurance. I obviously didn't die (the whole thing was over in about a week), but I don't recommend it anyway. Try to convince your mother to let you see a doctor if you can.

    Did you have dull aches and then a sudden jab in your ear? That's what I had too.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    bowen wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    I had a viral infection that sounds almost exactly like this in May. I basically just had to wait around and find out the hard way if death was imminent because I had no health insurance. I obviously didn't die (the whole thing was over in about a week), but I don't recommend it anyway. Try to convince your mother to let you see a doctor if you can.

    Did you have dull aches and then a sudden jab in your ear? That's what I had too.
    It started out as this horribly painful throat thing and turned into this horribly painful ear thing. I was only congested towards the end. And yeah, that sounds about right for the ear part. Man, that was miserable. And on my birthday. D:

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    ceres wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    I had a viral infection that sounds almost exactly like this in May. I basically just had to wait around and find out the hard way if death was imminent because I had no health insurance. I obviously didn't die (the whole thing was over in about a week), but I don't recommend it anyway. Try to convince your mother to let you see a doctor if you can.

    Did you have dull aches and then a sudden jab in your ear? That's what I had too.
    It started out as this horribly painful throat thing and turned into this horribly painful ear thing. I was only congested towards the end. And yeah, that sounds about right for the ear part. Man, that was miserable. And on my birthday. D:

    this sounds like exactly what I have

    and my birthday is in a week

    D:

    Charles Kinbote on
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 2008
    Attack of the birthday bug!

    Anyway, if it's viral, you don't have much to worry about aside from a week of misery, and anyway there isn't much a doctor can tell you. If it's not gone in a week, you really need to see a doctor. What you have doesn't sound life-threatening or anything, but if it seems like it's getting worse or it lasts much longer, prod your mother till she caves under your whining and makes you an appointment.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    80% of ear infections go away in a few days.

    Thanatos on
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    pretty much all the literature I've read as a part of my personal research has said that antibiotics are not that useful for ear infections. however, at this point I am still seriously considering going to a doctor because I am in a lot, a lot of pain - too much to watch tv, too much to read, too much to do anything. I just hopped on the forums for a sec for this thread - otherwise, for the past hour, I've basically been laying in bed and moaning. Maybe if I go to a doctor, I could get some hydro or something, right?

    Charles Kinbote on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    pretty much all the literature I've read as a part of my personal research has said that antibiotics are not that useful for ear infections. however, at this point I am still seriously considering going to a doctor because I am in a lot, a lot of pain - too much to watch tv, too much to read, too much to do anything. I just hopped on the forums for a sec for this thread - otherwise, for the past hour, I've basically been laying in bed and moaning. Maybe if I go to a doctor, I could get some hydro or something, right?
    Where is the pain? Are we talking throat or ear?

    Thanatos on
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    pretty much all the literature I've read as a part of my personal research has said that antibiotics are not that useful for ear infections. however, at this point I am still seriously considering going to a doctor because I am in a lot, a lot of pain - too much to watch tv, too much to read, too much to do anything. I just hopped on the forums for a sec for this thread - otherwise, for the past hour, I've basically been laying in bed and moaning. Maybe if I go to a doctor, I could get some hydro or something, right?
    Where is the pain? Are we talking throat or ear?

    Originally, a lot of swallowing pain. Now, an achey ear and slight discomfort when I swallow.

    This thread may be over, though. I used my phone-a-friend lifeline to call my dad*, and he came over, brought some Ibuprofen, grilled me a bit about the way I was feeling and went off to get me some non-drying decongestant. He said that as long as I used Ibuprofen to ride out the pain and decongestant to get my body circulating a bit faster, I might be better in two or three days. At the very least, I am waiting twenty-four to thirty-six hours before going in for any kind of medical treatment. The ibuprofen is helping a lot a lot, too...what was, a half an hour ago, crippling ear pain, is now a slight ache and a ringing noise (did have to take somewhat over the recommended dosage, though).

    He also pretty much agreed with Thanatos's statement, adding that as much discomfort as I'm going through, in the long run I'm about as well off lying in bed and moaning as I am dragging my ass to a doctor.

    *My dad is the ying to my mother's yang. He's an EMT and has worked as a ski patroller, and with that sparse medical training still knows more about anything at all than anyone else in my personal life. So far, I haven't had a medical problem that I haven't been able to have him treat (partly as a result of my luck, of course). I say this not only to brag about how awesome and rad my dad is, but also so that people don't think that everyone in my family subscribes to an absurd snake oil mentality - the dude plays it by the books, and has yet to fail me in this kinda stuff.

    Charles Kinbote on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, there's a bunch of other stuff you can do for your throat (chloraseptic spray, apple cider vinegar, hot tea, and gargling warm saltwater), but the ear you pretty much just have to ride out.

    Thanatos on
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    oh, my mistake. he's not bringing me a decongestant, he's bringing me a mucolytic.

    Charles Kinbote on
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