Friday, October 3, 2008


I woke up Sunday night with a bit of a sore throat, and my Monday morning I was well and truly sick. By Tuesday my left tonsil and lymph node were more painfully swollen than I've ever had before (the act of swallowing was bringing me to tears, and I have a fairly high pain threshold), so off I went to the doctor. I don't have a regular doctor since a lot aren't taking new patients anymore and I avoid them anyhow whenever possible, so I had to resort to seeing a pill-pushing quack at a conveniently located walk-in clinic in the ghetto. I waited an hour and the doctor took one look at my throat and wrote a prescription; no questions about medical history other than drug allergies, no checking pulse or blood pressure, just handing out the scrips. Even though a little more of an examination would have been reassuring, it is kind of nice to have a doctor not hem and haw about giving me antibiotics. I've had tonsil issues my entire life, and if I'm going to the doctor at all it's because I know from experience that it's time for antibiotics.

The doctor asked if I've ever had mono and I said no. He then asked if I wanted to have the bloodwork to test for it and I said not really. I don't like needles and if there's no reason to suspect mono I don't want to be tested for it. I don't have a drug plan so he checked for samples of what he wanted to give me, but he was all out. I thanked him for checking and told him that I'm gainfully employed and it wouldn't be a hardship to pay for the more expensive drug if that's what would be best (although, I was in so much pain that he could have come at my tonsils with a scalpel right then and there and I would have welcomed it. I would've paid anything at that point). He ignored me and gave me amoxicillin because it's the least expensive, and warned that if I do have mono I would have a reaction to the amoxil and break out into a rash. Mono and amoxil don't get along, which was news to me.

$21 later I started on the amoxil and my throat was already improving by the next morning, so it was all good. Wednesday night I had hives breaking out on my neck and a rash all over my arms and torso. Well, dammit, that must mean I have mono, right? I don't know where I would have picked up mono or why I wouldn't have ever had any signs of it it before now if I had. I left work early and went to the same clinic but saw a nicer doctor. He said not to worry about mono because I show no signs of it at all and the amoxil wouldn't taken care of the swollen lymph node so effectively if it had been mono.

He determined that I've developed an allergy to penicillin products. This was concerning since I have a mitral valve prolapse and need antibiotics prior to dental procedures and certain surgical procedures. He assured me that these days it's not really a very big deal medically since there are lots of non-penicillin antibiotics, but they're unfortunately more expensive. The pharmacy couldn't refund me for the unused amoxil and I had to pay $55 for the new stuff. Bah! Yeah, I'm gainfully employed, but I'd much rather spend that money on a new outfit. The pharmacist was really nice and advised taking some sort of allergy drug and waiting a couple hours for the rash to fade before starting the new antibiotics, just in case I'm allergic to those too so it would be easier to tell. So far so good, the rash is gone and my throat is nearly back to normal after only a couple doses.

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