Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hell Week Post #3: Zombie Virus, Anyone?

It's been established that last week was one of the worst weeks in a very long time for me. Monday kicked off with Hubby and I making one of the largest decisions ever for our kids, and Tuesday will forever be known as The Day We Crushed The Ginger's Innocence.

Now, we're going to mosey on over to Wednesday. And for the record, I seriously thought these events were more spaced out; they felt more spaced out. I didn't realize until I started writing the Hell Week series that they were back-to-back-to-back days. I can't believe I'm alive.

Before I can fully get to Wednesday, I have to backtrack somewhat to Tuesday. I woke up that morning with my throat hurting... again. Since I've lived in Arizona (2 years now), I've had strep throat about half a dozen times. Then, I've had something that tested negative for strep, but they gave me the strep meds anyway, about 3-4 times. So, Arizona is trying to kill me.

Back to Tuesday. Woke up with a sore throat, which was compounded by hot flashes followed by cold spells as the day went on. I was weak, shaking and just felt like general ass (as opposed to major ass- General Ass is much bigger... ha! I made a military joke...). I had a crap load to do that day, though, so I trudged through my day, and collapsed that night in bed.

Woke up Wednesday and couldn't ignore it anymore. On top of every symptom from the previous day, I now had a raging headache and some hella sinus pain and pressure. The back of my throat looked like a zombie's face, and the lymph nodes in my neck were the size of shooter marbles, and quite tender. Time to head to the ol' doc.

Let me pause for a second to tell you about how I never really see my actual doctor. He's never seen
me for any of these bouts of strep (or non-strep). I make regular appointments with him, but when it comes to acute appointments, he's always booked. In fact, I rarely get seen on base when I'm sick at all. So, I always go to the same urgent care facility off base; they know me there; we're family by now, with as much as I go there.

Made my urgent care appointment, drove The Girl to school, and headed to the doctor. I checked in online, so I waited all of like 5 minutes in the waiting room. That was heaven.

They did a rapid strep test on me, but I already knew it would come back negative; strep has a different feeling in my body than the non-strep does, but I let the nurse do her job and waited patiently for the doctor to come see me.
Yep, me, the rebel. Just wish I had a
cheeseburger and soda, dammit.

Meanwhile, I entertained myself by taking pictures, with my cell phone, of the sign that said, "Please refrain from using your cell phone in exam rooms." I'm such a rebel, and it amused me greatly to share my rebellion on facebook.

I hardly ever lose my sense of humor when I'm sick. It's just a quirky trait of mine.

Anyway, soon the doctor came in, asked me how I was doing and wanted to go over my symptoms with me.

I just told her she should look at my chart, see how many times I was in there for strep/non-strep over the last 2 years, and see if anything new could be done.

She exited for a few minutes to check my chart and get the results of my strep test, and came back in.

Strep test was negative. (Duh)

Then she said this to me, and I've included my thoughts in parentheses for you:

"Yeah, I took a look at your chart, and you have been in here an unusually large number of times for your throat (No shit. Just told you that). We normally prescribe Amoxicillin for you, but I'm going to go ahead and give you a super-antibiotic (Oooohh, is it wearing a cape?). Maybe the Amoxicillin isn't working for you anymore (can that happen?) so we'll change it up and hopefully it'll kill whatever it is."

Wait, what? What do you mean, "Whatever it is?" So, I asked.

"Well, I'm not sure, but with the sinus problems, throat problems and ear problems (uh, I didn't say anything about ear problems... you looked in my ears... is there a problem I need to know about?) it's all treated the same way, with this super-antibiotic (why keep calling it 'super'? You're giving it a complex) I'm prescribing you. So, I hope you feel better, and they'll have your paperwork at the front desk." 

And with that, she was gone. I couldn't really blame her; she's not my regular physician. She just works an urgent care facility. Whatevs.

So I got my meds, headed home, and that night, was talking to my mom.

Mom: You know, you need to make an appointment with your real doctor.
Me: Yeah, yeah, Mom, I know. I will.
Mom: I'm serious, Morgan. You've had problems with your throat and lymph nodes since you were 3 or 4. You remember the antibiotic they had to inject in your butt when you were a kid?
Me: Yeah. That's why I hate needles now. It hurt, but they gave me a butt pillow (giggles).
Mom: Yeah, they did (laughs). But they had to do that because you had strep throat about 3 times in a row; every time you got over it, you got it again.
Me: Oh. Gotcha.
Mom: And you remember when your neck swelled when you were 13 and in Nebraska, right? They had to take you to the emergency room.
Me: Ohhh, yeah. It swelled outward. I looked like a football player (more giggles).
Mom: And do you remember a year or so later when your neck swelled inward and we had to rush you to the hospital?

Me: Huh. Yep, I'm now remembering that. That sucked. I cried the whole way to the hospital because it was hard to breathe.
Yep, I looked like this guy...
Pic Courtesy

Mom: Yep. And, after you and Hubby got married... remember that? Your neck swelled inward again, and he had to take you to the emergency room?
Me: Holy crap, I do remember that.
Mom: And now your neck is constantly swelling outwards because of your lymph nodes swelling, right?
Me: Yeah. My lymphs never really go back to regular size. They swell all the time, I just deal with it.
Mom: Don't you think it's time for your doctor to figure out what's causing it?
Me: Uh, when you lay it all out like that, Mom, I guess so. I'll make an appointment, I promise.

Next Monday, the 15th, I have an appointment with my actual doctor. I'm not going to lie; after my mom spelled it all out for me, I got a little scared. Who the hell has regularly swelling lymph nodes and throat problems for 30 years? Apparently, I do.

I'm telling you now, it's a precurser to the zombie virus. That's the only logical explanation at this point. It's like the virus from The Walking Dead; it lives in all of us, just hasn't been activated yet. My body is fighting the activation. I'm sure of it.

Have I WebMDed everything yet? Nope. My imagination is entirely too vivid enough as it is. I've heard Mono (or the Epstein Barr Virus) can cause swollen lymph nodes, sore throats with a negative strep test, and cause the body aches and fatigue I'm just accustomed to by now. Once you get it, you have it inside you forever, and it can flare up pretty badly when you are under stress. I don't WebMD, so I wouldn't know if that's 100% accurate or not but at this point, I'd be okay with a permanent diagnosis of Mono or EBV. My brain drifts off every now and then to lymph cancer or something else just as equally shittastic.

Maybe I just have a dirty mouth.... hehehe. That makes me giggle.

I'm not preparing myself one way or another. I'm going to just head in there on Monday, present all of the evidence to my doctor and see what happens. Maybe it's not all connected into one large problem; maybe sore throats are just how my body has dealt with all the little problems over the years. Maybe this many swollen lymph node sessions are perfectly within the realm of normal for a 33 year old woman, and there's nothing to worry about.

And maybe I'm growing the zombie virus inside of me, but my body is doing weird things with it, so they'll be able to use my blood samples to create the antidote when the zombie apocalypse hits in the future.

I'm going with the last one, definitely.

The rest of my week was pretty low-key, thank goodness. After a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday like that, I wouldn't have survived if the intensity had stayed the same. Hell Week would have broken me and then gone in for the kill. I'm glad it is now over and done with, and I'm glad y'all enjoyed me sharing it with you.

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  1. Cripes lady, nothing like rounding things out with a bang, hmm??

    I sympathize on the doc thing. I feel the same way, and when I went in with back spasms two years ago, it was the first time I'd been in 12 years since bringing Thing1 into the world.

    Best of luck on Monday! And hoping that next week is bright enough to make up for the craziness of this one.

    1. Thanks! Now, my doctor has seen me for my back pain, so that's a plus, right? Lol!

  2. Oh my gawd I just read all three weeks and I'm going to agree with the comment above me! man oh man you know how to party. -_- You had me laughing so hard, and your children are fantastic. I have no interest in even thinking about telling Kai there is no Santa.. I have years to go. But when I do, your dad's answer was poetically genius. Feel better dearie, I'll drink a glass of wine for you in hopes you stay un-zombie :)

    1. Thanks! I've had a bit of wine myself this week, lol. ;)