Friday, March 10, 2017

The doctor self-diagnoses again (a delightfully disgusting story)

Genmedmom here.

I've posted about my own recent miserable illnesses on my own site so often lately, I'm afraid to post anything else about being sick there. People will start to think I have some underlying issue, like an undiagnosed immunocompromised state.... or hypochondriasis.

But I have to share the gross details of my latest medical problem! I have to, because it's so disgusting, it's entertaining.

So my kids and I have been SO sick this winter. There was Norovirus at Christmas, and then the flu three weeks ago (despite being vaccinated), which for me, then triggered a horrible asthma exacerbation...

But last week, I was finally feeling better. I remember thinking, "Gee, I finally feel better..."  and probably jinxed myself.

By the end of the week I was really congested and feeling run-down. "Great, a cold coming on, this sucks," I thought.

Then Saturday afternoon, I was more congested, and the mucous was really green. I felt kind of woozy, with mild chills. I ignored it and went for a four-mile run in ten-degree weather. Weirdly, it was invigorating, and the hot shower afterwards was heavenly! The mucous drained and drained.

"Ha! I beat that one!" I congratulated myself.

But, Sunday: worsening congestion, thicker gray-green mucous, facial pressure... and then there was this smell.

I smelled it first in our kitchen. A warm, dirty dishwater smell, like when you open an old dishwasher before the heat cycle is done and all that steam with the hot-moist-food-particle odor hits you full in the face. WTF? I peeked all around trying to find the source.

Then at church, I smelled it again. The kids were running around and I was distracted, so I didn't think about it too much other than, "Yuck, what's that?"

Later, at home, still soooo stuffed up, I blew my nose for the millionth time, and got a huge glob of nasty slimy mucous. For some reason, I thought to sniff it.

And there it was. That smell. It was reminiscent of when I worked part-time in our college cafeteria and there was an immense sink for soaking all the pots and pans and serving dishes in super-hot water with some kind of toxic detergent, and the clouds of steam would waft up with the odor of all those food scraps: leftover meatloaf, cherry jello, brown gravy, pea-soup, and harsh industrial-strength cleaning solution all mixed up together in one nauseating and assaulting aroma...

I realized (with a shudder) that the source of that nasty smell was my own face, my own mucous. SO GROSS SO GROSS SO GROSS!!!!

Of course I googled this, trying to figure out what was the principal bacteria responsible for this gray-green discharge with the very particular odor... No luck. Needless to say, I'm on Augmentin and I feel alot better. 


3 comments:

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  2. I know that Klebsiella can produce a blue green pigment that smells like grapes but not sure about nasty dirty dishwater eww! Maybe a bacterial combo? Since I follow your blog in addition to this blog I know you've had a rough winter so sorry. Glad (and knock on wood) you are finally feeling better.

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  3. I feel you! When I wrote that post Witness the Sickness back in January, I was in the throes of what I thought was just a viral URI picked up from my daycare-attending daughter. Well, I didn't get better, and one day I felt so bad that I had to leave work (a daunting task when you're in the middle of a full day of OR cases). A couple days later, I incidentally had to get some labs drawn for ongoing thyroid management. There was a CBC on the panel, and it showed WBC 18,000 predominantly PMNs! Whoops - went to a doc, tried to figure out what we were treating, and went on antibiotics for presumed sinusitis vs. atypical pneumonia. After a week of doxy I was finally better. The whole process of me self-dxing and treating and then figuring out I was an idiot took about a month!

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