Not My Doctor Filter
December 30, 2011 7:01 PM Subscribe
Do I just have a lingering cold or could there be something else wrong with me? Also why are my tonsils gray?
posted by DoubleLune to health & fitness (8 answers total)
tl;dr: I've had a sore throat on and off for about 3 months. It gets worse around *that* time of the month. I've had a very mild cough for the past few weeks, with very mild to no congestion. What could this be?
More details, as best as I can recall.
I first got mildly sick about 3 months ago, and I feel like this is possibly the same illness. At the time I definitely had a sore throat, and possibly had a runny nose for a day. I remember taking Ibuprofen, which I rarely do, and it was probably because of a headache/stiff neck. I saw my doctor a couple weeks in, but the only symptom I had at the time was inflamed tonsils (not even sore). I got a bit of a sore throat again not long after though, but it was mild. I think it seemed more like I was dehydrated -- I was primarily drinking coffee, and it's winter and very low humidity, plus my house is very dry. A few weeks ago, I was mildly congested, possibly with a sore throat for a couple days, and I think my neck was stiff. I've had a sore throat (mild) for a couple weeks, and I've had a very light but lingering cough for a few weeks. It's a dry cough and it often seems like I cough because my throat/lungs are dry. The main thing is a sore throat which has varied in intensity but been present for a couple weeks. The past few days my ears have been annoying (almost itchy, but not quite). I've been making efforts to drink lots of water, but my throat is parched by the time I wake up. My tonsils are swollen and gray -- not strep gray-white, but just like they are gray colored themselves. When I saw my doctor, my tonsils were gray but he said they looked fine. I know they are supposed to be red, naturally, and the gray is abnormal. This has been the symptom through all of this -- my tonsils slightly swollen and gray, even if not painful or obviously infected. I checked them again and they do not look infected, just very swollen. The lymph nodes in my neck have been swollen too. I have not been unusually tires or run-down. I generally feel like I have less energy than I used to, but that's been since a major illness 2 years ago -- my doctor says I'm recovered from that and the energy level change isn't anything to worry about. So I'm not tireder than usual. When I saw my doctor, he did ask if I'd ever had mono (I haven't) but said he didn't think I had it because I didn't have any of the symptoms besides the sore throat (he mentioned yellowing under the eyes). I have not had a fever, though I did have a night or two of chills. Also worth mentioning is that the guy I'm seeing has a similar thing where he's had a sore throat for a couple weeks, and a couple months ago has a persistent but mild cold. He's home over the holidays though, so I've only seen him twice in the last 3 weeks -- I would think that if we were re-infecting eachother that we both would have had time to recover from whatever we've got. The key thing here is that I'm not sick enough to be out of commission or even have people notice that I'm sick, except for the mild cough I've got right now.
Also a lot of people were sick towards the end of the semester, so I figured it was a combination of constantly being around sick people plus the stress of school, etc., etc. But the semester's been over for 2 weeks and I'm getting plenty of sleep (usually) and not stressed about school, so I should have gotten better.
I'm not too keen on going to the doctor, because spending $50 I don't have just to get another "well, I have no idea but let's give you some antibiotics just to see if that works" just doesn't seem worthwhile. I have some home remedies I can try -- putting a pot of water on the radiator, gargling with salt water, drinking warm water. I'd rather not take anything over the counter, though I would be willing to take Ibuprofen as kind of a last resort.
But seriously what is the deal with me? What should I be doing to make it go away once and for all? Because I'm seriously sick of being sick!