argh, is this seriously possibly typhoid?
June 25, 2012 1:02 PM   Subscribe

I just returned from a month in a country where Typhoid is common, and I have been feeling really bad for these couple of weeks now, with a sore throat, cough, feverishness, and now lethargy/feelings of severe depression/delirium/confusion for a few days now. Now it looks like I have just developed a rash on my stomach that looks similar to the less-dire images I've seen online. It's been my joke-y diagnosis up until now, but does this rash mean I should go to the ER, or wait until tomorrow and try to see my doctor?

I keep putting off going to the doctor, since I can't gather the energy to do much, and my doctor has the distinct tendency to wave off my symptoms if he's in the wrong mood/especially at the end of his work day. But this deep-down depression that is accompanying the lethargy, and the staring off into space and thinking dire thoughts, and occasional frantic delirium, in addition to this rash, etc..... well, I'm getting slightly worried. Frankly, I am using all my wits and composure just to put together this question.

You are not my doctors, but does this sound ER-worthy? I'll hop in a cab and go if the hive mind thinks I should, as I don't totally trust my perspective right now, which is suggesting that quietly expiring sounds relaxing and is totally the way to go.

Many thanks, helpful people.
posted by thegreatfleecircus to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
feelings of severe depression/delirium/confusion for a few days now

That would have me at the ER already, with or without the typhoid exposure and rash.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:07 PM on June 25, 2012 [9 favorites]

ER. Fever and cognitive changes are automatic ER trips in my book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:13 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

ER. And they'll be glad you came in.
posted by batmonkey at 1:13 PM on June 25, 2012

A couple of weeks? eeep...

I'd get there while you can before you're on your back. I don't know much about Typhoid, but from what I do know if possible risks include things like your intestines rupturing or acting so crazy that someone will call the cops and you'll be put in a psych ward, thereby putting off the needed treatment any longer, then I would go in now.
posted by zombieApoc at 1:13 PM on June 25, 2012

Frankly, I am using all my wits and composure just to put together this question.

ER, for sure. The delirium and lethargy alone would send me, but accompanied by fever - yeah, ER.
posted by bedhead at 1:14 PM on June 25, 2012

Yes. Absolutely. Go to the ER. Now. One of the unsettling qualities of typhoid is that it comes and goes and changes symptoms as it progresses.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 1:14 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

A note: you can call ahead to the emergency room with what you told us here (succinctly - just read the salient points if it helps you get it together) and let them know you're coming in. This will reduce your wait, let them be prepared for your arrival (if possible), and make any contamination-prevention requests they may have.

I hope someone is taking you and that you're not driving or walking.
posted by batmonkey at 1:19 PM on June 25, 2012 [5 favorites]

Yes please. ER. Absolutely get a friend to take you if you can.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:19 PM on June 25, 2012

Go to the ER asap so they can get a good look at the rash.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:21 PM on June 25, 2012

Seconding call ahead for containment - you don't want to walk into triage with children or elderly in there.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:25 PM on June 25, 2012 [5 favorites]

You do know that if for some reason, you have Typhoid, that it's contageous, right?

Go to the ER and stop being Typhoid Mary. If it isn't Typhyiod, then you'll have erred on the side of caution. If it is, you may have prevented some serious shit.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:35 PM on June 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay, thanks for the super-rapid
responses. I managed to move quickly and am sitting in a cab right now.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 1:37 PM on June 25, 2012 [10 favorites]

Excellent. Hopefully it's just a flu, but if not, thankfully you're on your way where you need to be!

Take care!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:47 PM on June 25, 2012

May you have the best caregivers & most curious professionals!

Please update us when you've the opportunity.
posted by batmonkey at 1:53 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For the record, no is taking it remotely seriously. The intake people didnt even bother to note my India trip on my chart, or my stomach rash. I had to add
them myself when I signed the form. Plus they told me to go sit with a big group of sick people,
kids and pregnant woman. I refused. But hopefully it is just the flu and my final update will be more cheery.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 2:27 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Typhoid is contagious, but not via the air/breath a la a cold or the flu. It's transmitted via fecal matter and is especially likely to travel via food products or bad water. If you have typhoid (or any other tropical disease I can think of), you are not going to give it to anyone by sitting near them in a waiting room.
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on June 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

So if you're reading this and haven't been seen yet, try to be focused with the triage person when you are seen.

A) Recent trip to India, in an area where typhoid is currently active.
B) Fever (be specific about how many days you have had fever) and lethargy.
C) Cognitive changes, including confusion and depressed mood.
D) Rash and sore throat.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, emergency rooms are always like this. I waited for hours in triage when I had appendicitis and a fever of 104 F.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:47 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hang in there, you're in the right place.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:03 PM on June 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just sending my good thoughts. I hope you get seen quickly and start to feel better right away. Let us know how you're doing!
posted by sucre at 5:36 PM on June 25, 2012

You are doing the right thing. I had paratyphoid fever and spent 8 days in the hospital. Sickest I have ever been. You don't wanna play with this.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:17 PM on June 25, 2012

Oh, dear. Just saw this and wanted to add myself to the list of people worried about you. Hang in there. You'll be OK.
posted by tully_monster at 6:49 PM on June 25, 2012

I'm so hoping the lack of update means you're either getting intensive care or are resting in relief at home!

I know the ER rigamarole can be stressful and disappointing (to say the very least). Sorry you had to deal with that on top of everything else.
posted by batmonkey at 8:59 PM on June 25, 2012

Response by poster: Many thanks all, for your kind concern and wisdom. So after 9+ hours of the ER process (where the doctor ordered IV fluids but the nurse insisted I wasn't supposed to get them until later, and made me pointlessly languish back in the waiting area for hours until someone noticed me curled on a chair and asked if the fluids had helped, and I said I had received no fluids, etc etc! I was then rushed to get fluids thankfully.) Turns out the blood tests were inconclusive, but due to all the obvious symptoms, they are treating it as Typhoid, and I received a round of one type of IV antibiotics, and a prescription for the traditional strong Typhoid-antibiotic, and an order to return in 2 days for a check-up. So whatever is wrong, it seems it shall be sorted, and nothing reached a dire point. (I must be feeling better, because I can type this semi-lucid update.) Still feeling physically miserable and mentally off-kilter, but the ER was definitely the right choice. Many thanks once again guys... just wanted to rally and give a prompt update before I pass out!
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 11:41 PM on June 25, 2012 [18 favorites]

Thank you so much for the update. Going to ER is frustrating and tiresome, but you got the care you needed.

Now rest up, drink lots of fluids and feel better.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:38 AM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for updating...this question had me worried! I'm glad you're being taken care of. Feel better.
posted by ladygypsy at 5:47 AM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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