I went down to St. James Infirmary...
November 28, 2012 5:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm sick Metafilter. I'm in a bad way and I want your advice. I have a nasty case of the flu. I visited my doctor yesterday morning, and she diagnosed me with the flu, though the nasal swab test she gave me was negative for Flu A and Flu B. At the time I thought I was getting better, but now I think I've taken a turn for the worse. I'm contemplating going to the emergency room, and I'd like your advice on how I should decide whether or not to go, when to go, if I should bring someone with me, and anything else I should ask or do. I know you're not my doctor. I'm going to visit my doctor's sick call hours first thing in the morning if I don't go to the ER. That's in about 11 hours.

First, I live in the northern Chicagoland suburbs. Lake County, Il. I'll probably go to either Condell or Lake Forest (Condell is closer but LF is where my doctor is on staff). Is either of these significantly better? Or should I consider a third choice? My parents, and brothers and sisters all live in Northern Cook County, so if I went to say, Northwest Community Hospital I would be very close to them if I wanted them to come along. Or if there's another hospital that's just out of sight for putting you right I could go there if it wasn't too far.

Should I call one of my family members and ask them to come with me? My wife can't, she needs to stay home with the kids. Or can I trust that everything will be ok.

I've been sick since last saturday, though I've been at my worst Monday afternoon and evening, and today since 5 today, when I started a sudden chill. When I visited the doctor they measured my temperature externally with a wand at my forehead at 97.9. Earlier today I measured my temperature orally with an electronic thermometer and it read 96.9. I haven't measure it since I started experiencing chills. I've just been resting, but now I'm fealing so hot and weak that I'm starting to worry that I'm in worse trouble than I thought and better get this addressed sooner rather than later.

I've been getting rest and fluids, and mostly chicken soup to eat. A couple of hours ago I thought I was on the mend, now I don't know what to think.

Thanks for your advice, Metafilter!
posted by Reverend John to Health & Fitness (36 answers total)
Also, I just checked my Dr.'s website and saw the following messages, which seem to suggest patience:

According to the blood work as of now, it appears you are fighting something more viral. Your white blood cell count is mildly elevated and can be due to inflammation through out the body. Your neutrophils are the first white blood cell to migrate out when you have infection and your lymphs/lymphocytes are a little low. If you are not imrpoving or if you are getting worse please return to the office for a follow up visit. A viral infection usually takes 7-10 days.


COMP. METABOLIC PANEL (14) 11/28/2012 (#1182773, Final, 11/27/2012 9:46am)
Note to Patient normal comprehensive panel-kidneys, electrolytes and liver are fine and normal
Report Result Ref. Range Units Status Lab
GLUCOSE, SERUM 95 65-99 MG/DL Final 01
BUN 13 6-24 MG/DL Final 01
CREATININE, SERUM 1.16 0.76-1.27 MG/DL Final 01
EGFR IF NONAFRICN AM 77 >59 ML/MIN/1.73 Final 01
EGFR IF AFRICN AM 89 >59 ML/MIN/1.73 Final 01
SODIUM, SERUM 136 134-144 MMOL/L Final 01
POTASSIUM, SERUM 4.3 3.5-5.2 MMOL/L Final 01
CHLORIDE, SERUM 99 97-108 MMOL/L Final 01
CALCIUM, SERUM 9.6 8.7-10.2 MG/DL Final 01
PROTEIN, TOTAL, SERUM 7.7 6.0-8.5 G/DL Final 01
ALBUMIN, SERUM 4.7 3.5-5.5 G/DL Final 01
GLOBULIN, TOTAL 3.0 1.5-4.5 G/DL Final 01
A/G RATIO 1.6 1.1-2.5 Final 01
BILIRUBIN, TOTAL 0.4 0.0-1.2 MG/DL Final 01
AST (SGOT) 20 0-40 IU/L Final 01
ALT (SGPT) 28 0-44 IU/L Final 01


posted by Reverend John at 5:44 PM on November 28, 2012

Do you have healthcare? Does your healthcare provider have a 24-hour nurse helpline? If so, they can answer your questions and can either direct you to urgent care or give you instructions. I am so very much not your doctor, or anyone's doctor, nor do I play one on TV.
posted by mochapickle at 5:44 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

For what reason would you go to the hospital? What do you expect/want to have happen there? I think it's important to think this through, because chances are you would get a very standard/basic treatment - fluid IV and Tylenol, that sort of thing - but you'd have to endure the check in process, sitting around waiting, and the lack of rest that is the hospital. I like the idea of checking with a helpline first.

I take your symptoms seriously. I am not a doctor and am wary of giving you bad advice. In the end, you should do what your gut says. But at the same time, I can say from pretty recent experience that this is exactly what the flu feels like. It really is that bad: as the patient, you do get scared about it getting any worse. You do feel weak and listless and you do experience chills and fever.

But if you're hydrated and your fever is under 100 or so, and you can eat and do basic functions like get to the bathroom, and you can breathe reasonably well, I'm not sure what more a hospital will do for you.

You've been seen, which is great, and you've had a flu diagnosis, so it's really likely that's what it is. I know you didn't identify the strain, but there are hundreds of strains. I had a flu shot last year and got one of the other strains. I felt like you do now. There were moments I was really concerned for myself. Turns out, that's the flu.

I don't want to discourage you if the only thing that will make you feel better is going to the hospital. Or if even after reading assurances like this something inside you is still saying "no, this is something more." So all I can say is: been there, it does suck, but if it's flu the cure is time. It will take a fair amount of time and you'll be incredulous that you still aren't better.

It sounds like you might be alone. That would freak me out too. Can you designate someone to call or check in on you every couple of hours? When I was in the throes this badly, I was comforted by the knowledge I could call my SO in and he would trundle me off to the ER. It never had to happen though. Keep checking your temp, keep drinking water, expect nothing of yourself - not even reading or tracking a TV show - keep eating food as you can (soup is a great choice), take any OTCs that help, and stay in touch with someone.
posted by Miko at 5:45 PM on November 28, 2012 [9 favorites]

Ah, good call, I think I do now that you mention it. I'm going to check. This is why I love you MF, keep the good advice coming if you got it
posted by Reverend John at 5:46 PM on November 28, 2012

I'm not sure which of the two hospitals is better, I'd just go with the one that is closest to you. Consider taking a cab instead of driving or ask a family member to come and get you. Definitely ask a family member or friend to meet you in the ER so you aren't alone. You might wait a while if they are really busy, so it will be better if someone is there to lend moral support, help you fill things out or grab you some water, etc. Don't put it off or wonder if it's the right or wrong thing–if you are debating whether or not to go to the ER it is the right thing to do. Feel better!
posted by marimeko at 5:46 PM on November 28, 2012

I think if you're well enough to compose this question, I think you can stay home and rest. But what kind of answer is that? Most here will say to see a doctor. I'm a registered nurse. If my doctor told me I had the flu and I had a temp of 96.9 I would stay home. Is it one of those thermometers where you need to add a degree? Again, I am in no way giving you medical advice or fit to give you advice but that is my personal opinion.

If it's the flu, "or something more viral" What does that mean, anyway? There is nothing you can do but rest, stay hydrated, eat what nutritious foods you can, and take fever reducers and meds like NyQuil to bring comfort.

I have been sick in a "bad way" with the flu and there is no way in hell I could get up and compose this question. That's just me. Good luck.
posted by Fairchild at 5:47 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you do go to the ER (doesn't sound necessary), I expect it would be much easier to get someone to come over and babysit your kids than to accompany you to hospital, unless say your wife is breastfeeding and that's not an option.
posted by jacalata at 5:48 PM on November 28, 2012

The flu is awful, and I know its persistence can really be disconcerting, and I've had the flu turn really bad on me a couple of times (due to underlying issues that put me in the high-risk category). I think from your question you may be particularly concerned about experiencing chills? From the CDC page about the flu, it does say chills are a common sympton and not everyone with the flu will have a fever. The same page also lists the emergency warning signs in adults:
•Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
•Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
•Sudden dizziness
•Severe or persistent vomiting
•Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Are you experiencing one or more of those emergency warning signs? Or are you in one of the high-risk groups (asthma, diabetes, immune system issues, etc)? If so, then it's probably best to err on the side of caution and go. If not, I would personally lean toward thinking you're not currently in an ER situation, but of course you have to trust your gut.
posted by scody at 5:48 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oops, missed the wife part. So, glad you're not alone.
posted by Miko at 5:49 PM on November 28, 2012

I came in here to say exactly what Miko said. From what you've told us, you're not in a high risk group, you seem alert and lucid, no fever, you can eat and drink...stay home in bed, sleep, and keep yourself hydrated. If it's the flu, you're likely on the upswing or will be soon. Call your doctor in the morning to see what she says.

But really, I've been in the hospital and let me tell you, it's not the place you want to be when you're sick. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. Your vitals get checked every hour or couple of hours, there's activity on the floor at all times, people come in and out all the damned time...it just sucks.
posted by cooker girl at 5:51 PM on November 28, 2012

Thanks Miko, its a good question of what I expect to happen at the hospital. Basically I feel dizzy and weak as a kitten, suddenly subjectively much hotter, a little incoherent, and worse then I've usually felt with the flu, though not *completely* out of the bounds of my experiences. I whipsawed so quick from feeling almost on the mend to feeling like I was near passing out that I was (am still, but maybe less) worried that I've suddenly gotten a lot worse and won't make it to the morning.

I think I will try to fight my panic for a while. Seems like as long as I can do that its probably a sign that I *should* do that :-)

Ok, well, if anyone has advice keep it coming, but I couldn't threadsit now if I wanted to... going for fluids, rest, and a quick consultation with my wife on my status and arrangement for checkins on me.
posted by Reverend John at 5:52 PM on November 28, 2012

A couple of years ago, I was really sick. I thought I might have H1N1 flu, since CDC was saying that it was almost the only active strain right then. I called the County to ask if I needed to be tested for it. They said they were only interested in testing people who were sick enough to go to the hospital. How sick is that?, I asked. She said the main things with flu were difficulty breathing and fever up in a dangerous zone, which is like 104 F for adults, I think (Not a doctor!). Inability to keep down fluids.
posted by thelonius at 5:53 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

For myself, I wouldn't go to an ER unless I had problems like one of the following: seriously dehydrated and not able to hold down fluids (and requiring an IV drip), if I had a fever over 104 that would not come down even with several doses of Advil/Tylenol/etc, or if I was having a hard time breathing. Otherwise, I'd just stay home and rest, drink fluids, and try to eat something.

Call your Dr's line or the nurse's line and ask them if they can call in a prescription to an anti-viral like Tamiflu. That's really the only thing that will help at this point, and you may be past the window where it'll make a difference in the length of time you're sick.

Of course, if you have an underlying health problem that's serious, you may want to be more cautious and go to the ER.

Just as a data point, I used to use the words "cold" and "flu" interchangeably until I got the actual flu. I had a fever for 8 days and was in bed for close to 2 weeks. I managed the symptoms, and tried to rest, stay hydrated and somewhat fed. What would have made it worse? Being at a hospital. YMMV.
posted by quince at 5:54 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I whipsawed so quick from feeling almost on the mend to feeling like I was near passing out

Yeah, I also had some periods like this during my flu last winter - I would get up in the morning all "on the mend! Done being sick!" and try to get things done, only to collapse by 10 AM. A little more normal in early evenings, only to crash again. I think it's just that your body has so much work to do fighting the virus that all energy is shunted in that direction.
posted by Miko at 5:58 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

As an ED Nurse, I think all the suggestions here have been top rate, if you're just feeling crappy it's the fluids/chicken soup/Tylanol (Panadol for us Aussies) treatment plan.

It's the big symptoms: Chest Pain, Shortness of Breath etc.. that warrant you thinking about a trip to an ED.

Looks like your local doctor has done all the appropriate workup: swabs, bloods etc, so unless you're dying all the ED is going to do is probably repeat your bloods give you a litre or 2 of IV fluid some more Panadol, pat you on the back and send you home..
posted by mule at 5:59 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The CDC has a list of emergency warning signs for flu - if you have any of those, it's time to go to the emergency room. If not, rest, hydration (Pedialyte if you can get it, for the electrolytes - just drinking water isn't perfect when you're quite sick) and more rest will probably do it.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:03 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Can you go to an urgent care center?
posted by kat518 at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2012

The best way to get over a flu is bedrest, fluids, and easy food if you can digest it. Trying to get on your feet too early is certainly going to send you into a tailspin. You don't seem to have any alarming symptoms, have been to the doctor -- get some sleep and wait it out.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:33 PM on November 28, 2012

You're experiencing a rough flu. You'll be good. No need to panic. Sleep, drink a ton and keep the fever down. Lots of excellent advice here. What soothes you when you're sick? Have your kids sing "soft kitty' to you. Have your wife check in on you. Other than that, rest and fluids.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:47 PM on November 28, 2012

I had the swine flu in 2010, and after a miserable trek to the student health center, which wasn't even freaking open, I wished I had just stayed home. The best thing I did for myself was just take Tylenol to keep the fever down. If you're not running a high fever, go to the clinic in the morning and see if you can get Tamiflu. It does help, but honestly, bed, liquids, Tylenol, and time are the best things.
posted by nakedmolerats at 7:01 PM on November 28, 2012

Heed scody's advice. The risk is developing pneumonia, or picking up some kind of bacterial infection that sneaks in while your immune system is overworked. If you don't have any of the symptoms listed, there is no need to go to the hospital.

A lot of people think the flu is just a bad cold, but it can be a real ass-kicker. The few times I've had it, I felt exactly like you relate. When I've had pneumonia, it was the same thing, but I also got out of breath very easily (just from talking) and it hurt to cough. (Not like a rough throat cough, but muscle-strain feeling pain in my chest/ribcage.)
posted by gjc at 7:57 PM on November 28, 2012

Just FYI, typically what makes people feel the worst when they have an influenza-like illness is not treating themselves with analgesics or enough fluids. My guess is what changed between feeling better and feeling worse is that your temp changed. Having a fever really makes you feel awful. Treating the fever can make a night and day difference.

I'm an ER doctor and I often see people come in with influenza-like illnesses and fever/chills, muscle aches, etc., and they haven't taken anything for it. They say they have been drinking but their idea of getting fluids is they had a Coke with their cheeseburger at lunch. No wonder they feel awful. A liter of fluid and some analgesics later and they're smiling and walking out the door. I'm not saying this is you, but a few tips:

Temp: it's good that you took a core temperature on yourself earlier (oral, more reliable), but once you get chills or start feeling hot, that's a good time to take it again. And remember, if you've just been having a drink, that can throw off the reading for an oral thermometer. Personally, if I was feeling chills and/or feeling hot, I'd just take some ibuprofen or Tylenol regardless of what the thermometer said. Assuming you're having some other typical symptoms of flu/viral infection like headache or muscle aches, the Tylenol or Motrin would help with that too.

Fluids: Normally, you're supposed to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids per day to stay hydrated. When you're sick, your body needs a little extra because you may be sweating/feverish or not eating as well or having diarrhea or whatever. Anything with caffeine or alcohol in it counts AGAINST your fluid total, including soda/coffee/tea. Juice is OK, water is great, something with electrolytes in it like Gatorade or Pedialyte is the best.

Those are just some general tips regarding influenza like illness, not specific to your case. I'm not your doctor and this is not medical advice. Wash your hands frequently so you don't pass it around. And everyone, please, flu season has started - please get your flu shot!

(by the way OP, those flu swabs aren't very great diagnostic tests. The sensitivity is 50-70% and the specificity is about 90-95% which means there are plenty of false negatives and false positives. They're not very clinically useful in a lot of cases but patients like it if you do them).
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:39 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I know you feel lousy, but my thinking is that you are not in that awful shape, because if you were, you probably wouldn't have the strength or stamina to write anything here. To me that's a good sign that you are not in dire health.

Did you have a flu shot this year? I never understand why people don't get them, it makes no sense if you really look at the facts. Since they are basically free, they are one of the biggest no-brainers I can think of. What a deal...you spend nothing and you get to avoid feeling miserable and even possibly dying.
posted by Dansaman at 8:47 PM on November 28, 2012

If your chest and breathing are okay, and you're not dehydrated (pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it stays pinched or is slow to spread back out, you're very dehydrated), the ER can't do much for you except give you more analgesics, which you can do at home (take the recommended dosage at the recommended intervals, don't get behind).

If you can't pass the dehydration test, go on in.

If you are feeling so shitty because you have the chills/aches so bad that your aura hurts, get on top of the analgesics and take hot showers as needed. If you are really congested and aren't already appropriately supplied, lurch yourself down to the 24-hour drugstore and get the real pseudoephedrine from the pharmacist*.

Do you have any Benadryl? If you only have children's, read the label - they provide adult dosages. It won't do anything for your actual illness, but it will dope you up and make you less miserable.

*If you want to reproduce the good old-school NyQuil, that's normal doses of pseudoephedrine, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and acetominophen or ibuprofen (the former is better for fever, the latter for pain). My mother tipped me to Alka Seltzer Cold and Flu, which at least used to have real aspirin in it and also works fast (plus you just feel like you've done something after you bravely chug it down - don't discount the psychological value of taking something nasty. Also don't forget to moan. It's like a release valve.).

You are lucid and your fever is juuuust high enough to feel dreadful but nowhere near high enough to boil your brain. With most fevers, there's always one last godawful period before it breaks, and that only seems to happen about 2-3am, so you may only have a few more hours to suffer before you get the 6-8 hours of drooling sweating recovery sleep. I hope you feel a million times better in the morning.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:13 PM on November 28, 2012

Stay home and take care of yourself. When I had the flu, the worst part of it was that crappy hot-and-cold shaky listless whiny feeling rather than the stuffiness and coughing. My advice is to take a reasonable amount of your preferred pain reliever (Advil, Tylenol, whatever), go sit under your running showerhead for 30 minutes at whatever temp feels best, then get out and put on the comfiest jammies you can find-- or go naked if you're feeling excessively clammy-- get in bed and let yourself whine while you rock yourself to sleep. Repeat that whole process every few hours.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:15 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I felt like I'd been beaten with clubs. I was shaking, shivering, moaning, aching so, so bad. It was unreal. I told my doctor that I was dying maybe. He told me "You have the flu. You are suffering symptoms of the flu." I said no, no, this is unreal -- I've *had* the flu, this is death, or worse. He reiterated -- "You have the flu."

I was really scared. I've broken bones and not been on that level of painful ache.

It was the flu. I don't remember how long it knocked me on my ass -- a week? Ten days? Don't remember.


A couple years ago I awoke one morning with this rogue fever. Still no idea what it was or why or whatever, a real puzzler. Out of nowhere, and disappeared just about as fast, but man did it kick me around while it was in the neighborhood. I've got a buddy who's a nurse, turned me on to this: tylonol then ibuprofen then tylonol then ibuprofen. Don't take more than you're supposed to nor more often than you're supposed to but stagger them and take them concurrently, they work differently and don't interact with one another negatively.

I did it and it worked and worked great and I've taken them concurrently since; broke a bunch of bones in my face in a bike wreck a couple of months ago and got off the oxy fast as I could, lived on alieve and tylonol until I could eat again without them.

I'm sorry you're sick. It blows. I'm glad you're not alone.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:59 PM on November 28, 2012

A side issue, but I'm surprised that your doctor thinks that it's flu. It's early in the season still, there's been no large recent outbreaks and the test returns negative. This would make me think that it isn't flu. But then, even medical personal use "flu" in a very loose way, to refer to any flu-like illness. (The technical term is ILI - Influenza Like Illness.) So if you're concerned about flu, don't be.

> If you are not imrpoving or if you are getting worse please return to the office for a follow up visit.

I would take this advice at face value. If you are getting worse, go see your doc again. The emergency room isn't going to have House on staff and be able to deliver some miracle cure.
posted by outlier at 1:22 AM on November 29, 2012

For what it's worth, when I've had a bad flu it's come on very much as you describe: a prologue of weakness and trouble concentrating, fairly sudden onset of chills and shivering, fever, crap this is awful am I going to die?, and a few days of huddling miserably in bed.

I came in to say the same things as Miko et al. For an illness like the flu, the hospital isn't going to be able to do much more than treat your symptoms the same way you would. If you can keep yourself hydrated, don't have an excessive fever, have someone who can check in on you from time to time, etc., then you're better off at home where you're comfortable (and won't pick up some nosocomial bug, rack up a huge bill, etc).
posted by hattifattener at 2:03 AM on November 29, 2012

Everyone who says the hospital will not be able to do anything for you is correct. I recently had a bad upper respiratory infection with symptoms identical to the flu. Coupled with asthma, it was not fun. I had trouble breathing, extreme physical anxiety (like crawling in my skin type of feeling), bad chills, weakness, headache, and all around malaise. This lasted for roughly two weeks. So I know what you're feeling, but please do not go to the ER.

1) They cannot do anything for you that you cannot do yourself.

2) You will be far more uncomfortable there than you will be at home.

3) You will be subjecting everyone there to the flu, some of whom already have compromised immune systems.

4) You will be contributing to overcrowding there. There are so many people there who really need urgent care who have to sit there for hours, partly because so many people treat the ER like a doctors office. They invariably walk out with a bottle of nyquil, a $300 bill and a pat on the back. I want to scream, "FFS, what did you think they were gonna do"?! Kind of a pet peeve of mine; residual resentment from having to frequently wait 8 hours in the walk in clinic back in college because there were 12 people ahead of me with cold symptoms.

5) It's expensive.

I hope you feel better soon. It may take a few weeks. Poppy seed tea will make you feel better if you can find unwashed, cheap seeds at the grocery store. Of course, it's basically morphine so...avoid if you have a substance abuse problem or opiate allergy. But it does make you feel 100% better for a day or so.
posted by WhitenoisE at 3:49 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Many great recommendations above. Now some suggestions from a chronic gloom-and-doomer:

Most of the danger signs (listed by some who already replied) that say you should go to the hospital are also serious enough you should probably go by ambulance. Seriously. If something like difficulty breathing develops, don't wait for a relative to come pick you up. Call 911.

Nothing you wrote suggested that you're in a high-risk group or showed these danger signs, but if you do develop these, DON'T trivialize it. Influenza kills. Thousands each year in the U.S.

Treating the fever made an unbelievable difference last time I had a really bad flu. Felt quite human till the Tylenol wore off, then ungodly bad till I could take some more. BUT, don't overdose. It's dreadfully easy to do. Tylenol's active ingredient, acetaminophen, is in a lot of OTC preparations, so a lot of folks take more than they're aware of. Acetaminophen OD is really sneaky and nasty. Alternating with ibuprofen helps avoid this. So does having someone who's not ill check labels of anything you're dosing yourself with.

Sorry if this increases the worry factor. It shouldn't. What you described sounds like a typical horrible case of influenza. But don't blow off any of the real danger signs.

Good luck.
posted by wjm at 4:25 AM on November 29, 2012

How are you doing this morning?
posted by Miko at 5:58 AM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's a nasty bug going around this winter. My spouse and I are just recovering, but it's taking a long time. He ran a 100-degree fever for five straight days, I ran one for six days and then had occasional bouts of the fever several days later. Coughing like crazy. Sleeping - 15 or more hours a day. Feeling better after approximately a week, then having a relapse. No energy at all. For us, taking something to address the fever when we were really miserable, pushing fluids and forcing ourselves to STAY HOME AND REST worked the best. Hope you get well soon!
posted by summerstorm at 8:36 AM on November 29, 2012

Getting better. Didn't visit er. Didn't need to visit doc in morning either.

Alternating ibuprofen & Tylenol every 5 hrs per dr.'s advice. Wife got me lots of Gatorade, been trying to drink as much of that as I can. Eating chicken noodle soup.

Thanks for your advice, all. It helped and comforted me when I was in bad shape.

(Though for those of you who chided me that if I was posting, how bad could I be? I just about keeled over after my last post, and only got that far driven mostly by paniced desperation)
posted by Reverend John at 10:11 AM on November 29, 2012

Glad you are feeling a bit better. Just chiming in to remind you to take lots and lots of fluids and keep a close eye on your medication use. Prolonged, heavy use of Tylenol and NSAIDs like ibuprofen can cause kidney or liver damage, especially with concurrent alcohol use. Not saying not to take them - and you're probably not too interested in alcohol just now - just to make sure you are not taking them at a higher dosage or increased frequency than the package insert recommends.

Staying well hydrated (urine should be copious and pale in color) will also improve how you feel immensely, especially regarding headaches, nausea, and muscle aches. It can also help bring down fever.
posted by citygirl at 12:15 PM on November 29, 2012

Bronkaid (ephedrine/guaifenesin) helped me a bit last time I was feeling this way. It's over the counter but you have to ask the pharmacist and sign for it (similar to sudafed).
posted by WhitenoisE at 1:17 PM on November 29, 2012

Sorry that you took my comment (and possibly someone else's) as "chiding". The point was not to doubt that you were feeling lousy, rather to reassure you that if you were deathly ill, you probably wouldn't be able to do this much keyboard work. Hope you are feeling better.
posted by Dansaman at 8:22 PM on November 29, 2012

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