Regular cold symptoms or something else?
September 21, 2019 9:58 AM   Subscribe

10 days ago I came down with a cold that started in my chest and then into my head. Along with it came an inability to stay awake. I'm still struggling with that. Is this a normal cold symptom or something else? I've never experienced it before.

I have never had this type of cold before where I literally can't stay awake. Yesterday I felt like I was struggling to stay awake cooking. I feel drugged a lot of the time. Like someone must have slipped me something for me to be wanting to sleep so much. For only being able to wake up, maybe eat something and then fall right back to sleep. I also have absolutely no appetite. Like I'm forcing myself to get through a bowl of soup.

Is this common with a real bad cold or did I pick up a flu? I'm asking here cause it is a big process for me making a dr appointment. And it is also something I have to save up for in order to pay for the gas to get there.
posted by kanata to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is weird. I live on the island too and I've been having the same issues with tiredness. It feels like a flu that hasn't fully taken hold. Looking forward to seeing what answers you get.
posted by klanawa at 10:08 AM on September 21, 2019

The last time I got the flu it seemed just like this. I had to force myself to eat, and I was beyond exhausted. Taking a shower was a major event.
posted by bookmammal at 10:12 AM on September 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

A cold is always viral and a bad one can put you on your butt for a while. Bronchitis (chest cold) can often lead to opportunistic bacterial infections. And difficulty breathing, poor O2 sat, risk of comorbid issues such as reactive airways. Basically coughing to clear lungs can irritate tissues that then become itchy which cause self perpetuating coughing.

So getting sick and being really tired isn’t that unusual. If you’re coughing technicolor lung oysters, have trouble breathing or have symptoms that change or worsen then yes I would see a dr.please note I am not a dr, I am most certainly not any kind of dr, and I live in a place with civilized access to medicine. YMMV.
posted by mce at 10:13 AM on September 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Have you ever had mono? Because this sounds exactly like mono. My dad and I got it when I was in high school and we both would sleep for hours on either side of the sofa between bowls of soup for like 2 weeks. It’s next level exhaustion and lack of appetite. I suggest a walk-in or your GP or call a nurse if it continues.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:16 AM on September 21, 2019 [13 favorites]

This is how I felt when I caught the flu—the strain a couple years back that made news in the US for killing a higher number of people than usual.

Not to alarm you and I’m not a doctor—but flulike symptoms coupled with exhaustion can also be a symptom of heart trouble.

I think this is worth the gas money for the doctor.
posted by sallybrown at 11:30 AM on September 21, 2019

If you’re still struggling like this after 10 days, I think it’s time for a doctor visit. A cold or flu can really knock you out, but a cold, at least, shouldn’t be debilitating after this long. So it might be something else. Get yourself checked, not only because you don’t deserve to keep feeling like crap, but also in case you have something contagious.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

My not-a-doctor understanding is that anything that lasts more than 3 days isn't a cold. It's something more serious. Can someone help you get to the doctor?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:25 PM on September 21, 2019

That fatigue was how the early days of pregnancy were for me.
posted by slidell at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2019

Do you have allergies? Because a cold + allergy season definitely leaves me insanely exhausted. I am also NOT the picture of health, so my normal is probably a sign that you should go to the doctor...
posted by stoneweaver at 1:55 PM on September 21, 2019

This was me last winter and it turned out I had pneumonia and was actually really sick.
posted by fshgrl at 6:14 PM on September 21, 2019

Agree, if it's gone on this long it's time to go in and get your lungs checked. If you're that fatigued you could have pneumonia. Best to see if the dr thinks antibiotics will help.

Protip: ask the dr to take a culture for flu or whatever they *think* you have; they will sometimes change your prescription based on the outcome of the culture.
posted by vignettist at 10:08 PM on September 21, 2019

Thanks everyone. I'm gonna spend the money for gas and make an appointment on Monday. I just had another day of 6 hours naps and fighting to get soup in so I guess 10 days of that prolly should be looked at. Thanks for your feedback and push to get me there.
posted by kanata at 10:23 PM on September 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

The flu is early and bad this year. ERs are seeing a fair number of cases, and a friend of mine was flat on her back for almost a month with it. So yeah, it's doctor time.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:17 AM on September 22, 2019

Seconding mono, definitely ask to get tested for that. My cold/flu-like symptoms from it were minor but I had extreme sleepiness exactly like this, paired with difficulty after even basic exertion - like having to sit down after going up 1 flight of stairs.
posted by 100kb at 9:02 AM on September 22, 2019

A belated update. I had just this bad flu going around that my dr said was wiping out everyone and also a reoccurrence of anemia combined which just created this mix with my chronic illness to hit me extra hard. And the dr thought it was good I came in and I wasn't wasting her time as she also thought my asthma was being triggered so she gave me an inhaler and I'm beginning to recover. Energy still low but able to stay awake a bit now. Thank you for your motivation and support to check in that it was something to get looked at.
posted by kanata at 10:49 PM on October 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

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