Monday, April 6, 2009


I wrote a few posts ago about Spring Training and how I missed it this year. With Younger Son having a late spring break, we opted instead to go to Boston to see the Red Sox and part of their opening series vs. the Rays.

With apologies to my lovely daughter, who had her break back in March (and you are greatly missed, Sweetie), the rest of us (Wife, myself and two sons) made our plans.

I've been to Boston several times. I have done the Freedom Trail, walked around the Commons and seen the "Cheers" sign. So the plan was that Wife and sons would leave this afternoon (Monday), do the touristy thing in Boston for a couple of days, then I would join them on Wednesday. We have tickets to games Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon. We have plans to go out to Cape Cod after Thursday's game and to come home Saturday. Daughter will join us for Easter.

Wife and sons left on schedule this afternoon. My plans, however, remain in limbo. I felt a little congestion coming on last Thursday afternoon. Thinking I could work through it, I plodded on through the weekend and hydrated myself as much as possible, trying to deny I was sinking.

Last night I sank hard. I was up most of the night coughing and I knew about 4 a.m. there was no way I was going to work. I got an appointment with my doc at 10:45.

I described my symptoms to her as best I could (one of which is I can't talk). She did all the typical stuff -- looked in my throat and my ears, felt all around my neck., and pronounced my condition as "viral."

I have learned through the years that "viral" means something like the common cold and there is really nothing you can do other than take some over-the-counter stuff and let it run its course. "Bacterial," on the other hand, means there is some kind of infection and can be treated with antibiotics. I have done my share of reading through the years, especially since having children, and there are varying opinions about the whole antibiotic thing. Some experts believe that a lot of us overloaded our kids with them when they were little (to the point that now they might even be immune) and that our pediatricians just gave them to us because that's what we wanted. I am sure a lot of us remember the "pink stuff" they gave our babies for ear infections. Did it really help?

I have mixed feelings. I don't want to take unnecesessary drugs but I do want to feel better. If"thinking" I'll feel better will help, that's OK with me.

Today my doc wrote me a prescription for a cough supressant so I can sleep, but she also wrote me one for an antibiotic for me to "hold" until Wednesday and if I'm not feeling better by then, I should start on it.

I really like my doctor but this is very confusing to me. What is it, viral or bacterial? Or does she really know? She seemed to think I would be feeling better very soon since I've had some of the symptons for several days now. (I really should take someone with me when I go to the doctor. I never seem to ask the right questions, then can't remember what she said).

I am worse. I am sitting here shivering, have a fever of about 101 and every once in a while I get this feeling in my throat as if there's a straight pin in there. This sends me into a gagging, convulsive cough. OK, maybe "convulsive" is a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not pleasant.

What's worse is that Wife and sons left, Daughter is at school and my dog is gone to the kennel. I am all alone and I would cry if it would not make me much worse. (Yes I am a poster child for men who are babies about being sick).

So I took it all the meds. I took Ibuprofen for the fever, the cough medicine which has something in it that is giving me a little buzz (not complaining about that) and yes, I started the antibioitic too. I hope I am not doing something bad to my body but I just have to feel better.

My flight is scheduled to leave at 10 a.m. Wednesday, day after tomorrow. I have a looooooong way to go if I'm going to make it. It is not fair to my wife and sons to stay in a hotel room with them while I am hacking and coughing. And of course if it's viral, I'm contagious. Besides, I don't want to go if I'm feeling like this.

So now that I feel sufficiently sorry for myself, I will wait to see if I get better. And to amuse myself I'll do an Internet search about viral vs. bacterial. I'll let you know if I reach a different conclusion.


Redlefty said...

Wow, sorry, hope your arsenal of meds works fast!

Maggie said...

You are killing me right now Dad!! I hate knowing that you're alone there and feeling miserable...and judging from that phone call I know you aren't yourself. I love you and wish I could be there with you! I didn't know Ralph was already're breaking my heart!! I love you and I know you can't really talk so I'll email you tomorrow. Please get better soon. And if you don't make it to Boston, I'll be home THURSDAY!!! Can't wait to see you. Praying for you :) love you.

Kelly said...

Awww, Bob! You're breaking my heart, too! Especially the part about even Ralph not being there!!! (bet he wishes he was there with you, too!)

If you're contagious you certainly don't want to get on a plane, but hopefully you'll be beyond that point and feeling well enough to go by tomorrow.
If not... be thankful for your sweet daughter who's willing to come take care of you!!

I'll share my opinion on antibiotics with you another time. Meanwhile... GET BETTER!!

Keep us posted!! (or at least e-mail me)

Debby said...

What horrible, horrible timing, although I am not at all sure that there is a good time for something like that. The only time I flew with a bad cold, it wreaked havoc on my ears. It was terrible.

Not to be unsympathetic, but I laughed out loud at 'Yes I am a poster child for men who are babies about being sick'. Tim's pretty good, but I know some other men...whoo...all I can say, Bob, is that you'll have to scootch over just a bit when they take that picture for the poster...

Hope you're better today.

Bob said...

Yes Debby I admit it. Wish you could talk to my wife, who would tell you that I will say "I just want to be left alone . . ." as long as she's available for pillow fluffing and hand holding. Alas, that is what makes this so hard! (even though I managed to drum up a good bit of sympathy from my daughter!)

Unfortunately have about decided not to go. Were it a once-in-a-lifetime around-the-world cruise, I'd get it together and go. But I can skip this one, get a credit for my plane ticket and avoid the misery of a plane flight. Wife and sons somehow seem to be enjoying themselves even in my absence . . .

quid said...

I hope you get to go!!!!

Here's my wise description of viral vs. bacterial.

Bacterial = doctor gives you drugs that will probably work to make you better

Viral = nothing will make you better, but if doctor likes you, you'll get drugs so you can pretend to be better

See what you think. Q

Maggie said...

You know I wish you could go...but this means time with me :) but I'm still hoping by some miracle you'll get to feeling amazingly better and get to go! And don't worry I'll be more than happy to fluff your pillows.