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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monsters under my mucus

I'm not sick. I'm not. I mean, yeah, I have some issues I should be dealing with, but who doesn't? At least I'm not sick. In fact, I've been fortunate this cold and flu season. Four days of wishing I was dead (in Las Vegas and Cincinnati, no less) was all I had to endure. It was a bad-ass illness, to be sure. For me, though, it was up and down relatively fast.

Relatively, you say? Well, yeah. Most people I've met have been dealing with it for a long, long time.

Right now, I'm sitting in the dark. I mean dark-dark. No lights, no TV, no radio LED display. If not for the light of this computer screen (and the ever-so bright light of my achey-breaky heart), I couldn't see anything. And maybe it is the dark that has me a little paranoid, but I'm thinking there has been a little something odd about this season's colds and flus.

Now, it's a given...I get around, govn'ah. I meet all kinds of people in all kinds of places. And, yeah, many of those places are not the cleanest of joints. Regardless, I've not known many people who have not suffered some dread disease this year. And most of them have described it as a lingering death march from the local drug store, to bed, to work, back to the drug store, to the doctor, and eventually to a priest for last rites...you know, just in case.

Now, maybe it's just that my fortunate life has led me to be acquainted with people all over America. Maybe I'm just a little more exposed the maladies of the country at large. Maybe it's just that I'm sitting in the dark at 2:30am. But, this year seems a little odd to me. It seems to me that more people are getting sick this year, they are getting sicker, and they are staying sick longer.

I remember one paranoid night in my garage about 12 years ago when I was talking to a med student friend of mine. He laid out the case for how our overuse of antibiotics was eventually going to make us terminally vulnerable to germs and bugs. I'm not saying that's what we're dealing with here, but I've seen more otherwise healthy people bedridden this year than I've ever seen in my life.

I got rather lucky. While my early December bout with the bug made me wish I dead for 48 hours, I recovered rather quickly. Many other folks have not fared as well.

So, I ask you, delicate reader, am I just being paranoid because of insomnia, darkness, evil spirits, and the ghost of Christmas past? Or do you think something is going on here? Because, I'm not one to go looking for monsters under the bed, but if they start knocking in the middle of the night, I'm at least going to take a peak and make sure they aren't sharpening their fangs for me.

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Blogger Dr. Pauly said...

Snort another line, bro.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Pokerwolf said...

Factor into your equation that people aren't eating as healthy as they were, they aren't exercizing enough, they aren't washing their hands enough (nevermind personal hygiene), they're working themselves to death, and they aren't getting enough sleep.

Put all of that together with occupying small spaces with large numbers of people (some of who came to work even though they were sick) and you end up with a ridiculous number of people getting sick.

8:44 AM  
Blogger StB said...

I am in the same camp with your then med student friend. I rarely take any antibiotics, medical drugs, or even aspirin. If I get ill, and that is a big if as I usually do not, I administer alcohol as my drug along with rest. It is rare I am sick for more than a day or two.

I have the cure for the common cold. His name is Mark.

11:14 AM  
Blogger DrChako said...

Dammit Jim, I’m a Radiologist, not an epidemiologist!

That said, I am a physician, so I can say a couple things. First – the disclaimer. These are my opinions, unsubstantiated by any research.

First of all, the antibiotic problem is not contributing to this cold and flu season. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, and their overuse has created resistant bacteria.

Seasonal cold and flu is due to a virus.

Now, my personal observation at the hospital – this season is the worst in memory. You are correct. People are sicker and staying sick longer. We’ve had 2 and possibly 3 deaths of children in the Seattle area. They tell me this is not unusual, but it’s the first I’m hearing of it around here.

Wash your hands. A lot.


11:21 AM  
Blogger Chilly said...

Most people get a flu shot. If you don't you should. The symptoms you describe are Influenza. The type of killed RNA virus that goes into those Flu shots are determined up to a year in advance.

Right now, epidemiologists are planning what viral concoction we will be shot with next winter.

One year ago those epidemiologists were wrong, really, really wrong. They put Flu bugs A, B and C into the shot and we all got hit with Flu bug X.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

You have a kid. My wife has been sick because the two kids decide its fun to get mommy sick (daddy has miss one day of work due to illness in seven years).

And listen to the doc, washing your hands a lot works and gives you another reason to use peppermint lotion to prevent drying out of course.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sicker....yes!! Longer.....most definitely!!! Something is going on and I think it is high time we get to the bottom of it!!!! (I can't say for sure, but I might be paranoid too) luckily my family hasn't been sick at all, but I know it has been sticking with people for months at a time.....suspicious!!!

2:57 AM  

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