Learn how this author fought off one of the year’s nastiest cold and flu bugs with safe, effective, do-it-yourself treatment.
On Wednesday I was feeling fine. Barely feverish, but nothing a little Echinacea couldn’t handle. “Maybe I’m catching what my daughter has,” I thought.
Thursday, though, was a whole other ball game. Sometime in the middle of the night I became aware of an itchy, rashy, sand-papery (yes, that’s a technical term) sore spot in the back of my throat. It hit me like a car crash as soon as I was fully awake: fever, aches, pains, and a throat so sore I couldn’t even think about talking without wincing.
“Gargle with some salt water,” my husband advised as he kissed me on the head and rushed out the door, quickly evading our rambunctious toddler. Salt water. Great. That’s what my Mom would’ve said, so naturally I was skeptical.
Time to break out A Treasury of Natural First Aid Remedies From A to Z by James Kusick – not well worn by any means, but that’s because we don’t get sick a whole lot. Regardless, it’s my homemaker’s bible of tried and true techniques for everything that ails you. Bites and stings? Page 24. Constipation? Page 81. Food poisoning? 115. Sore throat? Wait a minute – no listing for sore throat?
Oh…. strep throat, page 214. Hmmm. Could I really have strep throat? Symptoms listed include a sudden onset of sore throat, fever, headache, nausea, depressed or melancholy mood, swollen and tender glands in the neck, and possible witish blotches inside a very red throat (visible by looking with a flashlight).
Great. It’s like this guy knew all my symptoms before I could even figure out what they were. So now it looks as though I have strep throat and (gulp) no health insurance.
I read on. The public’s fear surrounding strep throat, I learn, is due to the onset of more nasty diseases that can occur if the condition is left untreated or doesn’t resolve itself. Truth be told, about 1/4 of the people already carry the strep bacteria witout any noticable symptoms. And most sore throats are automatically treated as if they were strep, even without evidence of a positive culture test – which means unnecessary exposure to generalized antibiotics.
Wow. Sounds like I could make the obligatory call to the doctor and possibly get seen today with a screaming two-year-old in tow ($90), then take a prescription to get filled at the pharmacy ($10-$25) and I might start feeling better by Monday if the stars are in line with Jupiter.