or Connect
Mothering › Groups › June 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Antibiotics?

Antibiotics?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hey, so I've had a sore throat for the last week or so. The past couple of days it's gotten a lot worse. The sickness is mostly in my throat, but I do sneeze occasionally (4-5 times a day, really nothing to write home about). The past two days I've been coughing up phlegm-y yellow and green which I know means infection.

 

Right now my medicaid only covers pregnancy related, and I'm paying an awful lot (actually, it's beyond my means) to have a midwife outside of my medicaid. So, I hope you can understand my reluctance to pay out more to a family practitioner to diagnose and prescribe.

 

I'm pretty sure it's either strep, or the beginnings of a sinus infection. I have no pressure, and no serious "angry nose" so I'm leaning more towards it being strep throat. My mom has an extra round of Amoxocillin (what I'm generally prescribed for in case of strep OR sinus infection) on her charts, and I'm thinking about having her fill it for me.

 

I texted with my midwife, and she says in case of strep Amox sounds like the right course of action. Of course she cannot recommend me taking someone else's prescription, nor can she advocate for fish-acillin. She basically said it was up to me, and to let her know what happens. So, right now I'm leaning towards doing a round of amoxocillin and knocking out whatever the infection is that's making me so miserable. Thoughts?

post #2 of 22

Do you have symptoms of strep?  My whole family got it around the time my third baby was born.  Dh was sick with it when I gave birth.  Then I got it.  Then our newborn got it.  It totally kicked our butts with feeling so wiped out.

 

I'd be hesitant to treat with abx without knowing that you for sure have a bacterial infection.  I'd try grapefruit seed extract instead.

post #3 of 22

Can you get a test for strep or is that crazy expensive?  Could you go somewhere like a CVS minute clinic?  Or another walk-in?  I would definitely want to know before taking the abx if there were a way I could...

post #4 of 22

Mama, I totally understand where you're coming from with the out of pocket cost, etc....here's the deal though:

Abx are really pretty much useless for sinus infections(thank goodness more people are paying attention to this lately and some good articles have actually come out about it)....and I would absolutely NEVER take abx for strep without confirmation that it was strep. The pregnant immune system can be really wacky and seriously, your sore throat could actually be an immune response, your body trying to fight off some virus...you could be really struggling to overcome something and taking the antibiotics could mess with your gut and hurt your ability to fight off this virus/illness, you know?

 

Abx are serious business for a pregnant lady who is dealing with an illness. The absolute worst time, in my mind, to take antibiotics, would be while pregnant, when there is an illness floating around the family. The abx are going to mess up your gut and make you MORE likely to stay sicker longer...and let's be honest, it sometimes feels like it's far away, but June is right around the corner.

 

 

If I found out I had strep, I would absolutely take them, because at that point the benefit outweighs the risks. If I had a sinus infection, abx wouldn't even cross my mind. If I didn't know WHAT I had going on with me for sure....there is nothing you could do to get me to take the abx.

 

You don't want to do something now which leads to you struggling to overcome low-level illness over the next few weeks....which, in turn, leads to you going into your birthing/PP time in a run down state. Believe me, after this whole thing with Norovirus, we are like SCRAMBLING to get better, because I am SO run down that it's like, scary crazy bad. If I don't get my iron levels up, my MW can't legally attend me at home. Yikes! I am totally in the grips of a run down state and I don't want to see you here. If I had to give birth tomorrow, I have no idea how I could do it. I'm so run down, I'm like a little weak kitten. Don't do something that puts you where I am right now...just run down and tired and "mildly ill" (for weeks and weeks).

In other words, mama, I totally get that it sucks....but it's worth the out of pocket expense to find out what is really wrong. I'm sorry. :( Can you look for some sort of crazy cheap, seedy type walk in clinic downtown? In your shoes, I would look for the closest citys walk in clinic for unisured or broke folks and be all pregnant and sympathetic and just be like "I can't afford to find out what is wrong, but I think it is strep and I just, I just...abaahabbhabaa(sobbing) I can't take it any moooooreee! Abahababahaabooobo(more sobbing)!!" - and let them take care of you. Worst case scenario, you find out what is or isn't wrong with you and can make a good choice based on that and the clinic will make a payment plan for what will most likely be a fee based on a sliding scale.

 

If it's strep, you've got to take care of it. If it's not strep, you really don't want to chance taking abx and hurting your bodies ability to get you well again for this spring.

Please keep us in the loop. I have been a sufferer, in the past, of multiple cases of bad strep and horrible sinus infections. I know what kind of pain you are talking about and I'm so so sorry.

 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input guys. I truly didn't know that antibiotics were no good in pregnancy, and definitely don't want to do anything that will make me even MORE weak. I have this feeling that I'm going to go early, and I want to be strong for that if it happens.

 

DD's got the terrible cough now too. Hers advanced much more quickly, and she hardly slept at all last night. Luckily her insurance is much better than mine. I called her doc and we've got an appointment later this morning. He's usually pretty good about if the kid has something, then mom probably has it too. We both sound the same, and have the same symptoms. I still believe it's strep, but you guys are right that I should get it confirmed somehow.

 

I'll see what her doc can do for me, and I'll update you all when I know more.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, I just got back from a 5 minute appointment with the ped. He checked DD's throat, ears, and listened to her chest. He said her throat didn't look bad enough to run a strep test, suggested dimetap for her cough, and said to call him if she didn't get any better after this weekend. I explained that I had been feeling bad now for a week, and I brought her in after first symptoms so she didn't get as bad off as I felt. He dismissed it, and said if it was anything it was probably viral. I asked if he could check me out to make sure there wasn't strep in the family, and he said I would have to go to my own doc, and walked out the door before I could ask any more questions.

 

So, I guess I'm just going to be cautious and avoid the antibiotics for now. I'll just load the two of us up with vitamin c, and hope it passes. It just sucks for both of us.

 

One question though, doesn't draining green and yellow automatically mean infection of some kind? This was something my mom and my own ped told me while I was growing up.

post #7 of 22

Hope you feel better soon! I've got a sinus-thing right now, it's causing massive headaches (and I'm getting nosebleeds when I blow my nose, can't really figure out which is better, getting the congestion out or avoiding some  bleeding...) I always thought that yellow meant "approaching infection" and green meant "infection" - I know my SIL thinks it's hilarious that my brothers and I still have a habit of checking tissues after we blow our noses (mom always wanted to know what color it was!)

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheDesert View Post
<snip>

 

One question though, doesn't draining green and yellow automatically mean infection of some kind? This was something my mom and my own ped told me while I was growing up.



Mehhh...green is generally thought to be the color of "infection"....but there is a difference between "I've got a bit of green snot" and "I'm gushing phlegm that smells and tasted of infection in my nose/mouth and I'm running a fever and can hardly get out of bed" - you know?

 

Snot, a fever, a sore throat...these are not illness, these are an immune response to illness. Let these things do their job, drink tons of water, get as much rest as you can, support your gut with things like pro-biotics(good ones!) and fermented/living foods....and you will get better.

You need to cut dairy, sugar and processed foods from your diet right now. You need to be making chicken soup with good rich broth. You need to be putting your feet up. Try not to treat a fever that is low to moderate in temp. Anything you cough up, spit it out. Blow your nose frequently.

In addition to the pro-biotics, I would definitely recommend some slippery elm powder. It is easily available at any healthfood store and is a good choice for helping the gut in a time like this.

 

Just remember, the aches and pains and snot of illness are not the illness...they are your body fighting the illness. Green can mean that your body is fighting an infection, but most often, unless you are a seriously run down or immuno-challenged person, green snot is going to come....and then go...without any help.

 

Rest and pump good food and water into your body. You will get better. If you have a nagging sense that there is something more serious going on, be seen. I'd rather see you struggling with a a couple hundred dollar medical bill, than see you let strep throat go.

To be honest, I'm kind of pissed off that the doc didn't at least glance in your throat to tell you if you need to be seen and get a strep culture. Excuse my language, but that was kind of a dick move.

post #9 of 22

I agree, what a jerk the doctor sounds like!

 

I'm sorry you're sick.  I don't know how much CVS minute clinic costs but I've had good luck with them.

 

Another negative about antibiotics during pregnancy- yeast infections. They are much harder to fight off during pregnancy.

 

I hope you wake up feeling magically better tomorrow.

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I've been feeling less and less confident about DD's doc as time progresses. A mom I know at DD's dance class gave me this horrible nightmare of a story about him as well. It might be time to look into a new doc for her.

 

Unfortunately there's no CVS in my town. The only clinics here are ones where you are only seen by people in the process of completing their degrees (some phd's, but mostly nursing undergrads), not actual doctors. Lots and lots of horror stories come out of those places. My only shot at seeing a doctor is to either make an appointment with a family practitioner, or head to the E.R. of the medical center (not hospital). The cheapest doc would cost me $50 for the appointment and $30 for a strep test, which if I'm paying cash or debit (don't own a credit card) they would want it upfront. $80 doesn't seem like a lot, but it is for me when I'm still not caught up on February's bills, and the automatic withdraw bills for March are about to hit to include nearly $500 for the Midwife. Plus, DH has been down and out with his own illness this week (Fever and debilitating stomach cramps), and last week he missed work due to the Grandparents sending us on DD's birthday trip, so we effectively have zero income so far this month. I suppose if everyone still isn't better by Monday, I can pull out some money from DD's savings account, but I've never had to do that before, and I really don't want to start now. It would feel like stealing to me.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheDesert View Post

Yeah, I've been feeling less and less confident about DD's doc as time progresses. A mom I know at DD's dance class gave me this horrible nightmare of a story about him as well. It might be time to look into a new doc for her.

 

Unfortunately there's no CVS in my town. The only clinics here are ones where you are only seen by people in the process of completing their degrees (some phd's, but mostly nursing undergrads), not actual doctors. Lots and lots of horror stories come out of those places. My only shot at seeing a doctor is to either make an appointment with a family practitioner, or head to the E.R. of the medical center (not hospital). The cheapest doc would cost me $50 for the appointment and $30 for a strep test, which if I'm paying cash or debit (don't own a credit card) they would want it upfront. $80 doesn't seem like a lot, but it is for me when I'm still not caught up on February's bills, and the automatic withdraw bills for March are about to hit to include nearly $500 for the Midwife. Plus, DH has been down and out with his own illness this week (Fever and debilitating stomach cramps), and last week he missed work due to the Grandparents sending us on DD's birthday trip, so we effectively have zero income so far this month. I suppose if everyone still isn't better by Monday, I can pull out some money from DD's savings account, but I've never had to do that before, and I really don't want to start now. It would feel like stealing to me.


I can't tell you what to do, but I'm here for you if you need to talk. I'm so sorry that you are faced with such tough decisions and I want you to know that I (and a lot of other mamas here) totally know how it feels and I'm sorry you are dealing with this right now. <3

 

 

 

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Broody. You're such a doll. I know you've been going through terrible sickness in your household too.. way worse than my round of stomach bug, and now this throat thing.

 

I'm just such a pansy. I'm so the "But I don't waaannna be sick!" kinda girl. And it annoys me to no end that I'm coughing every 20 seconds. You know what happens when pregnant girls cough! Ugh!

 

I really appreciate EVERYONE'S get well wishes though. I'm gonna go crawl into bed and try to make them all come true. Thanks everybody.

post #13 of 22

Last summer I got the WORST most painful sore throat/ fever, I have ever had. I had discovered earthclinic around the same time, and decided (before I ran off to see the doctor) I would try the ceyenne & ACV tonic I read about. It kicked that infections butt! I was healing within an hour or two. Just thought I would share. Hope you are feeling better.

post #14 of 22

Hope you are feeling better today!  If not, have you looked at oregano oil?  It's supposed to be awesome for strep/sore throats.  I haven't used it personally but have a friend who used it to get rid of chronic strep.  Read up on it though, I have no idea about safety during pregnancy. 

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Just a quick update. I think I'm finally starting to get over my sickness. I took it super easy the whole week, ate better, took TONS of hot showers, and drank lots of tea. The cough is still keeping me up at night, but all the horrible green/yellow drainage has stopped. A big plus is that I have been motivated to look at my nutrition, and overall ways of managing my health. I'm definitely going to start looking to alternative ways to deal with health issues before immediately jumping onto the meds wagon. Thank you all for the well wishes, and sorry for being so whiny about it. Sheepish.gif

post #16 of 22

Glad to hear that you're feeling better! This tip is a bit after the fact, but I think you can get an over-the-counter strep test. I'm not sure how reliable it is, though. I've noticed them in passing at Wal-Mart. There are also OTC tests out there that tell you if you have a yeast infection or a bacterial infection in your hoo-ha, too. :) Off topic, but useful to know. On the other hand, an easy way to tell on THAT one is smell. Yeast infections don't smell bad - but bacterial ones make you smell like bad fish down there *after intercourse*. Something to do with a chemical reaction with semen. Fun, huh? :P Yay for random facts...

post #17 of 22

I'm glad your feeling better. My friend just got over a sinus thing that took her weeks to kick. I just wanted to add for future reference strep generally does not include a cough. It's one of the things they usually rule out if you have a cough.

post #18 of 22

Glad you are feeling better!  We have been continuously sick here in our house for the past 6 weeks too (two different stomach bugs and a few rounds of colds/flu).  Even though you are better, I did want to mention that generally if you have a cough and sinus stuff going on it usually isn't strep.  Strep is usually a sore throat with fever but without the additional sinus stuff (although I suppose you might be able to have both at the same time.  They just aren't related).  But that doesn't mean that there isn't another type of infection going on that needs to be dealt with, especially when it goes on for over a week or more. 

 

There are lots of good suggestions here about immune boosting and avoiding antibiotics.  I would add that massive Vit C (to bowl tolerance) is a good thing to do when sick, too.  

 

I hope that you recover quickly and get your energy back soon.  Illness is no fun to begin with, but especially when pregnant! 

post #19 of 22

Yay for feeling better!

 

This has been this shittiest year that I can remember in a long time for illness! I think because this winter was so mild in our area, I don't know. People have just been sick as dogs, it's weird!

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

It certainly has been a crappy year for sickness. I haven't been sick in three years, and now all of the sudden I feel like the germs are attacking! That's probably why I don't even remember what strep is like. That's neat that you can get an OTC strep test.. if I have a situation like this again I'll take advantage of it.

 

Right now, I have no other symptoms other than a really annoying cough. It's so much worse when I lay down that I've only been averaging about 4 hours of sleep a night. I feel like my body is just being mean to me. I know I should be prepared for sleep deprivation for when baby comes, but can't I at least enjoy sleep while it's still an option?

 

I sincerely appreciate all of the herbal and nutritional advice. I'm eating more fruits, and veggies, and less things out of boxes. I'm consuming a LOT of fruit juices and teas. I need to work on figuring out more about "living food" and what I like that is "living." So far, I have... yogurt. Haha. Every time I try to look up what living food is I get taken to raw food sites, where there isn't any differentiation. I "get" raw foods and what they're about, and over the last few years I've been slowly incorporating more and more into my diet. I'm also trying to be all about only eating what I call "real" food as in only food that I understand every ingredient on the list. The hardest thing for me is avoiding the convenience factor of things like boxed chicken nuggets, taquitos, and the like. I'm definitely getting better about it though, and with being sick lately I have more motivation than ever.

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: June 2012 Birth Club
Mothering › Groups › June 2012 Birth Club › Discussions › Antibiotics?