Hospital Adventures: ER Visit #3, #4 in 2018 - Turns out to be Valley Fever

Discussion in 'Health' started by purr1n, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    I have an old doctor in the family and he googles and even wikipedia's meds all the time to see what people are saying beyond the official physician's desk reference reports.

    Anyhoo Marv, hope you feel better soon! Be your own advocate with doctors for sure. The annoying people are the ones who don't listen to doctors, not the ones who try to be informed to make the best choices.
     
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  2. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Wow! You certainly have had quite the adventure(s). Hope you are able to sort it all out and be well again. Definitely it pays to research and be your own advocate. Most of the quality medical staff appreciate well informed patients, as long as not being an ass about it.
     
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  3. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    You definitely want to be an informed patient. We signed up for my wife’s PPO because I felt like the system I was in was doing their best to kill me. I joke about it now, but in hindsight I don’t think I was that far off. As an example, my doctor put in a referral for a sleep apnea test in January. I still haven’t had the test. I called the test center multiple times and keep getting an answering machine and never heard back. Thank goodness I have access to UCSF. I’m positive the doctors and others want to give me the best treatment possible. The insurance companies could give a shit less. I speak from working for the 2nd largest health insurer for 4 years. In addition to my father having his own agency for over 25 years. We are all just numbers to them.

    Get well soon Marv.
     
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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    P.S. I forgot to mention, the coughs I've been having in the past two days smells like the water at Devil's Lake.
     
  5. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

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    Glad to hear you're on the mend, Marvey!
     
  6. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    The coughs described sound perfectly rotten and disgusting. Thanks for the warning to avoid similar misadventures as what you have endured.
     
  7. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I’m not a doctor but I play one on the Internet. My guess is you inhaled some really nasty water. If they didn’t test to see what kind of bacteria is actually infecting your lungs, they are just taking a guess at what antibiotic to treat it with.

    @David De Lucena could probably give more insight.

    Edit; Your skin rash could be due to bacteria in the water. Michigan isn’t exactly known for clean water. I’m sure The over exposure to sunlight didn’t help things.

    Edit 2: corticosteroids are immune system suppressants in addition to being Anti-inflammatories. They’re good at suppressing the rash but may interfere with the antibiotics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  8. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    This is one of the puzzles in US healthcare. In the European countries I know, antibiotics are not prescribed without tests to determine which kind of bacterium is involved. Here, whatever. I've been lucky that my multiple pneumonias (long story, basically sinus infection>postnasal drip>lungs around skiing and mountaineering) went away with azithromycin, but I've never had a test for what bacteria were involved.

    The steroid-benadryl-pepcid is a pretty standard way of trying to block the IgE pathway involved in some allergic reactions (from personal experience). It can work, but not always. Some of us have to rely on periodic and very expensive monoclonal antibodies instead...

    Marv, that's a ton of bad luck and somewhat iffy medical decision-making, sorry you had to go through it!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    In the USA, the procedure is the same. The problem with walking pneumonias with dry cough is that the doctors cannot determine up to 80% of the time what kind of bacteria it is. A nurse shoved a swab far up my nose - fuck that was uncomfortable and awkward - she tricked me to do it. They took a swab at the back of my mouth. They took a ton of blood. All negative for finding the bug. And I wasn't coughing up anything to culture. And even if they cultured, it takes days, if it even works. Supposedly pneumonia bacterias are difficult to culture.

    So basically the doctors have to guess. They guessed that is was a bacterial pneumonia based on the CT scan. And they used Zithromax via IV, which addresses the most common bacteria in this situation. Had the doctors not done this, I would still be sick right now, or possibly dead. Lacking information in a life or death situation should not result in no action that will guarantee a worse outcome, it's best to make an educated guess, and make another guess the next day if the first guess was not correct.

    Yes, I did ask the doctors if they knew what my bug was, and this was how they explained it to me. And again, Princess Diana would have been saved a million times over had that incident happened in NY. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  10. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I guess it must be different between ER and normal office visits. But your point about pneumonia bugs being hard to pinpoint is well taken. My worst pneumonia, my wife drove me to Penn urgent care (when I lived in Philly) after picking me up from my return flight from Santiago, Chile after an Andean adventure. I was in pretty poor shape, the X ray and low blood O_2 were obvious, so waiting to know more would have been a bad idea.

    One thing that wasn't clear: why switch from IV Z to Levaquin, instead of IV Z to oral Z?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  11. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    Keep on the mend.. dB
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The problem is mostly with normal office visits where the patients demand to the doctors that they want an antibiotic even if they have the flu. In too many situations, the doctors acquiesce - after all - the customer is responsible for a huge portion of the cost in the USA. You have to remember that most Americans are poorly educated and believe in a lot of nonsense when compared to Europeans and parts of the UK Commonwealth. I know this because part of my schooling was in Canada. Americans, while they can be extremely bright, can also be dumbassess extraordinaire. For example, I've had Americans actually ask me what language Canadians speak. I always reply that Canadians speak Canadian, which is true to some extent.

    I cannot tell you how many coworkers tell me about their secret stash of antibiotics or twist their doctors' arms to get antibiotics, and how they felt much better from the flu because they abused antibiotics. What is the number? Maybe 97-98% of cold symptoms are viral. Everytime I hear such stories, I think in my mind: "Wow, you are an asshole". The typical profile of such people is middle management paper pushers who have learned the ways of laziness and bureaucratic games to stay in their positions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  13. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Hmm. I think you favour the Commonwealthers. NZ, same thing: everybody, not just the doctors, knows that colds & flu are viral and that antibiotics are not the answer - yet both parties are only too willing to prescribe/take them. And then complain in knowing tones that over-prescribing has led to resistance...

    About the last part, I dunno. I've lived here on and off for the last 25 years and I still can't figure out what it is most Canadians are speaking.

    Regardless - continue healing, good sir!
     
  14. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    Hope you are better Marv. There are 2 kind of ATB treatment. One of them is based in the most prevalent bacteria in your country. Medical doctors looks your age, comorbidities and symptoms. Usually there is no need for a bacteria culture and specific screening in body fluids, but it can be done. this kind of symptoms usually are due gram negative bacteria, like haemophilus, moraxella... but you always have to remember the pneumococcus.Levofloxacin it’s one of the best ATB for any pulmonary infection. It kill all this shit! It’s used around the world. The problem is that all those ATB are derivative from toxins that fungus and other bacteria sintetyze to defend themselves from other organisms. So, the chances for immune reaction are high. Man, I have seen so many people completely out of their mind, agitated after 1 or 2 days of fluorquinolones shots like levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin,norfloxacin and gatifloxacin. Other people have skin reaction, fever and muscle pain, like the one you had. @purr1n it’s important to remember that this kind of immune reaction can happen in the future with other medication from the same class. Wish you Health and happiness.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  15. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    I've taken antibiotics twice in my life. The first time I broke out in a horrible rash similar to the pictures above and it was determined that I was allergic to that particular antibiotic.

    The second time, I puked my brains out after 1 pill.

    So yeah...I avoid them. I worry what will happen the one time I actually need them.
     
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  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Now that is an extremely scary question. Azithromycin / Zithromax was discovered in 1980? And the fluorquinolones like Levaquin came a decade a half later?

    Well, that explains it, it kills all this shit, and more! Yes, I was talking a little bit gibberish too. I believe I initally answered "thank you" when I was asked for my name at the ER. I'm sure with another dose, I'd be speaking in tongues predicting the end of the world. It's in my file. I will be avoiding fluorquinolones in the future. I hear that once you get a bad reaction, the next time will be even worse.

    Another scary thing: the ER doctor was not surpised at all when I mentioned Levaquin. I know they are trained not to react in a certain way, but I could tell. They've seen this and other adverse effects from Levaquin before. When I mentioned my primary care doctor swiched to me Biaxin (same family has Zithromax), but that I was afraid to take it, the ER doctor replied: Na, don't even worry about it.

    Very telling.

    Is there some kind of spinner dial on the adverse reactions of Levaquin: 1) ruptured achilles tendon; 2) insanity; 3) deadly hives; 4) explosions from exposure to sun; 5) busted kidneys; 6) shock leading to mulitple organ failure
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  17. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    There is a “high end” antibiotic called quinupristine/dalfopristine infusion. They only use it when several other ATB fails. I mean... one of the last chances... it is so toxic that sometimes it kills all the bacteria , and the patient. Sad, but true. But we have to try something in those cases. At least there is hope. Cheers
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Holy crap. Now that I think of it, I suffered from 2, 3, and 5. I was pissing out some seriously red pee with chunks in them. I'm going to go back to my primary care doctor to have my kidney function tested.

    My deal is that I wasn't warned about 2 and 3 and 5. I was only warned about 1.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  19. David De Lucena

    David De Lucena Science Nut

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    Naaaaaaahhhh, don’t worry. Those drugs are safe!
    :pirate07:
     
  20. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    So, you either get better or die? Kind of like listening to...

     
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