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Do you go to the doctor if you have a cold?
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Tiresias
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Oct 11, 2011, 10:57 AM
 
Today is the ninth day of the worst cold I've ever had. My head feels like it's gestating a fetus. My muscles ache. My eyes ache. I am hacking up hanks of phlegm large enough to sink a toy yacht.

The Internet emphatically assures me that, since colds are viral, antibiotics are of no use. But why do my colds always clear up after taking them?

I will go to the doctor for some antibiotics tomorrow because I suspect that a sore throat is about to come to the party and I have a history of bacterial tonsillitis whenever my immune system takes a dive.

Cold season is creeping up on us. What is your policy?
     
Big Mac
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:01 AM
 
I wouldn't normally go to the doctor over a cold, but with the symptoms you describe I think you shouldn't feel bad about going.

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Shaddim
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:05 AM
 
May not be a cold, go to the doc.
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SpaceMonkey
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:10 AM
 
What you have sounds beyond a cold. Possibly the flu.

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turtle777
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:22 AM
 
I agree with teh others, go and see a doc. This is beyond a normal cold.

-t
     
imitchellg5
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:36 AM
 
Go to the doctor. At the very least, they'll give you some antibiotics that should speed up recovery.
     
SSharon
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:44 AM
 
If your symptoms are getting worse . . . see a nurse,
if they are staying the same . . . going to a doctor is lame.
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Tiresias  (op)
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Oct 11, 2011, 11:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Go to the doctor. At the very least, they'll give you some antibiotics that should speed up recovery.
They do. For me it's a case of personal experience contradicting science.

Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
If your symptoms are getting worse . . . see a nurse,
if they are staying the same . . . going to a doctor is lame.
They're staying the same: unbearable.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 11, 2011, 12:01 PM
 
In German, there is a saying (rough translation): if you have a cold, it will last seven days. If you see a doctor, it'll last a week.
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SSharon
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Oct 11, 2011, 12:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
They're staying the same: unbearable.
Yea, sorry, not very good advice or a very good rhyme.

Feel better though!
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andi*pandi
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Oct 11, 2011, 12:43 PM
 
Maybe you are like me and get nasty sinus infections after a cold, which the antibiotics will help. I also recommend steam, a neti pot, and chicken soup.
     
Tiresias  (op)
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Oct 11, 2011, 12:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In German, there is a saying (rough translation): if you have a cold, it will last seven days. If you see a doctor, it'll last a week.
Very good.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 11, 2011, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
In German, there is a saying (rough translation): if you have a cold, it will last seven days. If you see a doctor, it'll last a week.
If you're unable to work, though, you usually need to see a doctor anyway, to get signed off.
     
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Oct 11, 2011, 04:52 PM
 
I have access to something called the Nurse Line which is where I would go first if I was sick for several days and not getting better. From that advice talking to a real nurse would be my next step which could be something at the drug store to seeing my GP to even being told to hit a hospital. But I have gone to my GP for colds that wouldn't go away. Not something that happens often, I think maybe twice in my life I had a cold that wouldnt get better.
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cjrivera
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Oct 11, 2011, 08:32 PM
 
Symptoms sound like flu or acute sinusitis.
Go see a doctor.
(Although if you have the flu, it's too late for medication (Tamiflu) anyway. Not that it works very well anyway.)


Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
The Internet emphatically assures me that, since colds are viral, antibiotics are of no use. But why do my colds always clear up after taking them?
Colds usually last 1-2 weeks. By the time you finish the 10 days of antibiotics (which do nothing for viral illnesses), the cold symptoms were clearing naturally at the same time.
( Last edited by cjrivera; Oct 11, 2011 at 08:39 PM. )
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polendo
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Oct 11, 2011, 10:02 PM
 
A cold is different from the flu. Definetly go and see a Doctor since 9 days seem like a lot for a common cold.

From my experience of last year (I got influenza and then like 3 more times sinusitis), a cold w/fever lasts about 3-4 days .. 5-6 days tops. The flu or influenza on the other hand should last for 7 to 8 days but the I*feel*like*crap seems to last for 2 weeks. Both are viral but there is a risk of getting a bacterial infection and that scenario requires antibiotics. If there is no bacterial infection the body should get rid of the virus within time. Antivirals lile Tamiflu help on the first couple of days of the sickness.. 9 days after won´t make much difference. I´m not a doctor but did my research.

And yes, at the first sign of getting a bit of temperature I call the doctor and get checked up. I have been called exagerated, but I don´t care. I hate feeling sick.

Things that help is drinking lots of fluids and getting vitamin c. There are other theories like sweating the virus by making excercise (I have tried that) and might help, but in your condition it will make things worse.. it will only tax your body. In fact it is also strongly recommended to rest a lot. Also ask your doctor when can you get vaccinated for the influenza. There are zillions types of virus out there, but the vaccine will help you with like 4 or 5 types of the most common of this year. I just got mine this past saturday.

I hope you feel better soon.
     
ghporter
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Oct 12, 2011, 07:18 AM
 
The interesting thing about viral diseases (especially colds) is that they drain your defenses, and you can become more susceptible to OTHER infections, including bacterial infections. Which probably helps explain your "every time I get a cold and get antibiotics, I clear up quickly." Sinusitis is a good bet, considering your symptoms (see cjrivera's post), and while "1-2 weeks" implies longer than most people think they have a cold, the impacts tend to linger that extra 5-7 days whether you notice them or not. In other words, if you weren't feeling a lot better on day 7, it's likely that this is NOT "just a cold."

See a medical professional ASAP. Whatever it is, you're not getting over it by yourself, right? Get help.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
el chupacabra
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Oct 13, 2011, 01:14 PM
 
I never used to go to the doc for flu or colds. I ended up getting permanent damage to my lungs. When you first feel the start of a cold you should get extra sleep and take it easy to try and knock it out in a few days. If it pushes 2 weeks you need to go to the doc so you don't get bronchitis or pneumonia which will do permanent damage.
     
olePigeon
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Oct 13, 2011, 04:20 PM
 
If I'm sick for more than 2 days, my work requires me to get signed off by my doctor (I work at a school) before going back.

Quite a few years ago I had what seemed like a horrible cold for nearly a month. I didn't have health insurance at that time or any money (was going to school full time), so I was reluctant to go. About 3 1/2 weeks into it, I had a real hard time breathing. My brother convinced me to go the doctor. Turned out I had pneumonia. Doc gave me some medication and was fine after another week.

Don't ever wanna go through that again. If I'm sick for more than 10 days, I see my doc just incase. That's what my insurance is for.

Coincidentally, I've been sick this whole week since Saturday, but I'm finally getting over it.
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Patrick
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Oct 13, 2011, 07:43 PM
 
Funny, a few weeks ago I was talking with a guy at work who said that whenever he got colds, he usually got his doctor to prescribe antibiotics and said they seemed to help. I would think that if they did, there would be some kind of secondary bacterial infection that's common - but we never seem to hear about it.

The last time I had a nasty virus with a horrible sore throat, the RN suggested possibly going on antibiotics, but didn't know what was wrong. I'm not one to take medication without a proper diagnosis, but now I'm wondering if whatever it was had led to some sort of ear infection they didn't catch. My eustachian tubes were plugging up randomly, and whatever it was left me with a bit of tinnitus which I only started noticing after my head cleared up. Oh well...

Got a cold right now, but it's barely even a sore throat and a mild grogginess in the head. Probably won't go any farther; my immune system is in the process of kicking some ass.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 13, 2011, 08:49 PM
 
I can't remember the last time I was ill for more than two days, I was probably a kid of 5 or 6. I try to avoid doctors at almost all costs, mostly because most of the docs at my local practice are egomaniacal snobs and I can't stand being spoken to like I'm stupid by someone who simply hasn't taken the time to determine that I'm not. If you ask them questions out of genuine interest, they get offended and start puffing and blowing. The last one I saw just behaved like she couldn't be bothered to be there and thus she may as well not have been.

Younger doctors are actually better these days if only because they are more driven while older ones are jaded and going through the motions. Plus younger ones are more likely to be hot which never hurts.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
polendo
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Oct 14, 2011, 03:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I can't remember the last time I was ill for more than two days, I was probably a kid of 5 or 6. I try to avoid doctors at almost all costs, mostly because most of the docs at my local practice are egomaniacal snobs and I can't stand being spoken to like I'm stupid by someone who simply hasn't taken the time to determine that I'm not. If you ask them questions out of genuine interest, they get offended and start puffing and blowing. The last one I saw just behaved like she couldn't be bothered to be there and thus she may as well not have been.

Younger doctors are actually better these days if only because they are more driven while older ones are jaded and going through the motions. Plus younger ones are more likely to be hot which never hurts.
That´s why it is recommended to have at least 1 doctor, lawyer and priest as a friend . No kidding I have the 3 and the doctor is the one I owe him big time.
     
Athens
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Oct 14, 2011, 04:15 PM
 
why the priest? I would add a Computer tech and a auto mechanic to the list.
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The Final Dakar
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Oct 14, 2011, 04:53 PM
 
Edit: Wow, wrong thread...
( Last edited by The Final Dakar; Oct 14, 2011 at 05:13 PM. )
     
reader50
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Oct 14, 2011, 06:39 PM
 
The priest is the backup, in case the doctor doesn't handle the cold. I suppose the lawyer is a backup too.
     
polendo
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Oct 15, 2011, 01:53 AM
 
Yeah well , the computer tech guy or gal is supposed to be you (or us for that matter)! -- hey someone has to fix the darn things from time to time. The funny thing is that people tend to think that if you can fix a computer related problem you can do the same with the Cable TV, telephone, fridge, etc etc .. you name it.
R50 got that right..priest and lawyer are backups for some kind of advanced solutions to complex problems!
     
olePigeon
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Oct 15, 2011, 02:07 PM
 
The priest can put a towel over your head and lean you over one of those steamers, then yell, "May the power of mist compel you!"
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you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
   
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