The age-old question: When do you pull the trigger and make a Dr. appt.?
One of the most trafficked posts I ever wrote here was about green phlegm. That's right. I was coughing up some, and I was wondering if that was an automatic "Go straight to Dr., do not Pass Go, and be prepared to cough up $$" symptom.
As it turns out, there was not complete agreement on the matter.
And Google searches for "green phlegm" still bring me traffic every single week.
I am in a similar situation now. Three weeks ago I started feeling a bit under the weather, and I was cursing my body out, because on February 16th I left for a trip to South Africa, my first real vacation in about 6 years. (Yes, I took many cool pictures, and you can find the links to those photo pages here on my personal blog.)
Well, a 40-hour door-to-door trip, which included about 24 hours sitting on three different planes with all of humanity, did nothing to quell my ailment. In fact, by the time we arrived in our game lodge room, I was a goner. I got in bed at about 2PM that afternoon and didn't emerge until morning.
At some point it was hard to tell where my allergies might have played a role...we were driving out in the bushlands amongst dense vegetation for about 5-6 hours a day. But the bottom line was that I had a wicked cough, an ear that never unclogged from landing, sinus congestion and pressure and sneezing. And a general fatigued, feverish feeling.
You can get cough syrup with codeine without a prescription in Africa, so my friend (who was also sick) and I did get through the trip without missing too much. But we were not at our best, and our energy was definitely depleted.
I've been back over one week now, and while I'm mostly better, I can't say I'm 100%. The cough is there, and perhaps more annoyingly, it's that tightness in the chest that is still there. You know the kind...when you have to plan your deep breaths carefully because otherwise they automatically lead to a cough. It's a dry cough, not producing much phlegm at all, but it's persistent.
And yes, I'm asking that question: After three weeks of being sick, how long do I give myself to get over this before going to the Dr.? Does this last remaining symptom get to stick around for another week? What would the doctor do about it anyway?
What would you do? And be honest...because I am well familiar with the "do as I say and go to the doctor, and not as a I do (which is never to go to the doctor) approach!!