Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flu recovery

My fever was down to 99 by yesterday morning and I haven't registered one since then. (Though I'm still not 100% confident in my digital thermometers. But I seem to get better results if I don't turn it on until the thermometer is firmly in place.) I've felt almost wholly better since yesterday too: I get tired more easily than usual, but not so much that I couldn't do things if I needed to. (I'm still taking it easy, though. More time is saved by not rushing recovery.)

The cough is going to linger for a few more weeks which is the worst part, but I had an intermittent cough even before this, so that's nothing new. As of today it's feeling like it's almost a productive cough, almost, but not quite. But the dry scratchy kind is almost familiar. Actually, I've had a persistent intermittent cough my whole adult life, and no one has ever explained it. Maybe I just dry out faster. Maybe it's from the years of undiagnosed reflux. Maybe it's secondary smoke damage. Maybe it's psychosomatic.

On Tuesday I tried to find out if something like Tamiflu might be a good idea, but I was dubious from the start because I was already feeling 80% better and expected to feel 95% better by Wednesday morning (which in fact I did). So the only point was "maybe it can hasten my recovery." But things got out of hand. My doctor's office is using some kind of one-size-fits-all "decision tree" which ignores whether I'm already well into recovery, and prescribes Tamiflu based on nothing more than my BMI. What's really puzzling about this is the CDC's recommendations do not even mention BMI or weight. While Tamiflu's most common side effects seem fairly tame, given how little it's likely to help my already-mostly-complete recovery (in particular it probably won't ease the lingering cough, which is pretty much all I have left already), it doesn't seem worth the risk. So I overrode my doctor's office's phoned-in (in more than one sense of the phrase) prescription.

I had been planning on taking today and tomorrow off anyway, so now I'm doing it on sick leave instead of personal leave. My employer's policy is no going to the office until it's been 48 hours since you didn't have a fever, so next week is the soonest I could have returned anyway.

Too bad I'll never know if it was H1N1 or original-recipe.

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