Sep 16, 2005

Nursing school syndrome/super bacteria

I live in the 2nd worst allergen capital in the country. I read that somewhere, can't remember where but it was some magazine that figures that stuff out. My City is second to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I remember because I was forced to go to a Dowell family reunion there last year. I only mention this because I have been feeling like absolute doggie doo for the past 2 weeks. I was actually scared for awhile that I somehow relapsed with Mono (I had that about this time last year) but seeing as most times that usually doesn't recur a year apart, I figured that wasn't the case. Apparently, the area doesn't usually get a high Ragweed count but for some reason it's been moderately high. I'm not the only one suffering, I've taken a poll with other allergy sufferers I know and all are suffering. Headaches, itchy eyes, sore muscles, fatigue, you've been acknowledged, now go AWAY!
It's so hard to resist Nursing school syndrome though. It can be a burden to be too well informed about what can go wrong with your body. For example, When I'm overly tired I immediately think Leukemia, Lymphoma. A sharp pain in the leg...I think blood clot. Persistent cough....Lung cancer. Nevermind that I have's never my first thought. Headaches or brain aneurysm?
I resist heading to my doctor for every little thing. I know how to handle most common ailments and the same applies to Ari. Obviously, if she was running a high fever or has the croup, I would take her. 9 times out of 10 though it's a virus and no antibiotic in the world can cure a virus.
I've been seeing a scary rise in patients with a new(er) strain of antibiotic resistant bacteria at the hospital. This one is labeled VRE which stands for
Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcal infection. It's scarier then a MRSA (methicillan resistant staph. aureus) infection. These infections were born from people, and it's killing people. We live in a society that believes that we can't stop for illness. When someone gets sick, they go to the doctor, get some pills, go back to work. Never mind that what they REALLY have is a virus, nevermind that antibiotics only kill bacteria, and never mind that if you aren't infected with bacteria and taking antibiotics that the "good" bacteria eats these antibiotics up and becomes stronger. So when said "good" bacteria is introduced into a wound it has no business being in, it starts reeking havoc. Then it's even harder to kill since the bacteria remembers (yes, bacterial cells produce "memory" cells) the antibiotics and have built a sort of impenetrable shield against them.
It's not always your fault. I think every job I've ever worked at(except the hospital, go fig) had a manager who demanded a note from your doctor for even your first offence of calling in sick. Managers don't want to hear that you have a virus and seeing your doctor would be a gigantic waste of money. The same goes for schools. Think of pink-eye and their no attendance-without-antibiotics policy with that. Did you know there are 5 basic types of
conjuctivitis and only bacterial and fungal require medication.
Eventually this could happen with all antibiotics and bacteriae. So the moral of this story is if you get sick with a virus, rest, take some echinachea and lots of OJ, but don't bother your DR for pills in less it hasn't gone away or improved after 1 or 2 weeks. Also, if you do have a diagnosed bacterial infection, finish all prescribed medication so you don't create a super bacteria that will destroy the earth as we know it.
I know I'm being over-dramatic here. I really got on to post about my miserable allergies and went off on a tangent, but maybe someone learned something. :)


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