7.13.2010

Down (And Out) With The Sickness

I'm confined to my house until Friday. It's torture. I can't even go to the gym.

The reason is actually a pretty decent cautionary tale. To start, I haven't had a cold in almost four years. Before that time, I used to get 4-6 colds / flus a year. But once I started eating better, working out, and taking my vitamins, that stuff stopped.

About 2 days before I left for California last month, I got a cold. Nothing big, just a runny nose and a bit of a sore throat. I hopped on a plane with very little sleep, landed, gave my talk at Pixar (with a little bit of a scratchy voice) and had to work all weekend. By that Sunday, I'd lost my voice and couldn't breathe without coughing, which then tore my throat all apart. I crashed the entire day in a friend's bed and stared helplessly out at San Francisco Bay, wishing I could go running by it or something.

I chugged Day-Quil and Ny-Quil, took Muscinex D, drank orange juice, took my Zinc... Nothing really stopped this crap. It subsided just in time for some meetings, but didn't fully go away. It hung with me for the entire week. When Andrea showed up, I was still feeling pretty blah (this is now a week and a half of having a cold). She had half a bottle of Amoxicilin in her bag from when she had a cold a few months back, so I took it.

Within 2 days, I was feeling 100% better. I felt well, in fact. We hiked and climbed mountains and had a blast. When the half-bottle of antibiotics was gone, I figured I was fine. The day before we flew home, I woke up with a bit of a sore throat and a slight cough.

It's been with me ever since. I've had this cold for a month. It's been pissing me off. So yesterday, I went to the doctor and told her what went on.

What I found out is something I always knew, but I never honestly thought about. Because I took half a regemin of antibiotics, I basically trained these bacterial Pokemon to be stronger and more resistant. The cold I have is now living pretty much in harmony with my immune system -- without something powerful to kick its ass, it'll be here for pretty much forever.

She gave me a steroid and some more powerful antibiotics, and told me to stay home for the week. I'm basically a vector for disease - I can make others sick because of my stupidity in treating my dumb-ass cold.

So yeah, expect a lot of writing this week.