Thursday, June 11, 2015

Okay, One More Thing About Cooties


Mike from Billions of Versions of Normal (I'm a serious fan) mentioned one of the things we do to ourselves as humans in his comments on yesterday's post. There's a school of thought out there that we have brought on a lot of allergies, etc., by limiting our exposure to random cooties. I agree wholeheartedly. 

I'm not as clean and germ freakish as I may imply (someone take Shady Del Knight's and Stephen T. McCarthy's hands off their respective keyboards right now before they kill themselves trying to go wild on that statement. Put CWMartin and Al Penwasser on that list, too). 

Mike's comment reminded me of the OTHER thing that we do to ourselves: we misuse antibiotics. 

Keeping in mind that I am not a doctor, let me just say that I think it might be better to skip the antibiotics than misuse or over-use this fantastic medical resource. Time after time, I've seen people strong arm their doctors into ordering an antibiotic long before they've determined whether or not their body was going to do what it is made to do: fight off those cooties that are on the attack! 

In most cases, I'll personally even swing far to the opposite direction and wait too long before I see the doc. I'm willing to give this carcass a chance at showing off in the "disease destruction" category of the human body Olympics.

Plenty of people aren't willing to wait at all. Then they don't finish the round of antibiotics as instructed! I know, I know...it's your prescription and you'll die if you want to...but consider the following scenario:

  • Noting you are feeling under the weather, you give your body sufficient time to do it's thing, your chest gets more congested and it appears it genuinely needs a little help to get over it. 
  • Day 1: Doc gives you Andy Antibiotic (with new and improved Chia Pet hair) and tells you to take it twice a day for ten days.
  • Andy Antibiotic begins to bully the thugs currently inhabiting your lungs. Their names are Creeple, Pusbucket and Greenie. 
  • Day 2: Creeple is a wimp; after 2 days, his numbers are significantly reduced and he is pretty well out of the picture. But Pusbucket is a bit stronger and Greenie isn't even phased yet.
  • Day 3: Creeple is totally gone. 
  • Day 4: Pusbucket finally starts responding to Andy Antibiotic's daily attack - and he is weak.
  • Day 5: You feel pretty good and miss a dose. Pusbucket continues to die off, and a few of the weaker Greenies start to deteriorate, too. 
  • Day 6: There's only a tiny bit of Pusbuckets left - the ones that were especially hearty and strong. There's a ton of Greenies left; only a few weak ones have been killed off. In fact, their numbers have even grown a bit.
  • Day 7: You figure you've taken enough of the medicine and now you're downright lackadaisical. Pusbucket happened to be the germ that caused the uncomfortable symptoms and he is basically gone. Greenies are still there, more weak ones are dying off. 
  • Day 8: The germs that are left in your lungs are super strong; they're resisting the efforts of Andy Antibiotic...and you've stopped taking your medicine because you feel better. Super Greenies are so happy, because they have been spreading themselves around and Andy Antibiotic hasn't really knocked them out...and now, he is gone.
This fictional "you" is still sick - you just don't realize it yet

Super Greenie will raise his head again soon and you'll probably be even sicker and have a much more difficult time of getting over it. You may even damage your lungs. You won't recognize that it is a continuation of the same bout of sickness; you'll lament, "Man, I'm always getting chest colds this winter..."  Nope. Same cold; never really gone.

But here's the kicker: when you go to visit dear old Aunt Blabby's house and sneeze, she doesn't get to start over with her cold and the balanced mix of Creeple, Pusbucket and Greenie. You're a Super Greenie sneezer now and there's a very good chance that elderly Aunt Blabby (or anyone who has a weakened immune system for whatever reason) won't be as lucky at knocking out the new and improved Super Greenie 2015.

Over and over again, people misuse antibiotics. Super Greenie might eventually be Super T. Rex Greenie Magnus 2015 and be nearly impossible to get rid over after several of these walking-petri-dish people are through.

Take your medicine, people. You don't want me to keep posting medical stuff from my soapbox, do you? Of course not.

This has been a waaaaaay too public, debatable service announcement from an ex-medical-kinda person, not to take the place of actual medical advice that has value.


45 comments:

  1. Excellent description of how bacteria are surviving antibiotics --we are breeding resistant strains by not completing the course of treatment. We become their deli-treats. Your closing disclaimer is too modest; what you have posted here is of great value.

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    1. Awww, thanks, Geo. You're too sweet.

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  2. And wash your hands often! Also wash clothes, blankets, and anything else you come in contact with while sick. The less an illness is spread, the less it turns into a super illness.

    I'm that person who won't go to the doctor until I'm half dead. I plan on going for a check up but I think it will be the first one I've had in 10-12 years. I might need to make sure I'm not somehow broken haha.

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    1. At one time, I went to work with a broken leg. I didn't want to call off and I waited till my lunch hour to go to urgent care.

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    2. If you are broken, Rachel, then I will glue you together.

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  3. >>... "I'm not as clean and germ freakish as I may imply..."

    Uhm... no. Never mind. Barney Fife just handcuffed me to his sidecar.

    Very informative blog bit. How funny of you, DOC CHERDO!

    I'm one of those guys who doesn't even know how to spell dockter, let alone go to one, so no problem with overuse or misuse of antibiotics for me. I just take my 12 oz. of medicine 6 times a day and seem to do OK most of the time.

    Right now though, my body IS fighting something. Actually, I think it's fighting two things: 1) Liver failure (not sure why this is happening, but I think I have a "Bad Liver And A Broken Heart"). And B) a chest cold or C) a head cold or D) a chest cold/head cold or E) something else.

    Whatever it is, it's gonna have to heal itself because the only doc I visit is you, Cherdo.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: I do, however, stop and ask for directions, so I'm not 100% "guy".

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    1. The go-to advice for all early onset colds, etc.:
      1. You better not have liver failure and joke. <3
      2. Push fluids, acetominophen ever 4 hours, get rest.
      3. Saline spray (Ocean Mist is a brand) for the nostrils.
      4. If it persists, or if your chest is tight or has a productive cough, get thee to a doctor. You can even go to a Minute Clinic at Walgreens. No reason to suffer if you haven't hooked up with a new Reno doc.
      5. Broken heart: listen to a lot of soft jazz till you feel up to real rock and roll. Then go straight for "All the Young Dudes" and "Mr.Postman" (Carpenters). Finally, top it off with KISS. Ease into it. so to speak.

      Your insurance covers this blogscription.

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  4. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    It’s “the fictional me,” Shady Del Knight. I’m not a doctor... but I play one on television.

    You should not assume that I am going to poke fun at you for preaching about the dangers of antibiotic misuse. Mrs. Shady has been drumming that message into me for years. In her work she encounters many patients who ignore her advice and stop taking their meds the moment they start feeling better. To save money they keep the remaining pills in the medicine cabinet so that they’ll have a supply and won’t need to buy more the next time an illness strikes. They fail to realize that they are allowing the same bad guys to linger, strengthen and live to fight another day which they always do.

    Thanks for dispensing great advice in such an entertaining manner, dear friend Cherdo, and have a happy Thursday!

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    1. Oh, brother, I didn't think you'd make fun of the antibiotic rant...it was the statement that I "was not as clean..." As soon as I wrote that, it occurred me that it was akin to pulling the pin on a grenade of humor.

      You're fictional SDK reminded me of a funny story. I went to a family reunion and my cousin, Stephen, was there with his wife and one of his sons. He started to tell me something - I could see the smirk of a devilish tale on his face and as he started to speak, his wife said, "Steve, don't repeat that!"

      Oh, it's on. I have to hear the story now, right? Steve related that his teenage son got in the car wearing a t-shirt that said, "I'm not a gynecologist, but I'll take a look." His wife was horrified and made him go back in and change. Steve thought it was hilarious.

      My dear cousin walked this Earth for sixty plus years, but that is what I remember about him: sitting there, laughing till we couldn't breathe and his horrified spouse (which made it even funnier). Yep, I'm juvenile.

      Have a great day, Shady!!

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    2. That t-shirt is hilarious. I should get one for WDW.

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  5. I wash my hands a ton, and never eat without washing them. But yeah, antibotics are becoming useless because people overuse. I've had them once in the last 16-17 years. Let my body do its thing.

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    1. The vast majority of the time, it WILL do it's thing nicely.

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  6. Great description! I read that knocking a fever out is not necessarily a good thing, either, since (I am told) a fever is your body's way of fighting infection. I'm doing some reading on that. Last year I was heading toward acute bronchitis (I am prone to it for various reasons). I went to my doctor, saw a stand-in who lectured me about antibiotics (I hadn't asked for any) did not examine me, and prescribed a steroid. Knowing that he hadn't listened to me (what part of 'intermittently spiking high fever, increasing lung congestion and intractable cough that does not allow me to sleep lying down' didn't he hear?), I asked for a consult with my regular doctor for the next day. She had apparently listened to him, did not examine me, gave me a lecture on antibiotics, and sent me on my way with a phone number to call the next day if I was worse, which I was. I'll drop the curtain on this whine and simply say that the Emergency Service Clinic was a godsend three days later. The funny thing is that I deal a lot with caring for animals and have various human-grade pharmaceuticals to treat them at need. I have, at home, about six courses of Azithromycin (Zithromax) if I want to use it. I don't. At the moment I may not have a doctor; looking around.

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    1. I have asthma and I've had some nasty bronchitis and nearly died from pneumonia as a child. Unless you've gone through these episodes you and I have experienced, you just don't get the true discomfort of not being able to breathe!

      Change that doctor (though the second one seems nice). This is a weird reflection of our modern society: the best way to find a good doctor, as far as bedside manner is concerned, is to post the question to your Facebook friends "Who is your doctor and why do you like or dislike him? PM me privately." You'll get the real deal info.

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  7. My doctor has been anti antibiotic for years now. But I do get them if he thinks they are necessary (or preventative) like for a dog bite I had a few years back. And since I take a few daily medicines it's not hard to put a new one in line with the others and take it for the whole 10 days.

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    1. Yeah, I got a few things I have to take, too. I like a doctor that holds back on the antibiotics, if possible. Thanks, Mike!

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  8. As someone was was sick A LOT as a kid (and I mean A LOT), I am very familiar with antibiotics. I'm also very familiar with the necessity of taking them all whether you feel like it or not. I've always finished every bottle prescribed. In my later years, I started taking probiotic with it. In fact, I need some of that right now.

    My father was a big believer in the powers of Vitamin C and started taking 6000 mg a day. He says that is a perfectly safe dosage for an adult. I started taking between 2000-4000 mg a day. I just can't remember to take pills like he does/did. He was the healthiest man I knew until he got cancer, but that's another story. Once I started taking the Vitamin C, those pesky sinus infections pretty much became a thing of the past. If I start feeling sick, I take Vitamin C on the hour. If I still am not right I start using a saline rinse (netti pot). If that still doesn't work and a couple weeks later I'm still down (like I just was) and the yellow and greenies are coming out my nose, then I go to the doctor. The sinus infection needs an antibiotic. I'm just finishing up a round now, and I'm happy to say that the last time I was on one was so long ago I can't remember.

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    1. We are cut from the same class...

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  9. You should totally do a segment like "I'm just a Bill on Capitol Hill" using these characters. I loved the informative post put to characters that made total sense!!
    I am one of the guilty ones who used to not finish their whole prescription but I learned the hard way when it came back worse. Now I take them all. I rarely go to the DR so when I do it means I've cried "uncle" and I need reinforcements.

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    1. I'm finding that I can't turn off the teacher in me, so I need to avoid soapboxing - even if I cartoon it, ha ha.

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  10. Cherdo, hubby is headed to the doc today for something "anti" to take away the chest congestion that makes him cough all the time. It's hard to concentrate when you keep coughing hard enough to pee your pants.

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    1. When you need them, you need them! Sounds like it was time. I'm not suggesting that people suffer - especially your hubby, Linda!

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  11. This was very informative and I always take my meds to the end. I have been known to get infections. I try to let my body fight it but my immunity is not that strong. I will say I now take vitamins to boost my immunity and . aside from the flu and bronchtitis this year, I have not been sick in well over a year abnd that is a record for me.

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  12. I want Andy Antibiotic in my bed. Now.

    Love,
    Janie

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  13. Good point. So many people make this mistake, so we need to be reminded of this every so often.

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    1. Amen, Vanessa! Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. This was a great post!
    I almost got the image of you getting your freak on out of my mind.
    Almost.

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    1. I hope that image fades soon, LOL.

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  15. I should have paid more attention to germs since I'm suffering with a harsh case of the flu.

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    1. You've got international, recirculated plane cooties, Stephen. Hope you feel better soon.

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  16. Antibiotics have been a huge boon to medical science but it is possible to misuse them. Good reminders. let's be careful out there.

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    1. That made me want to dress like a policeman...what show was that? Hill Street Blues?

      Thanks, Maurice!

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    2. Yeah, 'Hill Street Blues'. TERRIBLE show! I used to occasionally appear as a member of the Irish gang on it. Actually, still getting an occasional check for that (from, like, 1981), but terrible show regardless.

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    3. Stephen, I'd totally watch it if I thought I'd see you as an Irish gang member.

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    4. Ha! That's sweet of you, but I would caution you against it under ANY circumstances. Anybody who knew ANYTHING about real big city police work (as I did, even back then) viewed 'Hill Street Blues' as a cartoon. In fact, the only cop show that comes immediately to mind that I think was even more cartoonish was 'T.J. Hooker'.

      I will admit though, the theme music for 'Hill Street Blues' was one of my all-time favorites. If only the show had been one-quarter as good as its theme music had been.

      Besides, you wouldn't REALLY want to see me appearing as a gang member anyway, would you? It might interfere with your more accurate perception of me as nice, innocent, kindhearted, easy-going saintly gentleman. :-O

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    5. ...you forgot "keen fashion sense."

      My go-to for unrealistic cop was Baretta...in real life, he was a saintly law abiding citizen. :-D

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  17. I'm so with you on this one. The same goes for pet meds, too.

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    1. Yes!! the premise is the same. Follow the instructions and finish 'em up!

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  18. I like your morality tale here... we do somehow think we are owed quick cures which is nonsense.

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    1. Yep...immediate is just barely quick enough.

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  19. I hear and obey. I always take all my prescriptions... some crazy belief in a psychosomatic "buzz", I guess.

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    1. You're good people CWM. Swaller' them pills.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo