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Ask Dr. Rick, MD Your Own Question

Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7761
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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I was tested positive for flu about 2.5 weeks ago. Prescribed

Customer Question

I was tested positive for flu about 2.5 weeks ago. Prescribed Tamiflu, took it. No imrovement in a week wen I went for re-check, given antibiotics for bronchitis and bacterial infection. Took the Z-Pack. Still achy all over,headache, fever comes and goes, I can't seem to sleep enough, cough with yellow/green stuff and then hard to catch my breath after coughing(i was prescribed an inhaler, it does help). Its been almost 3 weeks---I have another re-check tomorrow, I am concerned that I still have symptoms--how do I present these concerns to my DR? The flu is sooo bad in my area right now, feel like i might be pushed thru, and not heard. With symtoms presenting at 3 weeks..am I at risk for something else? What questions do I need to ask at my appointment? Also, I have Fibromyalgia, so my immune system tends to be sensitive, could this be why I still have symptoms?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

RickMD :

I am online and happy to help you with your question today.

RickMD :

it is not unusual to have an all over achy feeling after what you have gone through.

RickMD :

Tomorrow when you see your doctor I would tell your doctor about your concerns that you are still feeling weak and "yucky". If possible you might want to jot down a brief "diary" of how you have been feeling over the last few weeks, when you felt worse, when you felt better along with a brief description of your symptoms.

Customer:

What do you think about the list of symptoms..pretty much the same from the start...for this long, and afte Tamiflu and antibiotics? Is it normal to have flu symtoms for 3 weeks and counting?

RickMD :

By writing it down you will be less likely to forget any important details. Also the doctor will be less likely to "hurry out" of the room while you are consulting your notes

Customer:

I work at a restaurant, I am exposed to dirty dishes and linens, using the phone, handling many items hundreds of people are also handling. Should I stay out of work while I still have symptoms?

RickMD :

Yes. I just got over the flu...and I'd had the flu shot. It has been over two weeks since my first symptoms and I'm still weak. We have horses and I can barely lift a bale of hay right now...and this is usually a simple thing for me to do

RickMD :

That is a very good thought. The only risk would be of spreading your illness to others. You will not catch this strain of flu again at this point and you should be safe from any secondary infections you might be exposed to.

RickMD :

However, if you can afford the time off then it wouldn't hurt to stay home and rest

RickMD :

The flu is so bad in Boston that there are no hospital beds available. This is a really bad year for the flu as you probably already know.

RickMD :

It does sound, however, like you are getting excellent care from your doctor.

RickMD :

Also, the tamiflu may not have kept you from getting the flu anyway.....it doesn't always knock the bug out of your system

Customer:

Dr put my 2 kids on Tamiflu as well to prevent them from catching it..so far, so good. Its considered "epidemic" down here in Florida. My boss at work will not allow me back at work until i get a letter of "clear and healthy" from my Dr---I could lie, but I know I would just be falling out in a couple days---10 hr shifts on my feet with these symptoms, the aches, fatigue and cough are the worst. Im wondering if she will clear me given my symptoms are still present.....would you clear a flu patient still presenting symptoms?

RickMD :

No. If the business wanted me to certify that the patient was "well" I would tell the truth....and, at this point, you'd have to agree you can not be considered "well to work". Make sense?

Customer:

Plus, with my Fibromyalgia issues, SHe is always very cautious with Me.

RickMD :

Sounds like you have got a very good doctor :-)

RickMD :

I have family that live in West Palm Beach and the flu is just ripping through that area like the proverbial "stuff" through a Goose if you know what I mean

RickMD :

It sounds like you are doing all the right things at this point.

Customer:

Oh, I know i dont feel well, and My boss isnt bullying me to get back to work, they WILL NOT allow me back without clearance. I just feel badly ive been out so long, and wondered if symptoms going on 3 weeks plus is normal...also, it was mentioned that she may send me to labs for a full work up including chest xray for pneumonnia...could I have pneumonia?

RickMD :

Yes. That is always a possibility after having your immune system weakened by a severe viral infection like the flu, especially with your fibromyalgia. The good news? You doctor will have no problem finding if you have any signs of pneumonia during tomorrows appointment.

Customer:

ANd yes "stuff thru a gooose" is a great comparison...all thru the schools and im not the only employee out at the moment. Dr says 70-80% of patients the last month have been flu/bromchitis, etc....our pharmacies were out of tamiflu for 3 days...

Customer:

oh..you can find pneumonia without an xray?

RickMD :

Not only tamiflu but the flu vaccine is running shot in may areas across the country.

Customer:

thats been my biggest fear as to why im not healing...

RickMD :

Yes. You can listen to the chest, do blood work but a simple xray really helps with the diagnosis

RickMD :

Well, the good thing is that tomorrow your fears will be addressed and you will leave knowing exactly what is going on and what you need to do to feel better.

Customer:

I sound like im "crackling" when I breathe and I have a really hard time breathing after a coughing fit...he inhaler helps the breathing but i can hear/feel the "crackle"

RickMD :

I'm glad that the inhaler is helping. You might just have inflammation and not a bacterial pneumonia. Tomorrows visit will sort it all out.

Customer:

I have a feeling its going to be "more rest, push fluids, take fibro meds, don'tn rush it, call if you get worse or fever is persstent again"...thats my prediction

RickMD :

You will have to let me know if your prediction comes true :-)

Customer:

Can you tell im worrier? nSince the Fibro..ive had other health issues..and I ge soooo amped up and concerned about all of it....ugh! i cannot help myself

Customer:

I sounded like ive ben in the dr office alot lately right?

Customer:

That was a good one

RickMD :

It is OK that you tend to worry, especially when you have been lucky enough to find a doctor who treats you as well as yours seems to be doing

Customer:

She is good, its getting the appt thats hard, I had to wait a week, but ive been sleeping so much...i have no idea what day it is sometimes. Thank you for your advice. I hope this crud leaves me soon. take care.

RickMD :

My pleasure. Have a good evening.

RickMD :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7761
Experience: 20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
Dr. Rick, MD and 10 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Hi Bonnie,

I was just thinking about you today and wondering if your prediction came true at your doctors appointment :-)

I hope you are feeling better and the kids have managed to avoid the flu.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Dr Rick-


 


Yes, my prediction came through and then some! My Dr Put me on AT LEAST two more weeks of rest- my "come and go" fever has her concerned, my BP was very low and HR very high- another concern, my heart working double time sinceBP is so low. Then, when listening to my beathing, she couldnt hear any air on my back until about mid shoulder blade.Sooooo..combine all that with the Fibromyalgia daily issues and the fact my body cannot seem to fight this off, I was given 2 med to be used with a nebulizer at home for 1 month, wanting to get the medicine right into my lungs, and refill the hand held inhaler, more rx cough syrup, ad 3 rounds of lab work 1 full work up panel, , 1 set of xrays and 1 blood test to check my immune system, or immunities, something like that. Done the immunity one, done the xray..full panel in 2 weeks once ive been on these meds a few weeks so she can see true results, not "sick" results.


I still feel awful, sleeping is difficult, nausea still there, my breathing is shallow, the inhaler and nebulizer treatments help a bit, i know once i do those more it will get better. The all over pain and exaustion factor is just crazy. She told me last week AT LEAST 2 more weeks, but Im afraid it may go longer. I may not be contagious anymore, but due to the symptoms and the Fibro factors plus whatever te lab results are will determine how long Im out of commision. She is concerned if Im not improving, or just improving very slowly, and try to re-join the world too soon, I could end up back down very soon, or worse.


Its frustrating and lonely being sick and disconnected for so long, but im very glad she is being cautious.


I have a call in to her right now waiting to hear back...my re check isn't for two weeks, but the sleep, and the pain is making me nuts-plus wondering about the return to work issu, they will need to know if she wants to extend the original 2 weeks out to 3..pending lab results, or my continuing issues . UGH!


I appreciate the chat with you...being this sick is scary for me. The Fibro sick im used to, but this crap on top of it, makes me afraid. Getting another opinion and being re-assured of my concern being valid helped, and Im grateful.


 


Thank You,


Bonnie

Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.
Bonnie,

I'm sorry to hear that you are still having so much difficulty but, on the other hand, glad that you are in the hands of a caring doctor.

I hope you feel better soon.

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help in the future.

DrRick MD FACS

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