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I think I just need to vent.
I don’t get sick very often thankfully. But the other week for work I was visiting a refugee camp in another country. The conditions were notoriously bad and officials were in the midst of shutting it down and relocating it. World Health Organization officials were visiting as well and complained about the conditions of the encampment.
Near the end of my trip I began to feel sick. It came on quickly. Sore throat, fatigue, chills, sweating profusely, a splitting headache that did not respond to ibuprofen. Then nausea and vomiting (came on so quickly that I was driving and didn’t have time to pull off the road before I was sick to my stomach.) I was sick enough that I felt unable to travel and got a hotel room for a few days to wait it out before returning to the US.
After that the nausea and vomiting went away and symptoms became more like a cold or flu-extremely sore throat, dry cough, chest pressure and some trouble breathing, sinus pain and all my teeth hurt, ears stuffed up though not a lot of head congestion, drained of energy etc.
After a week of that I finally decided to go to the walk in clinic. I figured I had the flu but since I had visited a foreign refugee camp I thought I would get a professional opinion just in case.
The doctor basically dismissed all my symptoms as unrelated and suggested I wasn’t sick at all. My earlier nausea and vomiting was just a fluke. My temperature (taken on a laser thermometer pointed at my forehead) was 99.9 so I didn’t have a fever by that point. My congestion was probably allergies, she said. She saw white lesions on my tonsils and told me they were just tonsil stones and unrelated to my illness. It seemed odd as I’ve never had throat problems before I became ill. She basically said I had no cold, no flu, nothing at all.
While I was glad to confirm my feelings that I hadn’t picked up any more serious illness in the refugee camp (that was the main purpose of my visit), I was really annoyed that all of my symptoms seemed to be dismissed out of hand as coincidental and unrelated to each other and not indicative of a cold or flu. I rarely get sick and tend to bounce back quickly when I do, so I’m not one to complain about how I feel unless I have a very good reason.
It’s been 5 days since the doctor visit and I’m still not 100%. (very sore throat and wet productive cough.) Next year I will definitely get a flu shot!
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