I always feel sort of sheepish about going to the doctor for things other than an annual physical, because what if my symptoms aren't serious enough to need a doctor? What if it's just a virus and I'm wasting the doctor's time?
And since I feel better in the morning than the afternoon/evening lately, I felt silly at 8 am when I walked into the doctor's office.
"I usually wait until I'm incapacitated before I go to the doctor, but I have some big stuff going on at work later this week, and I can't be sick," I explained, as I answered most of the questions no.
No, I don't have much mucus.
No, my ears don't hurt.
No, I don't have a cough.
No, I don't have a fever, that I know of (it's hard to tell when you are mainlining ibuprofen to get through the head pain).
By this time, I was feeling like I should have just gone straight to work.
The doctor turned out the light, shone a little flashlight against my cheek, and looked at the roof of my mouth.
"Well," she said, "it looks like you do have a sinus infection." She showed me in her own mouth (I love my doctor) how you should be able to see the light of the flashlight through your cheek like through your hand. Instead of a spooky red glow, my mouth was just dark. This means that my sinuses are full of... something. Something that is not coming out of my nose, since I sinus rinse twice a day and get nothing.
My coworker told me that his ENT doctor told him that most doctors don't actually check what they are supposed to check for a sinus infection, and that however they are supposed to check hurts, badly. I am glad that my doctor didn't check that way.
I hope she's right about my sinus infection, because by the afternoon today I was getting to the point of wanting to just cut off my own head to get rid of the pain. Something needs to give. Ibuprofen is now a joke. The only thing that got me through the work day was the fact that I had amoxicillin waiting for me at the pharmacy after work. (About taking sick time: well. I am not very good at that. I never feel sick enough to take sick leave when there are things that need to get done.)
If my sinuses do not start to drain within two days, I am to take a course of prednisone, because one does not want compacted sinuses like that indefinitely.
I am not the hypochondriac I feared I might be.
And now I feel not guilty at all about having plopped onto the couch and turned on cooking shows tonight.