For the Ladies’ Eyes Only

If you never listen to me again, if you never read this blog again, if you never cared about what I had to say before, PAY ATTENTION TO THIS POST.

For the last two years I have have been immunosuppressed. Meaning, my immune system is sucking ass. On October 25th, 2004, I went to the ER for the first time since I was a little kid. I had been bitten by something. Presumably, a spider. I wrote about it here, here, and here.It was the day I moved into my new house, and I just assumed it was a mosquito bite. Well, it swelled and turned hot and red and had these little red lines radiating from it. ER time. I wound up in the ER twice, and the second time, I was given a shot of antibiotics and put on two other antibiotics for the next two weeks. No one suggested, “oh, by the way, you may want to eat some yogurt while you are on the antibiotics.” No one said, “hey, you know, with this crazy amount of antibiotics, I think we should put you on some Diflucan, too.” No one even made a single word of mention about yeast infections. And as I had never had a problem before, I had no clue to ask.

Enter the world’s worst yeast infection. Enter several other random infections, as well. Enter a body that can’t take care of itself but isn’t so bad that anyone notices.

I have spent the last two years in and out of the doctor’s office, overcoming this infection or that one. It was virtually constant for a year and a half. Something was always wrong. And I never used to be sick. I was healthy as a horse.

Because the infections were all so different though, no one put everything together until yesterday. I had my suspicions but the doctors had said nothing. Yesterday though, I made an appointment with my OBGYN to talk to her about my health. I was just going in to talk. I was so frustrated, I was willing to pay a copay to just TALK to my doctor. But when I got there, she decided she wanted to do some tests, because as we talked, we realized, yes, I had had many yeast infections in the last two years, but they were not what is considered “recurrent”. Along with them, I had also had 4 or 5 other infections, which is very abnormal for me. That information informed her that I was likely, immunosuppressed. The blood infection, and then the first round of yeast infections that we could not contain created the immunosuppression.

So she took several samples for tests, including a skin biopsy in the “Downtown” as my friend Amanda likes to call it. I had a SHOT in the Downtown! That is NOT a place a needle should ever be. I will give that needle props though, it prevented the “Punch” biopsy (remember when they would take a PUNCH of your finger to draw blood?? Yeah they did that to the Downtown!!!) from hurting at all. At least at the time. By 6pm, I felt like someone had taken a cigarrette to the Downtown.

I should get some results back today, but I believe the biopsy won’t be back until next week. Hopefully, this will give me some answers, and I can get my body back on track.

The reason for this post is this, though…READ THIS CAREFULLY.

First, DO NOT take antibiotics unless there is no other way. Avoid them as much as possible.

If you HAVE to take them, DO NOT leave that office until your doctor has also prescribed Diflucan. Just ask them to. My doctors have been more than happy to do so. Diflucan not only kills a yeast infection, it also prevents them. It is a wonderful drug.

If for some reason you don’t have the Diflucan but you are taking antibiotics, be sure to take acidophillus pills or eat yogurt. The antibiotics wipe out all the bacteria in your body. Both good and bad. When the good bacteria is gone, the yeast that naturally lives in our bodies stretches its legs, and grows exponentially. And we get a yeast infection.

I cannot stress how important this is. If I had done that, most likely, none of this would have happened to begin with.

So please, if you never listen to me again, just listen long enouh right now to ask for Diflucan the next time you take antibiotics.

UPDATE: I forgot to add…Over the course of the last two years, I estimate I have spent $500 on tests to figure out what is wrong, alone. And at least $200 on medication. So keep that in mind when you poo-poo my Diflucan suggestions! 🙂


3 responses to “For the Ladies’ Eyes Only

  1. Trixie

    Good advice, Ty! I’ve only taken antibiotic two times and I was LUCKY that I didn’t get a yeast infection because they are the rule, not the exception.

    Sorry about your troubles. I hope they get you all sorted out.

  2. I hope they have good news for you and I hope you feel better soon! The Diflucan is definitely good advice! I’ve been lucky thus far. Another reminder though… antibiotics interact with birth control pills, rendering them ineffective. Sometimes they tell you, sometimes they don’t. It’s worthy of a reminder! That’s how I got my niece! 😉

  3. I know this post is way to late to matter, but I felt it was still important.

    It scares me not enough physicians mention yeast infections as a common side effect to antibiotics to women. At times it should be expected for strong antibiotics.

    Oral contraceptives and antibiotics do not directly interact with each other, but they do stimulate the liver to break down the contraceptive drug faster.

    Other chemicals that lower the amount of active contraceptive drugs in the blood are:

    * antibiotics – erythromycin, dirithromycin, penicillins, rifampin, tetracycline
    * anticonvulsants – barbiturates, carbamazepine, ethosuximide, felbamate, lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, primidone, topiramate
    * antifungals – fluconazole, griseofulvin, itraconazole, ketoconazole
    * antivirals – atazanavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir
    * garlic
    * modafinil (Provigil)
    * St. John’s wort

    Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Nov;98(5 Pt 1):853-60.

    On the topic of avoiding antibiotics at all costs, that can be risky. While it is best to let your immune system fight off an infection, if your body does not effectively fight off the attack it can lead to serious life threatening complications. One example is simple strep throat can develop into endocarditis which is life threatening.

    In the future, I hope you have much better experiences with your physicians.

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