I have had a weird sore throat thing going on for over a month. Initial symptoms started on Monday 8th September. Wasn't sure then if I was going down with a virus or simply had a lot of allergies. It got worse and I went to the interview on Thursday 11th September dosed up to the eyeballs. By PolyDay on Saturday 13th September I was basically okay but could not speak without coughing. And it hasn't really improved overly much since then.
My throat doesn't hurt all that much, but I feel as though I have a lump in it a lot of the time. It feels dry and uncomfortable. In addition, every time I take my inhalers, swallow pills, eat, sometimes when I drink, if I speak too much or try to sing: vast quantities of snot appear, making me start retching. I am also prone to minor coughing fits, and sometimes throw up from the combination of coughing and retching.
I went to the doctor two weeks ago (Friday 26th September) and said that I was worried that the weird throat thing might be either a new allergy or a medication side-effect. Although it started as part of a cold and didn't go away, I didn't think I had enough symptoms for it to be bacterial. I figured if it was a bacterial infection I'd be coughing up vile yellow/green snot, and it would hurt more, and my temperature would probably be higher. Unsurprisingly the results of the throat swab were normal - no strep infection, normal quantities of other flora. As I was still needing to gargle with soluble paracetamol (and I didn't think it was sensible to go on doing that for weeks on end), I spoke to another doctor on Monday 6th October, who agreed it sounded like I had some sort of allergy going on and prescribed me another antihistamine that I could take during the day. I only got round to picking up that prescription today.
Because I was feeling so utterly rotten yesterday, I crawled out of bed around 11 am today to take an extra 100 mg of carbamazepine. (I'm supposed to get the dose up to 400 mg, but have been stuck on 200 mg for months now.) I then had great trouble falling back to sleep because my throat was so excessively dried out and sore, and drinking water was simply making me need to get up and go to the toilet. When I eventually got up about 3 pm, I took the refill prescription of carbamazepine along to the pharmacy with the prescription for the antihistamine that I'd collected.
Well. The new antihistamine (loratadine) is one that carbamazepine interacts with. RXlist says that loratadine increases plasma carbamazepine levels. It doesn't say "Do not take loratadine and carbamazepine together", but I'd like to check the extent of the increase in plasma levels to know whether they are safe to combine without a dosage change. Especially as loratadine and terfenadine are mentioned in the drug interactions bit of my patient information leaflet. So I am unimpressed with doctor #2 for failing to check that, especially after I'd said "I'm on carbamazepine" just in case she hadn't read that part of my medical notes.
And my refill of carbamazepine came in a different box with a different patient information leaflet, which I of course read due to this being a drug of great evil - and it says "if you get a persistent sore throat or high temperature or both stop taking the tablets and tell your doctor AT ONCE". I have no clue whether the weird throat thing I've been having "counts" as the type of persistent sore throat, as the description is too damn vague. But I have clearly been having some sort of new allergy thing going on recently. And RXlist says "Patients should be made aware of the early toxic signs and symptoms of a potential hematologic problem, as well as dermatologic, hypersensitivity or hepatic reactions. These symptoms may include, but are not limited to, fever, sore throat, ... anorexia, nausea/vomiting, or jaundice. The patient should be advised that, because these signs and symptoms may signal a serious reaction, that they must report any occurrence immediately to a physician. In addition, the patient should be advised that these signs and symptoms should be reported even if mild".
So now the only thing to do is to wait until I can see my own doctor who I actually TRUST to get things right. The earliest I can see him is Friday, and I will try to make it very clear to the receptionists that it is an emergency and I need to see him. Funnily enough, I now trust neither doctors #1 nor #2. The thing that pisses me off most is that I SPECIFICALLY SAID to doctor #1 that I was worried about it being a medication side-effect.
And I need carbamazepine because it's the only thing stopping me from jumping out of a sixth floor window right now, and I have to go to college as usual tomorrow, and I'm supposed to be going to talk to the Disabilities Office and all I can about is how urgently I need to see a doctor who knows how carbamazepine allergies manifest. Especially as I always knew I had a higher-than-average chance of carbamazepine allergy due to genetics. Fuck fuck FUCK!!