New Year , and I've come down with St... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

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New Year , and I've come down with Strep. Here's some info if you suspect it and need to get tested safely.

Blearyeyed profile image
22 Replies

So , a New Year begins , but rather than hit the ground running I've hit it with a thud.We had guests for the first Christmas since COVID and one of them had a nasty cough. My OH came down with symptoms a week ago and then I began to feel the tell tale signs a few days ago.

So , we contacted the GP today requesting a rapid test , as you can get a PCR for Strep.

They did not have them , but what we did discover , which will also be helpful to you forum folks , is that you can arrange an appointment at a local chemist that keeps in PCR tests , and if you are positive , they can give you the course of antibiotics from there without needing to go back to the doctor.

Handy information, as most of us are understandably resistant about going to the surgery or A and E because of the long waits and chance of catching something else.

So , test done , we are both positive. The antibiotics are only likely to reduce the time with strep by a few days , but they are important to take to reduce the possibility of the strep causing you to develop something nastier like Scarlet Fever , Rheumatic Fever, Reactive Arthritis or Kidney Function problems.

So what is the difference between Strep and Flu or a cold.

The symptoms are rapid onset pain and swelling in the throat .

Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck that are tender to touch and larger than usual with a flu.

You can get a red rash on your palette , red inflamed throat , or pus spots of white on your tonsils but this isn't always the case.

You may have a cough but it is more because of irritation , and it doesn't produce any mucus ( phlegm) unless you are really unlucky and have another infection as well.

All over body pain , particularly in the joints , which may feel swollen and hot, this will feel slightly different to the usual Fibro pain and is called Arthralgia, although the Fibro will flare too!

Intermittent fever , chills or sweating , but not necessarily a high temperature on testing.

Headache or Migraine pain

Lower abdominal pain and loss of appetite with no diarrhea

Nausea without vomiting

Extreme Fatigue , I've thankfully slept about 20 hours a day for the last two days , I couldn't stay awake , unusual for an insomniac whom usually only manages 3 hours a day.

Strep , like COVID , can be caught by droplets in the air from a contagious person coughing or sneezing , or from droplets hitting surfaces which you may touch and then transfer to your nose or mouth.

Of course , it has caused a flare in all my conditions . Fibro pain and electric shocks through the arms and legs. My Ehlers Danlos Syndrome gives me the nasty added bonus of subluxations of the ribs when I do cough . My Dysautonomia is in overdrive with tachycardia increasing despite the rest , no temperature control and dizziness whenever I move.

What a lovely start to 2023!

But at least I might have been able to help some of you find a safer way to a diagnosis via your local pharmacy rather than running the gauntlet at the Emergency Department, or being left for days waiting to speak to a GP.

Take care all , and remember, it's not all COVID , if any of your friends or family have symptoms of Cold or Flu it's better to use masks and social distancing or put off those visits until another time , no matter how much you miss them.

The photo was taken at sunrise last year on January 1st at my favourite local beach

22 Replies
Gigiruth profile image

Thank you for sharing.good to know. I hope you feel better soon Gentle hugs


Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Gigiruth

Thank you , just hoping it doesn't kick off a flare that lasts too long .I was meant to be having a CT scan tomorrow, just waiting for a call to see if I need to cancel it. Neverending Story should be the title of my Health at the moment!

Take care , Bee

bookish profile image

Thanks for the useful info and very best wishes for a speedy recovery. Great photo too x

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to bookish

Thanks , so much , take care , Bee

Welshcatlady profile image

Thanks for the info, will certainly keep it in mind. Hope you and your partner get well soon. Sending gentle hugs your way.

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Welshcatlady

Thank you that's kind , take care too, Bee

CheetieCat profile image

Thanks for the info, much appreciated! Hope you both feel better soon, gentle ((((hugs)))) & Take Care x

rosewine profile image

Thank you , brilliant information. I do hope you start t9 feel better very soon.x

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to rosewine

Thank you , looking forward to the antibiotics having an effect every joint feels like it's been given a Chinese burn by a school bully and I feel like I've swallowed a pine cone!It's definitely worth checking if the pharmacy can do various health checks.

As well as doing rapid tests for COVID and Strep ours are also trained in triage for minor injuries and skin issues , yours might be too.

rosewine profile image
rosewine in reply to Blearyeyed

I've always found the chemist very useful for advice. It also helps with getting a doctors appointment if you can say you have been to the chemist and been advised to see a doctor.

fmlife profile image

thank you for the information,

thankfully have been hibernating from the cold, and not seen anyone, never stopped wearing masks it keeps nose warm.

its hard to deal with fibro and those collectives without these extra life conditions.

hope feel less and more well soon

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to fmlife

Thank you , unfortunately it was the Christmas visitors that infected us . I still wear my mask outside , and I agree it seems to stop the Fibro cold nose and haw ache in the winter.Keep well , Bee

RustyOBear profile image

Just a quick reply before I pop out. Firstly I hope you recover rapidly and your fibro flare diminishes.

After such a grotty start to 2023, may the rest go better for you.

Secondly, thank you so much for taking the trouble when poorly to give us all this info. So helpful and will pass on.

I have maintained the hands, face no space routine throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so. The govt has been appalling in not supporting this, at least as a normal winter strategy. It’s lead to a lot of people, fed up with restrictions to abandon their empathy for others who continue to need protection.

Take care.

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to RustyOBear

I agree with you , and so did the pharmacist. He was amazing and sat showing me the graphs of figures for all of the major viruses. Flu has caused two and half times as many AandE treatments and hospitalisations as COVID because of issues with people not rebooking to get flu jabs when they didn't receive it at the same time as their COVID jab ( as having both on the same day isn't sensible anyway) , there was also a supply shortage. People are checking themselves sometimes for COVID but then giving up on precautions if the people they spend time with don't have it, nobody has learned that any virus can be as dangerous to the vulnerable and safety should continue no matter what you have.

I asked the chemist if he thought we should just be told to follow social distancing and mask wearing in winter now to reduce the risks and he said he wished they would but which government is going to stand up to do that , especially when they are often hit with such high levels of public resistance.

denny_the_wench profile image

What an excellent post (saved it), but sad isn't it when we have to do a lot of our own diagnosing due to lack of NHS consistent GP availability (not complaining, just stating the fact - I appreciate the NHS more than ever after my two total knee replacements last year).

I've ruled out strep thanks to your info - had already ruled out COVID as still had tests left so I'm only having to put up with a major flare now - even hurts to type!

Do hope you feel better soon - sending gentle hugs x

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to denny_the_wench

Thank you , and I hope the info helps , have a call around and find out which pharmacy close to you does the most , it's worth having the number at hand just in case , and it's often smaller independent branches that are most prepared. While I waited for my husband to be tested I sat watching the other chemist explaining to a lady how to tell the difference between panic attacks and side effects to tramadol. He told her to keep an eye on it and come and see him if it turned out to be the medication not anxiety as diagnosed by her GP. He said he would speak to the GP for her if she needed a drug change.

I think it's worth looking around and finding the best informed pharmacy near you , even if it isn't the closest , as they could be vital in helping to sort out and understanding many of the problems that poor drug choices or diagnosis causes us .

Booblet profile image

Thankyou for this information. I was told a few yrs ago (after a swab was taken from a wound) that I had previously had Strep.Your photo is wonderful!

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Booblet

Thank you , I took up photography as my main creative outlet after my health stopped me doing the big physical work I used to do , I was a professional land and nature artist before Dysautonomia prevented me from doing very physical work and getting out and about unsupervised.Sorry you had Strep in the past , but still keep an eye out for symptoms, you can have it more than once .

Wobblygirl profile image

Thank you for all yr pointers esp when you're so wan...What a star?

My trauma started Boxing Day with a migraine that went on for 10days. Apparently it's a virus affecting brain whatsits???

I was photophobic and sick so my 10days in a darkened room has been hell and so frightening...

This Christmas malarkey has passed me by...

And only today have I left the dark and been able to focus!

So it was good to read yr helpful msg. Unfortunately I hv no advice as to how to avoid this virus creating migraine type headaches!!!

Take care everyone and don't mix w anyone!

Keep safe... xxx

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Wobblygirl

So sorry that you suffered badly over Christmas.I have Chronic Migraine Syndrome as well , so your symptoms are very common to me and I can understand how awful you were feeling.

This Strep probably showed it was coming with a Migraine flare just before the obvious symptoms turned up.

Head pain is one of the most debilitating and mentally challenging symptoms I feel with pain conditions like Fibro it's hard to put it to one side to try to do something else .

If your head is still recovering , try drinking the recommended water each day it's vital to reduce headpain as dehydration is a key trigger. Increasing Vitamin intake with a combined supplement after your fattiest meal of the day and extra Vitamin C will also help you recover more quickly.

Support your neck and shoulders as well as your head on pillows while you sleep, and try one of those travel neck pillows with the beads in it at night for added head and face support when you have a headache.

Use warm , not hot compress clothes over closed eyes to reduce the eye pain .

Move slower especially turning your head and neck to reduce rebound pain.

Limit your screen use it does trigger migraine pain .

If you still have photophobia, or suffer from it regularly , use sunglasses , or blue tint glasses for screen use, when you go outdoors to protect your eyes from white light , and indoors in places that use fluorescent lights . The glasses also protect your eyes from dehydration and antigens in the winter cold and wind .

Take care and I hope the New Year gets better for you soon , Bee

Wobblygirl profile image

Bless you for understanding.This pain is hideous and being photo-phobic one cannot do anything 'normal' to while away the hours, like TV... so time hangs heavy!

I'm sure you understand too well?

Thank you for reaching out; it means such a great deal...

Sorry to read you've had the migraine with the Strep too!

You're really suffering, eh.

Thanks for all the good recommendations, I do most of them in my own way but keep forgetting the water hydration.

Great 2b reminded from one who really knows...

Hoping you can improve in time ?

What a mess illness makes of our worlds???

We miss out on a lot... x

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Wobblygirl

But we really enjoy what we can do and never take the little things for granted. Always look for the silver linings no matter how small they are and don't forget that when you feel blue , hugs , Bee

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