I Think I’m Sick, But I Can’t Really Tell

I woke up on Saturday not feeling well. I had a really bad sore throat and was sniffly and sneezy. I was all, “Aleeexxxx, I’m siiiiiick!” but he countered with, “No, you have allergies.”

He spoke with such authority that I decided he was probably right.

See, with the exception of a few sneezes and sniffles last year, I’ve never had allergies, so I don’t have a lot of experience with them except to hear other people complain about them. I’ve always felt vaguely sorry for them, but, you know, it was never my problem, so I didn’t ask a lot of questions about headaches vs. ague-like symptoms and whatnot.

Suddenly, such questions are of huge interest  to me.

I have spent the last three days asking Alex if my symptoms are those of allergies or illness.

Me: “Is a headache a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

*hours later*

Me: “Is fatigue a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

*hours later*

Me: “Are body aches a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

*hours later*

Me: “Are chills a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

At some point I started to suspect that Alex was just trying to convince me that I wasn’t sick so I couldn’t complain.

Joke’s on him. I complained anyway.

So anyway, I’m either dying of the common cold or I’m dying of allergies. I feel a little bit as if you all could help me (a) with a confirmation that I have a cold so I know it will go away in a few days, or (b) tell me how to make my allergy symptoms stop.

Make this go away. Please.*

* If you could make Alex wrong as you do so, that would be even better.

24 thoughts on “I Think I’m Sick, But I Can’t Really Tell

  1. I think you’re sick. Send Alex to the store for medicine and a good cornholing so you can feel better.

  2. Good news: whether it is sick or allergies, Alka-Seltzer Plus is a miracle drug. At least you can get some good sleep with it. Antihistamine! And Pain Reliever!

  3. I think you’re sick too, unfortunately. Allergies can definitely make you feel fatigued and achy, especially if your sinuses get involved. But (for me at least) the hallmarks of allergies are itchy eyes and nose–you don’t usually get those with a cold. Also, allergies usually will give you a runny (rather than a stuffy) nose, with accompanying nonstop sneezing. Antihistamines like Claritin or Allegra help as long as I remember to take them consistently; when the pollen counts are especially high, you can use a steroid-type spray like Nasacort (now available over the counter) as well.

    In either case, chicken soup works wonders. I hope you feel better soon! Thank you again for your gerbil advice.

    I do find that

  4. The difference between allergies and being sick isn’t the symptoms, it’s what triggers them. If symptoms recur every time you’re in a specific situation (being around cats or dogs, eating a certain food, dusty house, April), it’s allergies. If symptoms pop up and disappear again in wildly different scenarios, it’s a cold. It’s all about patterns, baby! And since you say you don’t have much experience with sneezes and sniffles, I think you can safely say: no pattern, no allergies.

    • Having said that, my colds have a pattern too. It’s using public transport and being around other people. :P

      (Case in point: been sneezing non-stop since yesterday morning and have gone through about a gazillion tissues already. I feel your pain).

  5. It sounds like sick to me. On the other hand, I brought a child to the pediatrician for conjunctivitis and it took the doctor 4 seconds to determine that it was allergic conjunctivitis and not the contagious kind, so.

  6. Do you need to be semi-alert in order to operate heavy machinery? If not, I suggest Benedryl.

  7. Body aches that aren’t in your sinus region? You’re likely sick. Chills? Never have had those in conjunction with allergies. However, I have had hem when I have had a bad cold. Tell Alex he loses and you need some AlkaSeltzer cold meds. Feel better!!

  8. Aches & chills = sick. He just wanted to get out of watching the kids! Here is a handy thing I just pinned the other day, describing symptoms: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/34832597091948212/

    If the Alka Seltzer doesn’t work, I have been liking the Tylenol Cold & Flu liquid. Seems to work better than others. Feel better!

  9. If it is allergies a Zyrtec or Claritin will have your symptoms disappearing in a few hours. If it is a cold it will hang around even after the meds.

  10. Hope you’re feeling better!
    First, fatigue, aches, & chills sound more like FLU [or as you call it, ague, which is like from Little House on the Prairie? :) ] than allergies. Or, maybe you’re fatigued & achey from packing?
    Second, maybe this allergy season is worse than usual, because of our delayed spring? It seems like all the plants & trees are blooming at the same time. Very pretty, and maybe allergenic.
    Third, based on experience with childhood allergies [and like comments above], I think of allergy symptoms as sneezing, sniffling, itchy eyes, and eyes that get all glassy if you get anywhere near a cat. I was lucky to outgrow most of my allergies. Except for cats.
    Might you be allergic to … boxes?

    • 1. I mostly like saying “ague.”
      2. I have heard this from one of my friends who has allergies. It sounds unfortunate for those people.
      3. Thank god I’m not allergic to cats. But you could be right about that boxes thing.

  11. I think Alex was trying to fake you out. I don’t think you get chills with allergies. Fever can happen with bad food and maybe other allergies. My dad has allergies, so I’ve had the same level of sneezy allergy experience as you. By the way, I remember in an old blog post of yours, you said Sam has seasonal allergies. Is he one of the allergy complainers you know?

    • He’s actually pretty unwhiny about the whole thing. But you are right that he has issues with allergies sometimes. :)

  12. Well, if he’s right, then my doctor is wrong. I just got home from an appointment where my headache, chills/fever, fatigue, body aches, sore throat and sniffles earned me a Z-Pak.
    Strep is going around my office and this is how it started for everyone else.

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  14. cough
    Cold- often
    Allergies- sometimes

    Aches
    Cold- sometimes
    Allergies- never

    Fatigue
    Cold- sometimes
    Allergies- sometimes

    Fever
    Cold- rarely
    Allergies- never

    Itchy, watery eyes
    Cold- rarely
    Allergies- often

    Sore throat
    Cold- often
    Allergies- sometimes

    Runny or stuffy nose
    Cold- often
    Allergies- often

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