When our kids get sick, we may not hesitate to phone the doctor, but our own illnesses may get put on the back burner. How do you decide when you're sick enough to see a doctor? Here are a few things we've selected that you should get an appointment for.
Strep in the house
If your kids have had strep throat, and a week or so later you get a mild sore throat, you may be tempted to just write it off — don't. You should get swabbed anyway because an untreated strep infection can lead to rheumatic fever, which can damage your heart. Even if there has been no strep in your house, you might want to go get it checked out anyway, especially if your sore throat is severe. It's worth using a co-pay on a virus to be on the safe side.
If you have a headache that doesn't respond to treatment, make an appointment. It could be a sinus infection, or it could be something more serious. You may need something as simple as an antibiotic, but in any case your doctor can help you get to feeling better.
If you have a respiratory infection and are having any trouble breathing, be seen. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if she thinks you have bronchitis, but even if you don't have a bacterial infection, your lungs may need steroid support.
If you have pain in any part of your body that seems to hang out and flare up occasionally, you might want to get checked out — particularly if it begins to interfere with your job or your home life. Arthritis (even in young people), bursitis, repetitive stress injuries and fibromyalgia are just a few things that may be plaguing you, but it's best to find out what's going on before permanent damage settles in.
You don't have to run to the doctor for every sniffle or fever — even a severe sickness, such as influenza, will get better with time — but do keep in mind that there are a few things that you should always get checked out.