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Mr_Saturn512's avatar

Am I having a "normal" cold? (Warning: some TMI)

Asked by Mr_Saturn512 (558points) January 26th, 2020

I’m worried that I have something more serious. I already saw the doctor but they just said it was a cold and gave me some things to take.

I’m 30 now but from all my life I’ve been very used to my body when I get a cold. It was always a strict sequence of “stuffy nose first, then sore throat, then coughing, then runny nose, then a dry cough lingers for a while after the cold is gone”

It’s always been a 3 day thing. (I have actually kept personal log of when I’ve been sick and what I’ve had, dating back to 2011)

But this cold I’m suffering from right now has felt more stubborn and MUCH more unpredictable.

Monday – I sneezed like five times in a row and instantly knew that I probably got infected with something. That’s how it always starts.

Tuesday – slight tingle in the back of my throat. nothing more. the cold was probably incubating.

Wednesday – woke up with sore throat, low grade fever of 99.0, and stuffy nose. did not go to work and have not been at work since.

Thursday – WORST SORE THROAT OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. It hurt to talk and swallow. My voice was so hoarse. Never felt anything like it before. The weird part was I thought it was going away but then at night it came back with EXTREME pain. I was up until 2 AM just in pain and coughing so much, spitting up mucus. It was clear at the time. Fever of 100.

Friday – things calmed down. headache developed though. Sore throat but not as bad. Woke up with red eyes and so much crust than I ever had before waking up. Went to doctor. They said it was viral because my symptoms weren’t consistent with strep or any other bacterial infection. They didn’t know if the eye thing was related or a separate matter entirely (I use a sleeping mask). Checked for flu and came back negative (I had my flu shot this season but you never know). Gave me pills for my dry cough and antimicrobial drops for my eyes IF I wake up with yellow crust, signifying bacterial contamination.

Early Saturday morning – woke up in the middle of night coughing and hacking up brownish mucus. sore throat was hurting again. after I hacked up the mucus, it died down. I lost a lot of sleep but strangely never felt tired. I had to use the eye drops because the crust was yellow.

Saturday – felt the best. however, I felt like there was adrenaline rushing through me. Around 6PM I thought it was completely gone. No sore throat. No fever. No coughing. Just some sniffles.

Saturday night – again, sore throat returned and coughed up mucus. Most was clear this time but one or two globs were brownish.

This morning – woke up around 6AM to cough up yet more mucus but it’s all clear now. Sore throat not as bad but still there very faintly. Eyes have finally gone back to normal. Low grade fever of 99.0 again. I’m feeling that adrenaline sensation again like I’m supposed to be nervous but mentally/emotionally I’m not, but my body is reacting that way. Also, TMI, but I’ve been pooping LIKE CRAZY. I’ve been up since 6 AM and have pooped like five times. Totally normal poop too. No diarrhea or constipation. Just boatloads of normal, regular-sized-and-consistency poop.

My appetite has remained the same – I get hungry for three meals like I should but the thought of eating rough foods makes my sore throat hurt.

The other TMI thing is my mood swings concerning masturbating. Normally when I’m sick I do not want to masturbate. Period. I consider it a dowsing rod, if you will, indicating when I’m healthy or not.

However, this past weekend even though I feel the sore throat and I’m congested and uncomfortable, I still have a drive to do it. But then there were other instances too when I was mistaken and couldn’t do it. It’s all very up and down and I hate it.

tl;dr – I’ve had a very atypical cold from what I usually get and it’s concerning me that something more sinister is going on, but the doc cleared me of anything like that.

(I hope it’s not that recent Chinese coronavirus. . .although I feel like I would have infected my parents by now since I’ve been with them since Friday)

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7 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

What does it mean when you cough up brown mucus?
The color brown often means old blood. ... Brown phlegm is commonly caused by: Bacterial pneumonia:This form of pneumonia can produce phlegm that is green-brown or rust-colored. Bacterial bronchitis: This condition can produce rusty brown sputum as it progresses.Mar 15, 2017 › health › green-phlegm
Yellow, Brown, or Green Phlegm: What it Means – Healthline

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’m NOT a doctor & I seldom visit one!!! It sounds to me like you’ve lived through the worst & are cresting the hill toward getting well. You might have also had a light case of the flu & are getting better. I don’t like being sick, so around the first of December, I buy a bottle of Zicam for Colds. At the first sign of sneezing or scratchy throat, I start using the Zicam. It usually cuts my down time in half. Last year the Zicam didn’t help very much so I branched out & tried some Fire. Numerous friends were using it & I found it on Amazon & ordered because I was too sick to go out. It tasted nasty but I was significantly better by the next morning. By day 2 most of my symptoms were gone & I was back with the living!!!

With your symptoms, you might give it a couple more days & then check back in with your doctor just to be sure. Unless you’ve recently visited China, it shouldn’t be the coronavirus. I’ve only heard of 2 people in the US who have come down with it. One in the state of Washington & one in Chicago. There was a report of a possibility in North Carolina, but it has been determined that wasn’t what that person had. I was reading today that it takes up to 14 days to start showing symptoms after contracting it. IF your doctor had any hint that it “might be” the coronavirus, they are required to do certain tests & send it to the CDC in Atlanta for followup as the CDC is the ONLY ones who can detect the virus. That leads me to believe that your doctor didn’t feel it was even a possibility.

I hope you’re feeling a LOT better soon!!!

stanleybmanly's avatar

The problem with defining a “normal” cold is that despite the symptoms, no 2 colds are the same. In fact, the reason you can depend on a cold a year is precisely because the latest cold is the “new” model presenting the “latest” hitherto unknown challenges to your immune system. It’s like the the automobile industry, with “new and improved” features popping up all the time. Your body has mastered last year or last week’s features, but with billions of evolving opportunities for innovations in pathogens, your bod has to confront the latest challenges and adapt defenses. The reason colds are usually not life threatening is because your bod is already superbly adapted to defeating bygone models and quickly overcomes those aspects of your cold even before symptoms appear. But the new “improvements” require time for your body to work out the “fix”. That time and process defines your cold.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

There has been a cold/virus this winter that has had people with sneezes and coughs for weeks and months.

China virus:

Have you been in Wuhan, China in the last 2 weeks?

Have you had contact with someone that was in Wuhan in the last 2 weeks?

Do you know where Wuhan, China is?

If you answered “No” to two or more of those questions you don’t have Wuhan Virus.

kritiper's avatar

Do you smoke? That would be a reason for coughing up brown gunk. Or if your air has a lot of crap in it. Drink lots of water and get lots of rest. Drink a mess of orange juice, too.

janbb's avatar

Not a doctor but you might have a strep throat. Not serious but you usually need antibiotics for it to go away. I would see a doctor or an urgent walk-in center.

Sagacious's avatar

What “things” did they give you to take?

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