Thursday, March 27, 2008

Antibiotics or Not?

(An old draft resurrected, written way back on 27 Mar 2008)

I had this thought while running today, or rather when I was recovering from the run by lying on the floor of my apt! I was in pain, the almost reflexive thought was to consume an Advil rather than suck it up. This led me to think how we have almost become programmed to suppress pain with a quick fix. But the effort required in getting up to get the Advil led me to ponder more about the other times I had experienced pain and what I had learned.

There was one time, early in the Summer of 2007, I woke up with an excruciating earache, the kind that I had not experienced in a very long time. A visit to the doctor confirmed my suspicion of an infection. I had got it because my allergies (to pollen and other related stuff) had caused my sinuses to clog and give me an infection. I was put on antibiotics and painkillers. Not a great combination, on the one hand the pain disappears, but leaves you feeling like crap. There is endless debate about whether one should use antibiotics or not to treat ear infections. I think the jury is still out on that one, at least when it comes to treating children who experience ear infections. The reason is because it's been proven not to be completely effective. Also, it leads to the bacteria adapting and not reacting (dying) to the antibiotic, which leads to the whole treatment being ineffective. At this point I didn't care for the expert opinion, I needed something to relieve me of the pain and I took both. I am thankful they worked.

I am still on the fence about taking painkillers, on the one hand I feel I don't want to become dependent on them. But then I do have a threshold and it seems to falling as I get used to the idea that taking painkillers is okay (Or maybe I am just getting old).

Addendum: 25 July 2007 I am back on the combination of antibiotics and painkillers, this time thanks to a root canal. The antibiotics are prescribed after a root canal to prevent a possible infection. And I didn't think twice before taking the painkillers, the pain was bad enough to keep me up at night. I still meet people in this day and age who don't think medication is a good idea. They feel it's unnecessary, and they hold this for infection too. they believe there is a "natural" cure for everything. I shall leave you with that to mull on!




I am an Informatics Specialist, involved in analysis and visualization of biological and clinical data. Photography is what I do in my spare time. I live in Cambridge, MA.

This blog is the medium to showcase one photo per post from what I shoot. I will try to do post one a day!

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