Health Advice: Punched in the kisser but let's not Thrush to judgement

My ordeal with oral Thrush and tips to deal with it

Friday, July 19, 2019 | Posted by Scratch

It is hard to believe what a week it has been—utterly painful and miserable—and because of the type of week it has been, I have not been able to post an update to the FFD Blog as often as I would like. Truth be told, I’ve been dealing with a very painful infection called Thrush. It’s nasty business and it will rise up and punch you in the kisser like you wouldn’t believe.

Thrush leaves your mouth with a burning sensation that just won’t go away. It coats your mouth with filmy white patches. When this started last Saturday, I thought I had really, really bad chap lips. However, as another day, and another day went on, it was clear something really unusual, and painful, was going on inside my mouth.

It was so painful that on Monday I went to MedEx Express to see what they had to say about it. They thought I had ulcers and prescribed me something that was totally irrelevant to ulcers—a one day dose of Valtrex, which is an antiviral medication and used to deal with the viral infections such as herpes virus. However, ulcers are not viral.

Ulcers are are typically white circular lesions inside the mouth, whereas cold sores are blisters that appear on the outside of the mouth.

Ulcers are indicative of your body letting its guard down for a moment or so. In fact, from what I read about ulcers in the mouth, it is not always clear what causes them. Alas, I didn’t have ulcers, I Thrush.

For the record: MedEx Express misdiagnosed my condition as ulcers and then proscribed a proscription that was not intended for ulcers—so double whammy on them.

No offense to MedEx Express, but I went to a real doctor a couple days later, Steel City Internal Medicine, when I knew that what MedEx proscribed did not have any effect at all. My real doctor, which I should say is really a physician’s assistant, actually looked inside my freaking burning, swollen, on-fire mouth. That’s when he noticed that what I really have is Thrush, a fungal infection.

As such, the true medicine I needed was a anti-fungal mouthwash, Nystatin, which he correctly proscribed. As I post this today, I am feeling about 90% back to my normal self. So Thrush appears to be what I have.

The mouthwash will clear this all up. However, that being said, Thrush usually indicates a week underlying immune system or high blood sugar or stress issue. Any one of these reasons, or all of them, could be feeding the Thrush.

Yesterday I went to have a battery of blood test done and I am waiting the results. In some ways I’m glad I know what I am dealing with. I guess I need to know what caused it, so I am not out of the woods yet, but I will say this is week’s experience with Thrush has certainly been a personal health scare.

For the past five days I’ve had nothing but protein shakes as my mouth is too sore to eat and even drink from a cup. Today I had my first normal cup of coffee and my lips still have fleeting stings but they are no longer under this burning assault from my own body’s immune system.

I won’t say that this was a wake up call for me to change my ways, because I did change my ways and lost 35 pounds on intermittent fasting before this scare However, it’s certainly open my eyes about what is at stake with my health.

If I do have high blood sugar, it’s going to force me to change my diet forever. A couple weeks ago I’ve read about how to skip beer for a while and see how that goes. Now I May not have a choice.

I am thinking today that I might actually have solid food for dinner. There’s no way I can get so low calorie as I’ve been in the past five days or so, which has seen me drop 10 more pounds.

On the whole I guess I should be in for a little excitement, since I’m down 50-pounds from my all-time wait on 324 pounds last year (yes, the scale read 274 yesterday). I am 50 pounds away from my goal of losing 100. However, I certainly didn’t want to lose the last 10 pounds in the manner in which I did, by not being able to eat solid food. That being said, because these past pounds lost have been so painful with the Thrush, I don’t want to give them back at all. I want to keep them off and then keep going—with even more determination to loose all the extra weight.

I still don’t know what the underlying cause of my Thrush is and my blood work should point towards the culprit. Nonetheless, this experience has really emphasize what is at stake with my house because I approach the big 50 I have heard from folks older than I that is doesn’t get any easier.

The whole Thrush ordeal aside, I am still managed to exercise and stick to my routine. Hell, I couldn’t eat solid food. How in the world could I possibly stuff myself.

So it has been hard for a week and a grueling one in terms of pain and suffering. I am not going to rush to judgment, but I will say I need to take this Thrush infection to heart and my health game to another level. If I learned anything from the pain of the Thrush, is that I can no longer take my healthy lightly.

So the morale of the story? Don’t take your health lightly. And if you get Thrush, here is what I did to help alleviate the pain.

Tips for dealing with Oral Thrush

  • Create a supplies center. Get all your stuff together to make it easy to get too: oral gels, medicated mouth wash for mouth sores, aspirin, green tea, and salt for making a salt water mix.

  • Be prepared to have your sleep wrecked. In the most painful days of my Thrush outbreak, I found it almost impossible to sleep well. I would drift off and awake in pain. It would seem every few hours, I would get up to have my lips swollen and burning as well as the inside of my cheeks. I would quickly access my supplies center and go to work.

  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods. Watch what you eat our mouth will give some very unpleasant feedback. Avoid spicy stuff like salsa and food that is salty. Soft textured foods will be your best friend for a while and so will a good protein shake. From what I gathered, Thrush feeds upon excess sugar, so I made it a point to avoid high carb stuff. For five days I had a green juice in the morning and protein smoothie of ice, coconut milk, Greek yogurt, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and plant-based protein powder. It was really good and even then sipping it with a straw was work. After a couple of days of drinking from a straw, I was able to drink from a cup.

  • Ice down your lips if they are swollen. I found after getting up from pain that when my lips would be really swollen, wrapped some ice cubes in a paper towel seemed to get the swelling down.

  • Salt water rinse. After icing down my lips, I would pour a coup of hot tap water. Soon as it was full, I knew it was not too hot that would burn my mouth, but hot enough. I then used a salt shaker and added a good bit of salt. I would then swish that around and spit. Repeated that several times before moving on to the next point.

  • Medicated mouth rinse. First, this is not the anti-fungal mouth rinse, Nystatin. This is an OTC product you should be able to get at your local pharmacy. I used one for mouth sores. After some warm salt water rinses, I would use a blast of this medicated mouth rinse to really kill some bacteria. At this point, if enough hours have transpired, I would move on to the next critical step.

  • Apply anti-fungal medication. Mine was a mouth rinse called Nystatin. There are other forms too. So without fail, I would follow these points, and if four hours or so has passed, apply the Nystatin mouth rinse.

  • Buckle up for some pain. The most intense pain lasted for a two or three days. Once I took the Nystatin, I started to show slow improvement. Many of the white patches had retreated and dwindled. Still, the ones that were left, could conjure up a lot of pain up at night. Be prepared to have quick access to your supply center at all times. Go through your routine—like mine outlined in these tips—as often as you need.

There you have a summary of my ordeal with Thrush and the best tips I can give you to deal with it.

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