Old 06-18-2011, 03:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,106
Has my fever broken?

I must have picked up an upper respiratory bug, and I'm feeling under the weather. I was just coughing (productive) a lot earlier today with a sore throat, but after lying down for a couple hours I woke up with achy chills. I took some ibuprofen, turned off my fans, and bundled under my blanket. About 4 hours later I woke up and the aches and chills were gone, and I was a bit sweaty. Does that mean my fever broke? I don't have a thermometer so I can't check my temp, but my skin is cool to the touch now and I feel more normal (a bit groggy, as my sleeping schedule has been disrupted because of this, but I know I'm not just feverishly rationalizing). Cough is more productive now, and mucus is waterier, so I'm kinda hoping that this illness is on the way out already.

I won't be going to the doctor as I'm not diarrhea-ing or vomiting, and I'm drinking tons of fluids (water, chicken broth) so my urine is a nice healthy color. I was also able to eat (ice cream and rice+cheese). But I recognize my body well enough to know when I'm dangerously ill, and won't hesitate to go if something more dangerous happens.

If I die, I promise not to hold anyone legally responsible for their input in this thread.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 06-18-2011 at 03:07 AM.
Old 06-18-2011, 03:45 AM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 8,010
In my experience, sweating usually means the fever has broken, or at least been driven down by an antipyretic (like ibuprofen). The fact that your fever has gone down does not necessarily mean you're no longer sick. It could come back as the medicine wears off.

Hopefully, it won't. Either way, I wish you a swift recovery. Respiratory ailments suck.
Old 06-18-2011, 03:51 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,106
That answered an underlying question of mine, re: whether the ibuprofen might have interfered and made it SEEM like the fever broke, but really the bug is still around. We'll see, I suppose! I'm still feeling about the same.

Old 06-18-2011, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 440
Yeah, as mentioned, the medication could have helped bring it down, or it may have broken on its own.

The last few years I've gotten a nasty respiratory bug twice a year with high fevers, and they break and return several times before they're completely gone, so it also could come back. Or it could be gone and progressing onto the next part of healing.

Either way, hope you feel better soon!
Old 06-18-2011, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,821
Fever has broken but that may or may not be permanent. My husband has been really sick the last couple days and he has been through the sweat, fever broken, fever back cycle about 3x a day. I've done more laundry today than I want to think about.
Old 06-18-2011, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Florida
Posts: 5,028
Chiming in to agree with what was said..and to say hope you feel better soon!
For me..the key signs are when I stop shivering/sweating, and when my appetite comes back. That feeling of "wait..I'm actually hungry!" is always an important point for me when I'm recovering from a nasty bug.

Old 06-18-2011, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sweet Home Chicago
Posts: 33,496
Ibuprofen is a fever reducer, so it's worked like it was supposed to (even if you didn't knowingly take it for the fever, but for the aches and pains.) Ibuprofen lasts anywhere from 4-6 hours, so your fever may (have) come back when it wears off.

This is something that's surprisingly hard to teach parents in the ER. Yes, we brought your baby's fever down, but you have to keep giving her the medicine when you get home! It can actually be more dangerous to treat and then not-treat a fever than to never treat it in the first place. It's not usually a fever that causes febrile seizures per se, but a sudden change in body temperature. So a slow crawl to 104 may be okay, but give 'em ibuprofen and it comes down to 99, and then let the medicine wear off and it suddenly shoots to 104 and there can be issues. This is one reason we like to keep kids in the hospital for "observation"; we know we'll keep giving them fever reducers when their parents might not.

So yes, it might come back. If it were I, I'd keep taking the ibuprofen according to the dose schedule for a day or two, even if the fever appears to have gone away.

Last edited by WhyNot; 06-18-2011 at 10:16 AM.
Old 06-18-2011, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,106
Thanks again for all the fever tips and well-wishes!

The fever didn't come back. I spent a total of 10 hours (not perfectly contiguous, but more or less solid) asleep and I'm feeling a bit less illness-ravaged. My back ribs hurt a bit from coughing too much, but I turned on the A/C, so hopefully the dehumidifying will help decrease nonproductive coughing (it's hot and ridiculously humid near Chicago today, 69% currently and tonight it'll be up to 84%, yikes).

I'm almost out of cough drops, but I don't want to go out unless I have to! On the plus side, this is saving me a bunch of money in cigarettes because it hurts to smoke, and food because all I'm eating are ice-cream sandwiches.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 06-18-2011 at 11:58 AM.

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