The Evil Cough

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Northstream, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Northstream

    Northstream Member

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    Got our 2nd call yesterday and she has that dreaded cough. What is this bug that attacks the plebes every summer, legionaries disease back from the 1970's?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Commonly called Plebe Hack. General upper respiratory symptoms. I defer to kp2001 for official comments. Even the detailers get it. Yelling, heat, stress, exhaustion, probably not a lot of hand-washing, and about 1200 new bugs imported from everywhere in the country. Second set detailers came in this past weekend, so a fresh wave of bugs arrived.
     
  3. poppo

    poppo New Member

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    Medical Concerns at Academy

    I spoke with my son yesterday. I could hardly hear him, his voice was
    so hoarse and weak. I told me that he doesn't get much
    sleep because of the hacking cough. I'm wondering, do the
    docs there take it seriously or does the medical staff just ignore this condition because it is an academy tradition? I hope not. In fact, by not treating it, it will just spread to others.
    I am concerned about the medical care in the academy. I'm already making preparations so that if need be I can take him to a private doctor over Parents' Weekend.
    So, here's my question: can I depend on the Academy, the docs and
    the detailers, etc., to show concern for my son's medical condition
    before he gets really ill? Also, does getting sick with a temporary
    illness and having to miss a few days of training during Plebe Summer
    somehow jeapardize his position in the Academy?
    Poppo, father of MIDN 4/C
     
  4. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    He will be well taken care of. Young people in a "college" environment with all sorts of new people and new viruses tend to get a bit ill. If the situation becomes more serious, believe me, someone will notice and it will be dealt with. He is being watched over much more intensely at USNA than he would be at any civilian college. Also, if he believes he has a serious medical issue -- or one that could be serious -- he should tell his detailer. I can't imagine a detailer who would refuse to allow an ill/injured plebe to attend Sickcall.

    Being ill for a few days does NOT jeopardize PS. My roommate had mono (luckily a mild case) and made it through just fine.

    Do NOT take him to a civilian MD. He's in the military now and medical care provided outside of the military setting (or o/w approval by the military) can create lots of problems later on. Big no-no.
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    It's definitely not Legionnaires (which still occurs by the way, but is usually spread through contaminated Air Conditioning units....most recent case that was well reported was from the Playboy Mansion :biggrin: )

    There are any number of reasons why an illness like this goes around every year at the same time at the same location. Usually for the same reason that a large percentage of people develop a similar illness upon arriving to Iraq. It's a new, stressful environment with an influx of many new people to a new environment who are now living in close proximity. They don't have the best hygiene for a while. They are sweaty, hot and immune systems get depressed.

    It's not a big deal. Don't worry about your mid, the doctors there went to the same medical schools as the ones in your home town (in fact at least you're guaranteed that a military doctor went to school in the US and not some random, for profit, caribbean school)
     
  6. Northstream

    Northstream Member

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    Pills?

    Thanks for the background, I was hoping my mid would dodge the bullet:rolleyes:

    I wanted to send her a bottle of the multi vitamins she took all thru high school. I am a fan and top notch pusher, my well researched better half told me these are not allowed yet, true?
     
  7. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe Member

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    Multivitamins not allowed during PS. Bring them for PPW.

    Poppo: I know it's really hard to hear your DS that way, but really: trust the process. Your DS is being well-cared-for, and the Navy already has a lot invested in him. They're not going to be cavalier. Most of the time it is NOT viral or bacterial - it is fatigue + vocal cord stress + not getting the gut behind that chow call!

    Those vocal cords get stressed just like their biceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and abdominals do. In hindsight, one of the things we learned was that vocal cords get shredded if there's no diaphragm behind it. That's one of the things I recall learning during PS and ac year. Your boy'll be OK - PPW is coming up, and reform week, though mentally stressful, backs off on the physical stress and many plebes begin rejuvenating then. Chow calls will be less frequent. That alone will aid rest & recovery. I know it's hard to hear it and not be able to to see your DS/DD, but hang in there and trust the institution and the process.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Just as stated above the "Plebe Hack" has been going around as long as Plebe Summer has. Plebes and detailers both get this every year. A combination of depressed immune systems, not enough sleep, and germs from all over the world located in one dorm tends to create this environment every year. Also the plebes are sweating non-stop and entering academic buildings (and now even Bancroft Hall) that are air conditioned with wet cotton T-Shirts (Blue Rims) on. The constant yelling on top of all this makes nearly everyone lose their voices. Combine the two together and it sounds much worse than it really is. The detailers are watching this closely on all the plebes and will send a plebe to sick call if it gets bad enough. Company Officers and Senior Enlisted Advisors also closely watch the health of all the plebes. Plebes also know if it gets bad enough they can go to sick call and get some medicine. Plebe Parents Weekend is a big help in this as they will get some down time and sleep. Within a week or two of the academic year this clears up for all the plebes.
     
  9. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    Your kid will survive. I have two Navy boys, one enlisted, one at USNA. The Navy does take their health seriously, but they are fighting men now. I had to learn that no one is going to baby them because they have the sniffles or a cough. My Plebe ended up with walking pneumonia during first semester, mostly because he didn't want to go get medical care... (said he was too busy). I nagged him enough after several weeks that he went in, got antibiotics and got better. I hope next time he will go for care sooner, but that is something he will have to learn on his own. Of course, I'll still be the mom, worrying and nagging, but I'm learning too that my boys are in good hands!

    Hang in there, Plebe parents. :eek: It is a bumpy ride, but the results are so worth it! Just had a lovely month with my new Youngster. He is maturing so much, and we are so proud of him!! :thumb:
     
  10. poppo

    poppo New Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for your concern about my man-child. I'm still
    a little leary, but less than before. In my own military experience, as
    a non-officer, many decades ago, any medical complaint was viewed
    with skepticism by the higher ups. On the other hand, my son
    is known for his admiration of Spartan tolerance of pain. Once he
    wrestled a whole season with a torn shoulder labrum and only
    went to the doc when the arm was almost torn off. I still feel
    guilty about this, knowing that I should have stepped in much
    sooner and TOLD him to have the shoulder checked out.

    What I've done is to have mention the cough to his coach and ask him
    to evaluate it. (As a parent whose only contact is a 10 min.phn
    call, I know that I don't truly know what is happening.) I know
    that my son would listen to the coach, and I think the coach would
    make the right decision to suggest he go to a doc, if need be.
    (After all, it's off season -- no competitions for a few months.)

    But, reading your emails, I do have more confidence in
    the detailers, too. And I also will concede that he might
    have the PS Hack, not bronchitis or the like. Next time I
    see him during PPW, I will bring a book
    on opera singing that I have stashed away in my basement. No joke.:biggrin:
    Although I'm not a singer (actually, drummer) I know that
    the book teaches singer how to use the diaphram, not
    the vocal chords. Who would have ever guessed that
    this technique for opera signers who have to be able to
    project their voices without destroying them, would be
    applicable to USNA plebes, who have to shout all the
    time. I guess that the ability to shout would have been a great
    advantage during sea battles, when your orders have to
    be heard over the noise and tumult. I guess I just figured out why
    yelling is the order of the day at the Naval Academy.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Poppo, Nothing wrong with being a concerned parent for their child's health! It is a new and crazy system that he and you are both learning to navigate. It is great that you mention he has a coach so I am assuming he is probably a recruited athlete or trying to possibly walk on to a team. If that is the case then he will have trainers around also. I am sure the coach is keeping a close eye on him and if need be the trainer can take a look at him and tell him to get to sick call if they thought it was more than hack. The trainers are not necessarily as present as they are during the season as they are running around doing sports camps and covering other activities, but trust me the coaches are communicating with the trainers even right now! The trainer will be one of his closest friends when he is in season. I don't know how many hours I spent with mine trying to make it through a season. The training staff at Navy is top notch and so are the orthopedic surgeons. The top orthopedic surgeons in the Navy are continually sent to Academy. The ortho we had when I was there now has his own practice in the DC area and I still go and see him for all my "old injuries."

    The yelling also does drop off for plebes once plebe summer is over. They will still do chow calls and do some yelling, but nearly to the level they are today. There is much more talking then yelling once the academic year starts.
     

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