I missed church on Sunday and got progressively worse through the day. Fever of 104, aches, chills, worse headache than I've ever ever had (and I've had some bad ones), double vision, an area of blurred vision, my right breast red, sore with a blockage and a lump, stiff neck, and just generally feeling completely miserable. I tried taking hot baths, but I cried as I got in and out, just walking to the bathroom, and being wet while having the chills, it was not a fun feeling. I've never felt so ill, ever. My whole body felt bruised, like I'd had a beating. By this point I was certain I had mastitis.
Antibiotics supposedly clear this right up, but I didn't want to go that route for a number of reasons, not least of all that I couldn't stand to even get in the car never mind wait in a waiting room or fill in paperwork. I couldn't leave bed.
So after some internet research we found that raw garlic is a powerful antibiotic, without the side effects prescription antibiotics carry. So I've been taking two cloves at a time, chopped into about 5 pieces each, swallowed like pills with orange juice and followed up with a banana, to help with the taste. I don't even like garlic. They're easy enough to swallow, without gagging, but I do smell of garlic now. Even my milk smells of garlic. I'm sweating a lot with the fever and my sweat smells of garlic. It's pretty gross.
I'm also using hot compresses and massage and a breast pump to try to clear the blockage. Turtle is my 5th baby and this is my first real case of mastitis so I'm pretty lucky.
I've read that another good thing is to nurse your baby on all fours (called the cow position); it's a little awkward and undignified, but it makes use of gravity to help drain the breast. Just try to resist the urge to say "mooo". I tried but my body was too achy to stay in that position for long.
I've broken my fever now, I think the garlic really has helped with that. And as the fever left, so did the double and blurred vision and the dizziness. But the blockage is still there. I'm going to keep working on it. But yay for (stinky) garlic.