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Thread: Wise, nurse...HELP! when does a temperature become a fever?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Wise, nurse...HELP! when does a temperature become a fever?

    I have had several symptoms of a UTI for several months but was advised by my ID dr. to treat only if one more symptom were present-a fever.
    QUESTIONS:
    (1) how high is a fever? I've received different responses-one from a nurse who told me 104 is a high fever but "harmless"...someone else said 100 was cause for concern.

    (2) my temp is normally 97.2, below the "norm" of 98.6, so a lower parameter would be correct for me, right? or no?

    (3) I've had temps above (my) normal a few times that lasted several hours & then mysteriously disappeared. These developed after exposure to hot sun. Are they cause for concern (possibly indicating a uti) or just a normal reaction to heat? I don't know if this happens to the uninjured also when they are exposed like this, or if our (sci) thermostats even are like theirs (I'm guessing not).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    I spike "fevers" sometimes as well. I attribute them to becoming overheated since they always go back down if I change the temperature of the room, remove clothing, etc. Three days ago, for example, my temp got up to 99.8. It went back to normal within one hour after I opened a window and removed a layer of clothing. I knew what it was since the spiked temp wasn't accompanied by any other symptoms.

  3. #3
    Jenny, when you have a fever from an infection, you should feel sick. I suggest waiting till you have a body temperature above 100ËšF and you make sure that the temperatures are taken when you are in the shade. People with spinal cord injury do not sweat as readily and can have slightly high temperatures after exposure to sun or hot weather.

    Please remember that if you start antibiotics, you must continue the course of antibiotics or else you may produce resistant bacteria.

    Wise.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Wise Young:

    Jenny, when you have a fever from an infection, you should feel sick.
    Wise.
    thank you for your guidance, Wise! I don't have chills along w/the spikes, or the "malaise" that I'm all-too-familiar with from previous infections. I'll continue to moniter things....

  5. #5
    Because people with SCI tend to be poikilothermic (their body temperature tends to go down in cold environments and up in hot environments) this can be a challenge.

    We often see people with "fevers" as high as 101 F due to having too many blankets on them at night, and have seen temps over 104 F from sitting in the hot sun or in a hot car. These very high body temps can also make you nauseated, and feel weak, so you can't always differentiate just by feeling OK. We usually will test this out by taking off the blankets and using sponging off with cool water. If this works, it is probably not a fever from an infection. If it does not, then the cause of the fever should be investigated more.

    We do not recommend taking Tylenol for a fever under 101 F.

    A low-grade fever (99-100.9) usually does not get anyone too excited, but if it goes on for sometime (several days) it should be investigated as this can indicate a low-grade infection or even a DVT.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    What you're describing is SCIMFS (Spinal Cord Injury Morning Fever Syndrome.) Fortunately, unlike the SCI that causes it, no research is needed to find a cure - SCI Nurse already posted it.

    Alan

    There's a fungus among us, and I'm not lichen it!

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