Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke


Is this bug EVER gonna go away?

Not for awhile, if experience speaks. I’ve now enjoyed 2017’s Cold from Hell for two full weeks. The worst of the infection symptoms have pretty well passed: the fever is gone, the nasal congestion is gone, the headache is gone, the overall sense of wet-noodle weakness is pretty well gone. But — as usual — the frantic coughing hangs on.

Speaking launches a frenzy of chest-deep coughing and hacking. I can’t even utter the words “good dog!” without flying into another cough-fest.

I’ve found, in the past, that a cough like this can hang on as long as six weeks. I hope it will fade enough for me to go back to choir in another week or two, but…the specific reason I so dread catching a cold is that it typically takes me three times as long to get over it as most people require.

At one point my great old (now retired) doctor ran an elaborate series of blood tests on me and came up with the finding (theory?) that I’m missing a small part in my immune system. That, he thought, explains my susceptibility to viruses and probably explains why it takes such a godAWFUL long time for me to get over what ought to be mild respiratory infections.

It’s also why I’m swimming in pneumonia and flu vaccines. And why I do not take communion: you couldn’t pay me to drink out of or dip a cracker into a communal cup of wine.

I think this is neither pneumonia nor flu; I think it’s a chest cold that quickly morphed into bronchitis. Accordingly, it will take a long time to get over it.

Yesterday I wanted to go to a friend’s wedding. So I spent the day swallowing Robotussin every four hours. Usually, Robotussin does exactly nothing for me. But this time around it has a mild but perceptible effect. Two of them: 1) it upsets my stomach and 2) it takes the edge off the cough, as long as I keep my mouth shut. That beneficence lasts about two hours.

I’ve held off taking the leftover codeine, partly because the cough is still productive and I think when you’re coughing up crud, your body is trying to tell you something. And partly because…yes…it upsets my stomach, to say nothing of knocking me into the middle of next week. But today the thing has reached the point where nothing much is coming up and I’m just hacking reflexively, a state that I imagine results from two or three weeks of pharyngeal irritation. Whenever I think it’s safe to do so and I don’t mind sleeping half the day, I probably will dose myself with that stuff.

Still in the middle of the current editorial project, I really can’t afford to knock myself out for a day or two.

Otherwise, the weather has warmed up nicely — we’ve had several days in the mid-nineties, a phenomenon that has, in the past, helped to clear up colds, flu, and bronchitis. The pool is warming fast. Yesterday in passing I thought it was almost warm enough for a swim. But then thought better of that! 😀 Nevertheless, a grandparent or two at the wedding (the newlyweds are themselves grandparents) remarked that the little kids had been in the drink.

Ah, the grandparents. My son’s friends came into town, the bride being his buddy’s mother. The mother-in-law came along.

I wish you could meet these two women. What a kick they are! Each in her own way. The bride and groom are latter-day hippies who never moved into the brave new urbanized techno-world we enjoy today. They raise organic food and organic chickens, and he has an elaborate aquaculture operation set up in the backyard of their north Phoenix tract house. Back-to-the-earthers who have to make a living…but who I can imagine retired with great joy in Yarnell, a perfect venue for the back-to-the-earth life. The bride’s mother appears to be a normal Midwestern small-town gal on the surface…but be not deceived. She has the most wonderful, hilarious personality. I think she’s just more fun than life. She got on the dance floor and…can that lady DANCE. Fan-freakingtastic!

I probably embarrassed my poor son again (because I also can dance in a bawdy 1960s manner, though I did try to keep a lid on it last night…sort of). When I get going, I’m embarrassing. When she gets going, she’s a lot of fun. Too bad I never learned how to do that.

Image: DepositPhotos, © julos

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  1. One of my local friends who is around your age has that cold. I offered to take her to the garden center yesterday and usually she’s happy to go, but the persistent cough is taking it’s toll on her. I checked on her again today and she remarked that she’s “whistling” when she breathes in and out. She says she’ll call the doctor tomorrow. I’m sure it’s bronchitis, too. Maybe an inhaler will temporarily help her get through this. I hope you get some relief soon!

  2. Wheezing? Lovely. That’s what happened the last time I had this thing. Pulmonologist said it was bronchitis, not asthma (thank god!). Prescribed Prednisone.

    Prednisone worked, but it kicked up the GERD. That’s how I found out steroid meds can cause or aggravate GERD…ohhhh goodie!

    And THAT is why I’ve stayed away from the doc this time. It’s taken two years to get the GERD under control, and I guess I’d rather suffocate than go through that again.

  3. Hang in there Funny….One of my tenants….approaching 60 faster than she would like….is an “old hippie” of sorts….Did a gig in the Peace Corps…the whole deal. She is a sweet and kind gal but a bit “quirky” who sees things different than most….She’s great! The wedding sounded like a hoot! Maybe give the “netty pot” a shot on that coughing. I swear by this thing…If I get “athlete’s foot” I reach for the “netty pot” FIRST….LOL. Get well soon….

    • Gaaahhhh! God a monumental eye bleed this noon. Turns one of the many potential causes is…oh, yeah: COUGHING!

      Thanks for the netty pot advice. Young Dr. Kildare thinks they’re great, too. I’m a little wary because of the potential to introduce yet new pathogens into the nasal cavity and brainpan.

  4. “Brainpan”… What???? No worries put a little Kosher Salt in the water and you’ll be fine. They even make “special salts” to go in the “netty pot” now….MAN an eye-bleed…You must be coughing hard…You might want to pay the Good Doc a visit….something doesn’t sound right….a persistent cough could be the sign of a host of other things . Blood pressure normal….any kind of heart palpitations…..light headedness….dizzy? Not a Doc BUT might be time to see one…..

    • It’s pretty typical for me. This happens about every second or third time I get a cold. That’s why I go to some lengths to avoid exposure: not making a habit of eating out; evading communion(!); trying (but often failing…) to remember to wash hands after shopping. And getting my hands on and storing a codeine cough medicine. Ohhh well. It’s ever been thus.

      On neti pots:

      Just be sure not to use tap water, unless it’s been brought to a full boil and cooled.

      • OK…Got it….no more “creek water” in the netty pot…LOL. But persistent coughs are often the result of other things going on in your body. My friend’s Dad had a cough for a good while but no other cold like symptoms….Long story short he needed a pacemaker as his heart would get out of wack and then he would feel the need to cough….CRAZY.

      • It’s pretty clearly a cold or flu. I may call the adorable Young Dr. Kildare today, if for no other reason than that this thing presents an excuse to gaze upon his charming gorgeousness. 😀

  5. Disclaimer: I have never tried this!

    Recently I read that Black Elderberry syrup can be very helpful to speed up the recovery for colds and help avoid getting sick. The reviews on this seem to support that claim: Sambucol Original Liquid Black Elderberry

    Might be worth a try!

  6. Be careful with that cough. A woman I knew in her 80s had a persistent cough for weeks that ended up leading to her being hospitalized and she later died as her lungs failed. She had pnemonia plus mixed with older age that did her in. I know you’re not near your 80s but pnemonia is no laughing matter.

    • LOL! I can’t laugh: it makes me cough! 😮

      And I’m just eight years short of 80. But you know, when you’re in your 80s, it’s about time to go. Nothing lasts forever.

  7. Local friend was wheezing and had an awful cough when I visited her yesterday with some items I picked up at the store for her. Like you, she didn’t want to take the codeine cough syrup she had on hand because it made her too dopey, nor would she use the rescue inhaler she had because it would make her too fidgety. :-/

    Today she went to see the doc and was told she had an upper respiratory infection (no kidding…) and prescribed some new meds. I’m not sure what meds she got, but hopefully she’ll kick this thing soon.

    BTW, I do a lot of communicating with her via text on her smart phone. It’s super convenient and also a life saver for her to have that smart phone. Twice in the past year she’s texted me for help because she was having trouble getting up from a fall. Once I had to call the EMTs because it was obvious she needed to be taken to the hospital; turns out the hip replacement she had just a month prior didn’t work out right and she’d been trying to convalesce with a break in her femur!! The other time I just had to help her up since she still hadn’t recovered from the second hip surgery. She apologizes profusely for “bugging me” but I’d rather that than the alternative. Smart phones are great.

  8. Have you tried Delsym? It was recommended to me by a doctor and everyone to whom I’ve recommended it, agrees that it works.

    • Its active ingredient is dextromethorphan. That’s the same stuff that’s in Robitussin DM. It has a mild positive effect if the cough is just an ordinary cold-type cough. For a REALLY bad cough, it does nothing.