Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Well isn’t that special…

So I saw my doctor yesterday, and he gave me a whack of stuff for my assorted grievances.

There’s a codeine-based cough syrup for the rib-cracking coughs, and a butt-kicking antibiotic that allegedly does in five days that takes a lot of antibiotics two weeks to accomplish. Namely, it kills everything in your whole body…and then lets nature sort things out, you know, later.

And some promethazine. To encourage my stomach to let food happen instead of tossing it straight back up.

I was skeptical. And irritated, because the cough syrup also contains promethazine; which means that I have to do math and keep track of when I took what, and how much of what I took and cumulatively speaking, how many mLs of this-or-that have gone into my system.

Which is a bit harder to do when one has been pounding back the codeine, jest sayin’.

But I was needed to believe in it. My body had been rejecting food for eight long days. I was hungry, exhausted, strung-out, light-headed and beyond irritable.

I needed food. Actually? Not just food. I needed food, dammit.

So I took one of those little pills and, while giving it a little time to work, tried to balance believing with all my SOUL that these little pills would work with a reasonable amount of caution.

It is my firm belief that what any medication will accomplish relies heavily on what we believe it will. If I do not believe that a sleep aid will help my insomnia, well, it generally doesn’t…if I do believe it, it could be nothing more than a tablet of pressed powdered sugar with a little yellow dye added, and it’ll work wonders for me.

But at the same time, chemistry can’t always be overruled by what my brain thinks should be the case. If I swallow antifreeze while firmly believing that it is no more harmful to my body than Gatorade, well…yeah. Still gonna die.

Chemistry can be mean that way.

So I sat there telling myself, firmly, that this was going to work.

And by golly, it did.

It took every last ounce of self-control I had remaining to me not to plow straight into the refrigerator and not lift my head from it until every last scrap of edible material had been sucked into my newly-quiet stomach.

And then I napped. Hard.

This is where I’d love to say that I got up this morning and was feeling so much better that I dug out all the weeds in the garden and did the laundry and put away the dishes and then worked a regular full day before heading off to run a marathon to raise money for abandoned sea turtles.

Eh…not so much. I’d kind of hoped that maybe I’d be feeling a lot better sooner, but apparently my doctor’s guess of two to three days before I started seeing much improvement was more accurate.

I still felt really bleh today. Some of the medication has raised (ahem) other issues, the rest of it makes me a marvelous combination of tired, listless, and brainless.

And doesn’t work on my cough. Makes me more cheerful about my cough (codeine + me = giggles), but I did absolutely zero work today of any kind.

Too busy coughing, you see…

I’ve dozed off in my chair. And played a video game. And tried to read, although my eyes are still kind of fuzzy on me. And tried to work on the cardigan, but what I needed to do kind of needed my eyes not to be going all fuzzy on me every time I try to focus them.

As things turned out, I have a sinus infection, a probable GI tract infection, the possible distant rumblings of a urinary tract infection as well, and a possible if not probable case of pertussis, a.k.a., whooping cough.

Astonishing. Shouldn’t be, but nevertheless is, somehow. I mean, I know I’m not young and that by extension this would mean that vaccinations I have not had “boosted” since I was a child are likewise old. And I know that they can lose efficacy over time. And I even knew that we had a fairly ugly round of pertussis going out here.

And that it was crazy-contagious.

What I hadn’t known was that sometimes, even if you are fully and recently vaccinated, you can still manage to contract pertussis. It’s a virulent, fast-spreading, easily-caught bacteria; it lives a long time outside the body, and has a million ways to get there.

And it hitches a ride for quite a while before you have any inkling that you’re sick; I was probably highly contagious for days before the first symptom hit me.

It’s a wonder any of us survive, you know? A testament, really, to the human body’s ability to take care of things on its own.

Most of the time, anyway.

You know, except when it doesn’t, and instead lets every bacteria it meets just come right on in and make itself at home, breed, fill up all the available spaces, dude, my parents are, like, in Malibu, come on in and PAR-TAY…

I was assured that I should start feeling a lot better in two to three days. And instructed to stay away from people for five days, giving the antibiotic time to kill off the bacteria enough that I won’t be spreading this thing any further than it has already gone.


Well…could always be worse. All things considered, I actually got off pretty light here, and should probably just count my blessings and be glad that…oh…


Wait. I forgot something. Yeah. The cough syrup? Yeah. Grape-menthol flavored.

Grape. Frickin’. MENTHOL. What demented lunatic came up with that as a good way to make this stuff palatable? I’ll tell you what kind: A sadist, that’s what kind.

That’s it. I am officially the most abused person in the history of ever.

(Lord-Lord, it is nasty, seriously, abysmally nasty…it is like sucking down used antifreeze, mixed with crushed grape candies or something…UGH…!)


Sungld said...

Pretty impressive. Please be kind to yourself and acknowledge you are indeed sick and that nothing is going to get done but healing. Although not getting to work on the cardigan is pretty harsh.

PBear said...

Grape menthol?? ewww, that's too nasty to even contemplate. Mine's cherry... (just sayin.... ) :-)

Glad you went to the doctor though, and can eat again. By tomorrow you should not only be feeling like you'll survive, but even getting close to *wanting* to.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess I won't send you my special recipe for grape-menthol jam, then.


(Feel better soon! I'm glad you're on the road to recovery :-))

Louiz said...

yik:( Grape menthol, that's just plain mean.

Rena said...

you will be feeling a lot better by Saturday. Your sister says so, and I am ALWAYS right.

Sarah said...

What I'd really like to know is what is it you drink to have you be having such a rotten time and yet STILL be able to write, and write well, while continuing to keep all the other balls in the air. I mean, I know you're a mom and so you grew some extra arms a while ago but still.. Hope you get well soon.

RobinH said...

I think the grape and menthol is designed to keep you from getting too happy about the codeine.

And you may need something in stockinette for the next few days. Just sayin'.

Hope you're feeling better soon!

Anonymous said...

Make sure you take some Ensure [flavor of your choice] Sip it, don't drink it down, and lots of Activia or some such.

Steph B said...

I think RobinH is onto something there....sadly, the only thing codeine does for me is make me sleepy. Kind of a bummer, really.
Hopefully you start feeling better SOON. Just make sure you don't over-do things for a few days (yeah, I know, easy for me to say) - but really, do you want Round 2? I didn't think so. Be a good Tama and take your yummy medicines, and the yucky germs will go away soon. And now I will go smack myself on your behalf. :-)