Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu and The Cough That Will Not Go Away

I am still suffering lingering after-effects from the cold or flu that I had five weeks ago. While most of the symptoms have gone away, I still suffer from The Cough That Will Not Go Away. It nags at me, giving me coughing fits that make my ribs ache. It keeps me from sleeping at night. At times, it's so severe that it upsets my stomach, and it often causes incontinence.

I know from past experience that when I get The Cough, what makes it go away is the cough medicine that has codeine in it. For some reason, the codeine shuts down the cough, and in only 24 hours, The Cough is gone.

Officially, the medicine with the codeine is over-the-counter, but with restrictions, so the person getting such medicine must sign for it and provide identification. In practice, no reputable pharmacy wants to provide this medication to anybody who doesn't have a prescription. There's too much risk of providing something addictive to people who are addicted.

Since I don't have medical insurance, it would cost me an arm and a leg to go to a doctor to get a prescription. And since I don't have any money to pay for a doctor visit, I have no way of getting a prescription for the medication that will work.

I wonder what would have happened if the current swine flu outbreak in Mexico had happened five weeks ago, at the same time as my flu symptoms were at their peak. Would I have been forced into a treatment program, regardless of my ability to pay for it? Would I have been forced to abandon my students, either to a substitute instructor who wasn't up on what my classes were doing, or to not having class at all?

My latest success in alleviating The Cough has been herbal tea based on Ayurvedic healing principles. This tea has been especially effective at easing chest congestion. It's not perfect, but at least it lets me sleep at night.

Labels: ,


Blogger Aser said...

Let's see ... if the flu that went through the population like wildfire had raised any kind of concern in the medical community, schools would have been shut down, businesses would have told their sick employees to stay home, and the CEO of Robitussin wouldn't have garnered such a huge first quarter bonus.

Don't pine for the codeine cough syrup, though. Bernie and Alex both used it. They slept at night, but still hacked themselves inside out all day. Two months later, they're down to the occasional coughing fit only.

Get well soon.

Fri May 01, 05:37:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Gerald said...

Hey, try organic ice cream. Tha's what made the first traced victim feel better. The only problem for getting the stuff here is the price. It's OTC, but expensive.

Fri May 01, 06:24:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry that you are still feeling ill. Sounds like bronchitis. I usually get that when I have a bad cold. Only thing that helps me is Tussi. Hope you are feeling better very soon.

Sat May 02, 11:01:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

The Ayurvedic tea is making a huge difference. I feel more-or-less human much of the time, with only the occasional dry, hacking coughing fit.

Perhaps I should have tried this tea earlier on. I have an aunt who is an Ayurvedic practitioner. When I brewed up my first mug, I knew I had the right stuff -- it smells like her house!

It's not perfect, but it does loosen up the coughing, so it's much less violent, and I have far fewer coughing fits.

Sat May 02, 10:08:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Sally said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wed Oct 07, 03:27:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Sally said...

I also have a lingering cough following possible swine flu. Glad I live in a country where we don't have to worry about med insurance. Up the NHS!

Wed Oct 07, 03:27:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Zenmom said...

It's been my experience that "quieting" a cough just makes it last longer - if you think about it - a cough is there to help your body get rid of something in your lungs that doesn't belong there. Stifling the cough makes the cough go away, so the "stuff" that needs to come out just stays there until the cough-suppressant wears off.

You might consider instead an expectorant that helps thin the mucus so your body can get rid of it easier. Guaifenesin - available in Mucinex and some Robitussin formulae and is tremendously effective. Mucinex has been the most effective cough med for me and my family - great that it's no longer by prescription only and is now OTC.

If the cough keeps you awake, Mucinex makes a formula with both Guaifenesin and a cough suppressant - sounds like it shouldn't make sense, but it still works. Maybe you could just take this at night and one withouth the suppressant in the days if you can tolerate the cough in the days.

Drink LOTS of water - helps thin the mucus as well.

Good luck this season!

Thu Dec 03, 09:09:00 AM MST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey sorry about the constant cough, me too can't seem to get rid of it, a friend of mine told me of ginger tea with honey you can try it too

Thu Dec 10, 03:05:00 PM MST  
Anonymous Carrigon said...

I had Swine Flu the last week of Oct. The flu part lasted about a week, but the cough and mucus is still here five weeks later. It's slowly getting better, like I'm not using up as many tissues spitting out the goo. But I'm still getting the occasional coughing fit. And every time I eat or drink anything, I have to spend five or ten minutes spitting out the mucus. It just won't fully go away yet. I've tried a million things. The only thing that is helping it is time.

Mon Dec 14, 07:44:00 AM MST  

Post a Comment

<< Home