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Tuesday, January 12, 2010 7:21:34 PM
I haven't been around much lately and here's why. I've had this nagging, persistant cough for a long while. Maybe since having the flu in early October. My doctor and I have been slowly going through the stock of the drug store trying to get it under control.
I've had antihistimines up the wazoo in case it was an allergy, antibiotics because even I suspected it was either a sinus or bronchial infection left over from the flu. In fact, I actually felt good for about a week or so after the antibiotics
Then came the cold weather that's been around for about a week and half. Eastern NC is normally quite temperate during January with an average high of 50 and very brief periods of cold. All those records have been shattered in the past week and half. One morning it was even in the single digits when the wind chill was factored in. Around here we're used to factoring in the humidity, not a wind chill.
During this cold spell my cough got a lot worse. I would have spells that lasted for 20-30 minutes of just body shaking coughing and feeling like I was going to throw up. It would usually end with a tightening in my chest right. And I would gasp for a second or two, try to keep myself calm and it would go away in 10-15 seconds.
It would get worse right after lunch and continue into the early evening. BTW it was so cold and the cold would start me coughing again so I've been trying to ride my bicycle indoors. Usually accompanied by breaks for coughing.
After getting concerned looks and homemade recipes for coughs I finally called my doctor again Monday afternoon after a particularly bad bout. She wanted to see me immediately. It was the first time I've gone directly into an exam room right after checking in.
I had my preliminaries with the nurse and had a round of coughing right before she was took my blood pressure. It was off the scale for me. I normally have a very low blood pressure 110/70 is normal. Mine was 160/80.
The doctor came in and we had a talk about my symptoms and I started to cough again. She pulled out her stethoscope and listened right when I was coughing almost in her face. I did manage to turn my head away from her for a bit.
She said she was going to "pull out the big dogs" if we couldn't get the coughing under control. And I got a new diagnosis of "bronchial spasms" and two prescriptions, one for prednisone (first time user) and an albuterol inhaler.
Today I was a bit better. The inhaler seemes to control the coughing somewhat effectively and I started what I call the "prednisone slam". 6 tablets of prednisone over one day. I'll be tapered off over 6 days,
Both taste bad but the inhaler especially is vile. Now I know what my Mom went through during the last 10 years of her life. She had bad COPD (chronic bronchittis and emphesmia) and even had a nebulizer (it makes the medication into a vapor that's easier to breathe in).
Hopefully this combo will work. I do feel somewhat better but that could be the placebo effect. Only time will tell.
It's amazing how similar folk remedies for sicknesses are the same half a world a part.
Here's my great grandmothers cough remedy:
Honey, lemon juice and a jigger of bourbon mixed with some hot water.
Here''s the remedy given to me by an Indian co worker, from half a world away:
Take a cup of boiling water. Add whole cloves to it. Let it steep and cool until drinkable and strain the cloves out of the water and drink the water. Follow it with some very good honey as honey cleanses the body.
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