This Damn Cough

Grudgingly, I am thankful that this cough didn’t start in all its glory until after I was 100% healed from my surgery.  The small sutures in my right side from the gallbladder surgery haven’t been painful, but I would have been afraid–with every heavy cough–that I’d be on the verge of popping the stitches.  That being said, I have been plagued for the past 2+ weeks with a cough that has lingered on for days.

I left work an hour early and went to see my general practitioner in Beechwold for the second time about this cough.  Neither the antibiotics she had prescribed earlier, nor the additional prescriptions she phoned in to Target’s pharmacy, have had any effect.

She listened to my chest and we’re bringing out the big guns.  She prescribed Cipro (which is free at Giant Eagle’s pharmacy, I’m happy to report), an antibiotic which is used to knock out major germs, such as H1N1 and anthrax.  Then she wrote a prescription for Hydromet, which is a codeine-based cough syrup.

Because of my past issues with booze (I waffle back and forth on whether I was–am–an alcoholic), I was reluctant, but I am desperate to be rid of this cough, especially since I am going to Washington, D.C. Friday night for a peace march, and want to feel I have the energy to do it.  Doctors have reassured me, when prescribing opiate-based drugs, that if I take them as prescribed, they’re not likely to be triggers.  So far, that has been true.  I took Percocet the first few days after the cholecystectomy, and did not develop any desire to abuse it or seek more of it once my supply had been exhausted.

Pharmacy manufacturers seem to think that making a codeine-based cough syrup taste as vile as possible will deter addicts.  I have never understood this, because a hardcore addict will not care what his/her drug of choice tastes like, as long as it’s available and consumable.  When I lived in Cincinnati, I lived upstairs from a severe alcoholic in his late 50s, whose last sober breath was probably when I was in kindergarten.

About 3:30 a.m. one day, I came home from a night of working at the post office, and the emergency squad was sitting outside the front door of my apartment building, lights flashing.  Before I could ask any of the EMTs or police officers what was happening, they were bringing out my neighbor on a stretcher and loading him into the ambulance.  It turned out that there was no booze in the house, so he decided that he’d treat himself to a shot or two of Aqua Velva.

So, we’ll cross our fingers and see if the foul-tasting medicine works.


One thought on “This Damn Cough

  1. My dad had a guy he knew when he was young stay at our house to put in a fireplace. The rule was he couldn’t lay around drunk. I think my Dad was just trying, in his way, to help the guy out – an old alcoholic who needed work.

    Then the Hai Karate went missing and the rubbing alcohol.


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