Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


cough 1, cardiogirl 0


I have said it before, and I will probably say it again and again ad nauseam. Sorry to be redundant, but I am truly amazed at the power of medication. Even over-the-counter medicine.

My husband, kids and I have all been trading the same cold, but we each have our own twist on it. So last night I attempted to go to sleep and was wracked with coughs. I would say I had to cough at least once every 20 to 30 seconds. It felt like there was a tickle in my throat that needed to be eradicated via coughing. But the coughing did not do the trick. So it was an endless cycle.

I did fall asleep but awoke at 12:24 am with the cough. It was then that I decided I actually needed to take some cough medicine. Now cough medicine and I have a long, troubled past. We're no good for each other. We avoid each other at all costs. I would pretty much rather gnaw off three of my four limbs before I would consider taking cough medicine.

Don't get the wrong idea. I am quite good at suffering in silence. I don't complain and moan about it. I just deal with it. Frequently, that's the choice I give my kids when we are talking about over-the-counter medicine.

You can take some medicine or you can deal with the runny nose silently. But if you're going to complain and moan and go postal over a runny nose I will tackle you like a roping calf at the rodeo and pour the meds down your throat. The choice seems quite clear to me.

A couple of years ago my husband was giving our daughter some red medicine (that's how we define the OTC meds with her, there's "red medicine" and "purple medicine" which are usually cough and cold medicines and "orange medicine" which is Children's Motrin.) She doesn't mind the orange, because it tastes good. So she is constantly questioning, what color is it, before she will actually take it.

Back to the scene. She is preparing to take red medicine for a cough and she has a Dixie cup of water ready to swallow after the medicine. And I told her, "You're lucky Daddy lets you drink water after. Grandma and Grandpa made me drink it with no chaser."

Then I turn to my husband and say, "Shouldn't she take it without water? It won't coat her throat if she drinks water after." And he looks at me with the universal WTF expression and says "What do you mean 'coat her throat'?"

"That's how cough medicine works," I informed him with my hands jauntily placed on my hips. "That's what my parents told me. . ." I trail off, hands going limp at my side as he is shaking his head.

"That is not how cough medicine works. It gets digested in your system. It doesn't matter if you drink water after you take it," he replies.

"But that means my parents lied to me," I answer stunned. And then it hit me. Oh my gosh. My parents didn't lie to me, they didn't know. They're not smart. My parents are not smart. Ugh. I don't know what hurt more, thinking my parents intentionally lied to me or realizing they weren't as intelligent as I thought they were. And then the whammy. I'm not smart either! I believed them all of this time.

So at age 36 I realized cough medicine can be taken with a chaser of water. That still didn't change my resolve. I don't like cough medicine and I don't have to take it now that I am an adult. But last night the cough was too much.

I descended the stairs toward the medicine in the kitchen. (Do all of you store your meds in the kitchen cabinet? My parents did and my husband's parents do as well. We are proudly carrying on that tradition with many stern warnings to the kids that a chair is not allowed in the kitchen to peruse cabinet contents.)

All we had was a store brand of Children's cough medicine. Gak. The label said adults have to take FOUR TEASPOONS! Then I coughed a couple more times and decided I could take two tablespoons. Even the thought of taking it twice was disgusting, but after some soul searching, a small pep talk and a coughing fit I did it.

Many thoughts resulted from that exercise. The manufacturers of cough medicine have come a long way. It actually sort of tasted like grape and not so much like medicine. I drank a glass of water after each tablespoon while I mentally reamed my parents out. As I lay in bed for the next 20 minutes I felt the gunk in my throat thin out. Then I realized I had fallen asleep, sans a cough, for the next five hours.

Wow, medicine actually works. And sometimes it's easier to take something than to silently suck it up and mentally chew on a piece of bark. Go figure.


2007-08-06 at 6:56 a.m.

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