An Uncommon Cold

Posted on October 12, 2010


I have a cold/virus/bacterial infection/whatever.  No biggie.  It’s not like I’m sick a lot.  The last illness was about five lbs ago.  I went to the doctor after whatever I had was building up for about five days.  This consisted of: Be fine during the day and throughout the night.  Wake up feeling like a herd of elephants just declared my body their sacred burial ground. Then run to the bathroom and hawk out a substance that looks like whatever was coming out of Linda Blair’s mouth in The Exorcist. 

During the night after Day 5, I spent the hours coughing, interspersed with self-medicating with the remains of old codeine medication which technically expired sometime during the Bush administration.  Note to pharmaceutical companies: Expired codeine meds still work. Especially when the label says “Take at bedtime” and you take two doses within four hours of each other.

In addition to eliminating my cough, the codeine provided me with a fast ticket to Happy Land in such a way that I regretted it was the middle of the night.  Find this girl a party and let her go wild.  Happy Land lasted about an hour, followed by complete narcolepsy. A bed was all I wanted.  No, any flat surface would do.  At 12:30 PM the next day, I dragged myself out of bed.  At 2PM I was at the doctor’s office, falling asleep on the exam table.  (“I’ll do anything you want.  Just let me stay here and sleep afterward. Please.”)  The doctor’s insightful assessment was “You need antibiotics.”  Mine was “Screw antibiotics.  More codeine, please.  I’m feeling like a poet from the beat generation. I know there’s some drugged creativity here that wants to come out.” 

The doctor stood firm.  He looked over my records and told me the last time I took codeine, I complained of sleeplessness.  I told him I had obviously gotten over that little hump.  We argued a little.  He won.  No more codeine, just a prescription for non-narcotic cough meds.  I might as well drink a teaspoon of soy milk.

Last night, the non-narcotic cough meds actually sort of worked, but I no longer wanted to party first, then wear a black beret and express myself in a smoke-filled room.  I also didn’t sleep till noon.  Reluctantly, I’m back to my real world.  Except for the hawking.  And that’s the part I could have done without.