July 21, 1999

My boss ordered me into bed this afternoon  ...  and I, being the good obedient little SecraTerri that I am, immediately complied.

(That's why they pay me the big bucks.)

Actually, the "order" was more in the form of a request. And it didn't come from Franz, it came from the Human Resources Director Person, who stood in my office at 1:30 this afternoon, pointing at the doorway saying "Go home. Now." 

She didn't have to ask me twice: fifteen minutes later I was on a creaky AC bus, clutching my bottle of Calistoga Springs and my wadded clump of Kleenex, headed home to The Castle.

Today is Day #8 of "Let's See If It's Actually Possible To 'Hack Up A Lung' " ... otherwise known as my annual bout of Upper Respiratory Yuck. I came home from TicTac ten days ago with a slight *tickle* in my throat. A couple of days later, the tickle blossomed into a spectacularly wet and obnoxious cold. (The Produce Manager at Lucky's HATES me.)  A couple of days after that, the cough set in ... one of those thunderous coughs that make you feel like tender vital organs are being ripped from their moorings. I tried every make and model of over-the-counter stuff available, but nothing put so much as a dent in the hacking. Long after all the other symptoms vanished, the cough stuck around.

And stuck around. And stuck around.

Finally -- tired of hearing my lungs go *snap, crackle, pop* every time I took a breath -- not to mention the annoyance of peeing my pants every couple of minutes: my dry-cleaning bill is gonna be through the ROOF this week -- I allowed David take me to a doctor last night. To be more precise, we went to an Immediate Care facility at the local hospital, where an on-call doctor gave me a cursory once-over, tossed a couple of prescriptions at me and showed me the door. I was in and out of her office in ten minutes. (Ten minutes. I have spent more time waiting in line for Honey BBQ Wings.)

Anyway. I started on the antibiotics last night. (Hang on. Let me read the bottle to you. The actual name of the medication is Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim. Try saying THAT three times, fast.)  Clearly it hasn't started to work yet, since my barking and wheezing at the office today was annoying enough to have me sent home. (Try it! It works!) I'll give the medication another couple of days before I write that e-mail to the AMA.

The other prescription was for cough medicine ... with codeine and [gulp] alcohol in it.

Not whole great bunches of either ingredient, mind you. If we were in a fancy restaurant and my cough medicine was an entree, the menu would probably read "Melange of Spring Cherries and Guaifenesin, with the merest whisper of Alcohol 3.5% and just a giddy rumor of Codeine Phosphate for sparkle." It's probably not a big deal at all. I'm sure I can handle it. I'm sure it will help, ESPECIALLY since I hadn't had a complete night's sleep since this ordeal began. And I'm sure that it's not going to cause me to run right out to The Shamrock for a vodka martini or eleven.

It was just a little jarring to look at the label and see "alcohol" listed as an ingredient, realizing that now -- and for the rest of my life -- I must be really really guarded and discerning and vigilant about things like this. 

"I think it'll be fine," David said when we got home from the hospital, as I stood there in the kitchen warily reading the bottle. But I insisted that he stand by my side as I gingerly swallowed one teaspoonful. It was the first alcohol to touch these lips in over ten months ...

... and it tasted like fingernail polish remover.

With just a *giddy rumor* of Spring Cherries.


But I forced it down anyway, and then I glugged down two full glasses of water on top of that, and then I *floated* off to bed and got my first decent nights' sleep in over two weeks.

Unfortunately it was a temporary fix, and by the time I dragged myself into the office this morning I was back to barking at everybody. But we'll give the Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim another couple of days to work its pharmaceutical magic. In the meantime, it's time for me to crawl into bed and take a long, drooling afternoon nap.

Boss's orders.



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