Friday, June 27, 2008

the cough that ate europe...by judi sadowsky

i know, i know i have been missing in action but i have been sick. it seems that the only souvenir i brought back from spain, (and quite frankly, with the dollar being what it is, the only one i could afford) was a terrible cough. not just any old cough, oh no. this spanish cough is deep and dry, hacking and relentless. it is the kind of cough that makes you want to lie down and sleep all day, while it makes your friends, lovers, neighbors and the people, unfortunate enough to sit next to you at ballet, want to kill you.

in the beginning i tried the usual treatments. over the counter medicines didn't touch this baby. this cough laughed at anything that didn't require a triplicate prescription. the doctor put me on steroids, massive doses. "this will do it" she swore. "these drugs will have you pinning hulk hogan to the mat". wrong. oh yes, i could have pinned the entire world wide wrestling federation with one hand, while eating three to four, six course meals a day, but stop the cough - no way. while the steroids made me very strong, hungry, weepy and unable to sleep, they did nothing to stop the hacking, so we moved on to antibiotics. heavy antibiotics. the kind of antibiotics that made me think i had spent two weeks in mexico, not spain. now in addition to my cough, my enormous appetite, my insomnia and my "roid rage" i now had a serious stomach problem and - guess what - the cough lived on.

my doctor, who likes nothing better than a challenge, next perscribed an inhaler called advair. taken twice a day she swore it would do the trick. not so fast. not only is advair not working, but a friend told me there is some kind of major law suit involving this drug. something about people dropping dead. and so we move on. my last, and latest drug, is something called singulair. i have no idea what this drug does (actually, so far, nothing) but the commercial on t.v. shows a bunch of very tall, thin, blond women running through a meadow and, you know me, i am willing to sign on to anything that involves tall and thin.

and so i continue to cough. it has been four weeks now and i am beginning to become resigned to my fate. after all, since this is all i brought home from spain, i like to think of it as the gift that keeps on giving.

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