I know you are all breathlessly waiting for the follow up to last week’s post “Another Woman’s Life–The Sequel,” but I am breathless for an entirely different reason. No sooner had I clicked ‘Publish’ than I came down with a very nasty virus–not Covid, we checked–but honestly, it’s bad enough it deserves it’s own pandemic in my opinion.
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I try all the usual remedies–guzzling guaifenesin in liquid and tablet form–I’ve yet to crush it up and freebase it but it’s only a matter of time. I gobble down Mucinex-D daily and worry about running out. I go to a nearby drug store and it is only when I am standing in front of the counter asking for a controlled substance that I remember that I don’t have my Driver’s License (don’t ask) and this means I can’t get any
of the good stuff medication that requires a State I.D.
No doubt, the clerk now thinks I am a drug dealer–or at least someone who pretends to be sick to get ahold of pseudoephedrine to make meth. (If so, that means I’m totally a method actor–just not a very good one. Despite my very realistic coughing fits, I could tell the girl behind the counter was not buying my death’s door act at all.) She politely confirms that I am out of luck and she is probably on the phone to her supervisors about this ‘shady lady’ as soon as I left. Good thing it isn’t my usual Walgreens or it might be awkward when I go back now that my license is back in my possession again.
Side note: I could not buy amped up cold medications without my driver’s license but, as it turns out, I could vote without one. They accepted my Veteran’s I.D. with nary a word. I’m not sure what this says about our nation, but I was glad I could do my civic duty despite wanting to lie down and wait until the undertaker could make time for me in his busy schedule.
I forget every single time how bad colds and flus can be. I become the biggest whiner on the planet–when I can catch my breath to kvetch about it. But honestly, I start using my asthma inhaler just to see if it will help…but apparently the phlegm is made of sterner stuff than regular allergens are. Or maybe I don’t know exactly what an inhaler does? Because it doesn’t make a dent in the spastic coughing, wheezing, congested mess that is my lungs.
Hot tea at least provides comfort, if not a cure.
Then the post nasal drip gets on board the phlegmy-express train through pulmonary town and I stop sleeping.
My friend assures me that this is a good thing:
“You are probably nearing the end and this is your sinuses letting go.” Cheery friend says.
“Or it’s trying to drown me.” I say, hacking something up to prove my point.
After two days of no sleep, I get desperate. I ransack my cupboards and find something I’d bought at a Farmer’s Market this summer but never tried–an Elderberry Kit that promises to boost immunity or help you recover from an illness faster.
I am, by nature, suspicious of homeopathic remedies. But I have had it with the coughing, hacking, choking and various other words, like sputum, that make me gag when I’m healthy. I’m willing to drink a witch’s brew if it means I’ll be over this crud faster.
In less than half-an-hour, the deep purple liquid is ready. I gulp some down and post of my desperate plight on social media. It only takes a few concerned…nay alarming…replies to have me Googling what I should have Googled before I drank anything containing this particular fruit:
“While ingesting elderberry extract or syrup is totally safe, don’t go picking the berries and popping them in your mouth—they need to be cooked. The unripe fruit and other parts of the plant can cause cyanide poisoning, with effects like nausea or vomiting.“
So…I’ve been drinking cyanide juice to get over a cold? I should be more worried about this, but after last night’s nose-flute sonata in the key of squeak, I’ve decided it’s worth the risk.
As they say, what does not kill you makes you stronger.