The regrettable application of long term memory

Have you ever forgotten what it was like to feel good? I’m almost there. I almost have to flip the calendar to find that last, blissful day.

The worst part of it all is it may be self inflicted.

“Wait a second, how is a cold self inflicted?”

Kudos to me for such a good question. My daughter inherited my gift for interrogation, but that’s another story.

The cold started innocently enough: a few sniffles here, a few coughs there. For those of us familiar with allergies and sinuses more concerned with mucous production than breathing, this is nothing new. In fact, it’s one reason why many of my colds go untreated for so long – something my team of doctors have advised against due to my immunity issues.

This time though, I was really dumb. I went almost two weeks until I called my doctor. I did a course of treatment. I went to work. I went to court. I wasn’t feeling better. Then I did what many of you would do, if you were in my place: I went to Disney World for the long holiday weekend. Trust me, if your kids are half as cute as mine, you’d go too. Of course, it was a long slog. It took an effort to remain vertical, but I made it home… exhausted. The next day I went back to work again.

Feeling worse (big surprise) and short of breath, I went to see my doctor after work, that first day back from Disney. She took a listen to my lungs and she heard more than she wanted too, telling me I had a pinch of pneumonia.

All of this was really exciting to me. I’d never had pneumonia before.

That first course of antibiotics did little. Even the steroids didn’t clear things up. That second one did nothing, so I made another call – and picked up another prescription – number four if you’re keeping score. It’s hard to believe we’re way under the 7.5% of adjusted gross income for deducting medical expenses. A few days passed, bringing us up to date.

It turns out I’m probably having an allergic reaction this last antibiotic. Who doesn’t love a good rash? The good news is my cold symptoms are finally easing. My bronchi are acting less like sieves and the nasties are slowing their decent from my sinuses down the back of my throat. However, this latest aborted treatment brings the list of antibiotics I’m allergic, or had some kind of bad reaction to five: Penicillins, Sulfonamides, Quinolones, Cephalosporins (the early ones anyway), and now possibly Clarithromycin (though I haven’t had a problem with some of the other Macrolides – assuming you don’t count nausea and vomiting as a problem). I’m more worried than ever that I’m untreatable, which ain’t great for someone who seems to get sick more often than many.

So here I am: fresh off my circumnavigation medical treatment theory… back to treatment plan A (mine), or letting it ride (sans drugs). My symptoms are a bit better this morning so my doctor wants to see if it’ll resolve itself (with a boost from the Clarithromycin already in my system). This might have been the right track all along if it’s a virus, but my docs always want to do the antibiotic thing to prevent secondary infections.

All I can say is: ugh.

Phizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Merck, Wyeth… where are you when I need you?


  1. My daughter, who is a hairdresser, uses a neti pot regularly and then grosses me out with tales of the amounts of human hair she washes from her nose. We all use one when we get a cold. Works really well. Ours are in the form of syringe type bottles but otherwise work the same as the traditional style.

  2. You know, I have too. All this time at home, I’ll wager I could find something cheap on amazon. I tried it once (nasal irrigation), using the tools I had: a water bottle from my bike.

    I bet you don’t have the same problem with water pressure with a neti pot.

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