Site Meter

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Learning the Hard Way

It's hard to believe I'm turning 30 next year. Especially when I make the kind of foolish mistakes that shouldn't be made by someone who is nearly 30.

I've been suffering from a nasty cough for a few weeks now. Jakers had it before me and I was hoping I wouldn't get smited because I could see how it was one of those lingering ones. The cough, for me, is particularly bad at night so I bought myself a cough bottle. I have went through pretty much every single cold and flu of my life without medicating myself. The first real flu I ever had (a freshers flu at uni) I got by on just a vicks inhaler. I didn't realise I had flu because I never had one before. And, I wasn't aware of flu remedies.

So every single cold I've had I've just muggled on because it was never as bad as that flu. But someone told me recently "When you feel pain, that's God's way of reminding you to take painkillers". I'm not a of purist though. I have munched my way through endless packets of pills when I've been suffering from frequent bouts of toothache. But colds never seem to warrant medication.

So, I bought myself a cough bottle, which helped me get a half decent sleep at least. When the bottle ran out and the cough had not shifted I went to the medicine cabinet and hoked out a bottle of medicine I was prescribed for blocked sinuses and ears. I somehow equated this medicine with my Boots cough bottle. Medicine's medicine, surely? Especially when they both come in the same form of a gloopy, sweet syrup. Bound to soothe the throat. Well, it did. And I still only used it at night when the cough was worse.

After a few days of feeling woozy, lightheaded and weak I tried to think about what was making me feel this way. The fact that I've completely cut sugar and e-numbers from my diet made me think I could be suffering from sugar withdrawal. A quick search on the internet showed that some of the symptoms were similar but after two weeks the worst of it should have been over. I've been off sugar for two months now. Another quick internet search showed that the medicine pseudoephedrine is much more likely to be the cause. It is a nasal and sinus decongestant and does nothing at all for a dry tickly cough. It is also a stimulant and it's adverse effects include anxiety, excitability, dizziness and palpitations.

So, it seems, the pseudoephedrine is the culprit for why I feel so goddam awful. Everytime I breathe in I feel lightheaded and woozy. This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to constantly breathe in. But, sadly, I do. My energy levels are worse than they've ever been and I feel like I'm wading through mud. I have butterflies in my tummy and I just want to sleep for a million years. I threw the medicine in the bin yesterday but I guess I just need to work the rest out of my system. And, not only that, before I was taking the medicine my sinuses were 100 per cent and now I can feel them getting all sore and sensitive. At the grand age of 29, I have learnt the all important lesson of only taking prescription medicines for what they were, initially, prescribed for.


Hails said...

Oh Hannah - I did the exact same thing the other week! Horrible lingering cough, no medicine left, one old packet of sinus medication... at least you worked out what was wrong. I would never have known if I hadn't read your post. And I've been 30 for 2 months now... ;) Feel better!

hootchinhannah said...

Glad to know I'm not alone Hails. Who knew sinus remedies could be so evil??