Friday, December 12, 2014

The Critical Mom's Seasonal Bronchitis

At least I hope that's all it is.  Six years ago I went through pneumonia and occasionally I have a touch of asthma.  Besides, I have already consumed more than my fair share of antibiotics this year . . . what with the revenge of Atahualpa in Peru, the trips to the local botica where they handed out Cipro like candy the moment they saw that I was 
(a) a non-native speaker and 
(b) writhing with embarrassment as well as the need to use body language to tell them what was the matter with me.  
Then I got over that bout, but at the end of the trip there was all that campylobacteria that I apparently consumed in the local cilantro . . .or the ice cubes . . . or something; anyway Cipro down the hatch again.
So I'd like to avoid a third round of antibiotics now, especially since the Internet tells me that even if you're coughing up yellow goo, it's probably viral rather than bacterial, so probably won't be chased off by the Clarithromycin that I do have some of, but haven't yet ingested.  (I read all the possible side effects . . . oh, is that ever a sign of middle age, and they are scary.)  Maybe the onion poultice I tried will work.  (All ya gotta do is chop an onion or two, simmer them in water until they're soft, lift them onto a clean kitchen towel or cloth, fold them in securely as if you were wrapping a tortilla around a gooey mess of chicken and vegetables, and slap it on your chest for as long as you can stand).  I did that twice today.  I'm going to add fresh ginger next time.  I'm taking Sinupret and Umckaloabo.  My chest is marginally clearer; I hope I don't have to go for the hard stuff, but it is nice to know it's there.  I'll try a little red wine, too.  Any reader know of any other home remedies?  

Day 2:  (Actually, I've been sick for five days, but at first it was "just a cold.") I caved in and took the Clarithromycin.  But before I did, I tried  yet another onion-and-fresh-ginger hot poultice.  And it did have some, minor, effect.  As did the gallons of fruit tea with honey, hunk-of-ginger-in-boiling water, coffee (strong) and breathing exercises.   Yes, I did give the natural way the old college try . . .  meanwhile, two hours after 500 milligrams of the magic bullet, my chest already feels clearer.  Well, what would one expect of somebody who grew up practically teething on antibiotics?  That was just the way New Yorkers did things back in the sixties when I was growing up.  Every cold was accompanied by a bottle of syrupy, green Chlorotrimeton, an antihistamene, plus Penicillin.   (I remember those Pen-Vee tablets.) Strep throats, ear infections . . . as our jovial pediatrician said, "Ear infections pay the pediatricians rent."   I had a childhood of asthma and generally poor health, which may have had something to do with all that green syrup and antibiotics, but my immune system, pampered, or weakened, seems to need the stuff now.  Go figure.  Now that I'm feeling better it seems so very unfair that I'll have to relinquish my evening glass of sweet red wine for the duration of the antibiotic regimen!  But okay, yes indeedy, of course I'll do it . . . especially since I ought to be well by Christmas, when I plan to indulge in cookies, too.


  1. Oh I had that awful campylobacter. So glad they can diagnosis it. Do you have a hot water bottle? Can you steam over the stove?

  2. Can steam. Thanks. But now it's just bronchitis. The campylobacter was defeated months ago by Cipro. But hey, two courses of Cipro in one trip to Peru just a few months ago. And I should go for a course of Clarithromycin now? Not before a few more onion poultices . . .