For the past week I've been routinely succombed to violent fits of coughing in what I hope is the final stage of a nasty, nasty sinus infection. John can gauge how sick I am by whether or not I'm willing to take cough syrup. I hate the stuff. I absolutely hate it. And while my mother raised me to not use the "h" word because it's a very, very strong word, strong feelings call for strong words. I'm using the word quite appropriately.
My hatred could stem back to the time I was five. I had a stubborn ear infection and my mom picked up some antibiotics for me--the label of which read, "Take 5 teaspoons 3x daily." So I did. And I cried at every dosage. Three days into this routine I took my fifth teaspoon and threw up, prompting my mom to call the pharmacy where it was revealed the label had a typo. I was to take ONE teaspoon three times a day. A total of three teaspoons a day as opposed to the fifteen I had been taking.
I hate the stuff. I try to avoid it. Which is why when my coughing kept me awake a few nights ago I tried the teaspoon of honey trick...didn't work. Out of desperation I tried one of my mom's newest remedies: slather Vicks ointment on the soles of your feet, put on thick socks and go to bed. Seriously, that's it.
It worked. It totally worked. I did it in the midst of a coughing spell and found instant relief that lasted for thirty minutes. If at any point I was awoken in the middle of the night, I pulled out the Vicks and again found instant relief. Apparently, this is especially helpful for kids. Meanwhile, John feels like he's sleeping in a jungle of menthol and eucalyptus.
(For the record, I did find that the cough suppressant Delsym tastes a little less like death than all the others. I was presenting a paper in Atlanta and after realizing the thick socks and wafting menthol were the not the look I was going for, I took the stuff. That's just some info for all of you other cough syrup haters out there.)