Have any of you tried and failed to buy something from a pharmacy of late??
Are pharmacists the new traffic wardens??
It was the Gamekeeper who started with it, Bookhound who ferried it home after spending the day out on the shoot with him, and eventually it was obvious I would get it too, and now the kitchen worktop looks like a mock-up of the counter in Boots and the house has that odeur of camphorated embrocation about it.
So every type of dry, then tickly, then chesty cough symptom catered for this last week with every sort of over the counter 'remedy', though I say remedy with some hesitation because it's all about symptom control and just sitting the thing out really isn't it. It's bound to be viral too so no point in wasting the doctor's time unless it lingers and goes bacterial, which I hope I'd recognise. Finding the lost but suddenly very precious jar of Vick Vaporub at 3am one morning was a triumph born of desperation.
But it's the cough...have any of you had this one??
The constant hack but interspersed with lightningly quick onset of the tickly throat moment that without warning sends you into paroxysms of an uncontrollable choking cough that means you can't really go out because heaven forfend it should happen in the street. Someone would call an ambulance or do the Heimlich manouver for sure..it's ever so dramatic until I have it under control.
So after eight nights of this Bookhound was dispatched to purchase some linctus, preferably something with a cough suppressant thrown in...and I know I know, it's much better to carry on coughing or you get a chest infection, but I have pulled so many muscles I didn't know I had that it's like watching someone with St Vitus Dance once I start.
When Bookhound rang from the supermarket pharmacy to say he had listed my symptoms with the pharmacist and the recommendation was that it was good to cough, and that I must see it through and carry on coughing... well I can't really repeat what I croaked and gasped down the phone.
'Well he won't let me have anything now, I'll have to go somewhere else...'
'Tell them less at the next one, in fact tell them nothing' I suggested.
'Have you got a temperature? ' Bookhound asked, when he rang me from the next Pharmacy.
'Well I wouldn't know, tell them we don't have a thermometer and the woodburner's lit, it's just this *%$^& cough.'
'Good well apparently you can have some magic stuff called Dextromethobromy something or other.'
'I'll have a gallon,' I said.
When he arrived through the front door you'd have thought it was Class A drugs and that I was doing cold turkey as I fell on the latest purchase (don't ask me what this has all cost) of dexathingyoojemaflip and some really very nasty pastilles.
I had joked about applying a poultice and stitching myself into a vest until May but someone had also mentioned applying Vick Vaporub to both feet and putting on socks at night. I looked it up and indeed the Vick + socks thing gets a mention but with no explanation. Well in desperation I would have tried anything to get a cough-free night so nothing ventured, nothing gained etc I did it thinking perhaps somehow the vapour wafts on through.
The whole subject of counter irritation now shifts from getting slightly annoyed at the pharmacy to the principle of creating a secondary irritation to relieve one elsewhere. Not a medical theory I have ever really given much thought to or know much about, but as my feet started to ...well how best to describe it... sing warmly is about the closest I can come, though not in a disharmonious or unpleasant way at all, suddenly the tickle in my throat subsided too. Reading around it would seem the principles of counter irritation are still very much in fashion and research is revealing some interesting theories about the brain's responses to it.
Now I have no idea which worked best... time, the linctus or the vaporised singing feet, but I slept like a top for seven hours so I'm not really that bothered knowing, and will just have to carry on with both for the duration.
So any more home remedies to try??
Our dear old tin Wright's Vaporiser, with its night light and stone block for the liquid coal tar long gone (and I see now classed as 'vintage' and fetching £25 on eBay) and I have already done hot water with honey, lemon and turmeric (that combo's on the 'no' list as a result) but anything else you swear by??
And are pharmacists taking over from veterinary nurses and dental hygienists as the new traffic wardens ...and with sincere apologies to any of you who earn a crust at any of those jobs, I feel sure you are all the exceptions to my new rule.