Swine flu and The Cough That Will Not Go Away
I am still suffering lingering after-effects from the cold or flu that I had five weeks ago. While most of the symptoms have gone away, I still suffer from The Cough That Will Not Go Away. It nags at me, giving me coughing fits that make my ribs ache. It keeps me from sleeping at night. At times, it's so severe that it upsets my stomach, and it often causes incontinence.
I know from past experience that when I get The Cough, what makes it go away is the cough medicine that has codeine in it. For some reason, the codeine shuts down the cough, and in only 24 hours, The Cough is gone.
Officially, the medicine with the codeine is over-the-counter, but with restrictions, so the person getting such medicine must sign for it and provide identification. In practice, no reputable pharmacy wants to provide this medication to anybody who doesn't have a prescription. There's too much risk of providing something addictive to people who are addicted.
Since I don't have medical insurance, it would cost me an arm and a leg to go to a doctor to get a prescription. And since I don't have any money to pay for a doctor visit, I have no way of getting a prescription for the medication that will work.
I wonder what would have happened if the current swine flu outbreak in Mexico had happened five weeks ago, at the same time as my flu symptoms were at their peak. Would I have been forced into a treatment program, regardless of my ability to pay for it? Would I have been forced to abandon my students, either to a substitute instructor who wasn't up on what my classes were doing, or to not having class at all?
My latest success in alleviating The Cough has been herbal tea based on Ayurvedic healing principles. This tea has been especially effective at easing chest congestion. It's not perfect, but at least it lets me sleep at night.