Tuesday, September 27, 2005

How to lose a week out of your life

I came down with a cold Friday evening which got worse and worse (so bad that by Monday, I was throwing up from coughing so hard). My wife went and got me some cough medicine, which seemed to do the trick, but I was getting dizzy spells which got worse and worse, then I started feeling constantly nauseous, tired and getting really bad headaches. I got in to see the doctor on Friday (earliest I could get in) and she examined me and said "your pupils aren't responding, I don't want to worry you but I think you may have a brain tumour". Naturally, I was not worried at all by this news of doom and gloom (last time I went to her with indigestion she thought it was possibly stomach cancer), but I went down to the emergency dept at the hospital to get a CAT scan. After waiting in emergency for around 8 hours I got in to see the neurologist who checked me out and said that I was having a major reaction to the cough medicine, specifically the dextromethorphan. I stopped taking it and slowly started feeling better over the weekend, but even today 3 days after stopping I still have a headache and feel tired...

The neurologist also commented that generally speaking cough and cold medicines should be avoided, and the best bet is to treat the symptoms with honey and lemon. He reckoned taking the medicine would make the cold go away in a week, otherwise it would take 7 days. I got the feeling that was one of his favourite jokes.


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