Cure worse than the malady

Kitten in a blanket.

I just want to stay under the covers.

Once again, because the pollen counts have been high, and some new species had begun releasing pollen, I hoped that the really awful symptoms that started last Tuesday was just really bad hay fever.

One of the last tattered shreds of my denial was stripped away when I started coughing at the office Thursday. Since a lot of other people were coughing that day, at least I can’t be solely to blame if a bunch of people are out sick, again.

Thursday evening my left ear clogged. By Friday morning I had a slight ear ache, a sore (rather than merely scratchy) throat, a cough the woke me up several times, and had been sweating all night, again.

Friday is normally a work from home day for me. The doctor was able to work me in fairly quickly. While the physician’s assistant said I had no fever (98.4 is a fever for me), when the doctor check later, she said, “98.4! That’s a fever for you!” because she’s seen how when I’m not sick I often had a temperature of 95 or lower.

She is fairly certain that I don’t have a bacterial infection in the ear and sinuses. She told me to avoid being around people until my fever was totally gone, as I was not just certainly contagions, by certainly very contagious.

Because of the cough, she was going to prescribe the usual codeine cough syrup, but while she was pulling the information up on the computer to send the prescription to my pharmacy, she noticed that my insurance now considers that a mid-level drug with the higher co-pay, but there’s a fancier version of the codeine cough syrup, that’s timed-released, and has antihistamines in addition to the cough suppressant, which is in the lowest tier for my insurance.

She said this stuff is more reliable for keeping the cough and other symptoms down long enough to get a good night’s sleep, and the only thing I would need to remember is that I shouldn’t take anything else that has antihistamines in it while I’m on the syrup.

Seemed like a good idea to me.

I’ve been having nightmares since I got on the stuff. Each time I took a nap Friday, and throughout Friday night, I had nightmares. One of them so disturbing that, even though I’m not normally a superstitious person, I can’t make myself say what it was for fear it might come true.

I re-read up on the side effects, and they did mention that hallucinations is a very rare side effect, but the old codeine cough syrup I’ve been on before lists that, as well. So I wasn’t complete sure it was the cough syrup that was doing it.

The doctor had told me I only needed to use it at night, but could use it in the day if the cough was bothering me. So I experimented not taking it in the daytime. I’ve been having to stop and nap every three or four hours since Friday morning, so I slept a couple times where none of the stuff was in my system.

No nightmares.

Late Saturday night I was coughing and had the sore itchy eyes, so I took a spoonful before going back to bed.

No coughing fits woke me in the middle of the night. But two different nightmares did.

So, I’m not sure that the benefit of no coughing fits waking me up is worth the downside of the nightmares. Admittedly, the night I was last coughing, I was woke up far more than two times with the coughing, sore throat, et cetera. I suppose that’s an improvement.

I think next I will trying taking only half a spoonful at bedtime?


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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I used to publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

2 responses to “Cure worse than the malady”

  1. amusedreams says :

    Mom used to have odd realistic dreams, ranging from bizarre to nightmare, while on codeine based medications. She therefore would ask to avoid them, if possible, when she was having various cancer therapies (which also have odd mental side effects, sometimes). I’ve always had such vivid dreams, I can’t imagine what ones with the codeine effect would be like. Not looking forward to finding out, although I’m sure I will someday.

    • fontfolly says :

      One of the reasons I seldom use the prescription nose spray that I have for severe allergy days is because I always have very vivid dreams after I use that stuff. Not always nightmares, per se, but vivid to the point that I wake up disoriented, because it just seems soooooo real, no matter how surreal its subject matter.

      I’ve used the regular codeine cough syrup before, and don’t remember this effect. And back when I was having a lot of migraines, one of the meds the doctors tried was codeine. And while it would sometimes make me a bit goofy, I don’t remember nightmares.

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