21. April 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Random · Tags: , , ,

You would think this would be obvious to me after all these years: always read the ingredients!

I started feeling an ugly tickle in my throat mid-day Friday. Hallmark indicator of an incoming nasal infection/cold/something. I started taking some good ol’ pseudoephedrine as I always do, so my nasal passages can drain, and avoid getting myself a sinus infection. Perusing through the cabinets early Saturday, I discovered I still had some Mucinex DM in there. Awesome! Let’s start taking that! Been popping those every ~12 hours since Saturday evening.

Sunday rolls around, and the congestion is getting worse and worse. I have no idea what is going on, other than whatever this is is rolling in fierce. Tonight, I was actually contemplating taking some extra pseudoephedrine to supplant the Mucinex DM I already took. As I am browsing the cabinet, I find that there is some leftover Mucinex D in the cabinet; my old, go-to staple for colds. Now I am a little confused.

I always used the yellow/orange box. Why am I taking the green one again?

Let us take a quick look at the active ingredients again:

    Mucinex DM

  • 600 mg guaifenesin (expectorant, aka phlegm thinner)
  • 30 mg dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
    Mucinex D

  • 600 mg guaifenesein (expectorant again)
  • 60 mg pseudoephedrine (decongestant, what I need right now)

Woahwoahwoahwoah…I haven’t been taking any pseudoephedrine for the past 36 hours?!?

Shit. It’s no wonder I haven’t had any improvement in my congestion. Well. Glad we got that squared away now.

Take home message of this story? Always know what you’re taking for drugs, and why you’re taking it.

Thank goodness I finally went in for some drugs last week. I was starting to keep things under control by mid-week, but it took a turn for the worse Wednesday evening. Going into late evening, I had an obvious blob of gunk in the corner of my eye before going to bed. Almost a guaranteed indicator of conjunctivitis, which was even more likely to have been due to an accidental cross-contamination between nose and eyes1. Waking up Thursday morning, my right eye was definitely sealed reasonably shut, and my left had substantial amounts of dried goop. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back; I set myself up an appointment with the clinic in the prospect of getting some drugs.

I don’t like going to see a doctor more than I have to. I’m already aware of the concern with over- (or unnecessarily) medicating with antibiotics, so I already limit my attempts to solicit for antibiotics to a minimum2. However, it seems that every time I go in there, they give me a lecturing on how they would rather not give out antibiotics, that it takes a few days to determine if it’s bacterial or viral, etc. Admittedly, it would help if I would just establish myself a primary care physician (instead of using the student clinic on campus), but it’s this exact mentality that got me situated in my first sinus infection in the first place3. I’m not trying to play off as smarter (or better informed) than the doctor, but damnit, I’m working with you guys! Up until that first sinus infection, I think the last time I got prescription drugs/antibiotics was sometime in high school. I know there are others out there that look to (and do) abuse antibiotics, but I’m not one of them!

Regardless of the speech, this doctor was compliant and gave me antibiotics for both the eyes (polymyxin) and respiratory tract (amoxicillin), and I’ve been cleaning up nicely since then in combination with my normal regimen of pseudoephedrine and dextromethorphan. The last of my coughing fits4 was probably Friday, and the cough has been well under control since. A little more pseudoephedrine until I’m sure my sinuses are clean and extra nightly rest, and I should be ready to start running again late this coming week!

Tangentially, I discovered that the white hairs in my head grow faster than the rest of my hair that does have pigment. For as short as I keep my hair, this becomes shockingly obvious if I let my hair get a little too long before the next cut. Also, the growth of the white patches is making them more obvious. Discovering this while I post-processed pictures from camping weekend was a bit of a kicker. I suppose it’s only a matter of time; even my beard is going white bit by bit. I’m not that disturbed by it, thankfully; the fact that my hair is going white instead of grey feeds my elitist ego a little bit!

1Or the rare chance it could have migrated up my tear ducts. I don’t think that’s possible, but I am extremely fastidious about not cross-contaminating between nose and eye. I’ve seen that go wrong with far too many another person.
2I really would rather not get antibiotics unless whatever infection I have is debilitating in some sense, be it mental faculties, physical capabilities, or ability to sleep. I have to be pretty fucking miserable to give up and go get antibiotics.
3The first doctor essentially blew me off and told me to take cold meds (which I had been), despite it being worse than any cold I had had before. I went in again two weeks later and the nurse practitioner took one gander at my nose and said I needed to get on antibiotics ASAP. Ever since then, I constantly have to fight repeat bouts of it…really…thanks guys…
4I swear I have some variation of asthma once I’ve coughed too much; I develop an uncontrollable itch/spasm in my lungs and can cough until I puke, it gets so bad!

02. November 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Cooking, Random · Tags: , ,

I made some turkey and quinoa meatloaf over the weekend, which was quite delicious! I can probably afford to not pre-cook the quinoa with it, as there was plenty of residual moisture at the end of baking it. I even took the trouble to germinate the quinoa before cooking it, so technically it should have been far more nutritious. *shrugs*

The Apple Disaster still tastes awesome!

When did honey get so blasted expensive? I just loaded up on a couple bottles of it for sweetening tea (while fighting off this headcold), and they set me back nearly $15! I don’t recall it ever costing quite this much, but I really have not purchased this much honey in quite a few years.

Oh yeah, and the honey kick? It appears that it has some antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, studies have been done that demonstrate the ability of honey to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although most of these are in a topical application of the honey. Regardless, implications for it preventing recurrence of rhinosinusitis is a huge perk if it will help diminish this infection in my sinuses.

On that note, now that I’m on a steady dose of pseudoephedrine1, I’m finally on a mild upswing after yesterday’s utter misery. Hopefully it will continue throughout the week, and I can be >95% by the weekend!

Now, back to watching Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb!

1Pseudoephedrine is the only nasal decongestant that really works worth a damn for me. I’ve tried some very hefty doses of phenylephrine with little luck in actually clearing any congestion. So I’ve committed to just using Mucinex D (or similar) decongestants; they’re loaded with 10mg/hour (in a 4 or 6 hour dose, 40/60mg respectively) pseudoephedrine and really hit the spot (although it leaves me a little brain-spaced for its duration).