Cough, Cough, Hack, Hack

cough croppedA couple of days after I wrote the previous post in this blog, I developed a cough. No cold symptoms occurred first or allergy symptoms beyond the usual background summer plugged-up-ears and occasional need for a tissue. Rather, a constant, juicily productive cough, cough, cough just suddenly appeared, and now my speech bubbles are peppered with coughs and hacks. Very annoying. For 12 days now.

yum“Peppered” is the appropriate verb above because the spice is one of the things I have tried to ease the cough. One website said cayenne pepper in hot tea is a time-honored treatment for cough. It actually didn’t taste too bad in Constant Comment tea, and for a while the cough was lessened. I also tried my pediatrician sister’s cough syrup recipe of 1 T melted butter, 1 T honey, and 1 T lemon juice. Delicious! Worked the first time, but not the second, but the second time I left out the melted butter as being too decadent, although upon contemplation, there is no difference between drinking melted butter and putting it on your popcorn.

happy sadOh, sigh! I haven’t felt too bad otherwise. The first two days, in fact, I felt great and even went out for a run to see how the lungs were doing, because the following Saturday we were heading out to do the pre-RAIN bike ride of 160 miles across Indiana and I wanted to be sure I had lung function beforehand. The run was great; the ride not so much. A friend and I had intended all along to split the ride, each doing approximately 80 miles, as neither of us, despite being good riders, felt ready for 160 miles this year (we’ve done it in the past).


oh snapTwo other riders in our car had plans to do similar split rides. Sadly, it was a bad day for all of us. I only got in 40 miles before calling it; two others made it 70 miles; and the fourth was content that day to just drive. Afterwards, the coughing escalated, and I developed flu-like muscle aches. I started going to bed around 8 pm each night, but even trying to get extra sleep hasn’t worked, and every time I research “bronchitis” with Dr. Google, he gives me a longer possible time that the symptoms could last, and further caveats against exercising.

swearingYesterday, Bob and I spent the day at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, working at the finish line for the RAIN ride. We recorded the finish times for 1,295 riders who had made it across the state by bicycle. For myself, personally, I was hoping that eight or nine hours in the humidity of an Indiana summer day would help clear out my wheezy lungs. No such luck. I coughed and hacked my way through the day, as I had for the previous 11 days, and today I’m still doing the same. Maybe I should just chuck all the cough remedies and throw common sense to the wind and go ride (or run) as far as my lungs will take me. Or at least do something physically productive besides whine and complain and cough.