Skip to content

Cough Cough

What started as a mild sore throat ten days ago has moved through various stages. I had some nasal congestion for a while but now that’s gone. The throat got sore and swollen, but that’s gone too.

Now I’m left with a cough. This has seemed like a fairly normal progression to me, and I am assuming the cough is the final stage, though I’m not sure exactly why.

It’s been a fairly dry, non-productive cough, but pretty persistent and violent when left to its own devices. Therefore I have been doing my utmost to suppress this beast with various herbal teas, mentholated lozenges and of course dextromethorphan. (At these low doses DXM isn’t psychedelic/dissociative but it does seems to evoke some odd overtones, memories perhaps of my younger and more innocent days.) I mixed myself a gin sling Saturday night using Robitussin in place of cherry brandy. It was not good but it was surprisingly less bad than one might expect.

I got curious as to what the purpose of a seemingly non-productive cough might be. Simple enough: It’s an evolutionary adaptation for the virus or bacteria that’s having a field day in my body. Coughing is an excellent way to travel, if you’re a microscopic organism. Bugs that induce coughing can better succeed in replicating themselves.

By the time you know you’ve got some bugs, you’re past the infectious stage. Must not be the case with a bug such as this. So if you see me coughing — watch out.

I’ve just learned that the new way of covering your mouth when you cough is to use your shoulder or elbow or part of your arm instead of your hand. Boss-lady saw signs advising this technique in Canada. Makes sense. I hate when I’ve just coughed into my hand and then someone wants to shake it.

Published inBody


  1. That’s the way hospital & food service personnel are taught to cough or sneeze. Sorry you’re feeling badly. DM is pretty amazing stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *