Problem

by Lisa Rosen on February 3, 2007

I figured “mucus production” would not be a good title for a blog post, so I restrained myself. But that’s what’s on my mind, so if you’re squeamish, feel free to just skip this post.

Event of the day: 65 miles; 35 degrees at the start, 45 at the end. Just a tad bit chilly.

But here’s the real problem–I have become a mucus factory. It started in October, with a tiny little dry hacking cough. I just ignored it, assuming it was allergies. Then I assumed it was residual junk from CNC. Then I had the whole Rocky Mntn. thing, so the cough was the least of my concerns. By the beginning of December it was getting worse, and by the beginning of January it was driving me crazy and starting to keep me awake at night. Still just a shallow, dry, hacky thing, but then I started having those spasmodic coughing fits that are immediately preceded by a ferocious itch in the throat–you know the kind where you turn purple and tears run down your cheeks? That kind.

So I went to the doctor, who said it was likely one of three things; one was allergies, one was asthma, and the third was reflux. She was voting for allergies, and said I should take some Sudafed to dry things out, and start doing daily nasal lavage. Washing out my sinuses. I actually already owned a Neti pot, so the idea was not completely bizarre. She recommended a different system, though, so I started using this NeilMed bottle that I use to squirt saline up my nose (it’s actually kind of interesting–it feels slightly like you’re drowning, and then water randomly drips out of your nose for an hour or so afterward.)

And then there’s the Sudafed issue. I started off taking it twice a day, and was thrilled that the cough stopped within a few days. Then I ran out of Sudafed, and had to buy a second box. The pharmacy assistant at the Harris-Teeter noted that I was already on “the list” because of the box that I had bought the week before, but she let me have the second box. When that ran out, I went to Target for a third box. I’m beginning to wonder a) how long one can take Sudafed without ramifications (I’ve backed off to once a day), and b) how many boxes one can buy before the drugstores start communicating and officials decide I’m doing something illicit. It’s a bit alarming, having to strategize one’s cold-medicine purchases.

In the meantime, I’m still producing incredible quantities of mucus. My allergies are just giving me fits this winter. I do allergy shots once a week, and I’ve been stuck at the same dose for several weeks now, because I’m reacting so strongly that I can’t increase. And riding the bike is a nightmare. I’ve become the queen of the snot-rocket. It took some practice–I’ve learned that I have to angle my head just right, or else it flies back up onto my sunglasses. I came home a couple of times looking like snails had been wandering aimlessly across my face.

My eyes are having trouble, too. I finished riding at about 4 this afternoon, and it’s now 9:30. My eyes are still swollen and horribly bloodshot, and they feel like they’re full of sand. I had to take my contacts out as soon as I got home.

And every time I ride, the darned cough comes back. I’ll take some more Sudafed in the morning, and it’ll go away, but for tonight, I’m coughing and dripping and itchy and bloodshot.

Another succesful ride. Pretty, too.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

greg February 15, 2007 at 6:53 pm

stop eating dairy. i used to be a major producer of mucus. i am pretty sure i had a fair percentage of the US GDP of mucus handled on my own. when i stopped eating a pint of ice cream every week my snot production decreased rapidly.

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