Saturday, April 11, 2015

killing the bug

Some things are inevitable.  For me, "colds" are right up there with death and taxes.

It was not always so.  For the first fifty years of my life, I lived a charmed existence when it came to respiratory diseases.  Like David, a thousand would fall at my side, but the pestilence would pass on by.

I must have overdrawn my account at the health bank because, once I hit 50, all immunities were switched off.  It didn't matter if it was flu or colds, or whether I was in Oregon, Alabama, England, or Turkey, if it involved congestion and lungs that produced what appeared to be the precursor of death, I would get it.  Big time.

Nothing much has changed here in Mexico.  There are respiratory conditions here aplenty.  Admittedly, some are idiopathic.

For the past week, usually while I am sitting at my computer conjuring up my conversations with you, I have had long sneezing jags.  Each one starting about 9 PM.  I suspect some plant or other churns out pollen about that time each night.

So, I was not surprised when I would awaken in the morning with a puttied nose.  My electric plug-in Raid dispenser may have been a minor contributing factor, as well.

On Thursday morning, I woke up with something new.  A raw throat and a racking cough.  Because I needed to see my doctor about another matter, I stopped by her office -- with no appointment.  One of the joys of village life.

The original reason for my visit baffled her.  But one look at my throat was enough to send her to her prescription pad.  She told me she had seen a recent surge in throat infections that have later settled in lungs.  And, like Moshe Dayan in the Six-Day War, she understood the value of a preemptive attack.

As you might guess from its name, Bactrim is an antibiotic.  Therefore, it is a good weapon against parasites, fungus, and bacteria.

But, as we all know, colds are caused by viruses.  (Well, not everyone seems to realize that basic tenet of science.  I still run into people who are convinced that cold temperatures cause colds.)  Therefore, Bactrim should have no effect on a cold virus.

It turns out, I may not have had a cold, after all.  I woke up yesterday morning almost unable to speak because I was congested.  A breakfast of highly-spiced huevos rancheros solved the stuffiness.

And after a rather long nap yesterday afternoon, and a day and a half of the antibiotic regime, I am feeling fine.  My throat is not raspy.  My lungs are not phlegming.

Early declarations of victory can be embarrassing.  But it appears my doctor's wise choice of weapons may have saved me from a week or two of other infections.

I will complete my week-long prescribed regimen of antibiotics.  After all, I don't want to be a petri dish for the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and to then share them with the world.

My doctor leaves town this weekend, and will not be back until October or so.  I will need to hold down the respiratory fort on my own.

Overall, though, this is another successful medical story in Mexico.

I do like living here.

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