Posted tagged ‘cough medicine’

Cold Companion

June 27, 2017

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           June 27, 2017

                                               

I despise colds, the head and chest kind! I think I would rather have a colonoscopy than a head cold! I’ll get my wish in a month when I get laid out on a table in a less than flattering way after drinking a gallon of some concoction that was created by a doctor who was mad at the world.

This year had been punctuated with colds and bronchitis. I’ve “worn” a cold this year more than I wore my new varsity letter jacket after I received it at the beginning of my junior year of high school. It would be ninety degrees outside and I would sport my orange varsity “I” jacket of Ironton High School. In a similar way I’ve had a cold clinging to me for a while now.

I’ve heard of the remedies. Take more vitamin C. Check! Drink more water. Check! Get more rest. Check! Wash your hands a lot. Check! Use an inhaler. Check! Pray more. Check! Repent of my sins. Check…I think! Maybe there’s one that I keep forgetting about!

I’ve heard the reasons that do nothing to bring comfort, like “You’re getting older!” and  it’s twin brother “You’re not getting any younger!” There’s the Dr. Oz friends who offer the wise advice that adds nothing, “You need to take better care of yourself!”

My Baptist upbringing still looks at a cold as some kind of divine retribution for my wayward inconsiderate actions. The other day it occurred to me that perhaps my present cold is because I consistently forgot to put the toilet seat back down after assuming the standing position in front of it.

I missed church a few weeks ago. Perhaps the sniffles descended because my singing praises didn’t ascend that Sunday!

Baptist guilt tends to connect illnesses with transgressions!

My physician saw me a couple of weeks ago and greeted me with the words, “Here again?” That’s just a few letters different than “You again?” He had a disturbed expression on his face, like a school principal seeing a problem student for the umpteenth time! Trust me! At $40 per office visit I’m a little disturbed whenever I have to see him as well!

I’ve also used various medications. NyQuil could be better referred to as “My Quil!” I’ve resorted to drinking! A bottle of Woodford Reserve Kentucky bourbon is hidden in the back of one of our cabinets. It goes back to one of my grandmother’s cough remedies…bourbon, honey, and a squirt of lemon! But, once again, being Baptist there is a hint of guilt associated with each shot poured. I even find myself trying to be quiet in the kitchen as I’m preparing the remedy, even though Carol knows I’m doing it. I feel like the little kid who used to sneak sips of RC Cola from a bottle in my grandparent’s storage room. And so I pour the bourbon and then quickly hide it away in the lower cabinet behind the steam iron and excess water bottles.

I bought the family-size bag of cough drops at Walgreen’s…for me!

It’s just a little irritating, like the girl you broke up with back in high school who keeps trying to hang around you. You try to be nice and get her interested in your best friend, but she seems to gravitate to you.

That’s this year and this cold with me! It’s like teenage acne that disappears in one spot and then emerges close by the next day. Right now my nose looks like a war zone!

The only good thing about having a cold and/or bronchitis is that my physician gives me the cough medicine that makes you happy! It’s like having a restaurant manager apologize for how your steak was cooked and giving you your meal free, plus dessert! Yes, it’s kind of like that with a dazed look added on to it!

The way this year has gone whenever this cold decides to take its leave I’ll stand at our front door and yell to the waiting room of future sniffles and say, “Next!”

Mamaw’s Cough Remedy

November 20, 2016

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   November 20, 2016

                                    

The cashier put the bottle in a skinny brown bag that shouted “Booze!” I walked at a brisk pace out of the store like a CIA operative stealing a hard drive from a foreign power. I felt more guilt than a Baptist sitting in Starbucks on a Sunday morning!

The bag held a bottle of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon. Somewhere in my memory this purchase destined me for the Lake of Fire. I had never…ever…ever bought a bottle of hard liquor before in my lifetime. Back in Ironton, Ohio, the state liquor store on Third Street was one place you didn’t get close to, lest you become tainted.

But the cough had lingered! My night time sleep was like a horizontal relay team passing the imaginary baton from one coughing episode to the next. And then my dad reminded me of Mamaw Helton’s cough remedy: One part honey and at least one part bourbon!

He told me of the time my Mama and Papaw Helton had come to visit them in Ironton from their farm in Oil Springs, Kentucky. My Papaw asked my dad to go to the liquor store and buy him a bottle of bourbon, to which my dad replied, “Dewey, why can’t you go and buy it?” Mamaw Helton piped in, “He can’t because of the church!” They were proud members of a United Baptist church, known for being a church of teetotalers and a few backwoods moonshiners.

My dad said, “Well, this is where I live and I’m a deacon in the church.” I asked him how the story played out and he told me he went and bought my Papaw Helton a bottle. Evidently my Papaw was okay with the drinking part, but committed to never entering the store that sold the drink.

So, as I coughed, like an old Chevy trying to start its engine, I went to the liquor store!

I had also rationalized that my brother, Charles Dewey, now works as a tour guide at the Woodford Reserve Distillery outside of Frankfort. If I bought a bottle, in some weird way, it would promote job security for him. When I looked at the price difference between his brand and the others I considered that he needed to be responsible for his own job security. But then I thought that perhaps…just perhaps…the price difference was because Woodford Reserve went down smoother and tasted as sweet as a piece of rock candy. If I bought that cheap Jim Beam it might be like drinking one of those generic cans of cola compared to drinking a Pepsi. It might completely distort my impression of what Kentucky bourbon tasted like.

So I bought it! At the counter I informed the lady that my brother was a tour guide at the distillery of my chosen bottle. She looked at me and with a face completely void of expression replied, “Ah-huh!” End of sales transaction!

That night I anxiously opened the bottle of the miracle potion. I was a bourbon virgin about to have my first sip experience. “Would it taste like Pepsi?” I asked myself, “Or more like Vernor’s?”

I poured about an ounce into a cup and mixed in the honey. This was the big moment…the moment of healing, the exorcism of my coughing demon! I tipped the cup up and took my first swig.

“Good Lord!” I stammered. My fear of being cast into the Lake of Fire was being preceded by a burning flow of lava down my throat. I could feel some of the hair on my chest shriveling up and falling off. Kentucky bourbon is the twin brother of castor oil!

“Lord, help me!” I stared at the other half of the dosage I still needed to force down. I pinched my nose and once again let the fire enter in. Then I stared at the bottle of bourbon that still contained about 97% of its contents.

“How do people drink this? Better yet, how did my Papaw Helton drink this?” I could feel the fire in my throat dripping down into my stomach.

That night, however, I slept soundly! Seven hours of sleep is worth one moment of torture!

Waiting For Three

March 9, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                         March 9, 2015

                                               

“You didn’t take any of your cough medicine yet, did you?” asked Carol, my wife.

“Yes…it’s 9:30. Why do you ask?” I had been to see my physician last week with a respiratory condition. The “happy medicine” was my compensation for housing a cold and ear infection. The “happy medicine” has codeine in it and makes rabbits appear on the ceiling in the middle of the night.

“Kecia could be going to the hospital tonight. She was having contractions pretty frequently.”

Our oldest daughter is about to deliver number three. “If she goes into labor you need to go and say with Jesse and Reagan.” (Numbers #1 and #2)

“Oh!” Profound comeback!

We’ve been waiting for Mystery Child #3 for a while. Kecia doesn’t complain much about carrying a watermelon in her tummy, but you can tell that she is at that point where there is no comfortable position. Waiting for #3 has rearranged schedules, reordered priorities, remodeled the home. #1 and #2 went to Big Sibling Class last week. They learned what it means to be a Big Brother and Big Sister. It was a refresher course for Jesse. Reagan, however, got new schooling. It hasn’t hit her yet that she will be sharing the spotlight in the coming…years. When she was two she blurted out to me one night as we were having a treat at the ice cream yogurt shop, “No, Granddad! You’re Snow White! I’m the princess!” 

Waiting for number three is a time of the family being redefined.

And we wait! As 1 Thessalonians 5 talks about the coming of the Lord will be like labor pains on a pregnant woman, they come unexpected and everything changes.

We’re not good at waiting these days. A pregnancy is a good thing for a family to go through because it lets us know that the world does not revolve around our agendas and “honey-do” lists. In this case, it revolves around someone we can’t even see yet, someone we haven’t even shared a meal with…the unseen that changes everything.

Tonight might be a short night of sleep. I’ll be tempted to take a nip of the “Baptist whiskey”, my cough medicine, but I’ll try to abstain. I may hack myself awake all night, but I’ll be ready…as I wait.