16 December 2009

Man Down

I have been thinking about how fortunate we have been in regards to our health. I resisted mentioning it on the blog because that would be tempting fate. Besides Elise falling and giving me a little scare, we have all been fine. Now Sam has a cough. I mean a constant cough. One where you are almost as tired of hearing it as he must be of doing it. This meant a trip to the pharmacy which is always amusing. I have gotten pretty good about knowing what medicine treats which type of cough. I know the difference between cough suppressant and expectorant. I know what works best for each child. In England, that is all out the window. Luckily, I have met a sweet lady in the pharmacy who takes the time to help me figure things out. I was looking for Tylenol a few weeks ago. The first person I asked looked at me like I was crazy. I didn't ask for Tylenol, mind you. I knew to ask for acetaminophen but she just stared at me blankly. The sweet lady took the time to figure out the English equivalent which is paracetamol. I was happy to see her working today and quickly scooped up the three choices of cough syrup and brought them to her. One she quickly ruled out because it didn't have any drug in it. Imagine that! It sounded like they were selling sugar water under the guise of cough syrup to soothe your throat. We weeded out another to arrive at what she thought was the best formula. This formula included ethanol which I mentioned to her, sounded more like something I would put in my car than in my son. She checked with the pharmacist who reassured me with a "silly American, please go away" smile. Okay, I thought to myself, this isn't Bangladesh. It's England for goodness sake. It will be fine.

The cough medicine seemed to work for all of an hour. On to the Benadryl to clear up any drip in his throat. Still coughing his head off. I actually suggested to him that he try to imagine relaxing his lungs and throat and try to stop coughing. I was getting desperate. I knew neither of us could make it through the night like this. Mark, on the other hand, would sleep like a baby regardless. Thankfully, the pharmacy didn't close for another 30 minutes. Back into town for another try. Same lady. Still helpful. This time she produces a cough medicine from behind the counter. Guess that's where they keep the stuff that actually works. I go home determined that this will work. Then I notice chloroform as an ingredient. All I can think of is some random movie scene where they douse a rag with this liquid and cover the victim's nose and mouth who then passes out. Okay, same argument. It is England. It will be fine. The medicine smelled like paint thinner and I am amazed Sam got it down. He has the worst gag reflex. Finally, success. Sleeping like a baby from the chloroform. Uh, I mean medicine.

Hoping for a good night's sleep for us all.



  1. Dina, Hope Sam is getting better! Let me know if I can help from the distance....
    Merry Christmas and a wonderful New year for you'll!
    We'll be visiting New Orleans for the holidays and definitely will miss you !!!!

  2. Dina - you sound great! I love reading your blog when I get a free minute or two. Please say hi to Mark for Andrew and hugs for all those great kids. We are knee deep in snow today and loving it! off to some fellow saints fans home to watch the game. Hang in worth it and you are a great MOM.

    Lora Leyens