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I have it on reliable authority that this is poison

I suppose Tic-Tacs are poison if you eat enough of them, but this stuff is made of cherry pits and thus has a bit of cyanide in it (as do most members of the rosaceae family — thenk yew Uncle B for this information). It’s supposed to deaden the nerves at the back of my throat and deliver me from the horrible, racking cough that’s been keeping me up nights for eight weeks now. Got it from a medical herbalist.

Yes, I did see a proper doctor first — with the diploma and the white coat and the cold listen-y tube and all. No fluid in my lungs, so she wasn’t impressed (which makes me wonder why I keep waking up making squeak-toy noises).

Eh. Sometimes, it’s just easier to buy hobbit medicine.

One of these days, I owe you a real post about the NHS. It isn’t nearly as bad as the Daily Mail tells you it is. It’s just not good enough for what it costs.

But not today. I’m still on holiday slowdown. If I don’t see you before Sunday — Happy New Year! Get really drunk and do something you regret!


Comment from Oceania
Time: December 30, 2011, 11:24 pm

And here’s me thinking Apricot stones contained HCN?

Comment from Redd
Time: December 30, 2011, 11:33 pm

Codeine cough syrup works very well. It will knock you out but you will get a good night’s sleep with no coughing.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 30, 2011, 11:59 pm

Sounds like the next step might be an allergy skin test and a symbicort inhaler….

Comment from Bruno Braun
Time: December 31, 2011, 12:01 am

Yeah, don’t they sell codeine over the counter over there, over there.

Guess that means that cherry pits are off my menu in the future.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 31, 2011, 12:10 am

Sadly, Redd, our lords and masters consider us insufficiently adult to be allowed codeine linctus any longer.

Are you sure it is still available in the USA? Her Stoatliness seems to think not.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2011, 12:25 am

Where the hell are you guys getting codeine over the counter in the States? When I first started coming here, you could get codeine linctus without a prescription, but no longer.

I *never* saw codeine without the good graces of a white coat in the US.

Comment from The Watcher
Time: December 31, 2011, 12:29 am

I’ve never seen codeine without a prescription here in the States, either.

And for me, if it ain’t got a label, I don’t swallow it (unless I’ve made it myself).

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: December 31, 2011, 12:47 am

Codeine could be bought over the counter in Canada a few years back – don’t know about it now. I got codeine with aspirin (or aspirin with codeine…) and all the druggist said was “Have you taken Codeine before?” I told him it was for a neighbor and he didn’t blink an eye. (It really was for the neighbor – codeine makes my ears ring and does snot all for pain.)
Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

Comment from Bruno Braun
Time: December 31, 2011, 1:10 am

Yeah, I bought the codeine apap in London, but that was thirty years ago. Maybe London has become civilized and doesn’t do that anymore. Codeine is any form will help silence the cough.

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 31, 2011, 1:29 am

Oh you are such a sickly decrepit bunch!
Toughen up it is almost new years here.

Comment from beasn
Time: December 31, 2011, 2:25 am

beasn, your avatar frightens me.

Heh, heh. Go over to the hostages on a recent thread and take a gander at everyone’s avatar. Cover your chicken’s eyes first.
You know mine.

Comment from beasn
Time: December 31, 2011, 2:33 am

No fluid in your lungs? No worries. Rub some dirt in it, it will eventually go away.

Comment from beasn
Time: December 31, 2011, 2:38 am

Oceania, on the previous thread, the question was not ‘why do you play with viruses’, the question was, ‘should YOU be playing with viruses’. Especially after your ‘God’ comment on killing rabbits.

Comment from Redd
Time: December 31, 2011, 2:45 am

You can’t get codeine OTC. Have your doctor prescribe it. Didn’t you get an inhaler? Didn’t that help?

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 31, 2011, 2:52 am

Now now beasn, don’t interfere with the Experiment.


And what is wrong with killing rabbits?

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 31, 2011, 3:03 am


Comment from bad cat robot
Time: December 31, 2011, 3:07 am

O Weas, can we get a New Year’s Eve Chicken Alignment report, for makings of great revolutionary humorous prognostications? I’m sure it will have great meaning. (If all four are hanging upside down like bats I am heading for the bunker IMMEDIATELY)

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 31, 2011, 3:49 am


LOL…. Night of the Living Dead Poultry…..

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 31, 2011, 5:31 am

During the part of my life I spent in the humid tropics, on the edge of the jungle, in a country where most known diseases (including Dengue fever) went for a vacation with family, I developed a nasty cough that lasted for months. Fortunately I had access to Capitalist medical care, and got tested …for every goddamn thing under the sun.

It turned out to be:

Acid reflux. Seems that while sleeping stomach acid would get aspirated into the lungs, causing a cough from the irritation it caused.
The solution was some fancy antiacids and wooden blocks to raise the head of the bed. Not that this has anything to do with my case you understand but it seems that uh, robost drinking habits can worsen acid reflux problems. Of couse, if you prefer cyanide….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2011, 8:08 am

I’ve thought of allergy (bits of 1,000 year old oak beams and associated bugs drifting down my airway all day) or acid reflux (drink? moi?) but it’s all a bit sudden to be a reaction to things I’ve been handling okay for a few years.

Woke up one morning with this cough that has gotten neither better nor worse for weeks.

Comment from Redd
Time: December 31, 2011, 9:26 am

You need to go back to your doctor and tell her you haven’t gotten better.

Comment from MIke C.
Time: December 31, 2011, 9:51 am

Just take up smoking. Then you’ll have an excuse for the cough and everything will be fine.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: December 31, 2011, 11:26 am

This is gonna be a long weekend, it’s only Friday night, and I have had 3 DUI, and a fight in a hotel lobby. I am not looking forward to Saturday night.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 31, 2011, 12:28 pm

Here in Costa Rica they sell codeine OTC in tablet form (with diclofenac). I don’t find it all that effective. 150mg would take the edge off severe pain but 250-300mg seemed to be the right dose. I stopped taking it and now I just put up with the pain. For mild coughs I’ve found syrups with guaifenesin quite effective but if it’s severe I don’t know.

If the cough persists, I’d nag your GP until you get a bronchoscopy or similar. We’re both of an age where part of health maintenance means letting doctors stick tubes in orifices without as much as a by-your-leave, so better safe than sorry.

BTW, I read that since they evidently have too few laws in California, in the new year cough syrup will be prescription-only. The whole Western world is being legislated into the Dark Ages.

Comment from Uncle Badgerously er
Time: December 31, 2011, 1:20 pm

You should have seen Stoaty’s eyes light-up when they made codeine and ibuprofen tabs legal OTC here, DG!

I’m another in the “what’s all the fuss about?” camp with codeine. It does absolutely nothing for me. and neither of us will take paracetamol (Tylenol). The damn stuff should never have been legalised in the first place, let alone made the pain med du jour by the nanny brigade in the medical profession (in the UK at any rate). It barely works and the lethal dose is far too close to (theoretically) safe.

Personally, I’m with the relaxed Costa Ricans. It’s my damned body. I should be able to put in it what I like.

For Stoat watchers, she is still coughing.

Comment from steve
Time: December 31, 2011, 1:58 pm

Persistent coughing, especially as you wake up in the morning, can be associated with post nasal drip….(something to which I can attest).

Sometimes it is allergy related, and sometimes just residual crap left over from a cold or something.

A decongestant can clear up the nasal leakage and relieve the coughing.

(I am not a doctor, but I do know when they are doing a crappy job fixing what ails ME!)

Comment from Redd
Time: December 31, 2011, 3:53 pm

If codeine is OTC in the UK, why not get some and take that? It would suppress your cough, allow you to get a good night’s sleep, and hopefully allow your cilia to repair. If you still haven’t improved, then see your doc.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2011, 4:23 pm

It’s OTC as an ibuprofen additive. I can’t get codeine linctus, the cough mixture. Still, the anti-spasmodic properties of codeine do help even in tablet form, and I have had a few Smack Days when I was in really bad shape (do enough coughing, and you’ll get rib- back- and headache, too).

Comment from Redd
Time: December 31, 2011, 6:22 pm

The codeine suppresses the area of your brain that controls coughing. I’m not sure how much codeine OTC form equals a dose of codeine prescribed for a cough. If it doesn’t cause you to OD on ibuprofen, I would take it.

To me the worse thing when I had a bad cough was when early in the AM my chest would be too tired and sore to cough. It would be a brief but scary respite.

Wiki is bad mouthing codeine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cough_medicine

They’re wrong!!!! Just the ability to not cough your guts out and get a good night’s sleep is therapeutic.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 31, 2011, 6:46 pm

Try running a vaporiser?

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 31, 2011, 6:47 pm

Oh, Happy New year.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 31, 2011, 9:07 pm

Wikipedia – wrong?


It’s written by hippies: how can it be wrong?

Sorry about the funny name earlier – I mistyped. Christmas pudding overdose, I suspect.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 31, 2011, 9:49 pm

Bad cat, last I checked it was butt-butt-gap-beak, the gap being Violet milling about on the floor. She’s the only one of the four that kind of prefers sleeping off-perch.

Ominous signs…

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: December 31, 2011, 11:19 pm

Redd’s right, go back to your doctor and tell her that you haven’t gotten any better. Remind her that you’ve been like this for the whole 8 weeks.

Do let us know what the response you get is, huh?

Comment from Redd
Time: January 1, 2012, 12:01 am


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 1, 2012, 12:48 am

Happy New Year fellow minions!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2012, 12:55 am


I was going to make a thread, but I have to make the rice now (we’re having crispy Peking duck).

Comment from Frit
Time: January 1, 2012, 1:03 am

Happy New Year, everyone!

Stoaty, see if you can get an x-ray as well as a bronchoscopy.

[Warning; long boring personal story, skip if you like.]
Back in ’04 I had a nasty dry hacking cough which was strong enough to build up my abdominal muscles, and nearly lost me a few meals, so after 4 weeks I decided enough was enough and went to see the doc. After quite a few tests (including x-ray, bronchoscopy, and a lung biopsy – which is not enjoyable!) they discovered I had a pulmonary sequestration, (a birth defect, which should have been discovered when I was a baby), and it was still harboring a pneumonia virus – tho the only time I’d ever had any pneumonia symptoms was back in the early 1970s! Turns out the original pneumonia infection caused scarring over the connection between the sequestration and the normal lung, sealing it off for decades, until I did something (still don’t know what) which breached the seal, causing the cough. Final solution was surgical removal of the entire sequestration, pneumonia virus and all. Wheeee. *chuckle*
[/long boring personal story.]

I hope your cough has a quicker and less drastic solution, but it’s always good to check on the weird possibilities, just in case.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2012, 1:09 am

I’d like to point out that I have been to three different doctors and two herbalists in the past year to deal with two relatively minor problems, neither of which are sorted yet.

I am not of the “keep going back until it’s fixed” tribe. I’ve had it.

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: January 1, 2012, 1:30 am

Thank you muchly for the chook-alignment report, Weas. I will feed it into the Prognosticator device. Happy New Year to all y’all!

Comment from Bill (the .003% of your traffic from AfStan)T
Time: January 1, 2012, 5:16 am

Try running a vaporiser?

Only vaporiser I’ve ever had experience with involved several hundred pounds of high explosive. But it cured their coughs.

Happy New Year, all!

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: January 1, 2012, 5:28 am

> I am not of the “keep going back until it’s fixed” tribe.
> I’ve had it.

Fair enough, and my apologies if I overstepped with advice at any point, here or in email.

Comment from Mysterion
Time: January 1, 2012, 5:46 am

When I had a bad cough I would take a shot of NyQuil then put a cough drop in my cheek. The cough drop would still be there in the morning and I never once choked to death. Maybe I was just lucky.

I still think you should treat it like an allergy and take lots of Vitamin C and stuff too. Maybe take a vacation and see if getting out of the house for a few days makes a difference.

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 1, 2012, 6:28 am

Greetings from the Texas Hill Country! Happy New Year to Badger House and all who dwell therein.

We have been under a burn ban for so long, I can’t remember when last we could legally explode fireworks. But the denizens of Canyon Lake are making up for the years of deprivation (it has rained and rained). I think a million dollars worth of exquisite powder has been torched since the sun went down!

I pray for you all—and my sincerest wish: serenity, happiness, peace. good will, success. Freedom.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: January 1, 2012, 9:08 am

Happy New Year! Seasonal colds are awful. And, sadly, unavoidable…

Comment from GregO
Time: January 1, 2012, 9:29 am

Happy New Year and keep playing that banjo!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 1, 2012, 3:25 pm

Oh, golly, no Argentium. No apology necessary. Just venting a little of my frustration with the medical community.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 1, 2012, 4:14 pm

But all that is forgotten now – the old year has ended and the future shines bright before us. Happy New Year to all who survived the night!

Comment from Alice
Time: January 1, 2012, 4:49 pm

FWIW, I have determined it takes an average of 3 waste-of-time Dr. appts before achieving might-have-their-attention appt, and where something I didn’t already know/do makes it onto the agenda. This means I won’t go to see a doctor unless I consider a particular ailment worth my setting up at least 4 successive appointments.

After 6 weeks of a persistent cough, I’d probably be just starting to work up to making an appointment. Once I’m committed to such drastic action as seeking professional advice, though, I refuse to let the bastards get away with dinking me around.

Obviously, sometimes there aren’t solutions or even diagnoses for everything – I just refuse to let them go to that conclusion without visible evidence of their performing their due diligence. Apologies to any medical doctors out there who actually do not apply the “let’s do least amount of time/effort and if it’s important, they’ll just come back” filter to managing their schedules. For the rest of them: if your new patient says the last time they saw a doctor was more than 5 years ago, you have a patient who needs you to skip the b.s.”fluids, rest, call me in 2 weeks if it doesn’t go away” and jump straight to doing a real exam.

Comment from Alice
Time: January 1, 2012, 4:51 pm

Oh – and Happy New Year everyone!

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: January 1, 2012, 6:50 pm

You cough up that hairball yet, Ms Weasel?

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: January 1, 2012, 7:21 pm

Stoaty: Okay, I’d be damned frustrated too at this point.

Alice: I’ve found that there’s an exception to the “waste of time” visits-count. If your doctor takes one look at you and says, “Oh my God…”; well, let’s just say they can move into high-gear when they feel the need.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: January 1, 2012, 7:34 pm

I use cinnamon hard candy to help soothe a nagging cough.

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 1, 2012, 9:56 pm

Stoaty, I though of you today when I read this article. Check out #25 on the list.


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 1, 2012, 11:57 pm

If your doctor takes one look at you and says, “Oh my God…”

Last fall, my obstetrician took one look at me and said, “When do you want to induce? How about tomorrow?” Does that count? 😉

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: January 2, 2012, 3:58 am

Mrs. Peel: Why yes, yes I do believe it does!

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 2, 2012, 5:29 am

Stoatie, I have it on good authority that performing Fellatio is GREAT for this sort of thing. (the authority being the girl I’m dating right now)…… 😉

(OK, U.B., I’ve done my part. The ball’s in your court now….)

Comment from Davem123
Time: January 2, 2012, 6:17 am

Bill- Referencing “Only vaporiser I’ve ever had experience with involved several hundred pounds of high explosive. But it cured their coughs.”

It would likely be more accurate to say that it stopped their coughing.

Thank you for your service and Godspeed your safe return.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 2, 2012, 6:05 pm


My little sister is an emergency doctor in a fairly rural area. With the old farmers, it’s basically a matter of, “How many days has it been like this? Doesn’t that hurt horribly?”

Comment from TwoDogs
Time: January 3, 2012, 8:37 pm

You haven’t started an ACE inhibitor for high blood pressure recently, have you ? 10% of people who do suffer ACE cough. I’m one of ’em.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 3, 2012, 10:06 pm

I haven’t changed meds recently. I’ve been on the same cocktail of 3 BP meds for about five years now. Couldn’t tell you what they are (I’ve been on a bunch of different types over the years).

I’m beginning to think this is sinussy.

Comment from Rob in Katy
Time: January 13, 2012, 10:15 pm

yeah, I know, way late. About 3 years ago I came down with Whooping Cough (Pertussis). We pretty much wiped it out here in the States for 30-40 years and the illegals are apparently bringing it back. Coughed so hard I almost blacked out a time or two before deciding to go to the doc. It was 3 or 4 trips there before and Indian (Country) doc figured out what it was and put me on some massive antibiotics and a 1/2 liter jar of codeine cough syrup. The cough was much, much worse at night, to the point that occasional the goo would completely clog the windpipe. nothing quite like just falling asleep and a plug of goo stops you in mid breath… scary stuff, but I guess vaccination are bad and all so this is the best thing for the planet /s

Comment from Alice
Time: January 13, 2012, 11:25 pm

Oh, if we’re revisiting the cough, I suppose I could share my diagnosis — made w/ no medical training and no facts. Yeah. You’re welcome 🙂
Histoplasmosis. It’s respiratory condition caused by a spores of a fungus. It can occur anywhere in the world, but “It thrives in soil that is enriched with bat or bird droppings.” Like chickens.

Anyway – a simple blood test will prove a diagnosis. Treatment is usually just letting it resolve on it’s own, but failing that, anti-fungal medicines are needed. Antibiotics don’t do a thing.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 14, 2012, 12:25 am

Still suffering. In fact, I have now pulled my back by coughing. Yay!

My current favorite theory? Dustmite allergy. Or mold. It’s like I’m starting a cold all the time…sore, itchy throat. Runny nose.

Sadly, antihistamines knock me on my ass.

Comment from Redd
Time: January 14, 2012, 2:33 pm

I’ve heard of people tearing an intercostal muscle by coughing. It does sound like you have an allergy.

Comment from Krnnichi
Time: December 26, 2015, 12:58 am

Hmm, sounds like you’re not gnetitg better quickly enough. Hope the weather at your place isn’t too cold, otherwise you’re going to be worn out. You must not eat any apples it contains maleic acid (which exacerbates the coughing). I forgot to mention that last time.

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