I know, I know, everyone thinks antibiotics are the devil these days. But imho, Sir Alexander Fleming, Ernst Boris Chain and Howard Florey are the sexiest men not alive.
They gave us penicillin, which is a good thing, although, to be truthful, the one time I took it my face swelled up like the Hindenberg and I was advised to stay far, far away from the stuff. Without the good work of those fine fellows, however, I would not currently be in possession of a vial of Cefuroxime Axetil. (Note to pharmaceutical companies: it wouldn’t hurt to hire some ad folks to juice up your product-naming division)
Believe me, Gregory House never defended a stash of Vicodin with more fervor than I have for these little white pills. Because, while I would really like to be writing a travelogue of my NYC/WDC trip, I can hardly stand up due to the sinus infection that caught me somewhere along the way.
No sooner did Taylor and I walk across Farragut Square in Washington, D.C. last week, commenting that neither of us had been sick in a long, long time, faster than you can say JINX, I woke up the next morning with that sensation of a television set having taken up residence in my nasal cavities. I marched right into a health food store and bought a neti pot, sure I could nip the sucker in the bud, but it was not to be. I haven’t taken antibiotics since 2008, but I could tell that’s where this thing was headed in a hurry.
I learned a gross but handy truth from this go-around with a not-so-super bug. I was under the impression that the color of the yucky stuff you hack up in the morning determines whether you have a cold or a bacterial infection. Not so! Green, as it turns out, is no more diabolical than yellow. (Either one, however, can make you far less attractive to your spouse, who may be wondering about that “in sickness and in health” clause right now…)
My trusty family practice doc (also known as Mr. Pollo Amigo) explained that it’s often hard to tell the difference between a cold and a bacterial infection, snot color not being of any firm medical use, but the tipping point in this case, he said, was the irritation he saw at the back of my throat. Ah, so that’s why it felt like shards of glass in there every time I swallowed!
On Day 2 of the antibiotics and the throat feels much better, the yucky stuff has turned from green back to yellow, and I’m so exhausted (maybe the antibiotics?) I really have to head back to bed and a box of tissues. But before I go, props to one other unknown soul – a shout-out to that nameless chemist at the Vicks Company who, in 1966, cobbled together the recipe for Nyquil. Now that they’ve got that evil-tasting-stuff tamed in a liquigel cap, it’s the next best thing to…well, antibiotics!