Sinus Sufferers: are we a “scourge” on the nation?

“Daddy, Daddy, I can’t sleep ‘cuz my nose is stuffed up!”

Right now I’m suffering from a sinus infection/allergies, or a Code in the Node, and my nose is NOT pleased.  I have been using nasal sprays for some time, both OTC and prescription (I know, bad girl), plus lately Ocean, in an attempt to clear it up, but to no avail.  My nose, pardon the frankness, is still stuffy, crusty, hurts, bleeds, and feels like there’s a hole up inside between the two passages.

I have long been a user of cold products and Sudafed.  17 years ago, we were living in Minnesota, yes that wonderful, fascinating, but god-forsakeningly frigid state. 

Now my ex loved his brand new CRX.  His first new car, and he babied it like no other.  So he refused to drive it that first winter.  And since he worked shifts at area hospitals, and odd hours, he needed the Buick.  So my one year old daughter and I walked to her daycare, pushing her in a flimsy umbrella stroller over rutted snow/ice covered sidewalks (if you don’t shovel religiously, you get deep ruts – same with streets: don’t plow and you get ruts – once so bad it was like slot cars on our side street).  But I digress.  It was a cold winter, and that meant temps up to -20 for a high and wind chills up to -50 below.  We had to walk about 2 miles to her day care at a woman’s house, and I had to walk another mile to the bus stop, and repeat on the way home.  By the time we got to our destinations, we were crying and the tears had frozen our eyes shut; our nose hairs had also frozen together, and our lungs and exposed skin burned.  Every day, for 3+ months.  Needless to say, we both got very sick that winter,  I developed a raging URI, and coughed for 48+ hours straight, no respite.  They tried everything, and I finally landed in the ER, where he gave me a hydrocodone syrup that knocked me out enough so I could sleep and the reflexive cough would go away, and 120 mg doses of Sudafed.  He said that was what it needed and to use that in the future if it got bad again.  So after that, the weak family lungs kicked in, and I was sick with URIs almost constantly, 3 months for each: first a cold, then laryngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. Then do it all over again.

Although Sudafed made me jumpy (I’m sensitive to meds), when it got rough, I took that 120 mg, every 6 hours, so about 3 times a day, or 84 pills a week.

Now, an example  current law states as reported in the Idaho Press Tribune (date unknown – source: http://www.myidahopress.com/sundayfeature/data/061209/a21.php:

“The law restricts the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine, a common nasal decongestant and meth ingredient. It went into effect July 1.

The law also requires that retailers ensure that pseudoephedrine medicines are located either in an area where the public is not permitted or inside a locked display case and that sales of the products must be conducted by an employee.

No pseudoephedrine products can be sold directly to customers off the shelves.

In addition, store employees can sell no more than 9 grams of pseudoephedrine in a single sale. That’s 300 30-milligram tablets. The Sudafed brand name sells packages of 24, 48 and 96 tablets.

It is now also be against the law for anyone to buy more than 9 grams of pseudoephedrine in any 30-day period. Violations will be treated as a misdemeanor charge.

Purchasers throughout the state are also required to present government-issued photo identification, typically a driver’s license, when buying these products.

“We’ve had this scourgeof meth for a while now, and we continue different angles and different methods to try to stem the tide of meth,” McGee said.” (emphasis added)

The actual law, for legalphiles is found at:

TITLE  37:  FOOD, DRUGS, AND OIL
                   CHAPTER 33
                   RETAIL SALES OF PSEUDOEPHEDRINE PRODUCTS
    37-3301-6

http://www3.state.id.us/cgi-bin/newidst

Now, as I see it, I can consume about 84 pills a week, or if the cold lingers, 356 a month, well over the legal limit, which would make me guilty of a misdemeanor if I tried to purchase it.  And if I try to stockpile in the fall against coming colds, for all three of us, using a variety of products, such as Sudafed, Dayquil, and other cold preparations, I can’t.  I get stopped, like a criminal.

Now, I can’t even examine the box of the remedy – I have to rely on the card in the tray, take it to the pharmacist, and pay for it there, all like I’m a drug kingpin.  What about the poor Dad, sent out in the middle of the night to find some cold medication for little Joey, who’s been crying all night, only to find the pharmacies are closed, and that he has to search town for an all-nighter?

Now I finally kicked the bad cold habit in Hawaii – that wonderful warm, moist, fragrant air – that’s what I talk about – not the sandy beaches, the sunshine, the luaus, but the air, the air.  After two years there free and clear, and then coming back, I got smacked with a cold.  This particular one snuck through now, as it’s tenacious – half my 15 yr old’s school is down with it.  SO hence this topic.

But NyQuil, a family favorite, in a move to position itself above the rest, changed it’s formulary to remove the offending pseudoephedrine and keep the box on the shelf.  Maybe smart marketing, but death to those of us who believe that NyQuil is the agent of all that’s workable for a cold, and the closest we come to a drug.  I had found NyQuil through a Denis Leary show called “No Cure For Cancer” and was intrigued.  The complete transcript can be found at: http://www.endor.org/leary/

Now a warning: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE at the site.  I have tried to “block” the worst below, but the topic is not for kids.

“I don’t do illegal drugs anymore. Now I just do the legal drugs. Tonight I’m on NyQuil and Sudafed. Let me tell you something, folks. Forget about cocaine and heroine. All you need is NyQuil and Sudafed. I’m telling you right now, I took the NyQuil five years ago. I just came out of the coma tonight before the f*&*ing show! Claus Vanbulo was standing over my bed going, “Denis, get up! There’s something the matter with Sunny! Hurry up!” I love NyQuil. Man, I love it! I love it. I love it. I love it. It’s the best thing sh*t ever invented. Isn’t it, huh? I love the name alone. NyQuil – Capitol N, small Y, big f*&*ing Q! I love that f*&*ing Q, don’t you!? What a great advertising idea! Put a huge f*&*ing Q on the box. They’ll get high and stare at it. “The Q is talking to me! The Q is talking to me!”

I love NyQuil, man. Because NyQuil has never changed, man. It’s never changed. All the other medicines are doing that inner-child thing. “we know that there’s a small child inside of you, so now we have grape and cherry and orange flavor.” Not NyQuil! They still have the original green death f*&*ing flavor!(*) You know why!? Because it doesn’t matter what it tastes like! It’s so strong you go, “*wheeze* Hey this stuff really tastes like..” Bang! Yer in the coma already! “What happened?” “He said tastes like and he went right into the coma, it was unbelievable!” We have reached the point where the over the counter drugs are actually stronger than anything you can buy on the street. It says on the back of the NyQuil box, on the back of the box it says, “May cause drowsiness.” It should say, “Don’t make any f*&*ing plans! Kiss your family and friends goodbye.” 

So reach for the newly revised NyQuil and sigh for the good old days, for as George Orwell pointed out so well in “1984,” (Part One, page one – available at: http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/1/):

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU…

I’m paranoid, so sue me,  K : )

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