Cruel Medicine

On a very off topic note, for well over a year, I have been dealing with an annoying, dry hacking cough. I’ve seen my general practitioner, and went through ineffective treatment for mild allergies and asthma. For the last 5 months, I have been to a pulmonary specialist and we have tried ruling out an ACE inhibitor I was taking (tried 2 alternatives), treatment of acid-reflux, done a stomach scan, tried about 3 other medicines.

I like this doc- he’s aggressive, sarcastic, and yanked the chain when he called my other doc’s office and got put on hold for 6 minutes. But I am starting to call him “Aflac” as he flits form one treatment to another, assuring me he will stick with this until the cough is gone.

But now, he is thinking acid-reflux again and is asking me to try yet another pill for 2 weeks and give up…

* carbonated beverages
* caffeine
* citrus
* alcohol
* spicy food

Can you believe that? 2 weeks without citrus?




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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I know your habits and you are not being honest about an easy one ;-)

    After another 10 minutes of thoughts, I decided that the stress of the changes coming my way in the next 3 weeks require massive doses of everything on the list, so Dr. Aflac’s suggestion is tabled for now.

  2. Alan,

    I’m currently working on designing a distance ed course for physicians to get their CME credits. The first course is on Asthma so it’s on my brain right now. Did they do a chest x-ray? Silly question, but sometime’s it the silly things that are overlooked. One of the patients in the case report had the symptoms of asthma, but treatment wasn’t working because it turned out that they had inhaled something. When a chest x-ray was finally done, it showed up.

    Good luck, and feel better.

  3. Thanks Heather,

    It’s neat that your projects can bring you info like that to share. yes, a chest x-ray was done early and it was clear.

    The doc I have been seeing acts very motivated and challenged by this, but I am tired of the approach of just trying different medicines (all names I recognize from TV commercials), like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks.

    I am not feeling sick, I do not have trouble eating, I have an iron stomacn, and am fir (just ran my second half marathon). I just have a daily hacky cough. Its just annoying.

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