Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Cough

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A commonly held opinion among expats in the UAE is that sicknesses here are abnormally varied and hideous. The people who live here come from all over the world, and they don't stay put. It's a very mobile society that is always going to one country to visit and then coming back to work and so on. Thus, the sicknesses that get passed around also come from all over the world, and are also very mobile. We get the best, strongest, most virulent strains of the cold and flu you could imagine. It's even worse than Egypt.

The latest sickness to rear its head I have dubbed simply, The Cough. There's not a large runny nose component, not even a general feeling of malaise. It's just a cough. But oh, WHAT a cough. Both my girls have had it and it's the ghastliest thing you've ever heard. It comes from deep in the chest and it is so tight that it hurts just to listen to. No medicine can touch it. You get it, and then you suffer for the next 2-3 weeks while you wait for it to pass.

Since the powers of dextramethorphan are useless against The Cough, we've been doing a lot of the honey + lemon juice remedy (and ginger, if only Miriam could stomach it), and that thing where you put the Vick's Vapo Rub on their feet instead of their chest. That's all I've got in my arsenal. It's hard to be so helpless in the face of sickness, but that's just how colds roll in the UAE.


Crys said...

So my kids hate vicks...big surprise right! So I like to do peppermint oil on their chest, under their nose, and on their feet. I cut it with a little mineral oil so it doesn't burn and not only do they smell delicious but it essentially works the same way as vicks. I also do spoonfuls of honey....what else is there? Hope they get better soon. I hate coughs that rack little bodies....or prematurely rupture membranes :)

Liz Johnson said...

Ugh, I'm sorry. We used to get weird strains of illness in Mexico that normal drugs couldn't touch, but luckily even more powerful drugs were available OTC there, so we weren't too bad off. But super-viruses? Good luck. I'm sorry!

JosephJ said...

Not whooping cough? I think Jen had that a couple of summers ago and it sure stuck around for a while.

Bridget Palmer said...

Hmm, well it does have the unfortunate "vomiting after coughing" component. However, both my kids were vaccinated for whooping cough, so...?

Sarah Familia said...

I make natural cough syrup out of onions and honey. It sounds kind of weird, but it really helps with the coughing, and my kids don't mind it because it's so sweet. You just simmer several onions for several hours in a cup of honey (with a little water) and then strain it.

The current pertussis vaccine is approximately 80% effective, so whooping cough is still a possibility if there's not as great of herd immunity where you are. (But it's not dangerous at your kids' ages, just annoying.)

I hope your poor kids get better soon!

Anna said...

Ugh. Chris has latent tuberculosis. He's not sick, and there is very little chance it will develop into anything, but whenever he gives a scary cough I review my current "If I become a widow" plan.

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone feels better soon!


Bryan Lewis said...

My first thought was whooping cough too, but if they were vaccinated then it's probably not whooping cough. It might be a whooping-cough-like infection from B. parapertussis, which isn't affected by the vaccine.

But I don't really know. I just took a couple microbiology classes a year ago and read a wikipedia article. So I guess that makes me just a rumor-spreader, huh?


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