Thursday, February 28, 2013

"Barking Like a Seal Cough" Should Be a Thing

... because, apparently, whooping cough is a thing that I have to worry about now. I was not aware of this prior to yesterday. I had seen the commercials for the vaccine -- the ones with the babies who were coughing and trying to breathe? -- and by "seen the commercials" I mean "changed the channel asap when that commercial came on because it gave me the heebie jeebies to hear that baby with the whooping cough."

Poor little one.

Anyway. So, Tuesday? I was fine. I've been playing the insomnia game -- "I'll take 'Who's Going To Be Awake for No Reason at 2 AM for $500, Alex!" -- so I was tired? But other than that, totally fine.

I woke up on Wednesday with a tickle in my throat.

Not enjoyable.

I was about halfway through my first cup of coffee when the coughing started. Fortunately, I managed not to spill my coffee (again) or burn myself (again).

Swallowed wrong, I thought. Except, of course, that usually when you swallow wrong you get that drowny-chokey feeling (I'm pretty sure that's a medical term) and I didn't have that.

I was just coughing.

And then, I coughed again. And again.

None of these were polite little coughs, either (I know, you're shocked. Because I'm SUCH a delicate flower otherwise). They were loud, barking, "I'm a sea mammal" coughs.

Painful ones, at that.

So I did what any self respecting person would do: I went to Facebook and complained.

That's how I discovered that whooping cough is a thing. (I mean, I knew it was a thing? But I didn't know that adults could GET it, or that I needed to add it to my "stuff to worry about" list. (parenthesis within parenthesis: I don't have whooping cough. I also don't have whopping cough or whipping cough, both of which I keep typing instead of whooping cough and neither of which would probably be enjoyable to have.) )

Anyway, after a search of Web MD -- something, by the way, that I usually avoid like the plague, if only because Web MD will immediately tell you "OMG, You have the plague!" I discovered that my symptoms don't match anything. Web MD couldn't threaten me with any dire illnesses because there aren't any with "dry, barking like a seal in a show at Sea World" cough in their description.

The coughing, however "unproductive" (dry, not wet. Also, those are gross descriptions), was doing something -- it was blowing out my vocal cords.

This was not making me happy.

It's been a really long time since I had a cough. However, I have friends and relatives who are experienced hackers (just not, you know, the computer kind) and was quickly directed to get some cough medicine.

Some things I had forgotten about cough medicine:

1) It is vile. SO GROSS.

2) It comes with the tiniest, cutest little shot glass you ever saw.

3) It makes me LOOPY. (And I wrote this post under the influence, so I'm hoping that later when I'm not coughing and, you know, SOBER, it makes sense!)

4) It works.

I stopped coughing. Too late for my voice, alas, and I want to put my head down and take a nap (which will probably be filled with vivid, cough medicine induced dreams ... that could be fun!), but no more coughing. Which is good because I have stuff to do this weekend and have no time for sickness or coughing or any of that.

But I DO have the time to announce that if you were worried about whooping cough? Or whipping cough? Or whopping cough?

You should also worry about Barking Like a Seal Cough. But not too much. Just do a couple of shots of cough medicine and you'll be too high to care.


  1. If you've gotten a tetanus shot relatively recently, it most likely also contained the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine. If it was a tdap shot, you should be safe from the whoop. I got one last month and I haven't whooped at all.

    1. I don't remember the last time I had a tetanus shot. That's probably not good.

  2. Probably not, though they're supposed to be good for ten years.

  3. My understanding is that the Chinese call it "the hundred day cough", so if you have avoided it, that's a really good thing. It went through school two years ago. When I realized it, I immediately went and got a pertussis booster. It's nothing to fool around with.

  4. It helps that I work from home, I think. (Although this makes me extra cranky when I do get sick, like the germs have ignored my "I work from home and so should not be subjected to your germy ways" pass.)