I went back to the doctor on Tuesday for my cough.
(It's been going on for so long that no fewer than four people in my office stopped by to suggest their own remedies. Zinc and echinacea, fresh juice, tea with honey, vitamin C supplements...)
My doctor said, "There comes a time when we've tried everything else, and we just give up and throw antibiotics at it."
"Good," I said, "because that's what I want."
"Let's see... I can give you Zithromax, which is fairly benign and gentle and usually gets the job done, or Biaxin, pretty much kills everything but the host. I'm thinking we go with door number two."
"Yes. By all means, let's take no chances," I agreed.
"Okay." He started tapping at his Macbook Air, sending a (wireless, electronic) prescription directly to my pharmacy.
"Can we refill the cough syrup, too? Just to keep things even until the antibiotics kick in?"
"Yes, absolutely." He tapped some more. "Now, the Biaxin, you should take with food."
"I'm not kidding. Don't eat dinner and then take it an hour later. Take it with the food."
"No fooling around. And not just a little food. A whole meal. Take the pill, and then dump the food on top of it."
"Take the pill before I eat?"
"Yes. Just before you eat." He tapped at his computer some more, recording notes. "Did I mention you should take it with food?"
"Yes, I got it."
"Really. With food."
He let me go, and I went down the hall, stopping at the desk to turn in my charts. I opened the door out onto the waiting room and the exit, and my doctor came around the corner. "Take it with food!" he yelled. I think he startled some of the waiting patients.
I'm beginning to think he had a message to impart, there. If only I could figure out what it was...
(I took the fourth pill this morning. [With food, yes.] I'm still coughing, but it's already smoothing out and becoming less urgent.)
By the way, no post tomorrow -- I'm taking the day off to drive up to Charlottesville for a friend's wedding and -- not incidentally -- hang out with my other friends who will be attending the wedding. I hope to have pictures and stories on my return, Monday!