Recommended wine for today’s entry: The wine I selected for sampling at our wine tasting was a Valminor Albarino from Spain. This was a very light white wine that, according to my friends, has a scent of honey, lemons and apricots and a light honey taste and creamy texture. Its average rating was about a 7 or 8. And if you don’t believe us, the Website says it was rated an 88 by Josh Raynolds, Sep/Oct 08. Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar said, “Light yellow-gold. Apple and pear aromas are complicated by musky herbal and floral qualities. Fleshy, slightly bitter orchard fruit flavors are dry and focused, picking up lemon pith and thyme notes with air. This has the power to serve with richer dishes and will work better at the table than by itself.” As I recall, it was in the $20 range.
Prologue: As guests arrived at last weekend’s little wine tasting soiree, everyone put a cute little tag on their glass to prevent a horrifying wine-glass-mix-up disaster and the certain propagation of nasty winter maladies.
At about, oh, eleven o’clock, the “formal” tasting was over and a few of us remained. We were sorta cleaning up, sorta still eating the food, sorta gossiping and definitely giving the remaining samples of wine just one more chance to impress. My friend Laura commented on how she’d found her new favorite.
Me: (taking a sip of my wine) – You all should definitely try #7 again. That’s what I have.
Laura: No, what you have is my glass.
Me: No I don’t. What makes you think this isn’t mine?
Laura: The glass sitting behind you with your name on it.
Soooo, this was clearly not an argument that I was going to win. The good news is, Laura and I both agreed that the wine in her glass was a keeper. The bad news is, I have a cough now and I’m really hoping that, in spite of all my careful planning to avoid the propagation of nasty winter maladies, I didn’t spread them anyway.
Which leads me to the topic of today’s blog: medicine.
Because I had this dry, irritating cough that kept me up for a portion of Sunday night, we went through the Medicine Drawer last night before bed to select the perfect medication to ensure blissful slumber. Here is what I found: Liquid Nyquil that expired in 2008, Nyquil caplets that expired in 2007, and — my first choice, so that I wouldn’t be groggy this morning — some soothing Vicks 44 Cough Relief. Oops. Expiration July 2002.
Now, I am sure that you think that I don’t clean out the Medicine Drawer on a regular basis. (I uppercase drawers when they have a proper name.) You’re right. I don’t. I’m lucky if I throw away the bread before the smell of penicillin from the pantry announces that an expiration date has come and gone.
It isn’t because I don’t like a clean house; it’s because I’m lazy and too busy watching TV and stalking boys who snubbed me in high school on Facebook to see if they ended up dumpy and bald and pale with an ugly wife. It can be very time consuming if done properly.
The expired medicines made me realize that we never think about medicines until we need them. Then we feel too crappy to go to the store. It’s a vicious cycle that results in a lot of coughing.
I know I can endure this cough though, because I have survived the Cough of 1990. There was nothing like it. I had given birth via Caesarian section a mere three weeks prior to the Cough invading our house. And unless you’ve recently had your belly slashed open with a machete, you don’t know how creepy a cough can feel. I was SURE that a vital organ — a kidney, the whole set of large intestines, maybe even a lung — was going to force its way through the thin layer of new scar tissue and I would find it lying next to me in the bed in the morning.
I mean, if a six-pound human popped out of there like a Kleenex coming out of the box, how easy would it be for a slippery four-ounce spleen to follow suit?
This cough was relentless. So I called the doctor and I said, “Here is the deal. No one is sleeping at this house. My stomach muscles, the ones that you didn’t sever with your machete, hurt so badly that it feels like I did a sit-up or something. This cough needs to go.”
And he prescribed the BEST medicine I have ever had. It was called something like Tussinex and it was honey flavor. Oh, sweet nectar of the gods — I would take my Tussinex before bed and within minutes my feet would be tingly, then it would be eleven o’clock the next morning and I was rested and my stomach was intact. Yes, my husband may have been up with the baby a few times during the night, but I was rested for the day shift. And the cough? Gone in a couple days. Weaning me off the Tussinex took a little longer.
Even though I didn’t find any cough medicine last night, it was helpful to look through the Medicine Drawer. I have a nasal spray that the doctor gave me to take during allergy season and I had never read through the volumes of information/disclaimers that came with the prescription. Here is what I discovered about the stuff I’m periodically shooting right at my brain:
“Long-term use of high steroid doses can lead to symptoms such as …, changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back and waist), increased acne or facial hair …”
Well, that is certainly good news. I’ll be able to breathe, but I will look like Yoda.
Still, the risk of shifting body fat and a little five o’clock shadow tomorrow is worth it to avoid itchy, watery eyes and annoying congestion today. Right? And besides, I’m sure there’s another medication that has a side effect of moving body fat the opposite direction.
Like my friend April always said, “Better living through pharmaceuticals.”
Well, this cough doesn’t warrant a prescription. It’s already going away. But while I’m thinking about it, I will stop at the grocery and get some UNEXPIRED meds just in case the rest of the family starts the nighttime hacking. The Medicine Drawer will be stocked again.
I wonder if I should drop some in Laura’s mailbox. You know, anonymously.