24 November 2014, by Dannie Cho
It started with a cough.
I was just lying in bed, trying to enjoy that precious little time with my daughter when she comes to our room for morning cuddles. Because in a fight between cuddles and jumping out of bed to get ready for work, cuddles win pretty darned often. Then she suddenly coughs right into my face. And as the expulsion of virus-laden air leaves her throat and mouth like proton torpedoes, I couldn’t help but mentally put up whatever meager defenses I had. I held my breath. Turned away. Told my brain to activate the force fields in my nostrils to keep out unwanted objects. But there’s a hull breach and I knew it. My Imperial Star Destroyer of a nose had taken the hit. The damage was done, and the cost and consequences will only unfold as time goes by.
Within two days, my fears were confirmed. That dry itchy feeling began at my throat, and the infection quickly spread. I was soon coughing often, and violently. My sinus cavities began to feel really congested, and the thick mucus sometimes made me nauseous.
Lots of water. Manuka honey. Cough drops. I was pretty desperate to regain control of my itchy raspy throat, because it was a long awaited weekend when the wife and I do her annual birthday staycation. Without the kids. Yeah, we were really looking forward to a ‘blissful’ weekend. It was really tough to build a nice romantic mood up and maintain it when you’re coughing and hacking every few minutes or so, but we did the best we could. One thing was obvious though – self-medication with traditional remedies was not enough. It was time to visit the doctor.
I was given antibiotics, cough syrup and a couple of days’ medical leave. Good stuff. 3 days into the 5-day course of antibiotics, I was feeling reasonably well. Then my left knee and right foot started getting swollen. The pain was incredible, and very, very familiar. Gout. I have a history of it, but it’s been well under control for almost the past 6-7 years, after I started taking daily preventive meds. This made me really suspicious of my antibiotics, and I consulted Dr Google. And there it was – a little note that the antibiotics will interfere with my gout medication.
And interfere it did. I was in so much agony that I could not even get off the bed. The wife and mother-in-law had to bring me my meals, in addition to taking care of the kids. I was excused from bottle-washing duties, and was just glued to Youtube. Went to see my specialist doctor who treated me for gout, and he gave me new medicine. “This medicine,” he warned, “will cause diarrhea. But the diarrhea is a sign that the toxins are being flushed out of your system.”
Another 3 miserable days later, I was back at work. “Are you feeling better?”, asked concerned colleagues.
“Well, no.”, I replied. “When I first took the MC, it was for a throat infection. Now that I’m back, I have a throat infection (because I did not finish my course of antibiotics), gouty pains in my knee and foot, and diarrhea. So, no, technically, I am not better. But thank you very much for asking!”
But there are plots within plots, and Mother Nature works in mysterious ways. Apparently, coughing while having sex exponentially increases the chance of pregnancy. In our case, one of my little Stormtroopers made great use of the explosive nature of the cough and brought along a tractor beam and maybe some other sensor equipment. While the rest of the troopers just milled around, he figured out that there was a blockage in Yi Lin’s fallopian tubes. He then expertly manipulated the tractor beam to help the egg slip through the obstruction in the tubes, maneuvered it into the womb, and before the billions of his other brothers could react, literally jumped right in. Booyah!
By the time this entry is posted, Yi Lin would be about 9 weeks pregnant. Our first naturally conceived child, since Coco and Claire were both IVF babies. The feeling is still unreal. Naturally conceived. Wow.
And it all started with a cough. Or, to be more precise. CoughSex™.