I came down with a cold last weekend. It started out with a touch of a sore throat and some swollen glands, nothing that I couldn't handle. Monday was my first at work out of training, and it hurt to swallow and to talk. The Boss had Monday off, so she got me some cold medication to help me nip this thing in the bud.
I took the medication regularly for a couple of days and didn't see any improvements. If anything, I had gotten worse. The minor congestion I started out with progressed into full sinus blockage, spreading to both of my ears. The glands in my throat were so swollen you couldn't see my jaw-line, and it hurt to move my head even the slightest amount. I continued to take the medication The Boss had gotten me, figuring then that it was one of those things that had to get worse before it would get better.
Yesterday at work, I felt absolutely miserable. The congestion was at it's worst, and I couldn't stop coughing. I was drinking water like crazy and running through lozenges like they were going out of style, thinking it was just because of chest congestion and a dry throat. The coughing got worse, so much to the point where I could barely catch my breath.
Gasping for air, I thought to myself, I haven't coughed this bad since that first allergy attack in August.
And then it hit me.
I was having an allergic reaction to the cold medication I had been taking all week.
Some of my newer readers won't know of this, but last fall I went through a crazy ordeal with allergies. You can find the links to where I talked about it in the archives if you care to read them (I'm not going to place them all here; that'd take too long), but the long and short of it is that I was diagnosed with an aspirin allergy, and because of my allergy to aspirin, I can't consume anything with yellow dye #5 or salicylic acid in it.
Now, I had the smarts to check the box of medication before I started taking it to look for anything I can't have. The inactive ingredients listed yellow dye #10, but where I was informed that I'm only allergic to the #5 variety, I thought I was in the clear. Apparently that is not the case.
Once this all occurred to me, I ran out to the store and got some Benadryl. Two pills and 30 minutes later, I was feeling much better. The coughing stopped almost immediately, and a majority of my sinus congestion cleared up. I'll be taking my tried and true regimen of antihistamines over the next couple of days to try to clear the rest of it up.
This was a learning experience for sure. Now that I know that I'm most likely allergic to the family of yellow dyes, I'll have to be even more on the look out for it in things I eat or products I use, but it beats feeling like I'm dying.
I feel like I should have known, but at least I know now.
Have a good weekend, everyone.