I'd been fighting a sore throat since Monday, and everything turned to crap yesterday when I woke up. I knew I had the flu, and Mucinex and NyQuil weren't doing anything to make me feel better. I had asked for the day off Tuesday because I could see myself getting worse. I only wish I'd asked for two days off, instead.

I called my HIV doctor (the infectious disease specialist) and told him about my condition. Dr. C. told my partner that I should go see my primary care physician and get treated, and to have him take an x-ray of my chest just to make sure nothing else was going on. At the doctor's office, I felt like a zombie trying to stay on my feet, trying not to throw up, and trying not to cough since every cough now felt like a power punch to my chest.

My doctor reviewed my numbers, and told me I was going to be his guinea pig. He was going to try this new medication they'd just received, and he wanted to see how it would do on me. (Why not? I figured. At least I get the meds now and not have to hit the pharmacy for an expensive antibiotic copay.) The medication turned out to be some powder in a bottle that you're supposed to reconstitute. (Re-what?) I apologized to my doctor and told him I wasn't 100% coherent and didn't know what "reconstitute" meant. Faint images of a Declaration of Independence and bowel movements came to my mind.

He said I had to put in 40-60 ccs of water in the bottle with the powder, shake it up well, then drink it. "So why doesn't it just say that?" He laughed and agreed that the instructions were less than clear. I took the medication, and he wrote me a prescription for a medication to help with my cough. When I read the label on the prescription as I sat in the truck, I read in big bold letters – HYDROCODONE. I remember that from the pills I had to take after I had some toothwork done. The tablets that made me loopy and made me sleep. This was liquid sleep! About 20 minutes after I took my two tablespoons, I fell into a beautiful sleep. I hadn't slept well in about two nights, so this was a welcomed indulgence.

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