That coughing you hear isn't from consumption.

At first scratch, it would appear that respiratory troubles are fast becoming part and parcel of my winters in the DC metroplex. Two weeks ago I was fighting off a cold, and rather successfully, or so I thought. Last week I developed a persistant dry cough that now has has my cow-orkers wondering if I have tuberculosis, keeps Lyssa awake at night (even if I sleep on the couch), and busily ties knots in the muscles of my neck and stomach. It isn't one of those coughs that clear your lungs and sound disgusting, but at least mean that you can breathe normally for a few minutes. It's a dry, hacking cough that doubles you over involuntarily and makes you feel as if your ribs are about to break. I feel pretty sure that if John Constantine heard one of those respiratory explosions he'd nod appreciatively, hand me a lit Silk Cut, and say "Good on ya, mate."

I called (well, e-mailed) off of work this morning at Lyssa's urging and got myself to Inova Urgent Care, a place where they have my paperwork on file, recognize my bedraggled ass on sight, and keep the heater in the waiting room turned up to eighty just for me. In truth I got there fifteen minutes before it opened, walked to Starbucks to get myself some coffee and a breakfast sandwich, walked back, signed in, and read the copy of Learning Python that I picked up last weekend until a nurse came to get me. After the usual battery of tests from both nurse and physician, it was determined that I have a mild case of bronchitis - not nearly as bad as last February, but enough to take the wind out of my sails. I walked out of the office with prescriptions for azithromycin and what wound up being a daytime/night-time combo pack of decongestants to help break up whatever it is inside my lungs. It took two trips to two different CVS pharmacies because the one closer to Urgent Care didn't have one of the prescriptions, so I had to drive down to the on-ramp to the Beltway near my apartment complex to get the other scrip handed over.

In the intervening time between then and getting the rest of my medication, Lyssa and I went to lunch at P.F. Chang's with Hasufin, who happened to be working from home today. Because all of us had been running around at Mika's birthday party last Saturday we didn't have a whole lot of time to talk to each other, and spent a leisurely hour catching up on the latest events of our lives. Afterward, on the way back to CVS, I discovered that the Bank of America won't let you get cash back from a deposit unless you're the person whose name is on the bank account, even if they happen to share your surname. A curiously busy day when I should have been sitting on my ass, to be sure.

I don't have a whole lot else to say at the moment because life's been work and more work, save this: remember a certain XKCD strip from last year? It's less of a gag than I thought.