Monthly Archives: January 2013

another down day

I am just beat today. It’s my second day without antibiotics, so clearly they made a big difference in how good I feel. I do have a doctor’s appointment today. I really have to remind myself that I must take it easy. When you finally start to feel like normal, it’s easy to overdo.

It is so very nice to have a sink that drains, a working icemaker on the fridge and clean dishes. It really is sad when one looks forward to doing housework again!


I just might be starting to heal. I’m coughing much less. I can do some physical work and not lose my breath. I finished the antibiotics today. I’ll see my doctor on Tuesday.

I’ve become interested in the 1000 Gifts book by Ann Voskamp. Her website is I like her writing and I like the idea of saying “thank you” for all those small moments in your life. I had several moments when I was not kind to Lon, while I was sick. So I am looking for a way to smooth my life back out.

Smoking mullein

I’m trying to post more frequently, so there may be more odd ball postings like this.

There was a period, when I was at my sickest, that I was desperate to do something to breathe easier. I happened to remember that mullein was used in herbal “cigarettes”, created for asthma sufferers. We managed to buy some mullein and I’ve been smoking it off and on ever since. It seems counter intuitive, to smoke something when you are having lung issues. It really does seem to help, more than the albuterol inhaler that I’ve been using. (Lon of course gives me a bad time about looking like a pot smoker.)

Mullein seems to be a very mild, tasteless smoke. Some posts online have said it’s harsh, but the herb I have doesn’t seem to be. It seems to help with a productive cough and I typically stop coughing after I’ve smoked some of it. I’ve also read posters talk about a “high”. I would not call it a high, but it does seem to give “a feeling of well being” for lack of a better description.

Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia article on common mullein:

Dioscorides first recommended the plant 2000 years ago, against pulmonary diseases,[66] and this has remained one of its primary uses, especially against cough. Leaf decoctions or herbal teas were used for expectoration, consumption, dry cough, bronchitis, sore throat and hemorrhoids. Leaves were also smoked against pulmonary ailments, a tradition that in America was rapidly transmitted to Native American peoples.[27][67] They used the non-indigenous plant to make syrups against croup. The combination of expectorant saponins and emollient mucilage makes the plant particularly effective for cough. All preparations meant to be drunk have to be finely filtered to eliminate the irritating hairs.[48]

Mullein is a very common herb. In fact, we drove to the river after we’d bought this and I noticed a place next to the raised garden bed! This summer, I’m going to start gathering my own. The flowers can be steeped in oil and used for earaches.

I’m not an herbalist or a doctor of course, and I did also see a medical doctor about my condition. However, I really haven’t discussed mullein with my doctors, although I might talk to my regular GP about it. He’s an old school doctor and I don’t think he’d dismiss this out of hand. Anyway, take the knowledge for what you will.

Not a lot of news….

Still trying to get over whatever this stuff is. We’re also trying to get back on track with the Paleo diet. We really didn’t go too far off it over the holidays, but I’m just not in that groove. And I haven’t been eating much and definitely haven’t felt like cooking. I ordered Paleo Comfort Foods, which is a nice cookbook. I’m going to start working my way through it and find some recipes to add to the ones from Well Fed. We did go off the diet tonight as we were both craving Mexican food. I have some tortilla recipes that I haven’t tried yet, but I haven’t yet put together a good pseudo-Mexican meal, Paleo style. I must say that the beans and rice hit the spot.

Quinn is having some unpleasantness in his life right now. I hope he can move past this one and really grow up. He’s got a good heart, but he doesn’t always follow it.

All the kittehs, doggie and birdies are doing fine. And I’ve been spinning and knitting. All I need to make life complete is to stop coughing.

As it turns out….

It is not an upper respiratory infection. It seems to be whooping cough. I went to my regular doctor, who was concerned that I continued to have coughing spasms after 8 weeks. I’m now on antibiotics with more codeine cough syrup. (Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections but whooping cough is bacterial.) I also need to go in and have a chest x-ray to rule out any pneumonia. I’ve been sick where I coughed for several months, but this truly is about the sickest I’ve ever been. I would encourage adults to get vaccinated for whooping cough. I can understand why it would be so deadly to young children.

Since I have not been able to do much more than work, the house is a mess. I did take down the Christmas tree. It was still pretty fresh, so I think we’ll go with fresh cut trees from now on. And I tackled cutting Lon’s hair. He’s been after me to cut it. Now, I do not cut hair. I’m bad at it. Jeffrey just let his grow long. I’ve tried to talk Lon into getting a hair cut but he never gets around to it. So I took a stab at it today, until I started to feel sick again. When I left to go back to work, he was starting to hack at it. It could be scary out there!

And now a Happy New Year!


We had a little snow the other day. It was sunny today so most of this in the front yard has melted off. I had a few windows opened today. It was nice to smell the clean air. I’ve been sick with an upper respiratory infection for about six weeks now. I even went to the doctors but that didn’t help. I have been smoking mullein this last week. It’s an herb commonly used for asthma. My lungs are much clearer. If I can ever stop coughing, I just might start to heal. The weird thing is that smoking mullein does stop the coughs. I just have to smoke some whenever I get short winded. I have been able to work through most of it. I just didn’t manage much for the holidays