Ivan Musoke

Another sick note…

So I had a cough and cold the other day… well to be perfectly honest it was over a series of days. I don’t know where this stuff comes from, but when it arrives it puts me down so bad. I can’t do a thing in that state. Except wallow.

I do a lot of wallowing at this point and then the hypochondria kicks in. I figure I have one of three thousand diseases or their close relatives and I have a sense of dread so bad.

It’s usually around this time that I go to the pharmacy and then ask them to hook me up.

Given the ridiculous number of times I’ve been to the pharmacy (and repeat viewings of House), I have a knack for prescribing my own drugs.

Simple process, really; walk over to the counter and be as generic as possible while trying to sound bright, thus;

“Hi, I have a nasty cold and a mature cough, the one they call the ROCKETS. I would like some ANTIBIOTICS . . . and something to get rid of the flu, some Painkillers …oh yeah, and some Vitamin C.”

Then I stand back looking smug and I wait for the lady at the other side of the counter to dispense said drugs.

Price to get healthy = Ugshs.10,000


This time round things were a little different.

I went to the pharmacy as planned, did my “I know my shit” routine. Then I stood back… then it all went wrong.

The lady behind the counter gave me a look and decided that I stole money from the government and wanted to reclaim it.

She asked me to hold on and came back with a cocktail of drugs…

“Now this one here is Panadol for colds.”

I’m looking at the box with an expression of what the ****?

The packaging DOES say Panadol and it’s got some cute pictures of fruit in the corner… Panadol with fruit? Are you kidding me?? Lemme guess, I can chew it?

Now on the regular, I pay between One to Three Thousand shillings for panadol, so I mentally take that down as Two Thousand off the planned Ten.

“Here you can take this other drug, it is advised that you don’t do anything after you take it, it may make you sleepy”

Riiiight, take that drug and be perfectly still, shouldn’t be above 4,000/=

“Also, you can take this. It is strong, but it works”

I honestly wouldn’t be comfortable taking drugs that are strong and don’t work. So that’s, what, another 4,000/= alrighty. Now for the vitamin C

Turns out a strip of Panadol fruity is 9,500/=. And the No-Action drug is 14,000/=. Then the Kanye West inspired drug is 7,500/=.

I look at the lady and she looks back with a look that suggests she really has no ulterior motive, all she wants is my money. Did I mention that all the while she has been whispering? Anyone looking at me carrying out this transaction would think I was haggling over sex or I’d come in with a weird infection.

Don’t get me wrong, this is way better than the loud lady in the same pharmacy. It’s generally not a good idea to go to her with anything other than a cough.

“What? You have a rash developing WHERE?!”

So anyway, I ask Conspiracy-sistah whether there are any other drugs I can take within my budget. The deflated look she had was kind of like the one you would get if you offered to take your date out to a classy restaurant and ordered water…in a polythene bag. (I know people like this!)

Turns out what I had in mind was in fact way cheaper and I had enough money left over for other worthwhile pursuits…

Then I got malaria.


The thing about malaria is that, well, it messes up my social life a great deal. I can’t hang out, can’t blog, can’t dance. Actually, scratch that, anyone can dance!

So when I went into the pharmacy, I was not in the best of moods.

Me: I need a shot of… I need Duo-Cotecxin

She: You have Malaria?

Me {thinking}: No, I just love looking at the packaging and trying to figure out how they get the pills in.

Me: Yes. I do.

She: Here (hands it over and tells me I take three, three then two over three days)

Me: Thanks, can I take beer with this?

She: What? Hehe.

Me: Seriously, Can I take alcohol?

She:  (Realizing for the first time, that maybe I may not really be a comedian)

Uh, they don’t advise it.

Me: Who are they? And why not?

She: Its reduces the effect

Me: but the effect is still there to a degree, right?

She: uh, it’s not advised

Me: Will I die?

She: Sorry?

Me: Don’t be. What’s the worst thing that can happen?

She: er, they don’t advise…

Me: Okay, is there any medicine I can take while I continue to take  alcohol?

She: NO.





  1. u write best when u write about these things. man, there are few writers who write so well about ‘medicine’ [if am allowed 2 use that word] & if u’ve read ‘journey to the centre of the earth?’then pick the cue and write more about related stuff. u’ll be a billionare, believe me!

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