Monday, August 5, 2013

The night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so- you-can-rest and abandon all responsibility medicine

The annual summer time cold swept through our home this week. Most of us have come out unscathed. Ivy had a couple restless, runny-nosed nights, then miraculously recovered. Stephen drank a Red Bull and called himself cured. I, however, have turned a mild virus into a severe substance abuse problem.

I'm no stranger to addiction (see: Diet Coke, Pretty Little Liars) so I should have known better than to get back on the NyQuil wagon I've had to work so hard to get off of so many times before. But three hours into a sore throat and I was first in line at the pharmacy, my bottle of beloved blue liquid in hand. That night I happily welcomed the sweet, sleepy, sensation that the drug brings. When I woke up at 2:30 am, I was anxious to  chase that feeling again, so I took another dose. Like most decisions post-midnight, this was a bad one. I'm not a big person. At 5'6 on tip toes and a buck twenty after a large drink of water, 60 ml of NyQuil comes out to a lot of NyQuil per pound/inch. At 8 am, I woke up, threw up, and went back to sleep until Ivy stirred at 10 am. I think  I changed a diaper and got a bottle with my eyes closed, then turned on Sesame Street, plopped Ivy next to me in bed and closed my eyes for just a second until an hour later when the episode ended and Ivy started hitting me out of boredom. It was 11 am and I had to use what felt like every muscle in my body to keep my eyelids from drooping. Deciding a little exercise would cure the cold medicine hangover, I grabbed the stroller, which, let's face it, is practically heavy machinery, and embarked on my second terrible choice in a twelve hour period.

I should probably note that at this point I was lucid enough to look out for my child's safety. I was capable of obeying traffic signals and avoiding eye contact with the scarier vagabonds. But I was in no condition to be in the blaring light of the sun, or to be moving any part of my body. We made it as far as the corner store, where I purchased a large Diet Coke, then headed home where I spent the rest of the day trying to clear the fog from my mind.

Stephen, knowing me and my sick sense of humor all to well, bought me a copy of Crime Times at 7-11. It's nothing more than eight pages of  mugshots captioned with the crime the suspect allegedly committed. There I sat on my high horse, judging these haggard, squinty-eyed, nasty-haired criminals, until I spotted this:

and it hit me that I'm no better than Richard, here. Was I drunk? Technically no. Should I have been out in public? Absolutely not. We're all just one NyQuil shot away from Crime Times. 

I wish this story ended with me swearing off the drug forever. Instead it ends with me having taken it every night for the past week and sleeping through church on Sunday morning. But I promise to never double dose again.

*I feel like I should acknowledge that there are people who actually suffer from substance abuse, and I hope that this in no way makes light of their pain. I also feel like that I should make it very clear that Ivy was perfectly safe through this entire fiasco. Please don't call the authorities. 

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