I woke up Friday morning and immediately knew that I wasn’t feeling better. Mainly because my throat was on fire with the intensity of a thousand suns.
As I walked into the kitchen, P asked me if I felt any better. I told him no and he said, “Then you need to go to the doctor.” Because, essentially, if I’m going to continue to complain about not feeling well, I need a note from a physician.
I really didn’t want to go to the doctor because I hate waiting in waiting rooms that are just giant petri dishes full of germ cocktails and so I decided I’d wait to see how I felt later in the day. Plus I was already scheduled to speak to a MOPs group in town and knew I was going to power through because I didn’t want to call in sick at the last minute.
It was while I was speaking to the MOPs group that I knew without a doubt I needed to go see a doctor because I don’t mean to be overly dramatic, but I was clearly about to die. And so I left MOPs and drove straight to the neighborhood medical clinic where I was overjoyed to see there was only one person in line in front of me.
Five minutes later, a doctor was looking at my throat and declared that I most definitely had strep. And then my throat burst into flames and I passed out cold. Not really. But I felt like that scenario could play out at any time.
I dropped off my prescriptions at the pharmacy and headed home to get in my pajamas. Caroline was already scheduled to go home with a friend after school, P was at the ranch for the evening and Gulley offered to pick up my medicine for me so I wouldn’t have to leave the house again. And so I did the only thing a person can really do when they feel terrible and are in pajamas by 2 p.m., I watched so many old episodes of Friday Night Lights that I began to wonder if Smash Williams made it to the NFL.
By the time Caroline and P got home later that night, I was fully concerned about Coach and Tami Taylor in Philadephia and how that whole thing is working out and decided it was perhaps time to both check back into reality and go to bed.
On Saturday morning I woke up and thought for a while that I felt a lot better. We went to Caroline’s basketball game, but by the time we got home my throat had really started to hurt again. So we spent the rest of the day just hanging out. Caroline and I watched The Mask of Zorro later that evening and I could tell that my congestion was dropping into my chest. Mainly because I started to hack and talk in the unmistakable voice of Hazel.
(In case you’re new here, Hazel is an eighty-something year old woman who lives inside me and comes out about twice a year when I have a bad cold and cough and wheeze and speak in a voice about fourteen octaves lower than usual.)
(It’s very attractive.)
Fortunately, the doctor had given me a prescription for cough medicine the day before. It was a different brand of cough medicine than I usually get (Yes, I have a preferred brand of cough syrup. I was a drug rep for eleven years and, thus, am a pharmaceutical snob.) but it appeared to have the same ingredients so I went with it.
I took the prescribed one teaspoon right before bed and then curled up and waited for cough relief and sleep to come. I felt myself start to drift off and then, all of a sudden, my brain decided to be wide awake. And by wide awake, I mean I was averaging about 478 thoughts per second. Yet I was relaxed enough that I didn’t really care.
I even grabbed my iPhone and began typing in notes about possible writing topics and various memories that came to mind. At one point I concocted an idea for an entire series of children’s books featuring a squirrel named Sitka who has a peanut allergy and decides to take up fishing and makes himself a teeny tiny fishing pole.
This is disturbing for two reasons:
1. Squirrels, to the best of my knowledge, aren’t carnivorous. And if they decide to be, we might be in trouble because there are a lot of them roaming our neighborhoods.
2. I was obviously having some sort of adverse reaction to the cough medicine.
I can confirm the second thing to be true because when I looked at my iPhone notes on Sunday morning, they essentially looked like this:
Assumption. Sitka. Peanuts.
Trees. Reading. Tears for Fears.
And alkdgjiaojstl bjsljf oasdfol.
Please let me know if you can make sense of any of this.
When I woke up on Sunday morning after barely sleeping for all the entirely lucid note-taking I was doing throughout the night, I immediately googled the name of my cough medicine because I felt that something was amiss. Sure enough, it turns out that it contains pseudoephedrine which is Sudafed.
Here’s what you need to know. I am highly sensitive to Sudafed. Like the package says you can take 2-4 at a time. You know how many I can take? One. And even then I have to take it early in the day or it will keep me up for three days.
So essentially that new cough medicine was like some sort of speed cocktail with a side of crazy because it also contained an antihistamine and hydrocodone. Which explains why I was very busy taking all the notes and thinking all the thoughts, but at the same time very tranquil about the whole thing. Like if someone had asked me how I was doing I would have replied, “I’m goooooooooood”. And drawing out the word “good” like that is a sure sign you probably aren’t.
Needless to say, I’ll be calling the doctor tomorrow to get a new prescription and, in the meantime, I am sounding more like Hazel by the minute. Which is probably why I have a strong urge to go sit on my front porch and yell at people to get off my lawn.
Unless, perhaps, it’s a poor squirrel named Sitka who’s allergic to peanuts and just looking for a place to fish.