Saturday, October 23, 2010

Don't do drugs, kids.

A few days ago I had the misfortune of coming down with a slight head cold. It began with all of the usual symptoms: slightly sore throat, slightly achy body, and an unshakable desire for sleep. All sleep, all the time. It was the only thing I could think about for days. 

Unfortunately, I somehow managed to use up all of my sick days earlier in the year... which left me in sort of a quandary. I had to be at the office. I also had to sleep. So, I devised a sort of makeshift, get-well-soon routine. Every day I could last week, I came home from work, drank two glasses of OJ, went to bed at 5:30 p.m., woke up at 7 a.m., drank two more glasses of OJ, then left for more work where copious amounts of herbal tea and cough drops were consumed. 

My routine seemed to be working alright, or as well as could be expected under the circumstances, until yesterday. 

Thursday night I made a fatal mistake. I swung by the pharmacy and purchased Tylenol multi-symptom cough syrup. This was the first introduction of meds into my regiment. I normally eschew all forms of unnatural treatment. I figure, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger and, if I'm going to continue to live in NYC and take the subway to work every day, my body has to be able to handle a few germs--I need to build up all the antibodies I can.

But Thursday I had reached the end of my rope. I needed to feel better, if only to remember, for the four hours the cough syrup took effect, how it felt to be well again!

I took the medicine before I went to bed and woke up on Friday feeling a little light-headed, but much better. I should have stopped while ahead. Instead, I took two more tablespoons before heading to the office.

Uh oh.

I'm not sure when it first hit me. I think it could have been on the subway to work. Or perhaps it was in the middle of my 9 a.m. meeting. The memory of the realization is fuzzy at best, but, I do remember realizing, in a half-panicked haze, that I felt exhausted all of a sudden and that the cough syrup I'd purchased was almost certainly not non-drowsy, and that I was an idiot and this was going to be the longest of days.

For most of yesterday I was little better than a zombie in front of a computer. Well, perhaps I was much better than a zombie at a computer because, if I had been a zombie, I probably would have destroyed the computer seconds before devouring the brains of all of my neighboring cubicle-mates, which would have created all sorts of problems for our IT and HR departments, and been a general distraction and inconvenience to workers in the surrounding area. But, you get the point.

I sat there, desperately trying to work, and, even more desperately, trying not to fall asleep. Loopy does not even begin to describe my state of mind. The place I was in was a special mix of delirium and purple haze. 

When the day finally ended and I somehow made it back on the subway and back to my apartment, I fell asleep around 6 p.m. and only woke up this morning at 8. 

Feeling much better, might I add! Although I don't think my cough syrup had as much to do with that as the 14 hours of sleep last night.

The moral of this story is in 3 parts: 1) Don't use up all of your sick days in the beginning of the year, 2) Always read warning labels on medicine bottles, and 3) If/when encountering a zombie coworker, throw a computer at him. It will busy him the amount of time it will take you to escape, brain undevoured and intact.

1 comment:

  1. Props to your ability to survive a meeting while under the influence of cough medicine. I bet it was one of those awful meetings where all the lights are off so everyone can see the PPT on the projector.