Thursday, May 10, 2007

Confession: I am the world's biggest lightweight

I'm allergic to California.

California grassWell, I'm allergic to a lot of things in a lot of places, but California is home to some special type of grass which, I believe, was created especially to torture me. Allergy testing has shown that, indeed, I am ridiculously allergic to California grass. California grass decided to bloom on Tuesday.

Holy crap, did that ever suck.

I broke down and took some Benadryl before going to work. Benadryl and I have a very strained relationship. I will not take the stuff unless I absolutely need it, for it gives me a hangover. Thus: I won't resort to Benadryl unless I'm miserable because it makes me miserable in a completely different way.

Yes, folks, I am a diphenhydramine lightweight.

Between 11 am and midnight, I took one and a half adult doses of Benadryl. I took just enough at work to prevent both sneezing and falling asleep during calls; and enough at bedtime to give me the soundest, most excellent sleep I've had in weeks.

But late Wednesday morning I was still having difficulty forming my thoughts into coherent paragraphs. In the middle of the afternoon, I retreated to bed and took a nap. Mrs. Gerbil called during my nappy-nap and asked for a ride home from BART. On the way there I started to wonder if maybe it wasn't a good time to operate a car or other dangerous machinery, as I couldn't focus on anything less than three car lengths ahead. Against what better judgment I should have had, I didn't hand over the keys for the ride home.

By 6pm I was dizzy and ready to go back to bed, but unlike previous instances I decided that perhaps this was not the best course of action. It had been 18 hours since Benadryl last touched my lips, more than 2 of its half-lives, and this wasn't my usual hangover. I called the NurseLine that comes with our health insurance and was advised (a) to call my doctor and (b) not to get back behind the wheel. So I paged the provider on call, who informed me that (a) there should not be any Benadryl left in my system; (b) even if there were, there's no antidote; and (c) I should probably never take Benadryl again.

tiramisuBeing reminded yet again of my eternal lightweight status made me a very sad, and somewhat embarrassed, sleepy little gerbil. So, Mrs. Gerbil took me out for a nice Italian dinner. We discovered tiramisu to be quite an effective antidote. They don't call it "pick-me-up" for nothing!


Midwife with a Knife said...

Hah! I love your story because I hate diphenhydramine with a passion.

The stuff is evil. All sleepy-allowing you to breathe goodness on the front end, but on the back end, nothing but dry mouth, foggy brain and difficulty focusing my eyes.

By the way, didn't your blog use to consist of food review poetry? Or am I more confused than usual.

Gerbil said...

Yes, I used to have a food-review blog, which was publically listed. But Mrs. Gerbil and I had neglected it for some months, and as we doubted we'd work on it any more, we ditched it.

I've had this blog for a long time, but it wasn't publically listed until we killed the food blog. Actually, it started out public; but I went underground for a while after an anonymous sort left an extremely nasty comment. But I think it's much better above ground!

Chip, master of the Ol' Well said...

ug! the stuff gives me night long nosebleeds! In fact, I don't really know anybody who lacks a bad diphenhydramine story. Hey, given the overall impact it has on you, you're probably breaking even if you just drink large amounts of burbon to ease your allergies!

Chip, Sith Lord of the Ol' Well said...

But, hey, at least you have the ego boost of believing that a species of grass spent millions of years evolving just to undermine your quality of life! Unfortunately, it has some narrative drawbacks if you were, say, a superhero. Grass couldn’t cackle manically while plotting your death. Also, the dialogue of your title comic would be lacking a certain amount of kinetic crackle.

Townsperson One: Hey, there goes Nasal Congestion Woman!

Townsperson Two: Really, what does she do?!

Townsperson One: Oh…um…she’s obsessed with bringing a certain species of grass to justice for its many crimes.

Townsperson Two: Huh…well, $%&#, what are we going to do about the levitating, vaguely Sith Lord like supervillans who want to demolish the community center for underprivileged, doe eyed youth to build their palace of unspeakable, nauseating evil?!

Townsperson One: Not a clue, review the zoning ordinance or something.

Lea said...

Oooh, I sympathize with you Gerbil.

I too am allergic to all things in bloom and have a low tolerance for decongestants. Point in case; I am high on Claritin-D now and have only consumed 1/4 of a tablet. I hope to enjoy the psychedelic ride today.

Lea said...

After learning of your experiences with Benadryl, did Josie come to you with a smirk on her face and say "You can't eat that!"?

Josie said...

Actually I am not so much concerned about my mom's eating the little hot pink things as I am about her SLEEPING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. This is of course because I DO NOT GET ANY ATTENTION while she is napping.