Like most people Iím allergic to fairly normal things Ė pollen, dust, mold, etc. I can live through most of those without much trouble, but mold is the worse of it for me, and when Iím around the stuff I am absolutely miserable without being on heavy antihistamines.
My wifeís parents used to live in Iowa, in a house that was hit by the 500 year flood in the early 90s. The place got cleaned up, but every time I went there Iíd still have trouble breathing, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing.
During our vacation last summer we rented a beautiful house on Marthaís Vineyard. I donít know whether itís because MV is an island, but the place felt constantly most. It rained Sunday, the first night we got there, and there were still pools of water on the deck by the middle of the week. With that much moisture, there is bound to be mold. Even if I couldnít see it, my lungs, eyes, and nose felt it.
So, I started taking these allergy pills the wife had been thoughtful enough to buy and bring with us.
I barely slept at all the first few nights we were there. I donít normally sleep well in strange places, and I thought this was no exception. I spent those first few nights in this sort of constant half wake half sleep state. I imagine everyone has felt this way at some point, usually while drunk or very sick, where you know there were times you were asleep, but still felt like youíd been awake throughout the entire night.
We grilled out on the deck every night. On the third or so night we decided to eat inside because weíd started cooking so late. As we were getting ready to eat I noticed this huge moth fly into the house and around the table. When I say this moth was big, it could easily have been a bird or possibly a small pterodactyl.
I saw it fly in, but then I lost it. I spent the next 10 minutes looking around for this moth.
But I could not find the fucking moth.
Throughout the entire dinner I was agitated and constantly looked around expecting this moth to fly into my mouth at any second. I couldnít concentrate on anything else that was happening. I just sat there looking and waiting for the moth.
I never found the fucking moth.
Dinner ended and we went to bed. Again, I spent the night half awake and half asleep. My wife was asleep next to me and Franny was asleep across the room in a portal crib. At one point I entered what felt like a state of complete wakefulness. The room was completely dark and completely silent except for the sound for wife and baby sleeping. Yet, I was sure that someone, or something, else was in the room.
I knew that if I turned on the light, I would see it. If I made a sound, I would hear it. Yet, I couldnít move and I couldnít speak.
I actually imagined (No, imagine isnít right - at the time I believed it to be absolutely true) some kind of vampire, sitting in the crib with the kid, slowly sucking the life from her. And all I would have needed to do was turn on the light to stop it, and save her, but I couldnít.
I was gripped by this overpowering fear, as much from turning on the light to see whatever it was I knew was in the room, as from turning on the light and seeing nothingness and knowing my brain had worked so hard to convince me of somethingness. I spent what felt like hours, and may well have been, paralyzed by the thought there could be something in the room, and paralyzed by the thought that there could be nothing in the room.
Eventually the sane part of me won out, I convinced myself there was nothing, and drifted off to sleep. I woke up the next morning, Franny was okay and there was no evidence of bogeymen in the bedroom.
I tried to shake off the anxiety of moths and vampires and headed down for breakfast. I told the wife about my night and how I felt I was going crazy. As I was preparing to take my morning dose of allergy medicine I decided, for whatever reason, to actually read the label on the box. My previous allergy medicine had been a six hour dose, and Iíd been taking around the same dose of this stuff.
Well, it turns out these new pills were for a 24 hour dose. Iíd been tripling up on the damn things.
Whatís more, the warning level says the possible side effects are sleeplessness, agitation, and nervousness. Of course, there was also the obligatory mention of the possible interaction with MAOIs (a.k.a. anti-crazy pills).
This was originally written as the second part of a pair of crazy posts, but for whatever reason I never posted it. Since I'm too lazy to write anything today, well, here this is.
by mg at February 28, 2006 8:44 AM
Are you sure the moth wasn't watching you. I saw a movie once about a moth that broke a bridge. I still don't drive on bridges because of that movie.
Always read your medicinal labels, they will help you. I know, I know, "Instructions are for wussies".
by Long Time Lurker at February 28, 2006 10:07 AM
BTW- I have it on good word that "Long Time Lurker" is no other than Linz herself!
by Eviltom at February 28, 2006 7:29 PM
You were the kid with mittens weren't you MG, heh. The mittens with the string that keeps them together - dangling from your sleeves waiting for mom to pop them on. The kind of kid who'd get a cut and go home to get it looked after, rather than roll around in the mud regardless of injuries because, bah, s'just a cut, a graze, a gaping wound... "Lets trash that wasps nest!"
Random kid: "Yeah!"
Random kid's lil Brother: "Hoo AH!"
MG: "Mmm, I should probably be going home now." *waves* - *mitten waggles* - *covers ears with wooly hat and skulks away wondering if trashing the wasps could have been fun*
Or y'know. Perhaps not. :)
by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at March 1, 2006 2:29 AM
Allergy meds overdose! My wife convinced me to take one of those new age-y remedies for all that ails you. And you know, I've taken every drug known to man or beast. I had to give a speech about insurance and I watched the entire thing from the back of the room. Maybe I shouldn't have doubled up.
by anna at March 1, 2006 7:30 AM
Call me a wuss if you want, but this was by far the most altered I've ever been - not necessarily because of the drugs, but because I didn't know it was coming. If you take something, and then think you are teleporting across a room, you can always step back and say "Am I really teleporting, or was it all that hash I just ate?" But if you think a fucking vampire is eating your baby and you have no other explanation than that you are either gowing crazy or that a vampire is actually eating your baby, it thows your shit off a bit.
by mg at March 1, 2006 8:29 AM
Better living through chemistry!!!
I personally love it when I am so drugged that I see into the other dimensions that are all around us.
BTW...I'm not Linz. But I want to be.
by Long Time Lurker at March 1, 2006 10:07 AM
I think they should start putting large orange stickers on allergy meds, but then again I guess it would draw more attention to those making meth from them.
My one and only hallucinogenic experience in life was due to Claritin-D. Man that stuff brings up the red, purple, and blue swirls.
by JPree at March 1, 2006 1:17 PM
Mild Acute Anxiety, and General Obsessive Compulsive DSM IV diagnosis.
Talk to me if you want some tips on alleviating the bad parts of these psychopathologies... the good parts of them, let them ride.
by lockheed at March 1, 2006 2:52 PM
Bah, a braver man would have turned on the light. Twasn't the pills that kept you in a state of Night Terrorishness, twas your own fear. Wuss. ;) Heh. Turning the light on, that's that irrational sense of doing something you feel you should be, even when you're not pilled up to the eyeballs, regardless of how pathetic the action might be. Like splitting up a fighting couple. You know the woman is going to give you as much shit as she was just giving her boyfriend/husband, but you can't stand there watching a female getting thrown about a bit.
Or a couple o' nights ago I went out to check on my car, because I heard some noise. Stupidly going out barefoot, wearing nothing but jogging bottoms. If somebody had been fucking with my car, I wouldn't have been able to chase them very far barefoot, s'like minus two and icy as hell here - I realised that standing half nekkid in the freezing cold street - and I didn't have anything at hand to defend myself if some screwdriver wielding car thief decided to fuck me over. Stoopid.
Meds, peh, the side effects almost always outweigh the relief they might provide. Whether you're taking the right dosage or even the correct tablets. Our kid bought me some Ibuprofen when my nose got busted and pushed back into place, one of the side effects was Facial Swelling, lol. My face was going to swell anyway, but it's just a pain killer, you hurt your wrist, take a couple, wake up the next day looking like a Disney World employee wearing a large carbon fibre character head. I'd sooner stick with the pain, at least you know what kind of movement your body will allow, instead of having it blanked and fucking yourself up more by doing stuff your body is trying to tell you you shouldn't. An allergy, annoying at its very worst, but the side effects of the tablets you'd take for them go on and on , I'd sooner sneeze and rub my eyes into oblivion than risk dodgy bowel movements and facial swelling.
And your end, shit, you can't get anything over the counter that's "not" super strength heh. Like I say, everything your end is Super Size Me.
by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at March 1, 2006 2:53 PM
Thanks for the offer Lock. And hey, believe me when I say that if I ever needed advice on crazy, you'd be the first person I'd go to.
by mg at March 1, 2006 7:00 PM
Wasp's nests! My little brother and his best friend used to blast them with hoses and water guns. But they were terrified of the wasps, so they put on hunting gear head-to-toe, even though it was 90 degrees outside. They'd shoot, screaming like animals, and run away.
by jean at March 1, 2006 9:24 PM
... All day long. I forgot to mention that.
by jean at March 1, 2006 9:25 PM
We did that with hornet's nests. Great fun until they run you down.
by anna at March 2, 2006 7:28 AM
Our main assaults had us carrying cricket bats, one kid had his little sisters lil ironing board toy. S'not bad when there were a few wasps, you cold whack em and they'd just drop to ground, but when they counter attacked it was usually time to rruuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnn hah hah hah hah ARGH! ARGH! Rrruuunnn! Let things cool down, and start raking up mud, and sometimes digging far enough to get clay, that made excellent projectiles.
True to human nature when the wasps were gone we'd turn on each other, using dustbin lids to block incoming mud, clay and 'brick' - madness - projectiles, before throwing those you'd caught in the lid back in the direction they'd come from. Half of the old village was being torn down to make way for new big almost-mansions, so we had free run of a building site, vehicles 'n' all. It wasn't a building site though... it was a battlefield! Gotta remind myself sometimes not to scale a fence to go smash some windows jus' for the hell of it. I'm too old now. :(
by Ex Crimson Guard NCO at March 2, 2006 12:46 PM
That's awesome. It's strange, but none of us were ever stung by a wasp. I don't know why. They had every reason to sting us. I wasn't shooting water at them, but I was a guilty bystander.
Childhood can be so anarchic. I remember that friend had his teenage growth spurt. He always had a high metabolism, but suddenly he would eat everything in sight. After doing the wasp thing, he said "I'm hungry, let's eat," and then ate an entire pound cake by himself.
I don't have many good stories of my own. I was introverted then.
by jean at March 4, 2006 10:28 PM