Drink Me

NyQuil Cocktail
(Photo credit: trekkyandy)

I had a terrible cold this past week. My head felt like it was stuffed up with goopy wet cement.  I tried hot tea, chicken noodle soup, the humidifier, a neti pot; nothing worked. If you’ve never actually filled your humidifier and/or neti pot with soup before, here’s a little tip: Don’t.

After a few days of slogging around like a zombie, feeling like I was breathing underwater through a tiny straw, I decided to break out those magical red and green pills of liquid gold: NyQuil and DayQuil. I rarely use them, but I just wanted a few hours of relief. A little background: I am one of those people who can’t take many over-the-counter medications. Even one Advil puts me into an instant stupor. For me, downing one shot of Nyquil is the equivalent of being pumped up with a truckload of morphine.

I cleverly made sure I only took one pill the other night. Just one. My husband was home, ready to watch the kids, and I was ready to remember what it feels like to have at least one nostril free and clear. After attempting to open the packaging for over 10 minutes using scissors, a steak knife and a few well-chosen expletives, I popped that pill with a wild look in my eyes. Then a strange thing happened; suddenly I was floating on a pink cloud, stars and rainbows streaking by me as I drifted heavenward riding a wave of lollipops, in a gentle shower of butterflies. Yeah, it felt good. I could breathe again! I was stoned, but hey, I could breathe.

Unfortunately, when one is in this state of NyQuildom, things can get out of control rather quickly.

You will agree to anything.

“Hey, Mom!” my son ran into the room. “Can we throw a ball around inside?”


“Can we throw it out the window?”


“Can we also throw around a few soup cans and some of grandma’s fancy teacups from the china closet?”


“Can I run around the house outside in my underwear while throwing the soup cans and teacups?”


Later on, my husband wandered into the living room, where I was still parked on the couch, covered in a blanket of tissues, busy drooling and staring at nothing.

“Hey, honey?”

“Uga bugga huh?” I slurred. “Gakka lakka?”

“Can I watch TV?”


“Can I watch LA Ink?”


“Can I get a tattoo?”


“With your name on my butt?”


“In Chinese?”


“And you can get one with my face on your butt? And the words ‘Everyday I’m Shuffling’ in Chinese?”

“Huh?…yeah, sure! Love tattoos! They’s good. They’s real goooooood…zubba bub zzzz…” (I think I fell asleep at this point. Or quite possibly I was asleep the entire day and hallucinated my entire family and the above conversations.)

“Mommy! Mommy! Wake up!” My daughter was tugging at my pink cloud and I started plummeting back down to earth, the rainbow-colored unicorns waving at me in slow motion as they faded away.

“Huh? Who? Wha?” I sat up and was buried in a tissue avalanche.

“Can Daddy start my bath for me?”


“Can I bring all my Barbies in there?”


“Can I bring Daddy’s shaving cream? Oh–and my books? And some markers? And my pillow? And some chocolate syrup and a box of cookies, y’know, in case I get hungry?”


“Can I use dish soap for bubbles?”


“Can I go in there with all my clothes still on?”


“Instead of water, can I put lots of toilet paper in there instead?”



“Huzza? Wha? Huh? Oh, yeah. Go ask Daddy to start your bath for you, okay? Mommy’s resting now.”

“Bath? Mom, it’s morning, you’ve been asleep more than a day.”

“Huh. That’s a bummer. Why is it every time I breathe I get the faintest smell of chicken soup? And why are you covered in chocolate syrup and toilet paper?”

81 thoughts on “Drink Me

    1. My husband always laughs at me when I tell him all I need is one tylenol and I’m knocked out. If I want to sleep like I’m dead for 12 hours? Just one benedryl. And I’ll wake up the next day STILL groggy and out of it for the rest of the day.

      1. This would explain why I would never be one. I think my heart would stop with just one puff of a candy cigarette or a funky cigar.

        I’ve had a few surgeries where I almost didn’t come out of the anesthesia. It’s pretty scary!

  1. I react badly to cough syrup as well… I once scared my roommates in university when I announced that I couldn’t feel my arms about half an hour after taking a dose of benilyn.

  2. Total light weight here, too. I’m a guaranteed good time when I’m on Benadryl. I really hate that “out of it” feeling. My husband would tell you it’s because I’m too much of a control freak. I would tell you he’s right.
    Hope you’re feeling better very soon!

  3. Hi,
    I hope you are feeling a lot better.
    I try to stay away from any sort of medication if I can, my body/brain also is a bit strange with some medications. At least you got some good sleep and some weird dreams to go with it all. 😀

    1. I am feeling back to my old self today, Mags (thank god) I think I should just never take any cold medicine every again as long as I live and I’ll be just fine. (I did actually dream this entire post, none of it actually happened and for that I am thankful)

  4. I hope the tea cups are safe. I would love to see pictures of the race around the house. I hate that recovery always includes cleaning up the house.

    I take pain medication (tylenol or motrin) at night before I go to bed. I am not as bad as you, I have never been on a pink cloud. Almost sounds nice.

    1. I am VERY grateful for my level-headed (and healthy) husband, who was there to take up the slack. So no teacups were destroyed in the making of this post.

      The pink cloud was only nice for about three seconds. Then I just felt like a zombie. Not a good feeling at all.

      1. I have recovered/caught up from the FP — whew! The number of hits was pretty daunting — I will certainly never hit that level again without promising to pay folks to hit the “like” button.

        Glad you’re feeling better.

      2. I noticed you were filed under ‘technology’. My last FP, so was I! For months I was worried tech-savvy people were coming to my blog only to be severely disappointed. Why is it WP refused to put me down as ‘humor’? Are they trying to tell me something?

        1. Naw, they’re just trying to help the geeks learn how to laugh. Or perhaps they ARE trying to tell you something, that your humour is QUITE sophisticated, and thus requires great intelligence to appreciate? (In which case, how the heck did a pinhead like me end up here? 😉 )

  5. R

    I know it’s not very nice but I’ve been fighting a wicked cold and it’s good to know I’m not out there alone. I too broke down and took Nyquil (which I almost never do because it turns me into a drooling blob of stupid.) Hope you feel better.

  6. John Erickson

    I gotta stay away from Nyquil. That, combined with the Vicodin I take for my migraines, would kill off the last two brain cells I have. And considering at least one of ’em are on life support, I gotta be REALLY careful! 😉
    Glad to hear you’re doing better. Welcome back!

  7. I feel guilty laughing, and hope you’re 100% now, but this post is hilarious. Last time I took Nyquil, I woke up in the middle of the night clutching my nightstand lamp to my chest. Note that it was a BIG Ginger Jar lamp.

  8. Lost in a world of drugs and a fever, I envisioned a racoon scurrying in our attic. Turns out, it was just the flag we have hanging outside our bedroom window.
    I am glad you are feeling better, and I am glad the drugs have worn off. Rest assured, while you were ‘down’, you were still cranking out awesome stuff here, Darla!

    1. What did you do when you saw the raccoon? Scream like a maniac and run around in circles? I would have fainted. But I suppose the Nyquil gives you a false sense of calm so maybe I would have made friends with the raccoon instead.

  9. I love your humor. And I can identify with the Nyquil. In fact, while friends brought along prescription strength sleep aids for red eye flights, I only popped out the Nyquil. Now with the liquids prohibited, I try to find some kind of nighttime tylenol. I definitely don’t need ambian or any of those things. Glad you are feeling better.

    1. I used to take Dramamine on long flights (well any flight) and that is even worse than nyquil. It would take days for me to recover from it.

      Ambian scares me. I would probably end up naked with only a cape on top of a building yelling to people below that I can fly.

      1. Though I try to be humourous, this is dead serious – stay away from that Ambien crap! I was on it for a whole 4 days, and ended up taking our station wagon for a half-hour “test drive” – with absolutely NO memory of it. The wife says I just shuffled past like a zombie, grunted, took the keys, and took off.
        Avoid it like the plague! Better to get drunk off your butt then that stuff!

  10. A toilet paper bath sounds like something my kids would concoct. Now I’m terrified they’ll read my thought waves and try it tomorrow.

    Poor Darla! I, too, have had a horrible cold the past week and have been avoiding taking a NyQuil trip. You make it sound fun though. I currently have an ear infection (adults get those?), my nose is stopped up, and I can barely hear out of one ear. Oh, wait. I’m getting really old and assume now that when a friend tells me about her health woes, I’m supposed to follow with telling mine until we maintain a two-hour dialog of this that ends in me discussing my bowel movements. I better go now (to another blog…not to the bathroom).

    1. The toilet paper thing is rooted in reality. When my daughter was four, she actually did put an entire roll of it in the tub…all of it shredded in tiny pieces of course. My husband was ‘watching’ her at the time so I completely blame him.

      Sorry you’re sick too. Avoid nyquil at all costs. Oh, yeah, I know about the ear infections. I had one once a few years back (with bronchitis) and the antibiotics helped but I still had that muffled underwater hearing forever.

      Along with my cold, my back is killing me. And all of my joints ache. And my IBS is acting up again. And sometimes, if I turn my head real fast, I get that awful painful crick in my neck, do you ever get that? Hurts like the dickens. Is it getting cold in here? Can someone turn up the heat?

      1. You think you’ve got pain? You should BE so lucky you’re not me with the pain from the sciatica And you know when you gotta go to the bathroom, but nothing’s coming out and then, WHOOSh! And it’s green? Do you think I should call my proctologist on this one? I got him on speed dial.

        And don’t even get me started on my kids. They never call, for some reason….

        Darliciousness, you pass along more bloggy nuggets of humorous gold stoned on over-the-counter drugs than most of us can manage fully sober. I hate you.

      2. Oh, my Pegolego! You are way too kind, don’t hate me, because I’m still somewhat stoned on cold meds. Trust me, once this crap wears off and reality sets in, I’ll be back to my old not-funny-to-anyone-else-but-me self in no time.

        I don’t have the proctologist on speed dial…but I do have my podiatrist. So that’s something, right? And I basically have various aches and pains every damn day now and I’m only in my early 40s–I haven’t had a colonoscopy yet but I’ve had a mammogram…aren’t those a hoot and a half?

  11. Gah! I just got back from the doctor’s office (having suffered from the Dry Cough of Death for the past week myself), and he ‘prescribed’ me over the counter cough syrup. I hate taking medicine, and now you have me afraid for the last shreds of my sanity. If you don’t hear from me within 48 hours, please send help to the lake on Vancouver Island.

    PS: This post was HILARIOUS! Nothing like an out-of-body experience to jolt you out of writer’s block. 🙂

    1. Dana, try honey. I swear it helps! Just a tablespoon before bed and it helps the cough. Geez, my blog is turning into an advice column for the sick now. Gotta start somewhere with this writer’s block. Hope you feel better soon.

    1. And why don’t they make drugs that give visions of Matt Damon or Johnny Depp instead of unicorns or my favorite nightmare…lost my car in the parking lot again?

      1. Ha! Yeah, why is it I never get visions of Ryan Gosling when I’m on these trips?

        And your lost car in the parking lot nightmare is my daily reality. Once I went up and down the lot with a full shopping cart and my daughter in tow for over 15 minutes looking for my car. At one point I thought someone MUST have stolen it. But no, it was just a case of more of my brain cells dying.

    1. Ha! yes, that is true. I’m a lightweight with alcohol as well. I remember once drinking a beer with my brothers and they couldn’t get over the fact that I couldn’t make it past half a bottle–went straight to my head. This is why I avoid alcohol now, I am much too old to handle even a few sips of wine. It’s really sad. You enjoy your youth though, Jules–you lucky lucky woman! 😉

  12. Snoring Dog Studio

    So funny! Oh, my you are the master of dialogue! NyQuil and DayQuil are the last resort for me, too, when I’ve sat propped up in bed each night trying to filter some molecules of O2 through narrow passageways. But they work. Wow. They work. Who cares if I’m a zombie the next day?

  13. Totally can relate — I’m a loopy lightweight, too. I managed 1/2 of 1 (of the 2) nightime-stuffy-sneezy-why is the room spinning-meds and operated in slow mo the next day. And I slept in one spot that night, a sweaty, feverish mess dreaming of dragons, lizards and fire. But – I did sleep.

    Fantastic post; hope you’re feeling better now!!

  14. Deborah the Closet Monster

    Hahahaha! I end my couple of hours of blissful blog catch-up laughing my butt off much to the discomfort of my fellow cafe-goers! I don’t mind the weird stares. They’d be laughing, too, if they’d just read this. The LA Ink bit especially. 😉

    1. Deb, I am happy I made you laugh. The LA Ink thing is actually a real conversation I’ve had with my husband, many times (completely sober and NyQuil-free). At this point, neither of us has been brave enough to actually get a tattoo–it’s all talk.

  15. I once spent an entire week on vacation in Florida in a nasty motel all liquored up on Nyquil. I do not remember a single thing about the week. My husband took the kids and did something, I guess – I laid around in a drunken stupor – I thought I was having nightmares about cockroaches only to learn that there were, indeed, palmetto bugs all over the place.
    I have a magic concoction prescribed by my doc for a bad cough – I call it liquid gold…it costs $120 a bottle (thank goodness for insurance) and knocks me (and the cough) out for days.

    1. Oh, God, during vacation? That is the worst. You may have actually seen a cockroach down there. I lived in Orlando as a kid and I remember they were common (shivers)

      I was sick at Disney about 12 years ago and still managed to go on the Tower of Terror battling a bad cold/sinus infection and hyped up on Sudafed. Really added that extra bit of terror.

  16. singleworkingmomswm

    Oh, My Gosh, Maineiac! I’m giving you the LOL Award…if you don’t already have it…and if you do…I’m giving it to you AGAIN! Ha! I want some rainbows and lollipops, too, if just for a day. I can’t take any meds with any traces of alcohol or anything that I’d consider-mind altering. Thus, I suffer, sick or not…I suffer. It can be such a bummer. 😉 Anyhow, I’ll be posting about your award tomorrow. Check it out-You are #1 on my list!-SWM

    1. I think next time I’m sick I will just suffer as well. After the nyquil incident, the next day I just put my head over a bowl of boiling hot water to breathe and it worked.

      And thank you for the LOL Award!! I love that idea. Much better than the LOTI* Award I got last year. I’ll have to go check it out…

      *Laughing On The Inside

  17. I’ve been there! Hahaha! I was sick this week and went on a heavy duty Amoxiccillin on top of Mucinex. I saw that my friends needed an extra tennis player and jumped on the opportunity. An hour later I found myself on the court with no idea how I got there….

    1. Did you win? I certainly hope you didn’t get hurt or trip over the net. (that stuff happens to me when I play tennis completely sober)

      Mucinex is good stuff, I have some of that in the cabinet somewhere…Hope you’re feeling better now and congrats on the Greatsby contest win! I barely pulled in one vote!

      1. My partner and I got killed! Hahaha! It was just for fun and not a tournament or anything. Luckily I survived without any major injury other than bruised pride…
        I hope you are feeling better too.
        Oh thanks! Yours was a great caption too! The new photo is a hard one.
        Love your site! I can relate to your sense of humor.

  18. I could picture this clearly because I’m not a medicine taker either. Just. The whiff of NyQuil is enough to zonk me out. Hope you’re feeling better. By the way, if you’ve never tried those nose strips you put on your nose to keep your nostrils open, you should. They really help. You just have to put them on right before you turn the lights out to go to bed and make your husband promise not to look at you the next morning until you have time to pull the blasted thing off.

    1. How did I miss this comment?I know I responded to you, Susan. I have this new-fangled tablet thingy and I am typing up responses in it only to have them not go through ordisappear later. It’s very frustrating.

      I will try those nose strips next time. Anything but Nyquil. My husband has used the strips once before for his snoring and I remember they helped, he just got sick of having them stuck to his face night after night.

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