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.
“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?”
“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?”