Do Not Take If You Get Nervous, Dizzy or Sleepless.

I have a really awful cough.

It’s a really awful contagious cough, because Lily had it first, and now I have it. But it’s worse for me, because I have given birth four times (once things went very badly), and when I cough… well, let’s just say I really don’t like to cough.

Every night for the past couple of nights, I’ve been taking this Mucinex stuff to loosen things up, with a cough suppressant too, so I don’t wake myself up coughing, and it’s worked rather well. During the day I just take the one with the loosening stuff. That’s called Expectorant.

THursday morning, because I only had 2 hours and 45 minutes between camp drop off and pick up, I decided to work in the college library. But the cough was awful. Loud, barking, constant, and I couldn’t get my breath. I’m afraid that if I don’t cough deeply enough, I’ll end up with pneumonia, but if I do cough deeply, there’s that other problem, too. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t really do anything but cough.

So I decided to walk down to the CVS, which I did. I didn’t have much time, and I had a lot of work to do, so I rushed in, hit the aisle labeled “cough and cold” and grabbed the first double-named Mucinex I saw, aiming for the Expectorant and Cough Suppressant.

But you couldn’t just BUY the stuff I grabbed, you had to take a card to the pharmacy and sign your life away to get it. This should have been a clue that something was up, but I was doubled over and coughing with my eyes watering while frantically doing Kegels, so I wasn’t paying very close attention.

The pill was bigger than the one I’d taken the night before, but I figured they’d just made it better or something.

My cough did get better. I started getting stuff up, which let me relax between coughs. Got some work done, grabbed a refill on the iced coffee and went to pick up Rory and Wyatt. I was feeling a little weird, but then, I was on my second really really large iced coffee, and I hadn’t eaten much, just a piece of toast.

We got sandwiches and went to the pool, and I sat, feeling jittery and cursing the coffee. Really jittery. Really really jittery. Something was up.

Then I noticed this weird looking guy sitting alone in the corner, humming, with a backpack and a bike helmet, and I concluded that he was making me nervous.

So nervous that I got our bags and put them back in the car, although I left the kids in the pool, and then I went back and I sat right on the edge of the pool and I STARED at that weird guy. Several people commented on my alert pool vigilance, but thought I was just making sure my kids didn’t drown (kids who can swim, in a nearly empty pool with multiple lifeguards). I didn’t want to set the crazy guy off, so I agreed. While I sat there, I shoved about half of my sandwich in my mouth and ate it without tasting it.

After a while I couldn’t take it any more. He looked like this friend of mine who likes to drive around the country with guns in the car. Probably, I decided, this guy had a gun in his backpack! He was going to go crazy and blast the whole pool!

I offered to buy Rory and Wyatt any snack they wanted if they got out of the pool.

THey did, and we went to the snack bar, which is all the way out of the pool and around the side, and then I made them come sit in the grass so far from the pool and into the rest of the recreation area (there’s a pond and campsites) that we could not even see into the pool area anymore.

After a while I saw the scary guy leave, and I let them go back in the pool. But I still felt so jumpy! I tapped my feet and wiggled and fidgeted until it was time to pick up Sam and Lily. Picked them up, took everyone for gelato and jiggled and wiggled and fidgeted and coughed there. “I’ve had way too much coffee today,” I told the friend we were with, who was trying an affrogato (gelato and espresso).

And then we got in the car and I drove home, still feeling frantic and fighting the urge to speed like crazy down the road. But forced driving stillness gave me a little time to think. I really hadn’t had any more coffee than I usually have. And I had eaten. Toast, plus the substantial half sandwich. It’s more than I usually eat midday. Something else was up. I’d been kind of considering the medicine all day, but I’d disregarded it, because after all, I’ve been taking this stuff at night for two or three nights now.

Still, when we got home, I took out the box and looked at it more closely.

I bought Expectorant and Nasal Decongestant. Pseudophedrine. Which I never, ever take, because pseudophedrine makes me jumpy. And not just a LITTLE pseudophedrine, either. 120 mg of the stuff. It was like being hit by a pseudophedrine mack truck. And right there, on the box: Stop use if you get nervous, dizzy or sleepless. Possible side effects include nervousness and anxiety.

I’m just glad I at least looked at the box to see how many pills to take, because with the other stuff, you can take two (that’s also why I thought the pill was bigger). If I had taken two of these, you would be scraping me off the ceiling.

I am totally throwing this stuff away. Although maybe I could break the tablet in half and use it when I need a buzz…No. No, no and no.

2 Responses to “Do Not Take If You Get Nervous, Dizzy or Sleepless.”

  1. Freaky. And I’ve only birthed one child and I still can’t cough without serious repercussions.

  2. Sarah Kate says:

    Dude, send it to me in OZ. It’s the only thing that clears my sinuses. But we can’t get it anymore because of speed cookers. Well the only thing short of speed, ironically, but I’m
    Not going there. If only our government understood irony.