It was two weeks ago Friday, as I was watching the Maury show--the one about the guy who was baby-daddy to six different women at the same time--that I realized something was wrong with me. Two judge shows later, some Jamba juice and a long, relaxing foot massage with that nifty shiatsu thing my kid got me for Christmas and I knew something was wrong with me.
Late February, I was hit with an IRS typo. I always do my taxes manually, and even though I filed correctly, back in 2008, data entry entered my husband's date of death as 2007 instead of 2008 and some kind person fixed my filing status for 2008. Maybe she thought grief lead me to file married joint instead of qualifying widower, I dunno. Seven hours on the phone, days in the IRS office. Forms on forms on forms--it took a long time to figure out, and a longer time to convince them there was a mistake in their database--thank God for my anal-retentive paperwork tendencies, since I had everything from the actual forms to the scratch paper I'd used to do them.
I'm guessing I had some kind of bad karma because everything tipped over like a row of dominoes. It's been a bad couple of months and the hives came back with a vengeance--this time on my face and neck. I coughed and gagged and wondered if I was going to die, and popped Benadryl like candy. Check the wrists, feel around the hips, cough to check my throat--the mirror for facial swelling. Try to eat a low histamine diet, stay calm. Not easy with bills piling up, Social Security asking to see me in person, my kid's health going down the drain, and a week off for spring break.
Benadryl literally saved my life.
I still remember the last time it saved my life. I relaxed out on the deck, watched TV with my kids, made dinner--family stuff, you know? I got along so well at work...like I fit in. It was nice, and so totally "not" me.
I don't watch TV, I don't relax, I don't sleep and most of all I don't have the time to sit around for a foot massage.
I carry Benadryl in a pill container, just in case and thought nothing of using it, although I wondered why I didn't have a thought to spare. No blog posts, nothing to say...nothing at all.
A few years back, I remember this discussion thread on RD where someone asked about the best drugs for depression, and I thought about chiming in but didn't, because I'm afraid of antidepressants. I don't want to be someone else. Someone who watches Maury and Judge shows, makes a nice dinner and gets enough sleep.
Turns out the Benadryl molecule--diphenhydramine--is the base ingredient for Prozac. The National Highway Traffic Administration says, "All first generation antihistamines, including diphenhydramine, have been demonstrated to diminish cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy volunteers. Impairment might even be of greater clinical significance in patients when the allergic disorder per se adversely affects CNS function, as suggested in studies in which a reduction in cognitive functioning in patients was exacerbated by diphenhydramine . Laboratory studies have shown diphenhydramine to decrease alertness, decrease reaction time, induce somnolence, impair concentration, impair time estimation, impair tracking, decrease learning ability, and impair attention and memory within the first 2-3 hours post dose. Significant adverse effects on vigilance, divided attention, working memory, and psychomotor performance have been demonstrated."
Yeah, well--I sure couldn't learn anything new, and the old stuff was beyond me. It took weeks to come down off it, and for the record, I've been Benadryl free for about five days.
Lots of stuff piled up, lots of things to do. I have a workshop I couldn't form until yesterday, and more things to do. But my brain is back, and I missed it. Normal is fine for other people. Although I might still make dinner.