by J.D. Roth
On Thursday night, we dined at Gustav’s with Tiffany. Kris loves German food, and it’s difficult for me to say no to a lamb shank. Over dinner, I noticed I had a sore throat. By Saturday morning, the sore throat had worsened, and I had developed a chronic sneeze and a runny nose.
It’s a little early in the year for my second cold, but otherwise there’s nothing odd about this. The only reason it was notable was because we were preparing for our twelfth annual Friend Thanksgiving. We were slicing halibut fillets, chopping onions, steeping chowder. I stopped every five minutes to wash my hands so that I would not infect our guests.
I took some medicine, but it didn’t help. In the middle of the afternoon, I switched to Dayquil, which suppressed the sneezing, cured the sore throat, and lessened the runny nose. In fact, it worked so well that I took another dose just before our guests arrived.
As people came in, I washed my hands again and began to mix drinks. I made a rosemary verde for myself. Just before we served the first course, I took a third dose of Dayquil. For a while, I forgot about my cold: I relaxed, ate good food, drank wine, and enjoyed conversation with friends. Toward the end of the meal, my runny nose returned, so I took another dose of Dayquil. I also fetched a box of kleenex. A mountain of tissue began to accumulate near my plate.
When our last guests departed at around one, Kris and I spent an hour cleaning dishes. Before bed, I took my usual dose of melatonin.
I think you may be able to see where this is headed. Over the course of about eight hours, I’d consumed four doses of Dayquil, had several servings of alcohol, and then took a sleep aid.
My body was a mess.
I climbed into bed, but there was no possibility of sleep. I got up and spent an hour mindlessly surfing the web. I tried to fall asleep again at 3am. My C-PAP machine was a liability; I couldn’t breathe through my nose, so it wasn’t doing anything but blowing air on my face. For four hours, I tossed and turned. My mind raced. My heart raced. I took my pulse several times but stopped because I was getting crazy results like 156bpm and 148bpm. In times past, this would have panicked me. I would have been convinced I was going to die. I’m older and wiser now, though, and knew that I’d simply taken too much Dayquil.
Finally, at about seven, I dozed off. I slept a groggy kind of sleep until eleven, then stumbled downstairs to help Kris finish clean up from dinner party.
I was exhausted. I dozed from time-to-time. At seven o’clock, I took some Nyquil and some melatonin and went to bed. I slept long and hard. When Kris woke me this morning, I was still exhausted.
Updated: 05 December 2005