The Benadryl Effect

“I’d like to see if we can manage to move the meeting from Tuesday to Thursday.”

It’s roughly 2 pm, I’m at work reading an email from one of my bosses, and I’m having a hell of a time comprehending that sentence. You went back and read it again, didn’t you? That’s okay.  You aren’t missing anything. There isn’t anything wrong. It was the Benadryl.

It’s been about a year since I had my first allergic reaction to something I ate. I had to ask my daughter to call 911 since I was unfamiliar with what I was experiencing. Sidebar – I feel really bad for anyone who is single and in need of medical attention like I was that day.  Chances are, you’ll have a very good looking EMT/paramedic come and see you in a red, swollen, hive-ridden, gasping for air to breath state. Anyway, we couldn’t pinpoint what the allergy was attributed to, so I now keep a food journal and carry an Epi-Pen. *shiver* I break out in a sweat around needles as it is. I sure hope someone around me won’t have a problem stabbing me in the leg, if the need arises.

In the first eight months after my initial reaction, I would have about one allergy outbreak a month and they were nowhere near what I had the first time, so I didn’t do anything about it but endure the itchiness for a half hour or so. The foods ranged from Five Guys fries to a ham sandwich to the yummy eats from Roti to simple broccoli and cheddar soup. In the winter, the allergy attacks came more frequently and started to intensify. My food journal was telling me that one contributing factor was probably going to be some kind of pepper, which sucks because I LOOOOOOOOVE spicy food.

Removing peppers and spicy food from my diet wasn’t my only problem. I’m allergic to something else because I’m still breaking out at work after lunch. That means I need to start taking Benadryl to deal with the symptoms, which I had been avoiding like the plague. Unfortunately, nothing works like Benadryl, or as fast (I need to get paid for that endorsement).  Benadryl makes me extreeeeeemly sleepy, to the point that I have no control over it and I just fall asleep; stick a fork in me – I’m done. I couldn’t keep going home when I broke out in hives, either, so I gave in and started taking one or two pills when I REALLY needed to (obviously the attacks weren’t so bad that I needed my Epi-Pen, but they were bad enough that I was red and swollen and itchy from the hives).  So, now what?

Well, now I need to fight the effects of Benadryl so I can actually function while I am still at work. What a daunting task that has proven to be (see sentence at the start of this post). I must have read that sentence 10 times after taking two Benadryl 30 minutes earlier. The hangup was the word “manage”. I was a like a first grader learning how to read it for the first time. I simply couldn’t pronounce it.




Those are just 3 of the ways I tried to pronounce the word – no lie! None of those words made any sense, at least I knew that much. So my half sleeping brain decided that I would just skip that word and read the rest of the sentence to try and use my context clues to figure out what the word meant. I almost asked my cubemate to read the sentence to me but the pronunciation suddenly clicked: man-age

And then I laughed….for a long time. I went through a brief moment of insanity as I laughed at how simple the word was and how crazy it was that I had such a hard time reading it. Even as I write this, I am amazed at how serious that drug is, but I need it.  Not every situation calls for the Epi-Pen and for that, I am thankful.  Now, if only I could figure out what I am allergic to, exactly. This guessing game is getting old. 🙂