work

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.

mah-nage

mé-nage

meh-nag-e

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. 🙂

 

The things I do for work – Part 2

If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  You may or may not be able to tell from my last post that I don’t mind doing little side “jobs” for my boss(es) because at this point in my life at the office, it actually keeps things interesting.  Yesterday was no exception.  

THE OATMEAL INCIDENT:  So, I get a call in the morning from the boss and it goes like this:

Boss: Have you been to the cafeteria yet?
Considering his past requests, this is a new one, so i’m unsure how to respond with anything other than the truth.
Me: Um, yes?
Boss: Oh….I was going to ask if you could get me some oatmeal if you hadn’t gone down yet…..
I’m pretty sure this is still a request to get breakfast for him, so I give in.
Me: I can still get that for you.
Boss: Oh, can you? Great! I can give you some money and then you can take the $1.25 out that I owe you from the soda that you got me yesterday.

I can’t help but smile because, quite frankly, I had already forgotten about the $1.25 and, since there was no additional comment about the soda, that probably means it DIDN’T explode like I thought it would.  So, I mosey into his office, get the money, asked if he wanted a large or small size – he wants small and he adds that he wants a scoop of brown sugar.  Off I go to the cafe.  

As i’m getting his oatmeal a co-worker starts chatting me up.  The conversation wasn’t anything deep, but i’m so ADD that I turn on the autopilot for the oatmeal task and focus on the conversation.  Blah, blah, blah, healthy eating, blah, blah, blah (healthy eating being the topic of lots of conversations in the cafeteria for me, but that’s another post for another day).  In my attempt at multi-tasking, I suddenly realize that I am no longer scooping large spoonfuls of lumpy oatmeal into the small cup.  No, sir, I’ve made it over to the “toppings” section of the cafe where i’m scooping rather large spoonfuls of brown sugar onto the oatmeal.  Once I realized, it was kind of too late.  Conversation – OVER!!  I put down the spoon of brown sugar that I was ready to drop in, and I examined the bowl to decide whether I would toss that one and make a new one or scoop some of the sugar out or just take it to him the way it is.  

To put things in perspective, this is the same man that happened to be making his tea at the same time that I made my coffee and when he saw me put 3 packets of Splenda in my coffee, he about had a heart attack.  “3 packets? WWWWWWOW!  Do you know what that is? Have you heard of the health risks behind using so much of it? How does it make you feel?” and it kind of went on and on as he schooled me on Splenda.  To this day, I only use one packet in my coffee which may or may not have anything to do with the conversation we had and cutting down to one packet didn’t happen overnight.  

Anyway, so to put so much brown sugar in his oatmeal, just made me dread and wonder what kind of lecture I was going to receive.  I didn’t want to waste the oatmeal, so I attempted to scoop some of the brown sugar out before it melted into molasses.  I think I succeeded, somewhat, but this is still definitely way more than he ever uses on a regular basis.  

Image

So, again, i’m troubled with the question, ‘How do I tell him that there might be TOO much sugar in it?’  I hate making mistakes, like anyone else, so it bothered me that I haphazardly made his breakfast.  Oh well.  He’ll either like it or he won’t like it.  I paid for the oatmeal, took out my $1.25 from the change, and made my way upstairs before it got cold.  I told him that I hoped that it wasn’t too much sugar, he thanked me and that was that.  He ended up leaving early because he wasn’t feeling well – hopefully the oversugar’ed oatmeal didn’t have anything to do with that sickening feeling.  *sigh*

And I know what you’re thinking, the answer is no, even if I made it wrong it will not stop him from asking me again in the future.  I’ll just accept my pleasant lecture on how he actually likes it, and make it right the next time.  😉

The things I do for work – PART 1

I totally get that people have all kinds of odd jobs they do for their bosses on a regular basis and i’m not one to compare or say that what I’m doing is any better or worse, or however you want to look at it.  So, I have a boss that has his own funny way of asking me to do/get something for him, which I don’t mind doing, but sometimes they come with some [in]direct accusations, commentary, or quasi-PSA.

THE SODA INCIDENT.  I get a call from the boss yesterday and the conversation goes like this:

Boss: Do you have change for a $5?
Sidebar – I NEVER have change when he asks me and he asks on an almost daily basis, which makes me wonder why he constantly asks at all.
Me: No, i’m sorry, I don’t.
Boss: Oh, hmm……………*this silence felt like forever*…..
Me: (as if talking to a child): Are you thirsty?
Boss: Yeaaaaahhh, I kinda wanted a Coke Zero.
Me: Well, I have $1.25, I can at least get that for you.
Boss:  Great!!

I go to get the soda, and it’s actually a traumatizing experience to have to get his soda on a daily basis because a couple of years ago he actually accused me of shaking his soda before I delivered it.  He didn’t accuse me in a horrible, mean way, he just halfway joked and said, “hey, did you shake that soda?  It exploded when I opened it.”  I was so shocked and embarrassed that he would actually think i’d do that.  ME?!!!  Ever since that day, I have taken so much care in making sure that his soda doesn’t even land when it comes out of the vending machine.  I put my hands in there to “soften” the fall and everything!

Anyway, I go to get the soda and run through my routing of catching the soda as it comes down, but it feels hard – like it’s been shaken and is ready to explode.  NOOOOOOO!!! This can’t be happening!  I actually debate on buying another one and giving him the better of the two, but then again, what am I going to do with the other soda? So now, on my walk back to his office, I pray that he isn’t on the phone so I can tell him that he needs to give it a minute before he opens it…but what if he is on the phone? How am I going to tell him using hand gestures that he needs to wait?  Ugh!  My nightmares are becoming reality!  Okay, not really, but it did worry me for a half second.

Thankfully, he wasn’t on the phone.  I gave him his soda, he thanked me, and I told him to give it a few minutes because it felt solid and ready to blow, to which he responded with an ‘okay’.  It wasn’t a thankful okay, it was kind of like the okay that you get when someone hasn’t heard what you said and they are just agreeing with you.  The problem was, I was already halfway out the door by the time I remembered that he doesn’t hear very well and his hearing aid was on his desk………………..

Oh well, I did my part.  At least if it exploded I could say, with a clear conscience, “You didn’t hear me tell you to give it a minute?!”  🙂