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Thoughts from the Lower 40: Do not exceed the recommended dosage
In Nov. 8 Issue
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

DISCLAIMER-The following is a warning of how NOT to treat an illness...

I cursed myself-that's what I did.

What was it, a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about being sick?

Well, Monday, I was telling everybody around the library how I was sure I was "coming down with something."

The best way I could describe it was I was sore, achy, and every once in a while, I got that feeling you get whenever you "shock" yourself on an electrical outlet. Not that I do that alot, but I have before, I know how it feels.

Anyway, I shuffled through the day, and by dark, I was officially, totally sick (for real, this time).


Even my hair.

At the late hour of 6 p.m., I announced to no one in particular that I was going to bed.

But I had to take some medicine first.

Shoot, nothing in the medicine cabinet, nothing in the bathroom or the kitchen, but ah, yes, wait, here it is, in the bedroom closet, a half-empty box of outdated flu medicine.

I have not only the bad habit of buying out-of-date, cheap medicine, but also of "hiding" it in case I need it later. "Now" was "later," so why not?

Problem was, I was feeling so bad that I thought the more medicine I took, the quicker I would recover.

I refuse to say how many of the "softgels" I took, but let's just say I was fast asleep by 6:20.

I had crawled into a quiet, safe haven-a set of bunk beds, with two quilts covering me in my two pairs of sweat pants, three shirts, and two pairs of socks.

I gave a whole new meaning to the term "chillin' ".

At 7:23, I awoke in a panic.

Noticing the time, I realized I had apparently overslept and would be late for work if I didn't get moving...NOW.

Forgetting I was in the bottom bunk, I raised up quickly and busted my head on the bottom rails on the top bunk.

I either passed out, or went back to sleep, because when my eyes opened again, it was 8:12.

I rolled out of bed this time, and started down the hallway to notice it was still dark outside.

"Time change," I thought.

Entering the bathroom, I saw my four year old son, Drake, sitting casually on the toilet.

"Watch ya' doin', daddy?" he said.

"I'm late for work!' I screamed at him.

"It's 'dark time,' " he said. was 8:12 P.M.

OK, OK, quit freaking out, I told myself, but I still felt horrible.

Since I was awake, I decided to take more medicine.

NOT a good decision.

I felt plain "loopy."

I would giggle to myself, lay wide-eyed, and wait for one of the kids to come in, pulls the covers back, and say, "You OK, daddy?"

My answer would either be a "growl," or some nonsenscial line such as "If you leave a rubber band in a class of buttermilk for six months it will turn into a squirrel."

(Ah, well, you know, biogenesis, it made sense to ME at the time...)

For the next few hours, I basically woke up every seven minutes.

I heard noises (was somebody playing "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"?), saw shadows, smelled horrible smells.

I would alternate between dreams and reality.

For a few minutes, I was convinced my long-dead parents were in the living room having a conversation.

At one point, I sat CAREFULLY up in bed, trying to remember if they put "store brands" on the top or bottom shelves at the grocery.

Thinking back to the past weekend, I recalled our trip to the Louisville Zoo, and feared I had contracted Asiatic Flu when one of the elephants threw dirt at us. NO! It was the monkeys! Yes, yes, ha-ha-ha! @#$% dirty apes!

On the radio, which is always on, I heard them talking about electing a new president, and I convinced myself I had been asleep for FOUR YEARS.

I think it was around 3:17 a.m. when I woke up, soaked in sweat, and tried to remember if I saw Burt Reynolds on the Red Racer at Kings Island. (I don't get it, either.)

Somewhere before daylight I fitfully threw my pillow across the room when I couldn't remember the name of the bear on the Super Sugar Crisp cereal box.

I slept through a good portion of the next day, awaking only when my wife came by at lunch to bring me a "fresh" box of flu medicine.

"What happened to that other box?" she asked. "You didn't take it all, did you?"

I slobbered something about how they're killing all the baby seals, so she gave me that "whatever" look and left.

Still feeling bad, I opened the new box of medicine...and took almost all of it.

I couldn't remember if it was a box with ONE card of 12 pills, or TWO cards of 12 pills-which would equal 24 pills.

Yes, I know, stupid, stupid, stupid.

Which is what I thought about an hour later when I CRAWLED out of bed this time-looking for the person who was repeatedly striking me in the stomach with a sledgehammer, or so I thought.

I knew I had to get to the bathroom QUICK, and even though it was only two doors down the hallway, it took a good 15 minutes to get there.

When I DID finally manage to stand up, I wobbled on my right leg like one of those tiny ballerinas you see in musical jewerly boxes.

Walking was not an option, so I "scooted" down the hallway, into the bathroom, and onto the cold, tile floor.

Felt good.

So I laid there.

Until I realized I had fallen asleep, and woke up gently rubbing the cat-which I noticed was wet.

Wait...there's NOT a cat in the house.

I was rubbing my own head, and could not figure out (or DIDN'T want to figure out) how my hair got wet.

By my best estimate, I was in that bathroom about three hours, although I don't have a clue what went on in there.

Later than afternoon, I became a little less "zombie-like," and had to take my 15 year old son to church.

No problem there, but as he got out at church, I noticed something in the floorboard.

YES! A bottle of flu medicine-which I drank.


I drove to the grocery to buy a tub of butter ('cos the kids love toast) and I couldn't remember if there was a difference between "butter" or "margarine," and which would be the best to buy. That decision took a good ten minutes.

After leaving the grocery, everything seemed to be getting "fuzzy," and I thought I needed to get off the road.  

Except I wasn't sure where I was. I mean, I did know, but I would be driving south past McDonald's, and wonder if I had went through the four-way stop yet, which I had.

When I was on the overpass at the parkway, I wondered if I had driven past McDonald's.

At the high school I was amazed to see a new NAPA store that I swear wasn't there on the way to Russell Springs just minutes earlier.

I came to the conclusion my ill-fated attempt at self-medication had made me "blotto."

So, what is my answer to everything?


I could just go there, walk around a little, and calm down.

I did make a mental note to NOT go near the medicine aisle.

However, I did find great humor in items I had seen a million times before, but never thought anything about.

I started snickering out loud at the cans of "Wrinkle Remover."

Could an old person spray that on their face and look young again?

Or how about a can of "Grill Cleaner?"

If you have those fancy, bling-bling, "grill" things on your teeth, could you use "Grill Cleaner" instead of toothpaste?

Only by the grace of God did I make it home safely, and as soon as I got there, I meant to throw away any and all remaining medicine in the house.

And of course, I couldn't find any, because I had apparently taken all of it.

Please take my advice and be careful when taking medicine.

Those instructions are on there for a reason.

I don't do dope...but I sure do act like one.

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