Friday, April 24, 2009

The miracle pill that is driving me crazy

It's 1:30 am and I am wide awake. SUCKS.

What feels like a million years ago when I was 19 years old and returning home from my first semester at BYU, I went to an allergist for the first time. I had just spent the majority of the school year sick with a head cold. We're talking nearly every single day of college I was sick. So I went to an allergist back home in Virginia for a diagnosis. I will never forget the first words she said, "Well, you'll want to avoid ever living in the Rocky Mountain West." She then went on to explain that I was allergic to pretty much everything that grows in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. She had no idea that at the time I was attending college in Utah. She also mentioned that I had your typical mold, dust, and pollen allergies, which was also not good seeing as I lived in my parents' basement (a veritable harbinger of mold and dust). So I started allergy shots, but when I left for school again I never kept up with them. Living in VA all I ever needed was Claritin or something similar, and I could get by.

Not so much in Utah.

Holy Hannah! Here I stay on a regular course of Claritin or Zyrtec, and still have massive flare-ups every time the season changes. This week has been one of the worst weeks I've ever had. We went from 6 inches of snow last week, to everything blooming and 80 degree sunny days this week. Which for me is a bomb waiting to go off! Massive congestion, sore throat, swollen, itchy, puffy eyes, coughing, sneezing, and exhaustion. You name it, I had it this week. I also had every cold medicine under the sun.

Dayquil? Nothing. Nyquil? Well, I did sleep for 30 minutes until my stuffy nose woke me back up. Claritin-D? I have no idea if it was working. Alka Seltzer cold? Totally failed me. My rescue inhaler? Worked for a few minutes. Finally I went back and got Mucinex-D. And hallelujah, we had progress. A few doses of that and I was breathing through my nose, my throat didn't hurt, and I could walk up the stairs without huffing and puffing. Oh, and a 4 hour nap helped things tremendously as well.

You only take Mucinex-D every 12 hours. At about 9 hours in I was getting congested again, so I looked back at the box to see if I could take another drug to add to the decongesting process. That was when I found out that you are supposed to take TWO pills, not just 1! I gladly took another dose of the Mucinex, and felt better soon.

And that, people, is why I am wide awake. The stinking Mucinex, for all its wonderful qualities, also wakes me up. I have a conference call I am supposed to be on in 6 hours. That will last roughly 3 hours. And then I will have just enough time to wrap up a few loose ends at work, and then rush to the airport, fly to Reno, and get on with a very busy weekend. I do not have time to NOT BE SLEEPING! Instead, here I sit, at nearly 2 am, watching my tivo'd shows, and thinking I don't have enough friends who are up at 2 am.

(Oh and for those of you wondering why I don't get allergy shots now- I probably will go get them again once I have health insurance again.)


  1. You must be the opposite of my husband. He could get by with Claritin and Benadryl in Utah, but here in DC, he's dying. His doctor has him on Mucinex-D, Flonase and Allegra.

  2. I randomly got some yucky allergies a few years ago, for the first time ever, and I've lived in Utah my whole life! It was most annoying.

    If you're into homeopathic/natural remedies, I recommend getting something called "Rocky Mountain Mix" at Good Earth. It's a tincture--you put ten drops under your tongue and hold them there for a few seconds. It worked pretty well for me, and it's not too expensive. It's worth a try, anyway! I hope you feel better soon--allergies DO suck.


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