Redneck Review

Saturday, July 30, 2005

From the Benadryl Files

Deadpanann, yo' mama was good for two posts for me this week.
That's mighty neighborly of her. I hope your broken finger enjoyed
the Benadryl more than I did.

It all started with a trip to the dentist for the pulling of the wisdom
teeth. I lived in Sheldon, Missouri, and my dentist was in Cabool.
Why? I had worked near Cabool the previous year, and had quite
a bit of dental work done there. I liked the dentist. He gave me
headphones to listen to The Best of Alabama while he gouged
around in my mouth. He also gave me nitrous.

I got a Friday appointment when I had a day off from work. I stayed
with my friend Cheri, who lived near Cabool. The tooth extraction
wasn't too bad. I'm sure I had some type of painkiller, since I don't
remember being in pain. On Sunday morning, I had a rash. Cheri
thought it was measles. Yeah, that's a disease people actually had
before all this newfangled vaccine business. I told her I'd already
had the measles, in 9th grade. Uh huh...I was a late bloomer. I
remembered that I had them, because the secretary and nurse looked
me over in the office, and then sent me home. My friends had a good
laugh at my expense, because I had measles.

Cheri didn't believe me. She called my Hillbilly Mama, who confirmed
that I had indeed had the measles. By that time my rash had started
to itch. And spread. It was on my palms and also the inside of my
mouth. HM told Cheri that if it kept spreading, I probably should go
to the doctor. Yeah. On Sunday. By afternoon we decided to go
to the emergency room in Mansfield. That's the best I remember...
it was some town on Hwy 60 on the way to Springfield.

I felt kind of dumb, going to the emergency room for a rash. But the
itching was driving me crazy. I waited in the exam room for a while,
then a nurse came in and asked me the problem. Like she couldn't
see that I had red spots all over me. She turned my arms over, looked
at both sides, and then said, "Drop your pants." I didn't want to,
because I was really really cold. I told her I had spots on my legs too,
but when the pants came off, we saw that the spots had all run together
My thighs were puffy red blobs. That nursed talked a little faster
then, and called in a doctor. They decided that I was in the midst
of an allergic reaction to the ampicillin the dentist had given me after
pulling my wisdom teeth. They gave me a shot of Benadryl, and the
nurse said it was a good thing I came in, because the swelling would
have gotten worse as I kept taking the ampicillin, and my throat
could have swelled shut. Good to know.

They observed me for a little while, wrote out a couple of
prescriptions, and then told me I could go home. The nurse said,
"I hope you didn't drive yourself here." I thought, "It's a little late to
tell me that now. What if I had?" Because I was in no shape to drive.
I climbed into Cheri's little red Ford Escort and felt like I had no
bones in my body. At least I wasn't cold anymore. Cheri talked,
but all I heard was her droning. I couldn't make out the words.

My head felt like a balloon, but without the helium. It didn't want
to float. It wanted to roll down my right shoulder, pause for dramatic
effect at my elbow hanging out the car window, shout "Look at ME
everybody," then do a swan dive (well, as good a swan dive a balloon
head with no arms or legs could do), and skim like a skipping stone
along the weedy Hwy 60 right-of-way that the MoDOT crews had
neglected. Benadryl was not my friend.

I missed three days of work, then Cheri missed work to drive me
back to Sheldon. I went back to work teaching PE to elementary
children. The woman principal came to my building to check on
me, probably to ascertain whether I had just really wanted a long
weekend. I held out my arms and told her proudly, "See? My spots
are almost all gone now." She asked if I had someone staying with
me, and I said, "Yes." Then she told me I should go home and get
better, and not to worry about work. Right in the middle of 1st hour!
Apparently, Atarax was not my friend, either.


  • At 8:49 AM, Blogger deadpanann said…


    My s.o. dang near died of an allergic reaction to shellfish while on a field trip in high school. The male chaperone, who was kind of a shady character, gave him some mysterious pill and told him to go to sleep. His roommate came back just a few minutes later to find him swollen to the point that he wasn't recognizable, and he had to go get the shot of epinephrine or whatever. I'm glad I'm not allergic to any foods, but that's what I thought was happening a few days ago when I had that anxiety attack or whatever it was.

  • At 9:04 PM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    But would you take a pill from a shady chaperone?

  • At 10:52 PM, Blogger deadpanann said…

    He was a naive 18 year old. Now he's an overly suspicious 31 year old.

  • At 10:54 PM, Blogger deadpanann said…

    ...but yes I would probably take it, if I were not possibly already dying of some unidentified condition. Staying conscious is important if you think you might be the only person who cares whether you make it to the emergency room. I should know---I was my mom's kid, and she thinks you're gonna be fine unless your guts are showing.

  • At 1:00 AM, Blogger Hillbilly Mom said…

    Couldn't she just put your guts back in with duct tape, and give you a snort of Benadryl?

    I confess to making my HH drive himself to the emergency room with a broken toe. But hey, I TOLD him not to unhook the camper by himself. And I had a baby to nurse every 2 hours, and a 3 year old to entertain, so I didn't want to be stuck in an emergency room for 12 hours for a broken toe unless it was MY toe.

    #2 son had an allergic reaction to that pink medicine, amoxycillin, and swelled up like a balloon. He was only a year old. I thought he had chicken pox and went in to check on him about 11:00 pm, and I almost screamed.His face was unrecognizable. We spent 9 hours at the ER for that. We are not a "cillin-friendly" family.


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