Saturday, March 1, 2008


I tried to take it easy yesterday so I'd have the energy to attend last night's Pink Martini with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops concert at the Kennedy Center. (More on that in a separate post.)

I did a little cleaning in the morning, but then forced myself to stop at noon so I wouldn't wear myself out. I'd also been coughing horribly, so I decided to do two things: take some of the cough syrup (prometh with codeine) the doctor prescribed the day before and take a short nap. (The aforementioned syrup looks like Jonestown Kool-aid. Still, it tastes better than a lot of that OTC stuff.)

The directions on the prescription say to only take a teaspoon and that's what I did. The stuff worked great on my cough, but the side effects? Oy, the side effects. I'm lying in bed trying to get some rest, but I can't because I'm feeling restless and out of sorts. I start paying closer attention to what parts of me feel jittery and loopy and at one point I realize, this must be what it's like to get buzzed.

Being a non-drinker, I have no point of reference for this phenomenon everyone swears by and claims is the great reason to drink. After today's experience, I am not at all convinced. On top of that, the stuff gave me a stomach ache. If this is what drinking gets you, I think I'll take a pass. I hate feeling all wack-a-doo and out of sync. (If I'm wrong, though, and this just sounds like a bad reaction to a med, say so. Otherwise, pass the ginger ale, please!)

Needless to say, I never really ended up rested and I was a wee bit of a cranky butt when I met up with my mom and sister last night. (Of course, it didn't help that Mom liked my current hairstyle, which is long, drab, limp, and in horrible need of a haircut. But then, she's always liked my hair longer and I've not liked it, mostly because I end up looking like her. Besides, at this length, it has the potential to be very bouffanty, which is never a good thing in my book!)

Screw the prescription! I'm going back to my trusty, ever-faithful Vicks Formula 44 E and I don't care if the doctor does scoff at my layperson remedy. That other stuff just isn't worth it!


Di said...

That's not what being buzzed feels like at all. There's no jumpy, jittery, loopiness.

It sounds to me like you might have very few receptors for codeine, so you're sensitive to it. Therefore, you should try taking half the dosage and see how that works. When you find the right dose, it really does work much, much better than OTC stuff.

Good luck...feel better!!

Di said...

One of these days when you're feeling better, have a nice glass of wine with dinner. You'll see that it doesn't make you loopy or funky at all, it just feels kind of warm and relaxed all over, sometimes a bit more chatty. Mind you, this is referring to mild buzz, not drunk. ;-)

I always think it is a little difficult to be a real foodie without also being a wine-ie. They go together so well, and can really complement each other amazingly.


D.C. Confidential said...

Di: I'm glad to know that's not what it's like to be buzzed. I kept thinking, "If this is a buzz, people are effing lying when they say they enjoy this." I can't believe how sensitive I am to certain meds. I can't take Tylenol or Excedrin (or anything with acetaminophen in it) because they make me loopy and pseudo-suicidal (meaning, I have a very conscious, visceral desire to jump out of windows. No exaggeration!) I guess I can now add codeine to the list. I'll take your advice and try a smaller dose next time, but if the feeling persists, I'm trashing the stuff. It just isn't worth it!

As for food and wine together, I hear you. Whenever I make a spectacular meal, I want to pair it with a wine, but then I never do. Damn the Word of Wizzum! (Yes, I just watched Sons of Provo.)

LG said...

I'm with Di; a good buzz doesn't have any of the wackass side effects - just a warm, relaxing, and happy aura. At least that's what it is for me, and I'm a vodka girl. And yes, that's TOTALLY different than being drunk. That's another story.

The stuff the doc gave you might be hard on you at first, but it also gets a little easier. Sounds like you might just be hypersensitive to it, though. May the Force be with you.

Adriana Velez said...

Ah, sounds like you're on the (rocky) road to recovery -- good!

Agree with Di and lg about the "buzz." Wine feels -- and tastes! -- much better.

Phoenix Touch said...

ugh! Sweetie, sounds like your system don't like the codeine! Get yerself some food in yer belly before you down another drop of that stuff! Codeine makes me hallucinate visions from hell. So not a pretty sight.

Lucy said...

Good! Then I want all your cough syrup.


D.C. Confidential said...

LG: My mom says for her codeine produces a buzz like you and Di both describe. She said it leaves her feeling warm and cozy and easy-going, so I guess it must just be me.

Adriana: Rocky is the exact road I'm on. I felt good this morning, but now (2:41 pm) I feel like crap again. I am so over this already.

Abgue: Yeah, I think that was part of the problem: I took the codeine on an empty stomach. If I take it again, I'll make sure I eat first.

Lucy: Sold!

Cele said...

Tewkes if you're going to take codiene on an empty stomach eat a little bit of cheese first.

Get better.

Sister Mary Lisa said...

I hope you feel better. I can vouch for the joys of drinking wine with dinner with Di. Fun times. I recommend it highly, in just that way.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Cele: Duly noted!

SML: One of these days, I'll take your advice!

hm-uk said...

Abso-bloody-lutely do not take codeine on an empty stomach, plus get yourself some prunes to go with it. It's a constipator royale - yes, that's my phrase and I may just trademark it later.

Take care of yourself - I think you're probably a long way off from being Amy Winehouse with nine refills of codeine syrup...oh, were you referring to the bouffant hairdo?

Wicked H said...

I agree try it again with a little bit of food on board. If you still get the same feelings, avoid codeine from then on.

Do feel better.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Aitch: The bugger is, I always read the literature that comes with any RX med I get and I don't remember the lit for codeine saying to eat before taking it. If I take it again, though, I'll make sure to eat first.

Wicked: I'm feeling a little codeine-shy, to be honest. But I'll follow the consensus of so many of you if I do.

j.m. tewkesbury said...

P.S. Aitch: I was referring to Amy's bouffant, but, of course, the ninety-nine bottles of codeine-on-the-wall could certainly apply, too! I hadn't looked at it that way until you pointed it out. LOL!

Liz said...

Being buzzed is more of a warm, relaxed feeling for me. It just takes the edge off. Not that I've experienced that lately... :) But I don't enjoy going beyond buzzed. "Completely drunk" has just never seemed appealing... I think I'm too much of a control freak for that.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Liz: I hear you on that one, which is probably why I haven't taken up drinking. I'm afraid of going over the edge and having to be told what I did/said as a result. The very thought of making an ass of myself while under the influence is enough to make me continue abstaining.