Tuesday, February 9, 2010
A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down?!
What do a blizzard, NyQuil and candles all have in common? They all happened this past weekend. It wasn't the 2 and a half feet of snow covering the city or the loss of heat, power and hot water that got to me most or the lighting our place with candles. It was finding out that NyQuil has high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient. What a disappointment, especially after taking it every night consecutively. Imagine a "remedy" full of sugar!
It happened right under my careful little nose. I check ingredients of everything-even soap. But several nights ago I realized that coughing all through the night wasn't just affecting my sleep--it was keeping my husband awake, too. That night I coughed so hard my nose bled and I threw up. I could hardly breathe because of the phlegm draining into my throat. I was miserable but determined to get through this au natural. Herbs, vitamins, tea, whole foods, water--YES, over-the-counter crap--NO WAY.
But I bit the bullet that night and climbed out of bed around midnight to enter the wild snow storm outside. I was delirious. My cough continued as I climbed over snow drifts and breathed in ice cold wind all the way to the grocery store.
I told myself I was doing the right thing. I had to get sleep and I hadn't had good sleep for days. I convinced myself to grab a bottle of NyQuil as soon as I got there and not let myself deliberate or check ingredients--but I was only surmising the chemical ingredients that would freak me out. Sugar never crossed my mind. When I arrived at the store I did just as I envisioned doing--I quickly grabbed a bottle of red nighttime NyQuil from the bottom shelf and threw it in my basket.
I guzzled the red, syrupy stuff before going back to bed and slept better than I had in quite a while. Every night I tried to skip the NyQuil but I had this crazy cough that started at night and would not let up. So I turned to the bottle several nights in a row and when Jeff got the cough, we toasted our elixir. Day 3 or 4 it occurred to me I hadn't checked the ingredients for sugar. I was so concerned with being scared off by the chemicals I didn't want to see, I had forgotten about sugar. High fructose corn syrup is listed after all the food colorings and before the glycols. Yuck. Did I still take the stuff after I found this information out? Sadly, yes. I felt trapped--either be awake most of the night coughing up my lungs or give myself a break and sleep soundly so my body can rest and repair. I chose the latter but only had to take it a few more times.
I feel taken advantage of. Gross. Angry. I was put in a catch-22 situation. I was not able to trace it back to anything or anybody which is disconcerting but I have let it go. I heard that some people have the cough for up to 8 weeks...mine has been less than two weeks, so I guess being healthy to begin with helps lessen the duration of such things.
Our power went out Friday night. No heat, electricity or hot water. The amount of snow that fell weighed down tree branches everywhere, including my neighborhood where the telephone pole and all the wiring fell and became tangled in the branches. Workers worked all day Saturday to restore power and by almost midnight we had some power. Still no heat or hot water. Sunday, Jeff and I made the most of it. We decided to build our own internal heat by walking around outside. It was crazy to see everything covered in a blanket of snow. Some cars completely covered, other cars with giant trees laying on the hood, broken and fallen.
We made the most of the fallen snow. Instead of rotting inside and getting cabin fever, we made an effort to be out in daylight. We found a great hill in our neighborhood where we tobogganed and took mad photographic shots of each other.
When we returned home, the hot water was back in business. It was a perfect way to end our perfect weekend. I definitely take too much for granted--my health, the weather, hot water, heat, etc.
The extra-perfect part of the end of our weekend included two new pairs of slippers.
Now my job is to write a complaint letter to NyQuil....