Sunday, April 15, 2012


         Brain shattering headaches forced me into bed this week. Usually, I don’t suffer from allergies, and I rarely succumb to sinus infections. In the past, if I felt sick everything went to my throat. I don’t know if the fluctuation in pressure or a nasty virus caused my head pain, but by Friday morning I could barely crawl out of bed. I cried crocodile tears when I begged David to take the day off. I felt too ill to care for Mom.
         As soon as David put in for the day off, I downed Tylenol and Benadryl. This combination, without fail, will knock me out for at least four hours. My Friday consisted of waking up long enough to drink hot tea, down toast or PB & J, swallow more Tylenol and Benadryl, and then retreat back to bed. I surfaced briefly around four o’clock while David ran some errands, but otherwise spent the day asleep.
          Yesterday, my supply of medications dribbled down to only a few pills left. I suggested to David that he pull out the first aid kit from the bathroom cabinet to see if it contained any ibuprofen. He carried the entire case to the bed, and my eyes focused on the little packet labeled “Aspirin.”
         “You know,” I mused, “I haven’t taken aspirin in years. Maybe I should try a couple of tablets.”
         Within thirty minutes, my headache vanished!
         I followed the dose with a couple more pills every four hours, and this morning I woke up feeling almost normal. I definitely don’t have the hung over sluggishness that Benadryl leaves in my system.
         In recent months, I’ve found myself returning again and again to the old “tried but true” remedies of my childhood. I sent David out to Walgreens for a bottle of Bayer to replace the depleted Tylenol. When I placed the aspirin in the medicine cabinet, I realized my cabinet now contains only Vaseline, hydrogen peroxide, Tom’s toothpaste and Tums. I’ve recently tossed out expired OTC medications and chosen to replace them with fewer items as I move more towards a simplified life.

Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman


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