Two Teaspoons



I thought I would share my recent experience which could have easily entitled this email as “The wonderful world of prescription drugs” or possibly “Becoming a trustee of modern chemistry” or maybe even “Find how deep the rabbit hole really goes.”

I was recently asked if I had gotten my flu shot for this year, to which I calmly responded that I had never had a flu shot and hadn’t actually contracted the flu for couple of years.

Here is where God surely has a sense of humor since the following night I came down with a case of chills and shakes. This was of course followed by soaking the bed and pajamas with sweat, requiring two changes in that night alone. A day out of work and prescription of pills and figured I was home free.

My recovery was going well save for a nagging dry cough which was keeping me up at night. A second trip to my doctor and she reassured me she would give me something to help me sleep. Sounded good to me.

After arriving home from work last night I removed the bottle from its drug store bag. It looked simple enough, a red colored bottle of cough syrup a little larger than a bottle of NyQuil. I almost reached for a usual soup spoon as I read the label.

“Take two teaspoons”

I’ve read this kind of thing before but I’ve also been told “You’re a big guy, you can handle a heavy dose”…just the same I flipped the bottle over to check out the various warning labels.

1.”Do not operate complex machinery or drive while using this product”…not planning on any of that while I’m in bed, so no biggie there.

2.”Do not take this product in conjunction with alcohol”…since I’m not planning on getting tanked just now that should be no problem as well.

3.”Taking too much of this product can cause serious breathing disorders”… now THIS was an attention getter, since I am fairly fond of BREATHING most all the time.

Now then, where exactly is my teaspoon?

I must expound at this point that I have something of a virgin system. Not at all trying to brag but I do thank My Father in Heaven that I have come to nearly 50years old and I haven’t had a hospital stay since my tonsils as a youngster. I am not on any kind of regularly prescribed medication and I can count all the times I have ever been drunk in my life easily on one hand. Yet tonight was about to be an experience unlike any I’ve had before.

I ordinarily wake up briefly a few times a night. Maybe my arm is tingling where I have been laying my head on it, sometimes I look at the clock and just roll over and occasionally (as most men do) I’ll need to get up and go tinkle.

After my two teaspoons and a few yet undetermined hours later, I recall looking up at the alarm clock which I wasn’t able to clearly read since it seemed to be floating around my wife’s head. If that wasn’t strange enough, my arm was underneath my pillow but wasn’t tingling at all. Come to think of it, I couldn’t feel my arm at all. Was it still working?

A quick wiggle of my fingers assured me that was still attached. I then thought maybe I’ll just turn over only to realize that simply raising my head from the pillow required some concentrated effort. My pillowcase was stuck to my nose and moustache…still not positive if that was from drool or a working antihistamine.

Keep in mind all of this is going in very slow motion, since going any faster seemed completely unrational at the time. I then thought to move my legs to roll over but it felt as though someone had deposited a dead horse on them. What in the world could be so bloody heavy?…A few efforts at movement revealed nothing more than the comforter, it was just that my legs felt like small tree trunks, and just about as easy to handle.

Then along come one of those dreams that proves how incredibly functional the sub-conscious mind can be.

I felt the need to tinkle. I told myself to getup and go tinkle. After looking at the clock once more I couldn’t remember if I gotten up to go tinkle or not. I then wandered into dreamland (like this wasn’t already) where I entered a men’s room. The various stalls with toilets were labeled by age group. I kept searching in vain for my age window until I saw a janitor tossing MY toilet out the door!  I bolted through the door only to realize the toilet had been thrown off a cliff. So here I was plunging downward not at all worried about crashing at the bottom, but supremely concerned with catching the falling toilet in time.

Thankfully this dream was crashed with reality when my wife smacked the alarm on her clock. It was only then that I realized I had never gotten up to go tinkle, even stranger than that is the burning question that had I caught the toilet on the way down, what would I have really done?

My wife then asked me if my medicine had done any good. This seemed to be an incredibly tilted question since at this point I wasn’t sure which way was up.

“Did it keep you from coughing?” she asked.

I can only assume it must have since I couldn’t even feel my throat. However I knew I must gather my strength and actually get to the bathroom before I experienced some other rendition of the flying toilet. Two words which in my opinion should not appear in the same sentence.

I managed to hoist myself up but I recall moving a piano once that seemed easier. How in the world could my body feel so heavy while my feet still felt like sponges? Balancing the garage on a thumbtack felt as if it would be child’s play at this juncture. Proof positive on the altering of perception.

Upon making it back to bed I couldn’t help but notice my wife giggling. In truth she may have been laughing her head off but only she knows the untainted perspective of that.

I think she asked me how much medicine I had taken (can’t imagine why she would be curious) to which I replied, “two teaspoons”

The next few thoughts I can only assume I gave voice to, but I do recall then as I do now…two teaspoons?…GEEZ!…given the size of this bottle my doctor must have planned on my being out of commission for at least a month. I’ve got enough of this stuff to toast myself and an 800 pound gorilla from now until Easter.

When I finally awoke my wife was long gone and looking at the now stable clock showed it was well after lunch.

The only thing missing was Morpheus standing in my room.

I will never again make light of any kind of medication that contains “codeine”

Hopefully I have lightened your world a bit this day, since I am surely missing some of mine.

May you have good health and God bless,

T. August Green


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