The Danger of Being “Claritin Clear”

“I’m going to connect you to Poison Control.”

It wasn’t my typical morning commute.

In the stress known as waking up for the busiest day known to momkind with a headache the size of the city, I chit-chatted with the babysitter, grabbed a to-go breakfast I knew I couldn’t stomach, gulped three Advil and hit the road. A mile down the road, I realized those Advils I’d just ingested were no Advils at all. I’d just taken three 24-hour Claritins.

Paula-at-Poison-Control’s verdict was I’d be drowsy, but would live to tell the story. I was even allowed to drive. That was good news, as I pulled into my destination across town.

My first event of the day was a three-hour meeting. I dozed off in said meeting for.the.first.time.in.my.life. I was quickly (gosh, I hope it was quick. How long was I out?!) awoken by six sets of eyeballs and a snickering meeting facilitator. Drowsy indeed. A kind co-worker & friend texted me mid-afternoon to ask if I’d gotten a nap. No. I was sitting on the floor of the occupational therapy gym pretending to be notating home exercises for my son. In reality, I was fantasizing about a 20 minute nap on the nearby tumble mat. Yes, please! I’d hoped my glazed-over-look passed as attentive-mom, but I was fooling no one.

I bolted from an afternoon crammed with therapies and evals to help the PTO setup for meet-the-teacher. Aside from misplacing my kindergartner a few times, I managed simple tasks like lifting tables and transporting ice cream. Intelligible conversation with fellow parents and my kids’ new teachers, was more of a struggle. Though, it couldn’t possibly have been worse than our first go-round. Two years ago, I bombarded my first kindergartner’s teacher with an interview so long you’d have thought I wouldn’t see her again until June. Where do the kids eat lunch? What if he can’t open his containers? Where do I pick him up? What supplies should I buy? How do you feel about parent volunteers in your classroom? How many recesses does he get? Do I send a snack? Will you remind him to go to the bathroom? Will you help him with his zipper? Will he get lost in the hallway? All this with a line a mile behind me. I’m surprised his teacher didn’t have security haul me away.

This time around, I was way more relaxed. Super chill. I’ve-done-this-before chill. Or allergy-meds-overdose chill.

After the meetings, appointments, events, practices, meals all wrapped up for the day, I squinted as I summitted the stairs on my way to bed. Why, oh why, did my head still hurt so badly?

Oh, right. Because I never did actually get the Advil I’d needed that morning. Oops.

The Claritin had been on the needed-meds line-up. We’d spent the week sniffing, scrubbing and sorting mildewed possessions. Our house was a mildew showroom and my allergies were in full rebellion. But, taking three instead of one gave me no added benefit; it actually left me less-than-functioning. And taking Loratadine in place of Ibuprofen did nada for my headache.

I needed the right antidote for my ailment.

And I need the right antidote for my life ailments. But, I often find myself seeking the wrong remedy.

When I’m insecure, I swallow extra-strength comparison, pride, shame and worry. I need to swap that out for some over-the-counter truth, grace and worthiness.
When I’m afraid, I gulp down control like it’s Emergen-C. How about some perspective, trust and courage?
When I’m hurting, I grab the bottles of self-pity, blame and judgment. Instead, I need an Rx for self-empathy, community and vulnerability.
When I’m angry, I down venting, gossip, and revenge (well, at least in my head!). What I need is honesty, bravery and forgiveness.

And the list goes on. I need to take note of my symptoms, in the moment, and carefully grab the right medicine for my condition.

Otherwise, I sleep my way through life, which is unhelpful, dangerous and in a variety of contexts, embarrassing!

2 thoughts on “The Danger of Being “Claritin Clear”

  1. FORGET THE BLOGS. YOU NEED TO WRITE A BOOK! Just saying. Outstanding as always. I was laughing so hard at the Claritan mixup because I get it! I understand what plowing through looks like. You do it with style, my friend.

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