Cough Cough – Thursday December 23rd

I haven’t written anything this week because I’m sick, and nothing is more boring then reading about someone’s illness. It’s not like people want to take time out of their day to read about my sore throat, my chills, my waves of vertigo, or my body aches. I mean surely you all have better things to do and read about.


On the other hand, I don’t have much else going on other than the crushing depression of a babyless Christmas. So please enjoy this short tale about me being sick:


After a long pleading conversation with my husband I was given his blessing to buy more NyQuil. It was banned from our home two years ago after a chronic cough turned into a NyQuil love affair. NyQuil puts one to sleep with gentle cooling menthol kisses, it soothes sore throats and relieves body aches. It is a generous lover. So, I was excited to stock back up.


I burst into Walgreens and bee-lined to the cough and cold section. I was confronted by two rows of NyQuil. In my advanced age I have become menu-illiterate, and I’m finding myself to now be shelf-illiterate as well. I no longer have the mental capacity to read through all the options I’m presented with, so I usually just choose the first thing my eyes settle on. This explains why I ordered Spaghetti and meat balls with meat sauce at a restaurant last week, event though I hate meat sauce. I just saw Spaghetti something and pointed to it. So you can only imagine the panic that seized me when I realized I would have to carefully read 20 possible options for NyQuil. I was resentful that I didn’t live in Russia circa 1986, where aisle upon aisle of supermarkets were totally bare. If any food or products were on the shelves, there certainly couldn’t have been more than one kind of bread, one kind of maxi-pad, one kind of bran cereal.


A cough formed in my throat, reminding me to stay the course. My eyes scanned and ignored the bottles covered in bright yellow labels- that was obviously the DayQuil. I ignored the Walgreens brand NyQuil (nice try Walgreens) and the two packs (one bottle NyQuile, one bottle DayQuil). Using the process of elimination to forgo having to study the label, I grasped a bottle of NyQuil on the bottom shelf and marched up to the counter to pay for it.


At home Tom brought me the little cup full of my old friend. I drank greedily and basked in the cooling menthol as it soothed my cough. But two hours later I was wide awake. Hm. I went in the bathroom to have another little tiny half-dose, and looked at the label for the fist time:


NyQuil: Less Drowsy Formula.


I felt like I had drank half a gallon of milk before feeling a rotten chunk of spoilt slide down my throat. What kind of pervert would invent a “Less Drowsy Formula” let alone place it next to the regular NyQuil? The evil geniuses at NyQuil must know that most people buying their product are doing so because they’re sick, and might not be hyper-aware of every nuance of packaging (let alone people like me who supper from label-illiteracy!). I screamed:




Tom and Ramona came into the bathroom to see what the commotion was about. Ramona got bored halfway through my rant and walked back out. Tom, who has the difficult job of having to deal with my frequent mini-melt-downs and temper tantrums, tried to explain that perhaps people felt too drowsy from normal NyQuil, and felt a less drowsy version helped them wake up easier in the morning.


I let myself be comforted, knowing that the closest Walgreens was already closed, and being slightly too cheap to throw the bottle away. Tom tucked me into bed and I was asleep before the lights were off. I guess less drowsy is still drowsy enough for me. But I’m still going to write a strongly worded letter to congress voicing my outrage that we Americans have way too many choices as consumers and puts us at a major disadvantage. Imagine yourself in a supermarket trying to stock up on supplies before the asteroid hits: Soy Milk? Vanilla Soy Milk? Vanilla Light Soy Milk? I’d be urinating in my bran flakes when the end finally came just to avoid the added torture of having to make another decision. Actually I guess I could use tap water too, for my last bowl of cereal before the asteroid hits. Yea, that’d be better than urine for sure.

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  1. Melissa says:


    Try generic next time. Less choices. ;)

    Happy Holidays Heather!

  2. robin says:

    Forget Nyquil. Theraflu rules! You mix it with hot water for a soothing lemony tea. You’ll be sailing off to dreamland in no time. Feel better, honey!

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