Under The Influence Of Benadryl, A Girl Might Ramble…


It’s 8:15 on a Sunday night, and I am just this second sitting down to write something, which is entirely too long beyond my bedtime.

My bedtime is getting earlier and earlier these days, because Thing 2 thinks that getting up at 4:30 in the morning is hilarious.

Except… you know… it’s just not.  And Mama doesn’t always use her soft words at 4:30 in the morning, because my voice sounds like gravel being dumped from an excavator into the back of a beat-up pickup.  What I really want to do at 4:30 in the morning is sleep.  If I wanted to be awake, I would have planned a career around farming.  Or perhaps donut-making.

Except… probably not the donut-making, because I imagine that would involve yeast and flour and sugar and DROP IT INTO THE VAT OF HOT OIL NOW, and I can’t even stand to cook at 5:30 in the evenings.  I can’t imagine the horrors of it at 4:30 in the morning.


I’ve also swallowed a full Benadryl tablet tonight, so I can’t guarantee that all of my words will come out straight.  When I’m hopped up on Benadryl, I usually act like those children who have gotten up early (Let’s say at 4:30 in the morning.) and spent the ENTIRE DAY at the local carnival, hopping from ride to ride and eating too many funnel cakes and bags of kettle corn.  By the end of the day, those kids are a hot mess of I JUST NEED TO LAY DOWN IN THE DIRT HERE AND HAVE A GOOD CRY, BECAUSE I’M SO TIRED, I CAN’T EVEN SEE STRAIGHT.

And that’s me on a Benadryl.

I have to take the Benadryl, because I have hives on my left leg.  Yes, I really AM a medical problem, because if it involves blood clots or skin infections or hives or eyes swelling up like basketballs, it will happen to me.  And yes… the hives are on the same leg as the staph infection, which is still lingering around, because what I enjoy more than GETTING an ailment is drawing that sucker out for as long as possible.

Our insurance company loves me.

I’ve started going to a wound care clinic.  I didn’t know a place like this existed before last week, because I live in a bubble where I don’t want to think about people who look at festering, pus-filled sores on other folks’ skin.  THAT grosses me out almost as much as the online article about the girl who had a spider crawl into her ear and lay eggs.

(I know that story is true, because I read it on the Internet.  The Internet doesn’t lie.  Except I saw a quote the other day that said, “The problem with the Internet is that you can’t trust everything you read there.”  It was written by Abraham Lincoln.)


The whole wound care thing has been an experience, but the therapist is twelve different kinds of friendly, and I like her.  I like her a lot.  She has decided that she can clear up my still-swollen-from-the-blood-clot-thirteen-years-ago-and-then-caught-staph-and-then-got-hives left leg.  Last Thursday, she wrapped my leg from my foot to my knee with something that’s exactly like flexible Styrofoam.  After that, she wrapped something that’s exactly like a sticky ace bandage around my leg.  After that, she put a saggy, knee-high pantyhose over the top of it all, which is exactly like your Great Aunt Agnes used to wear with her flowered dresses to church in 1974.

Sleeping with Styrofoam around your leg is great.

Hubs would sleep in flannel sheets every night of the week, if I’d let him.  In ye days of olde (Read:  Before I Hit 40.), I didn’t mind flannel sheets, but now my estrogen has gone to battle with me, which basically means it wants to smother me with fire in the middle of the night and leave me for dead.  I can no longer stand the flannel sheets, and wish that someone wearing a black stocking cap would break into our house and take both sets of our queen-sized ones.


And then I had my leg wrapped in Styrofoam and another layer of faux-plastic ace bandage.

My left leg in the flannel sheets at night is exactly like Dante’s Inferno.  It’s like sleeping at the gates of hell.  I’m surprised the plastic wrap and Styrofoam hasn’t just melted off of me already.


Well.  I can’t get any of this wet.  And THAT, my friends, is why I skipped a shower on Friday morning AND on Saturday morning.  The thought of getting wrapped up like a scuba diver in order to shower didn’t win out against YEAH… I THINK I CAN GET AWAY WITH DIRTY, THIRD-DAY HAIR TODAY.  But today?  Well, we had church, and Jesus likes it when you show up and invest some effort into your look.

Oh, not really.  Jesus just likes you to show up.  He doesn’t care if you come in your sweatpants from your college days and a ponytail.  But I didn’t want someone sitting behind me, wondering if it was the trashcan in the church hallway that smelled of UTTER HORROR, when it was really me.  So I did exactly as the wound care therapist instructed me.  I put a tall, kitchen garbage bag over my leg and secured everything with duct tape.

I know… I know… I managed to bring SEXY back this morning with that.

And so that’s kind of how my week has been.

And then we cleaned the garage on Saturday.

When most people clean their garages, it just means, “Honey!  Put your hammer back in the toolbox and let’s hang the rakes up, and goodness!  Junior’s BMX bike is laying on the concrete floor again, and that was fourteen entire minutes of straightening the garage up!  Let’s go to Starbucks to celebrate all the cleaning we just did!”

Our garage was different.  It might be because when Hubs and I first moved into this house, we moved EVERYTHING into the garage and lived in a 1978 camp trailer in the backyard, while the house was being built.  You think I jest, but alas… it’s the solid truth.  We borrowed the camper from a friend.

The stove was avocado green, and so was the tiny toilet.

When the Sheetrock was in… and when the house was painted… and when the hardwood floors were laid… and after a shower was installed… we hauled our sleeping bags from the vintage camper into the house, and we unpacked a couple of boxes from the garage.

Which is the exact point in time when we realized that we had collected quite a lot of stuff over the years, and DO WE NEED ALL OF THIS?

The answer was a firm NO.  So… Hubs and I left all of these boxes in our garage.  Then the boxes fell in love… and they dated… and they eventually reproduced and made MORE boxes, because WOW!  Our garage was full.

Which meant we never parked in it.

160,000 cardboard boxes tend to not leave a whole lot of room for a Suburban.

For Hubs’ birthday, though, his parents and I vowed to clean the garage so that he could park in it like normal people do.  It was time for the Hoarding of the Boxes to JUST END ALREADY, GLADYS!

And so we cleaned yesterday like people taking some kid’s Ritalin.

I threw away an entire box filled with cassette tapes.  Oh, people.  It pained me at first, because there was Bon Jovi’s 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit.  It was a classic!  And there was Journey and Chicago and Night Ranger and Poison and Richard Marx and Rick Springfield and Bad English.  There was Foreigner.  There was Billy Ocean and Icehouse.  There was Phil Collins.  There was The Escape Club and Boy Meets Girl and Lita Ford.  There was Cheap Trick and INXS and Debbie Gibson and Breathe and  Belinda Carlisle.  And there were all the mixed tapes from old high school dating days, because everyone knew that if you reached the WE HAVE BEEN DATING FOR FOUR ENTIRE WEEKS AND WE ARE SO-O-OO-OOOO IN  LOVE mark, you had to make one another a mixed tape.

I threw the entire box away, people.

I put Bon Jovi in the garbage.

I was a bit worried that I’d be all, “BON JOVI AND DEBBIE GIBSON ARE SITTING IN THE DUMP TOGETHER TONIGHT, INSTEAD OF TUCKED SAFELY IN A BOX IN OUR GARAGE!”  But then?  Do you know what?  I felt this enormous relief that WE JUST GOT RID OF ONE OF THOSE BOXES OUT OF OUR GARAGE!  And I may have done a backflip.  Because the last time I listened to Jon Bon Jovi on cassette?

Well, it was a time when I was using a full can of aerosol hairspray every.  single.  week.  Big hair required some big maintenance and supplies, people.

So now I just have Jon on the iPod, and the cassette is gone.

Along with 193 other cassette tapes.

By the end of yesterday, our garage was BARE.  And then Hubs handed the keys to his car to the boy (age thirteen).  The boy drove the car up the driveway and parked it in the garage, which is the very, VERY first time a vehicle has ever been parked in our garage.


And then Hubs said, “I have a car in my garage.  Y’ALL!  I HAVE A CAR IN MY GARAGE!!!  Y’all can go on up to bed now.  I’m just going to sit out here and look at it.”

And with that, I have to go to bed.  My Benadryl is making my eyeballs heavy, and I just need to lie down somewhere.

Hopefully, it’ll be in my bed.

Except I just remembered that we still have the flannel sheets on that sucker, so I might take a lightweight blanket out to the garage and sleep on the COLD concrete floor.

My estrogen and Styrofoam-wrapped leg will thank me.

Y’all have a merry Sunday night.

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