Real Talk Thursday: non-drowsy is a lie

I haven’t suffered from seasonal allergies in years. Years. The last time I remember them being an issue was probably a decade ago, during a Spring when Mother Nature deposited a visible layer of pollen on my car every single day. Since then, sure I get the urge to sneeze here or there, but I haven’t had what I consider to be seasonal allergies, nor have I needed to take antihistamines.

Until Monday.

In general, I’ve been sneezing a lot more this Spring than in years past but Monday, Monday is when the shit hit the fan. I went out to the valley for a hike, during which I was fine, but after which I started sneezing uncontrollably. By the time I got into my car after stretching, my nose was super congested. On the drive home, I had to blow my nose roughly every five minutes. Sorry, I know that’s gross. No one wants to read about nose blowing. I’ll move along. Five hours later, I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all, the skin around my nose was already raw from blowing it so often, and I continued to sneeze with a vengeance. I’d had enough.

I broke down and bought non-drowsy antihistamines, or so they claimed to be. After three days I have only one question: what are those things made of?????  For the last three days I have been beyond exhausted and my head a sea of fog. Sure, I can breathe, but what good is that when I can barely stay awake?  I took a two hour nap Tuesday morning. I went to bed before 10pm the last two nights and, even though I sleep in until 7:30, I was still exhausted in the morning. Should this really be the cost of clear nasal passages?

I checked the package at least five times to make sure that I had, in fact, selected a non-drowsy variety (I had). This only heightened my level of irritation, so much so that, for quite possibly the first time in my life, I read the entire paper insert  that came with my antihistamines. Let me tell you, that is not an engaging read.  But lo and behold, what did I find deep in a sea of dry, medical terminology? This: “[undisclosed brand name] is non-drowsy…however, some people can experience drowsiness” followed by this: “the most common side effects…are headache, sleepiness and dry mouth.”  Ah yes, the classic “non-drowsy” medication that may cause drowsiness, why didn’t I think of that before taking them? I suspect this is the case with many drugs, which is precisely why I don’t usually take them and why I never, ever read their fine print. Suffice it to say, I was not impressed.

Thankfully today’s rain seems to have sufficiently settled whatever nasty allergens were stirred up earlier this week. Still, even if the sun returns tomorrow, I think I’m done with supposedly non-drowsy allergy meds for now.