Two years ago I was very sick for Thanksgiving. Suffering from both bronchitis and a sinus infection, I had multiple prescriptions for antibiotics, decongestants, and cough syrups, and a doctor’s order for bed rest. As I was coughing the other night on Day Three of what is now a five (soon to be six) day cold, I heard a little click. Light bulb! I jumped out of bed and ran to the closet in my bathroom. After digging around for a few minutes, I found a half full bottle of codeine cough syrup, a remnant from my 2010 sickness. I ran downstairs to get a dosing spoon. Perhaps I would finally get some respite from this wretched cough and sleep! When I got back upstairs, hubby asked me what I was doing.
“I found this cough syrup. I’m going to take some and finally get some sleep,” I told him.
“How old is that stuff?” he asked.
“A couple years?” I shrugged. There was no expiration date on the bottle.
“Are you sure it’s okay to take that?”
“It’s not a dairy product. It’s not like it turned or anything. It’s gotta be chock full of preservatives. I’m not about to ingest two-year-old raw chicken I had sitting in the back of the closet. Don’t ruin this for me,” I said, trying to convince myself that he was not going to introduce any doubt into my resolved mind.
I was going to get some sleep, dammit. He would not deprive me of this with his overactive imagination and his wild visions of my dying prematurely and leaving him as a single father of two sons. Nope. I was going to live on the edge and take the stupid codeine. I deserved the sleep. He was not going to take this from me. I was going to take it. Yep. I definitely was. I shook the bottle lightly to mix the syrup and poured myself the recommended dose. Oh, okay. If you must know, I sniffed it too. Silly husband had me a bit curious. That’s all. It smelled fine. Just as I was about to drink it, he spoke up again.
“You sure you don’t want to verify that it’s okay to take that?” he asked.
“I’m sure it is fine. It smells fine. I saw a show once that said the worst that happens with most medications is that they lose their effectiveness with time. Most of them don’t become more dangerous. They become less dangerous,” I reassured him.
“Most of them don’t become more dangerous? How do you know this isn’t one of the ones that does become more dangerous?”
Seriously? He was egging me on. I knew it. I stalled for a few minutes. When he went in to sit with the boys as they were falling asleep, I decided that I might as well go ahead and conduct a Google search. Once I knew for sure that I was right I could show him the proof and then he’d have to leave me alone, right? I grabbed my laptop and did about fifteen minutes worth of reading, all of which supported my theory that it would be fine to take it. If anything, it had probably only lost some effectiveness, so the worst that could happen would be that I would take it and get none of the cough-free sleep I so desperately needed and deserved. While he was still out of the room, I hopped out of bed, drank the cough syrup, quickly recalled how icky it tastes, chased it with some water and a brushing of my teeth, and jumped back in bed just before he returned.
“So, did you take it?” he said.
“Yes. Yes I did,” I said confidently.
“How much did you take?” he inquired.
“Why do you want to know?” I asked.
“Well…if something goes horribly awry and I end up having to call 911 because you seem to be turning into a zombie, I just want to know what to tell to the physicians whose brains you’ll be trying to eat what you took.”
“Funny,” I said, rolling my eyes at him. “You’re a laugh riot. Just you wait. I’m going to sleep tonight, wake up fine tomorrow, and you’re going to owe me an apology for giving me such a load of grief,” I told him.
“Uh huh. Sure,” he said as he turned out the light on his side of the bed and went to sleep.
I’ll have you know that I slept like a baby that night. 9 hours straight. I did the same thing last night. And, I’m going to do it again tonight. No regrets about my decision. I am still, however, slightly disappointed in myself for letting him get into my head like that and making me think for a fraction of a second that I could be wrong. When am I ever wrong? The good news is that I have my browser set so that it doesn’t save any of my web site activity because I’m stealthy like that. He will never know that I did actually check up on the safety of the medication upon his recommendation. (Well…unless he reads this blog, I guess.) Men. You can’t let them know they can get to you. If they know that, it’s all over. You’ll never again have a moment’s peace.
Ah – those expiration-date wars! Loved it.