working on diphenhydramine
Wednesday, November 5 2003
Yesterday my teeth seemed as if they'd recovered from the recent spate of unusual aching. But early this morning I awoke to find myself clenching my teeth - the usual method my unconscious body uses to moderate toothaches if they come while I'm still asleep. So I tracked down some pain medication of some sort and then took a bath. When I went back to sleep, I did so in the second bedroom, where I could be sure of easily assuming a comfortable position. (What with all the animals, getting into the bed I'm supposed to get into every night is like an especially challenging game of three-dimensional Tetris.)
A more obvious application of the three-dimensional Tetris metaphor would be the stacking I did in the garage after "the Wood Man" came by and dropped off a cord of firewood he'd hauled from Saugerties (it cost me $125).
(In comparing the heat content of wood to oil, I see that a cord of wood contains 21 to 25 million BTUs of heat. 250 gallons of heating oil - a large delivery - contains about the same.) We didn't buy any wood at all last winter because there was still a lot left over from the previous owners and we didn't use the wood stove very often. This year we're handling our wood burning with more foresight and consideration, keeping the wood out of the rain and snow for starters.
After I had all the wood nicely stacked in an enormous figure-H formation, my teeth started aching again, so I rooted around in the green box that houses most of the house's pain killers and thought I'd try a brand I hadn't before, Unisom. It contains two active ingredients: acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. A little while later I drove down to the big stone house on Hurley Mountain Road and continued the running of ethernet cable there. Even before I got there, though, I felt a strange urge to take a nap. Had it been much stronger, I would have pulled over the truck and taken a little siesta right there along Hurley Mountain Road in the falling rain. That diphenhydramine is evidently a strong sedative, and this is why Pfiser calls the drug they put it in Unisom. Interestingly, though, with a job to do, the Unisom didn't take much of the wind out of my sails. It made me go through my actions with a more resigned sense of purpose, not deliberating so much about the different ways to attack problems I encountered. In this way it was sort of like ritalin, minus the concealed smirk.
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