Monday, April 14, 2008

Not bright moments in recent history

So, you might recall on Saturday I was talking about these lovely pills that I was taking called Tylenol Ultras. Because I thought I was coming down with the flu and these magic pills were what was keeping me going.

Turns out I made two basic mistakes. First, I assumed I had the flu. I didn't. I managed to clue in about 4 a.m. last night that other than a low grade fever and tonsils that felt like they were the size of beach balls I didn't have any other flu or cold symptoms. That meant I had strep throat. It also meant that I could either tough it out the next few days - not something I really wanted to deal with while travelling. Or that I was going to have to brave the ER today to try and get penicillin.

Fortunately, I had no problem getting up early to go to the ER as I hadn't slept Sunday night. Or Saturday night. And a decent chunk of Friday night. Now I've had strep before, and insomnia wasn't one of the symptoms. So about 30 minutes after I diagnosed myself with strep, I finally clued in as to what might have kept me awake the past few nights. I got up, went into the bathroom and checked out the Tylenol Ultras I've so cheerfully quaffing down since Friday.

You know, when I saw the word "Ultra" I just thought it was some marketing too. "Extra Strength" not enough for you in your Tylenol anymore? Well, we've got "Ultra"! Turns out there was an ingredient that I should have paid attention to before. Each red pill contains 65 mg of caffeine. To put this in some perspective, here's a list of American soft drinks and the amount of caffeine they contain. You can tell it's American because Mountain Dew has caffeine, whereas in Canada they don't.

So, as you can tell, there's quite a bit of caffeine in those pills. And from Friday to Sunday, I figured I took 20 pills (4 on Friday, 8 each on Saturday and Sunday). So that's the equivalent of 20 Jolt Colas in that period of time. Or perhaps 40 Diet Coke's.

On a normal day I might drink a single Diet Coke and have some chocolate. That's my caffeine intake. So I went just a wee bit over my daily intake. So yeah, I think I might have solved my insomnia problem. Jesus, it's a wonder I'm still not climbing the walls. Or that I haven't completely crashed and slipped into a coma.

So, this is a good way to get ready for the big trip tomorrow....recovering from strep throat and coming down from a massive caffeine surge over the weekend. Still, I'm looking forward to the trip. The weather looks good in both Ottawa and New York (24C on Friday in New York!). So here's hoping the next blog post is from either Ottawa or New York.


Kennie said...

Oh, poor you! I reserve the use of those Tylenol Ultra's for Mornings where I can't get a cup of coffee (as I have a slight caffeine issue, and when I don't get my java I get massive headaches .. these little red pills at least take the edge off). They could completely explain why you were experiencing insomnia.

Kirsten said...

Nothing I can say but "*cringe*".

Uh, have a great trip!

towniebastard said...

I figured I would crash last night, but while I did manage to get to sleep, I still tossed and turned a lot.

Plus, I had bizarrely vivid dreams. And since we've been watching The Closer on DVD the past week, a lot of them involved Kyra Sedgwick yelling at me in a Southern accent in an interogation room.

It's a good show, although I could have done without being yelled at in my dreams.