I’m not usually one for seasonal allergies, but some years, they just really get to me. The last couple weeks, I’ve wanted to scratch my face off, which reminded me of a funny (see: horrific at the time, but I’m laughing at it now) story from a few years ago…

That particular year, I was suffering from bad allergies. They were so severe that I decided to take medication, something I never really do. I was taking the exact dose recommended for adults that was listed on the box. For the first couple days, everything was fine. They seemed to be helping me quite a bit.

Ah, relief.

But on the third or fourth day, something happened. I guess I must have been intolerant to some ingredient(s) in the medication. Either that or my body wasn’t absorbing it properly, so it was accumulating too much in my system. Whatever it was, I took a dose of the allergy medication and everything changed.

I was sitting at the dining room table across from my parents. I can’t remember exactly what we were doing, but I have a feeling we were discussing plans to go out later in the day. My eyelids started to feel heavy.

“Wow, this allergy medication is making me sleepy.”

“Ugh, that’s always the downside,” my mom groaned, “You stop sneezing, but you need a nap.”

“Yeah, such a drag.”

But a few moments later, I wasn’t feeling any more alert. In fact, I was on a quick downward spiral. I started feeling like I couldn’t open my eyes at all. It was like my brain was awake, but my body was refusing to go along with it. My head started bobbing around and I started to sound like a kid trying to stay awake for New Year’s Eve or something – my speech was mumbled, the ends of my sentences getting swallowed up by my closed lips, but continuing in my mind.

“Andrea, are you okay?”

“Yeahhhhh…I dunnnnooow.”

I thought about it. Was I okay?

Wait a second.

“I….cannnn’t move…myarms. Ican’tmovemyarms.” I stammered.


Inside my head, I felt frantic. I was telling my arms to move and they weren’t. I couldn’t feel them. I knew they were there, but they were limp and dead, hanging off my sides, useless. I panicked. No, I wanted to panic, but I couldn’t. I wasn’t moving.

What the fuck?

I managed to get to the sofa somehow, my mom trying to keep me as alert as possible. I don’t remember much past that except that in my head, I kept saying that I couldn’t move my arms. Whether I said that out loud or not, I have no clue. For a moment, I wondered if I was dying. I was definitely losing consciousness. Would I ever wake up? There was no way to be sure at that point. I was somewhat comforted by the fact that my life wasn’t flashing before my eyes, but I worried that was just because I was too tired. If I was dying, there was no way I was going to fight it because it was enveloping me quickly. Everything behind my eyes was going black no matter what. I was terrified and eerily serene at the same time.

And then I was out.

I slept for a really long time.

I felt groggy and sick for like, four days.

And then I was fine again, thank goodness.

A week later, I saw one of my friends. I had missed a get-together with him during the allergy medication debacle. He asked me what had happened.

“I don’t really know – I think I overdosed on allergy medication?”

“Oh yeah, I’ve done that.”

“Taking the recommended dose?”



So that was when I learned that I need to be careful with that.

Maybe you should, too. Just a heads up.