Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ode to Benadryl

This weekend, Benadryl was the bizarre drug of choice.

We had a 13 year old manipulative sh*t that came in for a reported OD on Benadryl 3 (count 'em, three) different times in 3 days before getting an EWOL and a psych admit (finally!) the last time. Bet the EWOL (commonly known as stomach-pumping, Mom) has more effect than the psych admit.

We had a real Benadryl OD (talk about a horrendous way to spend your Friday night! I actually felt sorry for this guy. A little bit.)

Then we had a 23 year old druggie that ground up her sister's Benadryl and snorted it. Not enough to do any damage, cuz she stopped when she wasn't getting high.

That is the "retarded patients" part of the story. Now for the happy ending.

I have horrendous allergies. Between the pollen outside, my co-workers' various perfumes and lotions, and the fact that I am allergic to my cats (no, I am not geting rid of them. They make me laugh.) I haven't been able to breathe for about 10 years. I buy Kleenex in the 12 boxes at a time shrink-wrapped package at Costco. Monthly. Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec do not work. Sudafed does not work. I have been taking 2 Benadryl every 4 hours for about the last 5 years. Literally. Now for the DUH part of the story.

I haven't ever tried any of the prescription nasal sprays because, frankly, I can't breathe, so how am I gonna inhale my medicine? Besides, dumb me (with some misinformation from a dumb doctor at some point) thought that they were all just antihistamines and wouldn't work anyway. WRONG! They're actually steriods. One of our ED docs took pity on me this weekend (I was quite pathetic, even more so than usual) and wrote me a script for Flonase. He said he didn't care what my arguments were, go get it and try it for at least 2 weeks. (I think there was a "Now, before I kill you myself" in there somewhere.)

The first day it mostly just dribbled back out of my nose. (I really can't breathe most of the time.) The second day I got some in; it made me sneeze for 30 minutes. The third day I think I got a full dose. The fourth day I could breathe. I have taken 4 (count 'em, four) Benadryl in the last 3 days. My Kleenex boxes are gathering dust. My cats are sleeping on my bed again (much to my husband's dismay.)

And for 15 seconds every morning, I feel like I just snorted Raid. Swear to God. I hate it. Oh well.


Kimberly said...

That is awesome that you finally have some air flowing through your nostrils. I had the same problem. In nursing school my roomate had a cat. I really love cats, but I am very allergic to them. I guess I react the same way you do. FLonase was a godsend! I hope it keeps working for you, and keep your cats! It sounds like you really love them.

MarlaQuack said...

I really enjoy your blog. About the allergies. With the last refill I switched from Flonase to Nasonex. Same results, but the Nasonex is much more plesant to snort. That sounds, well, wrong, but you get what I mean. It is not thick and does not have that smell. Congratulations on regaining the use of your nose.

ERnursey said...

Ah spring when thoughts turn to kleenex, sneezing and Benadryl

Anonymous said...

I guess that is one of the things I should have suggested you try a few years ago. It worked for everyone else in the family who has allergies...sorry!


Jess said...

Aerius is a loratidine derivative that is available over the counter in Canada. It's a prescription drug here in the US and costs almost double the price.

If you've got any connections there, try to get them to send some to you. I'm the same (and won't give up my cats either) and it works wonders.

Consider it. With the flonase, you'll be almost back to 100%.

Nicole said...

I don't know how you got this far in life without discovering nasal steroids...

The keys to a pleasant spray are (1) unscented and (2) a glycerin base. Flonase is one of the more unpleasant of the nasal sprays, and it can be harsh.

I agree that you really might prefer Nasonex.

Supposedly they all work about the same, but I think Nasonex works better than Rhinocort (which I believe also has glycerin). The Rhinocort seemed a little whimpy to me (OK, that's not very scientific, but you get the idea).

Best wishes -

MLO said...

I suffer from extremely severe allergies and have used Flonase. The problem, if you have any propensity at all for nosebleeds? Welcome to the flooding nosebleed. Now, being in an ER you might be able to get it cauterized and stopped faster than I can, but I prefer to use Claritin-D 24 hour (normally works for me) + some H2 inhibitor. That combination helps immensely.



SuperStenoGirl said...

I got a cat in June of last year and by November (after having given away the cat a week after getting her) I was still stuffed up. Stuffed up, running like Niagra falls and sneezing (the end result of which was positively disgusting). Went to a walk-in clinic and got Flomax or Flonase or something like that even after telling the doctor that I'd taken all the OTC nasal sprays I could find.

Unfortunately, what he prescribed didn't work. It took me getting a nasty, nasty cold in January to force whatever was bothering me, out.

But yet, Flonase (if that's what I ended up getting, can't recall honestly) smelled similar to Raid. Little bit closer to terpentine though.

Glad to hear you got your issue cleared up. I bet food tastes a whole lot better too!

geena said...

Duuuuude, Benadryl every 4 hours for years??? I can't even begin to function on that stuff.

Glad you got your nose straightened out... sorry it feels like Raid.