A true April Fool


You know how it is.

Sometimes, you just really want to get some stuff done, even if you are not feeling all that well.

I really wanted to spray paint my wicker chair last night. I didn’t do it the night before, because I was writing. I wanted to get it done in time for the little get-together I’m having on Saturday. So, after work, I got changed into my painting clothes and assembled all the necessary items in my garage.

The first problem was that I felt kind of awful, since a migraine was coming on. Now, normally, I take care of myself when a migraine is starting. I start drinking water like crazy, and I lay down in my room with my eye mask on. I do NOT usually put myself inside a closed garage (I’ll get to that in a second) and start breathing in noxious fumes.

Well, I don’t. Except for last night. Last night I did do this.

I’m amazed, sometimes, at the dumb things I am capable of doing. I mean, seriously. I knew better. I did. I did read all the instructions on the spray can. I even bought an $8 face respirator/mask thing (not just one of the little thin cheap ones). And yet, insanity still ensued.

I started with the garage door down. Ceiling fan on, though. Woot. Like that did anything to help. Anyway, I got one coat of yellow paint on the chair, when I realized the air was hazy. I could strongly smell the paint, even though the mask. I took a break and went in the house for some fresh-er air.

But I was back out there in five minutes. Spray painting was too much fun. This time, I opened the garage door so the fumes could escape. I should have done this in the first place, of course. But dumb me was like “my overhead lights are so bright in the garage, and if I have the door open people can see in and watch what I’m doing” and I hated that idea. I don’t like people to know what’s going on in my house, ever. Even if the things that are going on are, admittedly, really stupid and entertaining in their pure idiocy. Who doesn’t want to watch a dumb girl spraypainting herself into oblivion while Led Zeppelin plays on the iPod? Shyeah.

I started to feel a little lightheaded, but I blamed that on the sumitriptan.

See, I took a pill right before I went to the garage to start painting. My theory was that it would take awhile to kick in, and I could get the painting done fast enough so that, when it did, I could be happily in my house with my feet up, enjoying a healthy sense of accomplishment.

I will never, ever do this again! I promise!

When I finally stopped painting and went in the house, all the sudden the most intense wave of nausea hit. I bolted down the hall and tossed all of my dumb cookies. Blechhh. So gross. My head was spinning. I mean, my vision was all wonky. I kept thinking of the way that they shot the vertigo effects in Vertigo… things looked kind of like that. It scared the crap out of me!

I went out on my back porch and collapsed into one of my new, cushy patio chairs. I couldn’t move. My arms didn’t want to lift up, and moving my head was incredibly difficult. I felt like I was weighed down. And the nausea was so intense, oh my god… combined with the splitting headache, I was pretty sure I knew what happened. I’d made myself super-sick by taking powerful migraine drugs and inhaling copious amounts of acetone and xylene.

After some more violent puking, during which Hurley fled the bathroom and would not return no matter what I cried out to him, I washed my face and brushed my teeth and basically dropped onto my bed, still feeling dizzy and heavy at the same time. I noticed my heart was pounding very, very slowly. But I soon fell asleep. It was only about 9:00.

I woke up around 3am. I felt a little better, in terms of the nausea and headache. But the dizzy, lightheaded feeling was still there, and the headache wasn’t actually gone yet. I went online and looked up all the side effects of inhaling spray paint, and then taking sumitriptan. Of course, no one online had done that particular combination… but when I read some of the things, I got very scared.

On the list of symptoms that means someone should go to the ER for oxygen therapy, I had every single one of them. Including the slow heartbeat. I panicked, but did a little searching first regarding late-night urgent care places. I found a number for the local hospital’s poison control hotline.

I called and a nice nurse named Fay talked me down. Meaning, she made me feel a lot better about what had happened. I did open the conversation with “I did a stupid thing, I’m so embarassed.” Apparently, she thought my symptoms were most likely coming from the sumitriptan.

It’s true that I haven’t taken it in a long time. And the last time I took it, I mistook a pill for a tablet that is supposed to dissolve under your tongue, so I don’t think I got the full effect.

I recall it making me feel all wonky and lightheaded in the past, so I really don’t look forward to taking it. But suffering through a migraine is stupid. If I have something to ease the pain, I should take it. My doctor gave it to me for a reason.

Whew, though. It really killed me last night. Wow. It’s scary how powerful that stuff is.

I called my boss and left a message that I was coming in late this morning, and told him what happened. I finally got to the office around 10:30 today. I still feel crappy. I still have a mild headache, my neck and jaw are all achy for some reason. Ick. I don’t feel good. But I feel a lot better than I did. I know I’m going to keep feeling better as the day goes on, too.

I deserve all the joking and laughing I’m getting here today from my coworkers, I really do. And it IS funny. I am amazed at the levels of ‘tard I can reach sometimes. Oh, well.

The chair looks very pretty, by the way.

And from now on, ALL spray painting is happening only when I feel fine and have no pharmaceuticals working through my brain. And it’s only happening outside, in the back yard. Even with the garage door open, it’s definitely not enough.

I have learned from this. I swear.

No more stupid behavior for me! Well… at least until I (accidentally) figure out the next brilliant way to harm my own health.  


7 responses »

  1. Sneezing and peeing? Really… that’s so interesting. From the times when I did use sumatriptan in the past, I know that the pain of the headache really did go away, even if I was super light-headed and dizzy. So, I plan to continue taking it if I need to.
    The difference will be to simply avoid spray painting things at the same time! Argh. Still can’t believe I thought spray painting would be good with a MIGRAINE coming on.

  2. Wow! Super scary! Reminds me of the time I decided to clean a small, closed-in shower stall with an ammonia/bleach combination. Or the time I took aspirin with Pepto-Bismol. Seems I don’t read labels until AFTER I start having bad reactions.

  3. This sounds like something I would do. 🙂 I am glad you are feeling better. Who would have known spray painting could be so dangerous.

    So I see you went with the yellow. Nice choice.

  4. Scary. It seems obvious in retrospect, but of course when you’re doing shit like that you never think this is dangerous. It’s always nice to have Poison Control on speed-dial. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Things that are good, bad and creative. « I Can Has Diary

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