The Monkey on My Back

Okay, so I'm not totally up on the drug slang, but I thought that title had something to do with being addicted. I, Jeni Reno, am officially addicted to Afrin nose spray. Here's the thing. In the past three years or so, I get this "thing" that seems to be activated by (a) travel, (b) outdoors, or (c) the thought of either. This "thing" starts with severe congestion--a complete and total blockage of my nasal passages, which is never as big of a deal as it seems when you say it, that is, until you are experiencing it. You begin thinking that you are going to suffocate from lack of oxygen because you can no longer chew your food with your mouth closed. Suddenly, you are completely aware that oxygen isn't making its way to your lungs. Panic my friends. Now, I would go to the doctor for this "thing," but so far, I'm tired of paying for them to tell me what I already know. My doctor is going to say, "Wow, you are really compacted. Have you had any headaches?" I'm going to be annoyed that he just made a hundred dollars from such an enlightened observation. If I pay him a hundred dollars, I want him to stick that light up my nose and say, "I can tell you've been looking at traveling to Seattle. Stick to the east coast. Also, if you decide to sunbathe, make sure you stay on the east side of the house. That will cut down on the flow of allergens." Maybe we bypass the visit.

So, I'm left with the power of over-the-counter drugs, which let's be honest, isn't that potent. People always have recommendations too. Sudafed, Benedryl, Contact, blah, blah, blah. Dude, none of them work. I've tried the day time, the night time, the lunch time, the break time, the in between time. I've tried the allergy, the cold, and the sinus. Is there truly a difference? Me thinks not. Don't be fooled when your head is full of snot. Don't sell yourself or your health short. Nothing in that isle is going to help you. Well, I say nothing, but there is something, but then again, it's only for the strong. Afrin my friends. Afrin is a god, just an evil one. You can snort the good stuff and just feel your nasal passages opening up. The oxygen is again flowing in the natural passageway to your lungs. The sun is glorious again, ending world hunger seems possible, and having world peace looks like an option. Even though the crank says it only lasts for twelve hours, I can give sworn testimony that its high goes way past twelve but not quite the twenty-four you may need.

A high is closely tied to the down...yes, the down of Afrin. The crank can only be used for three golden, glorious days. In fact, you will start to feel so good, you start to think your sickness if a figment of your imagination. Perhaps, you are well on your way to recovery. But then, then my friends, the fourth day comes. The dark clouds come out, the snot compacts into more corners of your skull that you were never really aware are meant to be somewhat empty, and the nasal passages decide to seal off for what could really be an eternity. And oh how you long for your Afrin. You might even start to rationalize that technically, you haven't really met your limit. The directions say you can use 2-3 pumps per nostril and up to twice a day; however, because you dipped slowly into the vat of addiction, you only used one sprit per nostril and managed to use it just once a day. So, could you venture another two to three days on the crank? Would it be that bad? If you do hit the bottle a few more times, do you give up the dream of oxygen ever reaching your nostrils again without the aid of oxymetazoline hydrochloride? Will your nose fall off? Maybe they said no more than three days to scare people because they knew people would stay on it for at least another two days. Maybe the cut-off period is actually five days. Five. That's a good round number.

[Sigh] These are the thoughts of an addict. I need my S-M-A-C-K!


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