It’s that dreaded day again.

When I realize it’s coming, I choose to procrastinate, postponing the chore as long as possible, dreaming about how to live without them, wishing mind over body really worked in this instance, but the pressure becomes too intense. Breathing is cumbersome, the headache interferes with work. My eyes start to squint, making me look like Lee Van Cleef dueling against Clint Eastwood in an old spaghetti western—and hey, if you don’t know what those movies are, you’ve got some American cinema history to catch up on.

When I look like Lee and feel like I need that extra hole in my head to relieve the pressure, what can I do but cave and deal with the task?

For the longest time I thought it was just me. That I was the only one with this much angst around replenishing my supply, with doing the task that torments me, that I must do just to feel better.

I felt alone—the sole person to rage against the wrapping. But no, I finally discovered I have company. Seester admitted that she dislikes it as much as I do.

It can be put off no longer. The re-used countless times, easy-open, not-childproof pill bottle is down to two tablets. I have no choice.

It’s time to buy Benadryl again.

I get the pink tablets with the B emblazoned on them, having found they are the easiest to swallow and more than other brands, cure the sinus headaches that can reach the incapacitation level of a migraine. I tried non-drowsy Claritin D once upon a time and was awake for three days. A productive, but exhaustion trio of days.

Western Pennsylvania, unlike the clear mountain air of Montana, is hard on my head. This is a high seasonal allergy area, a high humidity area, a high whatever area it is in the winter that brings on draining sinuses and a congested nose. And how, I often ponder, does a congested nose actually run to the point of depleting a box of tissues?

Costco Benadryl

Stocking up takes place twice annually, at least, preferable purchased on sale at Costco to get the three boxes holding 48 tablets or a total of 144—that’s almost allowing me one a day for a whole year! Thankfully, I don’t take them daily and I rarely need more than one to get the job done, but a deal is a deal, right? Who can resist?

At home, I open the boxes and my grumbling begins—it’s a combination of muttering under my breath and flat out, loudly complaining. Wisely, my husband leaves the room. Scissors come out, the cutting along each row of tablets, careful not to cut the pill (a fundamental reason to avoid the gel version). Stick a fingernail in, bend the foil out of the way, pop the pill onto the confirmed-to-be-dry table top, gather them up, drop them in the pill bottle.

 

One hundred and forty-four times I do this—sometimes in one sitting, sometimes two. It’s better to get my complaining out of the way at once instead of over the course of 144 individual battles with the packaging. Can you imagine dealing with me while I’m on this rant? Again? And again?

If we (Jackie and I, in case you forgot that she joins me in this task and the hatred of it)—as two people on either side of sixty—have a hard time managing the wrapping, then what do folks older than us do? Of course, I feel that way about opening many things from olive jars to the milk I used to buy but gave up on because of the difficulty in opening the container. I rail against the manufacturers and swear if I ever come up against the Tylenol (another thing, oh young readers, if you aren’t familiar with this sad piece of our history, read here and understand why tamper-proof packaging exists) killer in heaven, I’m getting him sent south. Childproof when I was a kid was either the item put up high or an adamant, don’t touch this! from our parents. And guess what? We didn’t touch. After 1982, that all changed.

Back to the question, back to my angst:

What is the purpose of these stupid rectangular foil-wrapped pill cozies? When they first came out, I tried carrying them in my purse, thinking wow, great idea. Then the practicality of trying to get to one of the pill gems-of-relief obliterated my tiny joy—it took a minute to get it open, I usually poked myself under the fingernail with the edge of the thing—sometimes drawing blood. I mean, honestly, just let me pop the lid and get to it.

When you’re in pain, do you think it’s easy to fold the foil back and forth, separate it, find the corner that bends, peel it from the plastic holder and finally get to the drug that will start to cure your headache?

Benadryl bottle

Who’s the target market for the little buggers? Most men aren’t going to have the foresight to carry the little individual packets, so that leaves them out. Women, more than likely, tote cute tablet containers in our purses, often with a pretty design on the top (mine is plain blue plastic and came from the Dollar Tree)—or if you’re crazy extravagant, go for the tiny sterling silver tortoise pill case I saw for a mere $294 (really, who does this?).

Sigh, a benefit of winter season is that my consumption of allergy meds usually decreases. But as I mentioned, it was an unusual fall and the weather is wreaking havoc with warm temperatures followed by dropping ones. My supply is dwindling, so I must cave to the pressure and pick them off the shelf.

Time to stock up and start riling against J&J all over again.