walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

In Which Your Humble Blogger Gets the Munchies


I seem to have acquired a nasty cold.

'Nasty' in the sense that it is painful and unpleasant (and is causing my head to leak quantities of goo so copious that I am forced to wonder whence cometh all the raw materials). Nasty also in the sense that it came out of nowhere — yesterday, I woke up with a sore throat. By evening, I was hacking up a lung, though initially I blamed the 20-mph-uphill-through-woodsmoke ride I took on my way home from the store (where I bought more FHPs, God help me). Nasty also because it prevented me from singing Brahms' 'Let Nothing Ever Grieve Thee' this morning at church (and, in fact, from going to church at all).

Apparently, this cold has also impacted my judgment (yes, THAT'S why I bought more hipster pants! Of course!). So much so that when I went to take some cold medicine this afternoon, I stared at the label on the bottle for about ten minutes, concluded it was the one I wanted, took a dose, and only realized roughly half an hour later that the cold medicine I'd taken is the night-time formulation, which knocks me out hard.

In fact, the fact that I am here typing this post represents something of a minor miracle — a minor miracle begotten by a strong case of the munchies, which was begotten by, you guessed it, the cold medicine.

Most of the time, I try not to add anything to my ongoing regimen of asthma and allergy meds (which, by the way, is down to just cetirizine — that's generic Zyrtec — and Singulair) — but when I do, I go for the good stuff.

Specifically, I get Tylenol's wretched blue liquid, which tastes absolutely horrible but works pretty darned well, in one form or another. The night-time kind contains doxylamine succinate, an antihistamine, which both helps control cold symptoms and makes it very, very hard for me to stay awake. It's classified as an anticholinergic, which isn't terribly important, but I really like the word 'anticholinergic.' That means, basically, that it blocks or reduces the action of acetylcholine, a major neurotransmitter.

Apparently, however, it also gives me the munchies, which I didn't realize, because usually when I take it, I'm on my way to bed.

I don't suppose this should be terribly surprising. The ingredient in question is a central nervous system depressant, and for some reason those seem to invoke the need to feed (stimulants, like psuedoephedrine, better known as Sudafed, tend to have the opposite effect). Certain other substances famous for inducing bouts of 'the munchies' are also CNS depressants (though most have other traits as well), but I haven't tried any of those, so I can't say whether the experience is the same or different. I have been known to have a glass of wine now and then, and since I'm a profound lightweight, I can say that the effect of doxylamine is, for me, very much like being quite tipsy. And tired. And having the munchies. Also it makes me transpose homonyms, but I have been careful to go back and fix them.

At any rate, I am presently quite drugged, as it were, and thus everything is surprising.

So I have stayed awake long enough to wait for dinner, which DD graciously made for me, which is good because I would not, in fact, trust myself in the kitchen at the moment. For the record, DD makes a mean meatloaf. In the intervening near-two-hours, however, I have consumed roughly half a pound of grapes, two handfuls of pretzel sticks, a small blueberry muffin left over from breakfast, and two glasses of chocolate milk.

Yeah, did I mention I had the munchies?

Also, the meatloaf was really quite good.

These are the days that make me mighty glad I'm a cyclist. Otherwise I would weigh 4,000 pounds and look very much like the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man, indeed.

PS: I did not ride the bike today, since I try to take one day off per week and I'm feeling pretty rotten anyway. However, I did ride about six miles yesterday, eighteen on Friday, fourteen on Thursday, twenty or so on Wednesday, and sixteen or so on Tuesday.

Also, I have a product review forthcoming. I think I will write it when I am not drugged.


  1. Drixoral used to knock me on my ass. Not available anymore. They keep taking the fun drugs away. I can't say I've ever gotten the munchies from cough medicine before, but I haven't tried that kind, either. Amusing story!

  2. LOL, thanks. They do seem to keep cracking down on all the over-the-counter stuff that actually does something. It's these pesky kids with their hair and their hipster pants!