Home > My Dad, My Mom, Ohio, Traumatic Childhood > The Time My Parents Drugged Me

The Time My Parents Drugged Me

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is just turning into parental stories week. Anyway, the title of this post could refer to essentially every year of my life.

Both of my parents are in the medical field — my dad’s a doctor and my mom’s a nurse — so prescription strength medications have always been lying around the house. Little white bottles line every window sill in our kitchen, and my parents’ bathroom counters resemble the back room of a pharmacy. You want it, they got it.

The first instance I remember of my parents drugging me was when I was around six years old. I was in kindergarten, and I got the chicken pox. Weary of hearing me bitch and moan about all the itchy spots on my body, my parents gave me enough sedatives to put down a horse. I have only blurry memories of my time with chicken pox, and they mostly consist of my parents waking me up so that I could eat a bit and drink some water. Then I faded out again after eating the drugged food. I spent a week like this, until the pox were gone and I was healthy enough to return to school. My parents claim this was done so that I didn’t end up with chicken pox scars, but I’m pretty sure they drugged me so that they wouldn’t have to kill me. A week at home with a seriously ill six-year-old is a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

I also remember getting the worst cough of my life while on a family vacation in Florida. Though my dad is really strict about not prescribing medicine for his own family, he made an exception this time since I hadn’t slept in days, and we had no local doctor in Florida. We ventured to a shady pharmacy in a strip mall, where I recall the proprietors spoke only Spanish. Despite the language barrier, my dad eventually procured an opiate-based cough syrup that was bright green and had the consistency of Nickelodeon slime. I called it “caterpillar guts,” and was ordered to drink it down twice a day. Once taking the medicine, I would drift off into an opium-induced dream state, where I at least didn’t cough.

Then there was the time more recently where my mom gave me a tiny pill to take while I was in the midst of one of my many panic attacks. In tears and hyperventilating, I eagerly gulped down the pill. It was a sedative, and despite the fact that my mom had given me only a fraction of a dose, it hit me like a freight train. About 15 minutes after taking the pill, I began to slur my words in the middle of the sentence, then paused and suddenly fell out of my chair at the kitchen table. I slept for three hours straight, and had to be carried from the carpet to a couch.

Or there was the time my mom gave me a similarly tiny pill to “help me relax” on a long flight to Japan. I foolishly took it, but I didn’t drift off into sudden sleep. Instead, I sat awake, unable to rest, and began hallucinating that my tray table was talking to me. For two hours.

This is not to say that I haven’t been given medicines that have helped me — most have fallen under this category. But in 27 years of medications, there were bound to be a few bad ones. In a house that is liberally stocked by the local hospital, no pill is truly safe.

  1. September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    How many times has your house been broken into since you wrote this? Because while it sounds like a horrendous Alice in Wonderland-type nightmare to me, this would be a dreamland for people like my evil neighbors (not to be confused with my good neighbors, of which there are more, thank the thankables)

    • September 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Haha, none! I guess it wasn’t well-advertised what a drug trove our closets were, but very few of the drugs could ever be considered “recreational” in any sense.

  2. September 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    I”m not sure that’s ever stopped anyone from taking them or selling them. I’ve had people wanting to take my industrial strength ibuprofen and not because they were in pain.

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