Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Drugs Do To Me

A few years ago, some friends and I headed to Tagaytay. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away, so along the way, I took a tablet of painkillers — Mefenamic Acid to counter the pain.

An hour or so later, we were walking around the usual sites — Palaces and Parks and Gardens — when I felt the flesh under my right eye swelling. It was uncomfortable, and kind of distracting because I could see the damn thing blocking my view. Meh, I thought. Mosquitoes love me too much, I told them. (True story. They’re drawn to me. But that’s another blog entry.) We kept walking. And despite my new Perpetual Wink look, we took pictures. Later on, my left eye starts swelling, too! This time, I thought, They bit me again? In the exact mirror area of the last bite? That’s just weird. And so, I took a break from all the camwhoring and moved on to mirror-staring. At myself. At my two swollen eyes.

They were not mosquito bites.

I went home, dejected and confused. I thought it could have been the medicine, but there was no way of really determining the cause. Only when I took the same kind of pills a few months later and the same thing with my eyes happened again was I finally sure:

I was never allergic to anything before, and now in my 20s, I suddenly find that I’ve developed an allergy to mefenamic acid.

I stayed away from the drug knowingly since then.

Fast-forward to today —

I had a gig to host in a few hours’ time. I had a horrible, horrible toothache: I felt like a fat, clumsy little demon elf was dancing on and around my wisdom tooth in platform boots to rival the Spice Girls’. It was a skip away from unbearable, so I decided to gulp down a pill. Yes, I stayed away from That To Which I Am Allergic, and took, instead, what the doctors have said to be a decent alternative — Ibuprofen Paracetamol. Yay. Pain-free? Getting there.

Or so I thought. DUN DUN DUNNN.

I dressed up, fixed up, made myself up… I was pretty much ready to go and just waiting for time, but… BUT. I felt weird. Hrm.

I took a glance at the mirror and, peering closely, I saw a small part of my right eye looked like it was bitten by an insect. Having forgotten the little Tagaytay anecdote I shared with you just now, I thought, again, that it was just that — a harmless little insect bite. But minutes — just minutes! — later, I noticed it had spread. It got to a point where I could barely see with my right eye. It was that bad and that gross.

I had to ditch the gig. I had to find a replacement for me. All with my one eye half-closed and me internally panicking — because this had been the worst allergic reaction I’d ever had to anything — thinking OMG AM I GONNA DIE. (I didn’t.)

Now, as a mature 20-something year-old, accepting of the fact that I am not perfect and it is normal to have allergies, I have to come to terms with the absurdity of it all first. I took painkillers to take away the pain in my mouth. The pain was gone eventually, but by that time, my right eye was, too. I’m allergic to the only 2 generic kinds of medicinal painkillers I know, so this leaves me with what? Sheer bravery and forced pain thresholds?

What won’t kill me only makes me stronger and all that crap. I can’t wait to have kids.



  1. Uh actually you may not be allergic to paracetamol. You said the second time you took “ibuprofen paracetamol”. Mefenamic acid and Ibuprofen are NSAIDs, which you are probably allergic to. Paracetamol might still be okay for you; Biogesic is one of the brands that is just paracetamol (no ibuprofen or other NSAID).

    Comment by Noelle De Guzman — Thursday, October 15, 2009 @ 9:50 am | Reply

  2. Just stay away from analgesics that have ibuprofen in them. You should be fine with plain paracetamol.

    Comment by Noelle De Guzman — Thursday, October 15, 2009 @ 9:52 am | Reply

  3. What Noelle said, I guess. (Basta lang maka-comment)

    Comment by Ade — Friday, October 16, 2009 @ 1:27 pm | Reply

  4. […] pain became unbearable. Unrealistic too, because I was starving, but I couldn’t eat. Knowing I was allergic to two common types of painkillers, I convinced myself that the kind with a different chemical make-up couldn’t possibly give me […]

    Pingback by The week Lady Luck not only left me, but sent her half-brother Torture to keep me company. « Unpoppable! — Saturday, May 29, 2010 @ 5:16 pm | Reply

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