Disclaimer: if your prescription bottle tells you not to drink alcohol, DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL (I know, right?), at least not before consulting with a doctor, and not even on special occasions like I have once or twice *cough cough.* Just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard the news, alcohol can be a real troublemaker. So many potential problems, even for the healthiest among us (and no, I don’t count myself among that group). Google this “stuff” and take a minute/hour/afternoon to carefully study and absorb the results, preferably while at work in full view of people in positions of authority.
If I bothered scanning back over past posts, I’d probably see that alcohol is, frequency-wise at least, one of my favourite things to blog about, which is kind of ironic, really, since it usually doesn’t pose much of an issue now and isn’t something I drank much of even before the delightful arrival of my super-controlling friend—that’s you, Epilepsy!—me having been the type of super-nerd who’d rather maintain peak brainpower at all times because you never know when a pop quiz is going to miraculously materialize on a Saturday night. The Girl Guides motto is, after all, “Be Prepared,” and as a former hardcore member of that organization (this will surprise no one who knows me in real life), I felt it best to avoid taking swigs from my parents’ liquor cabinet and instead stay on point with soda and Oreos and a Bio textbook.
As an adult, I’ve learned to navigate tricky alcohol-heavy social situations like a pro, nursing a single beer or mixed drink, either enough to render me decently inebriated for, no exaggeration, hours, one ‘lil sip at a time. And usually, now that I’m in my late-twenties and have discovered how good certain craft brews and expensive whiskeys taste, I only feel mildly bad for myself.
I mean, I’ve had my moments, but haven’t we all? It’s tough being a member of a society/social group in which most gatherings involve alcohol in one way or another.
And what’s with that? I should throw a sundae party sometime. (Beer floats, anyone? Kidding.)
Even when I pull the “E” card (“I can’t really drink, I have epilepsy” accompanied by an annoyed-but-accepting shrug-and-smile as I reach for my third Coke of the night), I inevitably feel at least a little excluded from the group and have to fight to the urge to go sit in a corner and pout with a bowl of ice cream to drown my sorrows. And no, sitting alone in a corner with a bowl of ice cream probably isn’t the best way of overcoming the perceived social awkwardness resulting from the very-restricted amount of alcohol I can (read: should) have.
Anyway, since we were heading to an out-of-town wedding with a pre-wedding two-day cabin component that would undoubtedly involve copious amounts of beer that I would be tempted to pour down my gullet last week, I decided to investigate with a professional to determine what my actual, realistic limits are. In advance. All very responsible of me.
So, while picking up a refill for a drug that’s relatively new to my mix, I asked the pharmacist how stupid it would be to have a drink or two while taking it. (My question was phrased much less alarmingly than it is here.)
He examined the bottle, went and typed something into his Pharmacy Supercomputer, which, I assume, is nothing more (or less, for that matter) than the official version of WebMD, and reported back.
“To be frank,” he said…
(Good start. I love when medical professionals are “frank.” Actually, I love when anyone’s “frank.” I also love franks, as in “hot dogs,” and selected “Franks,” as in Frank Sinatra, but I’m now going a little too far with this, so I’ll take a lunch break—hot dogs!—and return in a moment.)
“…one or two won’t kill you. They’ll just amplify the effects of the alcohol.”
Thanks, buddy. I’d kind of figured that one out on my own, but confirmation never hurts.
Post-wedding, I can confirm that this pharmacist-in-training was right. In fact, with the cocktail of medications that I choke down every morning and evening, my personal guidelines are approx. three sips to tipsy and six to legit drunk.
I can also verify that for this particular person with epilepsy/anxiety/depression/OCD, (prescription) brain drugs and beer should be mixed with extreme caution.