I’m about to make you all feel better about your lives. For real.
So a little background information: As some of you may recall, before Thanksgiving I had an ear infection. Nothing terrible, but bad enough that I needed to be on some antibiotics to kill it.
The story: Thursday night, I started to feel a little itchy. Nothing really unusual, seeing as it’s starting to get cold and I just figured my skin was drying out. That’s pretty typical for me in the winter, so I didn’t pay any attention.
At least, not until Friday afternoon.
By the time lunch rolled around, my skin felt too small for my body, like I was a snake trying to molt its skin. My chest, throat, and behind my ears were all itchy, so I ruled out having some kind of adverse reaction to detergent, seeing as that really shouldn’t affect my ears or throat.
It got so bad that I said something to my next-door teacher, who is a great friend and a mom, so I figured she’d have some tips. (Moms know everything, you guys.) I told her my skin was super itchy and she sympathized. Then she says this:
“Well, at least you haven’t been on any antibiotics lately.”
Pause. “But I was. For my ear infection.”
She pauses. “When was that?”
“Before Thanksgiving. But I’ve been off the antibiotic for over a week.”
She gets closer to me, her eyes focused. “What antibiotic was it?”
I told her amoxicillin and she squeaked. Apparently, when she was my age, she had a really bad allergic reaction to amoxicillin about a week after she finished taking it as well. She let it go too long without it getting checked out and she swelled up so badly she had to go to the hospital. It was there that she discovered she’s allergic to the penicillin in amoxicillin.
I’m not a hypochondriac, but let’s just say there are some eerie similarities between what she was telling me, what I was going through, and freaky similarities between ourselves both in and out of the medical realm. Luckily, my next class was having a work day to read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, so I quickly Googled what was going on. All I was getting was that this was a common side effect of the drug and that I should take some Benadryl for the itching.
I am not nor have I ever been allergic to anything, so I didn’t have any Benadryl on hand. Another teacher told me that the school nurse usually keeps it on hand, so I contacted the nurse and got some Benadryl.
Let’s just say that made for an interesting afternoon.
I don’t have a lot of experience with Benadryl, obviously, or I would have remembered that it was supposed to make me ridiculously tired. About an hour and a half before the end of the school day, I was thinking about how comfortable my floor looked if I balled up my coat like a pillow. Kids are asking me questions and my mouth is completely bypassing my brain. I wasn’t totally zombified, but I definitely felt out of it.
Oh, and did I mention that I was going to be at school all night for our 8th grade semi-formal?
Yeah. I couldn’t even go home after school to try to sleep it off because I needed to help with decorating and other things to get ready for the dance. Thankfully, though, once I got moving, the tired feeling wore off. They even had me climb up a six foot ladder to hang streamers. (It probably wasn’t the brightest move I’ve ever made, but I didn’t fall!)
I knew I’d be ok staying awake at the dance, so I took another dose of Benadryl when the itching came back. And truly, the dance was a blast. The kids looked amazing and they had so much fun. This is the very first dance they’ve had where they get to go all out and get their hair done, wear suits, etc. And for a while, I could forget that I was even itchy.
I’m going to give you some truly aww! moments from the night. Names have been changed:
1. Eli, a boy I refer to as an old soul because he has 100% been born in the wrong decade (he looks adorable in suspenders and a pageboy hat, he KNITS, and he’s the most chivalrous boy you’ll ever meet) brought a corsage for a girl. The girl wasn’t with him, so when we questioned him who it was for, he asked, “Do I have to tell you?” We lightened up on him, but we searched for him at the dance until we saw the girl with the corsage on her wrist. They awkwardly slow danced to one song, but she spent most of her time dancing with a girl she’s great friends with while Eli sat by himself and watched. Such is middle school.
2. Hannah and Adam are the kind of students who, when I call on them, turn beet red because they’re massively shy. They stood off to the side together trying to find space on the dance floor to dance. When they caught teachers looking at them, they blushed and headed for the opposite corner of the dance floor and slow danced together. It was adorably awkward as they held their hands between them, not even on shoulders or anything. They only danced slow songs, getting slowly more comfortable with each other until they did properly slow dance together. Whenever a faster song came on, they went to the photo booth and got their pictures taken. One picture had them holding a sign that said “Naughty” with an arrow pointing at him and “Nice” pointing at her. I completely ship this one. They were adorable. I squealed. A lot. (I’ve had these two as students for two years, so I know they’re cute together. Their personalities mesh well.) I know I’ll be making this face come Monday when I see them.
3. Ethan and Lori are two who beat to their own drums. (Lori, for example, has blue hair.) They are both in show choir together and, surprisingly, were horribly awkward dancers. They just spun in big circles until the show choir director stopped them and taught Ethan the right steps, having Ethan mirror him. Ethan was a bit too good of a student, even mirroring the director’s hands, which were held out flat in front of him in a stop motion. The director shook his head and instructed them to place hands on shoulders, etc. They finally figured it out in the last two lines of the song. But it was hilarious.
Middle School: it is the best of times, it is the worst of times. But on this night, being able to end on such a high note more than made up for the itching I had to put up with all day.